on April 3, 2007
Located on Russian Hill, Lombard Street is well known as the "Crookedest Street in the World". The truth of this statement is sometimes questioned around the San Francisco area, but what is not questioned is that it is an experience not to be missed during your visit to the area. As the story goes (at least according to our tour guide), the hill was so steep that the safest (and quickest) way down it was to build a series of "hairpin" turns coming down this section. The street is basically a one-block residential area descending Russian Hill in which the one-way street has been created with a series of seven "hair-pin" turns. In addition to the turns, the neighbors on this block have beautifully manicured flowers that bloom and are visible from multiple vantage points around the city. In your excitement to descend the hill, don't forget to look out at the city and the surrounding bay from the top. The view is breathtaking.The best way to experience this attraction is actually to handle it twice. First, I would suggest taking the cable car line that originates at Ghiardelli Square to the top of the hill. This is a beautiful experience in and of itself and it can drop you directly at the top of Lombard Street. You can then look around at the top of the hill before meandering your way down the steps to the bottom. Be sure to take pictures all the way. Once at the bottom there will likely be a crowd of tourists taking pictures and posing. Be careful not to step out in front of traffic while taking your "perfect" shot, however. The road at the bottom is relatively well traveled by both onlookers and locals. It is tempting to stand in the middle of the road to take your pictures, but it is definitely not advised.After walking down the steps and taking all the pictures you desire, I would suggest hailing a taxi and having them drive you down the hill. This way you can actually experience what it is like to go down the hill in a vehicle. It will also give you your transportation to the next stop on your agenda. Also, and perhaps most importantly, it will keep you from having to walk back up the steps (as I did). The steep incline is not something most tourists are eager to tackle!
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