San Francisco is known for its scenery and its topography. The hills of our city, numbering more than 40, have determined so much about the way people live in San Francisco and the urban landscape. Where else would the cable car have been invented?
But you shouldn’t let a few changes in elevation keep you from walking your way around San Francisco. There’s no better way to experience all of our unique neighborhoods. Here are some ways you can see the city on foot without getting too tired.
Follow the Muni MapThe SFMTA’s bus system crisscrosses the entire city, from Ocean Beach to Dogpatch. It’s a remarkably thorough system, so you might wonder why certain roads aren’t serviced by Muni buses. The answer: hills! Some climbs in the city are too steep for even a biodiesel bus to make. So when you decide to explore Pacific Heights or Russian Hill, have a Muni map handy. Opting for a few shortcuts on a Muni vehicle will save your legs some strain, and save you some time if you’re running late to your next destination.
Take the StairsIf you don’t want the Muni routes to determine your travels, you can wander freely knowing that some of the steepest slopes in San Francisco have stairs. Some are elaborate wooden structures shrouded in greenery; others are solid cement and chiseled right into the sidewalk. Just another example of the clever urban engineering throughout the city, these stairways connect neighborhoods that otherwise would be isolated.
Want to explore Lincoln Park?
Be PreparedThere are a few easy things to do to ensure your walk is most enjoyable. First, make sure you’re wearing supportive and comfortable footwear. Second, remember that weather changes frequently in San Francisco, and the difference from neighborhood to neighborhood can be stark. Have a lightweight jacket with you for when the fog rolls in. Finally, take some water with you. Carry a reusable water bottle. It spares the environment one more plastic bottle, and the water that comes to San Francisco from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is among the best in the world.
For more information about getting around San Francisco, click here.