Painted Ladies and Alamo Square

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by lilangel on April 3, 2007

One of the many recognizable features of San Francisco is the often mentioned Victorian style houses remaining in the city. Although many of these homes have been destroyed by Earthquakes and fires through the years, some do still remain. One such particularly picturesque row of Victorians has come to be known as the "Painted Ladies".

The "Painted Ladies" are comprised by a row of six well preserved Victorian houses located on Steiner Street across from Alamo Square park. These homes are often seen on postcards for the city and have been featured on television shows such as "Full House" and commercials for companies including Verizon.

In addition to the view of the houses themselves, the view of the city from Alamo Square is breathtaking. The park itself is located at the top of the hill. Standing at the top of the hill on a clear day, one can see from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Transamerica building. Also, be sure to walk over to Fulton Street (bordering the park to the North) to see a shot of City Hall straight down the hill.

One thing to know is, while most tourists refer to this row of houses as the "Painted Ladies", few locals were familiar with the term. When asked how to get to the "Painted Ladies" or to the "famous Victorians", many were unable to offer assistance. Because of this, it is particularly important that you know where you are going when looking for these houses.

One way to get there would be to ask a local or find your way by map to the Alamo Square park. If you get to this point, the "Painted Ladies" will be located on the street bordering the park to the East (toward the Transamerica Building). Several bus lines including the 5, 21, 22, and 24 offer service near the park. Because it is located in the same general area as Haight Ashbury and Golden Gate State Park, we visited it on the same day, taking the 5 from the park all the way to Steiner Street. This also put us in the park around sunset which was a nice way to view the sights.

Finally, upon exiting the park, head South or Southwest. I decided to "stroll" down the street toward the Northeast thinking I would just walk toward my hotel until I found a main road on which to catch a taxi. This turned out to not be a great idea. The areas surrounding the park to the Northeast are not the most desirable areas and very few taxis frequented the roads. I ended up walking somewhere around 20 blocks through these areas before I finally managed to find an available cab. As it turns out I was less than two blocks from main roads and bus stops if I had only traveled in the opposite direction (back toward Haight Street).
Painted Ladies/Alamo Square Park
710–720 Steiner Street
San Francisco, California

© LP 2000-2009