You wouldn’t think that an earthquake-prone city like San Francisco would have viewing towers atop Telegraph Hill, but the builders of Coit Tower clearly wanted to push their luck. The result is a 210-foot tower made of reinforced concrete with 360-degree viewing windows on its rooftop observation deck.
The views from up there are amazing, as you can see all of the hills and valleys of the city from above. Virtually all of San Francisco’s major attractions can be seen from up here: the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the Transamerica Pyramid, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Bay Bridge, and Lombard Street.
The tower is open from 10 am to 5 pm during the winter months (10-6 from May to October) and costs $9 for adults ($7 if you’re a local resident) to ride the elevator to the top. Stay up there and take as many pictures as you like.
Photos of the Coit Tower View
Coit Tower is not far from Lombard Street, the famous twisty, crooked street with switchbacks and mansions next to the road. You can get a great view of Lombard Street from the tower.
And Alcatraz looks imposing from up here.
On my previous visits to SF, I bypassed Coit Tower because I didn’t think it was anything special. But I can now say it’s worth the nine bucks! Check out more scenes from atop Coit Tower.
Coit Tower was completed in 1933, designed by architect Henry Howard. It has survived several earthquakes, so that should put your mind at ease if you’re someone who gets nervous about that sort of thing. The flutes and arches at the top give it added strength.
Right below Coit Tower is one of those famed steep streets that San Francisco is known for:
The 210-foot Coit Tower is located on a hill, so your view looks even higher than it actually is.
Visiting Coit Tower – Tickets, Parking
If you’d like to stop by, you can buy your tickets right at the window. Adult tickets for non-SF residents are $9 each. Seniors and teens are charged $6, while younger kids are charged $3. You can pre-purchase tickets online, but those come with an extra service fee.
The charge is only for going up the elevator up to the top of the tower. You can obviously stand outside and take pics for free if you like. There’s a Coit Tower Cafe, open daily from 9:30 am to 6 pm.
Parking is very limited in the area. Guests are advised to take public transit or rideshare to the tower.
While you’re in San Francisco, make sure to spend some time visiting Alcatraz as well to see it up close! The Cable Car Museum is a fun attraction to learn about the history of SF’s historic streetcars. The Rainbow Honor Walk is a series of plaques dedicated to important LGBT figures.
Swing by Golden Gate Park to see the Golden Gate Bridge and to visit the albino alligator at the California Academy of Sciences. Finally, head over to Berkeley to find some under the radar activities as well.