NOTE: As of July 10, San Francisco and Bay Area counties are holding off on any more reopening due to a spike in cases. Many large events, theater performances, and concerts are cancelled or postponed. Click here to stay up-to-date with what's open and opening soon.
Golden Gate Heights in San Francisco is a small sub-district in the larger Inner Sunset. It is a popular area due to its colorful staircases and gorgeous hilltop views.
It's only a few blocks long and a few blocks wide. Here you will find the 16th Avenue Tiled Stairs, Grandview Park, and Golden Gate Heights Park.
Read on to learn more about this district, how to get here and what to see and do nearby.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
The 16th Avenue Tiled Stairs are a must see in Golden Gate Heights in San Francisco. This attraction features more than 150 steps with mosaic tiles.
The theme for the staircase is from the stars to the ocean. At the top, you will see the sun, then the moon, and then the design takes you into the ocean.
Most people start at the bottom and climb to the top. This is the best way to to experience the stairs as you can see the entire masterpiece before you start your ascent. You can then take a closer look at all of the details of the artwork as you climb.
The names you see within the artwork are from people who wanted to help support and build the stairs. Some are the names of the donors and their family members. Others are memorials for their loved ones.
You will find the stairs on Moraga (some people call them the Moraga stairs) between 15th and 16th Avenues.
Insider's Tip: If you head north on 16th Avenue, you will find another set of mosaic stairs called the Hidden Garden Stairs. They are not as popular but are just as gorgeous and a great side trip if you are in the area.
Once you climb to the top of the 16th Avenue Tiled Stairs, you can cross 15th Avenue to reach another set of stairs. These stairs aren't as exciting, but the view at the top is amazing.
To get to the top, you will climb around 100 steps. The staircase is wooden with several flights. There are also several benches along the way, so you can stop and rest if needed.
At the very top, you will find an open area that allows you to gaze out over the SF Bay. You can see downtown SF, the Golden Gate Bridge, City Hall, and so much more. You will also be able to see past SF over to Sausalito and over to Oakland.
As you can see in the picture above, you will be on a rocky surface at the top. However, it's easy to navigate and there is a fence all around the summit.
There is a second set of stairs to the top that take you from 14th Avenue to the summit.
This wonderful park is another gem in the Golden Gate Heights in San Francisco district. This small park is on the southern end of the district.
This 7-acre park features a playground for the kids and a tennis court. It also has great views from its summit, called Larson Peak. Although the views here are good, they aren't as good as Grandview Park since you will find trees all around, and they obstruct the view of the city more.
You will find this park between 12th and 14th Avenues near Rockridge Drive.
The weather in Golden Gate Heights in San Francisco is a little cooler and has more fog than districts on the eastern end. That means you will want to bring along some additional layers to stay warm.
The weather is usually in the 60s in the summer and the 50s in the winter months. It's a little warmer in the fall and in April. Click the links below to learn more about SF's weather for each month and find some tips to help you pack for your stay.
The easiest way to get here is on the N-Judah light rail train. This Muni transit option brings you close to the district. I recommend taking it all the way to the 16th and Judah stop. From here, you can climb to the top of Golden Gate Heights in San Francisco via either the Hidden Garden Stairs or the 15th Avenue Stairs.
You can also take the 28 bus from Fisherman's Wharf. This will drop you at the corner of 19th Avenue and Moraga. From here, it's an easy walk to the 16th Avenue Tiled Stairs and all the way to the other attractions in Golden Gate Heights in San Francisco.
Do you already have your trip planned? Looking for some fun events and activities? Click the links below for the top events and other fun things to do each month.
Golden Gate Park: Just to the north of Golden Gate Heights in San Francisco, you will find the largest park in the city, Golden Gate Park. It's home to about a dozen attractions, museums, and other fun things to do. Some of my favorites include the California Academy of Sciences (make sure to pick up skip the line tickets), the Japanese Tea Garden, and the Botanical Garden.
Outer Sunset: The Outer Sunset is another sub-district of the larger Sunset Neighborhood. It's to the west of this district. It runs from 19th Avenue all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Here you will find some fun things to do, some of my favorite breweries, and a good variety of restaurants.
Mount Sutro Open Preserve: The Mount Sutro Open Preserve is a large park where you can do some hiking away from the chaos of the city. You will find more than 5 miles of trails. The dirt trials take you up and down the hills within the park. You will also be surrounded by Eucalyptus trees and won't even believe you are in the heart of San Francisco. It's free to visit and I highly recommend it for anyone that loves to hike.
San Francisco is slowly opening back up. Find out what is open or opening soon on my Coronavirus page.
Hi there! I'm Jill Loeffler and welcome to my site. I've been exploring San Francisco for almost two decades and I can't wait to help you find the best things to do here! Thanks for stopping by and please contact me if you have any questions before your trip.