Located in the heart of San Francisco, Nob Hill and Russian Hill are perhaps the most famous neighborhoods in the entire city. The eight tight hairpin turns of Lombard Street led to its nickname as the “Crookedest Street in the World,” and years later it continues to attract tourists eager to experience the 27% grade road for themselves. Stairs replace sidewalks on the steep hills, and vantage points offer sweeping vistas of landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge.
While Lombard Street may be one of the area’s most notable attractions, it is rivaled only by the classic cable cars that are still on full display. Recognized as a moving landmark on the National Register of Historic Places, the manually operated cable car system originally replaced horse-drawn carriages in the 1870s. Today, the three remaining cable car lines connect to Nob Hill, with two passing through Russian Hill on the way. After going for a ride, head to the Cable Car Museum
to learn more about the unique history.
Nob Hill and Russian Hill also show off verdant gardens, tiny cottages, and alleyways that connect one winding street to the next. The architecture on display is second to none, and visitors will be able to glimpse everything from the Atkinson House (an Italianate-style residence built in 1853 that is recognized as the oldest home in Russian Hill) to a Spanish Mission Revival (built by architect William Polk in 1916). The average home price is $1.455 million in Nob Hill and $1.642 million in Russian Hill.
Though the charming cable cars and winding roadways may be enough to lure anyone seeking the best of old-world San Francisco, there’s plenty to attract a modern crowd as well. Polk and Hyde Streets are both dotted with hole-in-the-wall haunts and trendy eateries and bars such as Dim Sum Club
, and Seven Hills
. After enjoying a meal, head to Russian Hill Park to walk off the food or take in a show at the SF Masonic Auditorium
. Serving as an homage to San Francisco’s past while also showing off the best of its future, Nob Hill and Russian Hill are ideal for anyone who wants the best of both worlds.