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4 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

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  • Address: Telegraph Hill Boulevard, North Beach, 94133, USA
  • Admission: Varies
Visitors flock to Coit Tower to take in views of downtown San Francisco, Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and other landmarks. With its perch in Pioneer Park atop Telegraph Hill, the 210-foot-high (64-meter-high) tower, built in 1933, offers some of the best panoramic photo ops in the city.
 
The Basics
Coit Tower was built with money left to the city by Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a philanthropist and firefighter groupie who wanted to beautify her city. Visiting the park at the base of the tower is free and still provides good views of San Francisco Bay, but if you want the ultimate vista, head up the elevator to the summit of the tower for a fee. 

First, though, stop to admire the 1930s-era murals in the lobby that depict the history of California. Controversial when they were painted, the frescoes were part of President Roosevelt’s Public Works of Art Project. Some city tours include a drive-by of Coit Tower but most do not stop there, so look for a more specific tour such as a North Beach urban hike if you want time to visit.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Wear comfortable shoes if you plan to walk—it’s a steep climb to get to the base of the tower from any direction.
  • Restrooms are available.
  • Tickets for the tower can be purchased in advance if you wish to skip the line.
  • Docent-led tours are available on-site for small groups.
 
How to Get There
Taking public transportation or walking is recommended, as parking is very limited on Telegraph Hill and the only road to the top—Telegraph Hill Boulevard—can get backed up. MUNI bus 39 takes you right to the base of the tower, while the 45 and 30 go to Washington Square in North Beach a few blocks away. For a thigh-burning workout that gives you an up-close look at neighborhood homes, take the lovely Filbert Street Stairs.
 
When to Get There
Coit Tower can be quite crowded on summer weekends. To avoid the masses, visit early in the morning or at sunset for golden views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and remember that the area at the tower’s base can be accessed even when the tower itself is closed. Coit Tower is particularly popular on the Fourth of July, when the city puts on a fireworks display over the water, and during Fleet Week in October.
 
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
As you walk up to the base of the tower, watch for the local band of parrots who spend much of their time in the trees that surround the park. Made famous by the documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, the red and green birds are noisy but generally beloved.

Tours & Tickets

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San Francisco Urban Hike: Coit Tower, Lombard Street and North Beach, San Francisco, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

San Francisco Urban Hike: Coit Tower, Lombard Street and North Beach

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

Get ready to climb lots of steps and go off the beaten path on this challenging 5-mile walking tour of San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill and North ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $49.00
Bay In a Day with Muir Woods and Coit Tower Ticket, San Francisco, Hiking & Camping
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Bay In a Day with Muir Woods and Coit Tower Ticket

After hotel pick ups in the morning, we are cruising by the parks and attractions along the San Francisco Embarcadero and we will then disembark at the Ferry ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 9 to 10 hrs

From USD $129.00
San Francisco's Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill Walking Tour, San Francisco, City Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

San Francisco's Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill Walking Tour

Witness the legendary parrots of San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill. This urban safari takes you through the Telegraph Hill neighborhood in search of the famous ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $40.00
San Francisco City Tour, San Francisco, Walking Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

San Francisco City Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Looking for an authentic San Francisco experience? Trade the tour bus for a vintage Volkswagen van that easily navigates the city’s less-traveled lanes. ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $65.00
San Francisco Combo: Alcatraz and City Segway Tour, San Francisco, City Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

San Francisco Combo: Alcatraz and City Segway Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 112 Reviews

Explore Alcatraz and take a city Segway tour to see top San Francisco attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, and Fisherman’s Wharf on this ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $113.00
Private Half-Day San Francisco Highlights Tour, San Francisco, Segway Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Half-Day San Francisco Highlights Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Take a load off and enjoy a 4-hour best of San Francisco sightseeing tour. On this private tour, you will be taken all around the city to see many famous ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $380.00
Small-Group Full-Day Tour of San Francisco with Alcatraz, San Francisco, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Small-Group Full-Day Tour of San Francisco with Alcatraz

4 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

This full-day, small-group San Francisco city tour explores all the top attractions of the city, including Alcatraz Island prison. Explore Chinatown, the ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $129.00
Skip The Bus: San Francisco By Luxury Minivan Tour, San Francisco, Cultural Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Skip The Bus: San Francisco By Luxury Minivan Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Go where buses can't go!  Did you know buses aren't allowed on almost 70% of San Francisco streets!  Trade the large tour bus for a guided ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $48.00
San Francisco Segway Tour: North Beach and Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco, Bus & Minivan Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

San Francisco Segway Tour: North Beach and Ghirardelli Square

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

If you have always wanted to hop board a Segway and experience the joy of gliding along, this 2-hour tour of San Francisco provides an excellent opportunity. ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $60.00
Private Tour of San Francisco, San Francisco, Segway Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour of San Francisco

Looking for a private way to experience San Francisco? Trade the tour bus for a private luxury minivan that can go places tour buses can't go! This ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $249.00

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