San Francisco CA 94133
- Mon: 10am-5pm
- Tue: 10am-5pm
- Wed: 10am-5pm
- Thu: 10am-5pm
- Fri: 10am-5pm
- Sat: 10am-5pm
- Sun: 10am-5pm
A magnificent Art Deco style tower rising over 200 feet from the top of San Francisco's Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower is not only one of the most iconic landmarks of the city by the bay but one of its top viewpoints as well. From the observation deck, Coit Tower sports breath-taking 360 degree views of the entire city and the San Francisco Bay, including landmarks like Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. The tower itself is an architectural marvel and historic landmark and hosts important New Deal era murals in its interior.
Parking and public transportation at Coit Tower
Limited metered parking is available at the base of Coit Tower, but on the weekends and during the summer there is often a long line of cars waiting for one of these prime spaces. The 39 Coit Muni Bus makes the trip up to the tower from Fisherman's Wharf frequently and inexpensively, stopping at Washington Square Park in North Beach along the way.
Best and worst time to go to Coit Tower
The months of August through November, when the city experiences its best weather and is relatively fog free, is the best time to catch a breathtaking sunset vista from Coit Tower. But San Francisco often experiences clear days at any time of the year, and views of the city halfway shrouded in mystical fog can be awe –inspiring as well. Those who want the tower and its verdant surroundings to themselves should go as early in the morning on weekdays as possible.
Admission to Coit Tower
There is no charge to check out the top of Telegraph Hill and explore the base of Coit Tower, but those that want to ride the elevator up to the observation deck need to pay an admission fee. The price is around $8 -10 for visiting adults, with discounts for children, seniors and San Francisco residents. There are also guided tours of the tower and its murals available with a docent for an extra fee.
Must-See at Coit Tower
Visiting the 180-foot-high observation deck near the top of Coit Tower provides one of the most stunning visual feasts in the entire world. Downstairs, elaborate murals painted by students of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera soon after the tower was built tell the story of California's political upheaval in the post-Depression days. The onsite gift store stocks postcards and souvenirs as well as good selection of books about Coit Tower, its murals and the Telegraph Hill area. In the center of the circular parking lot in front of Coit Tower, a 12 foot high statue of Christopher Columbus gazes intently north over the bay.
Other places to visit near Coit Tower
The garden-lined Filbert Steps run all the way from the San Francisco Embarcadero up to Coit Tower, and provide a beautiful yet strenuous pedestrian oriented way to visit the landmark. They are also home to the bright green "Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill", immortalized in the 2005 documentary of the same name. The other side of Telegraph Hill drops quickly down into the bustling North Beach neighborhood, San Francisco´s raucous little Italy, where restaurants, nightlife and traditional Italian cafes offering sidewalk-seating await.
Insider tip for visitors to Coit Tower
Just behind Coit Tower, tree-filled Pioneer Park offers amazing views of downtown San Francisco and the Bay Bridge without the crowds on the other side. It's a great place for an urban picnic.
Authors bio: Ocean Malandra was born and raised in San Francisco. He is a widely published travel writer and journalist that can be followed at @OceanMalandra.