Lombard Street

lombard-streetLombard Street is commonly called the “crookedest street in the world”. Lombard may not even be the crookedest street in San Francisco as Vermont Street on Potrero Hill sometimes gets that honor, but Lombard street is definitely an attractive street and very popular with tourists.

Most of Lombard street is completely straight but the crooked block is between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets as Lombard descends from the eastern side of Russian Hill. That block can only be driven downhill from west to east. The crooked block of Lombard Street is paved with brick and winds between planters of flowers which is why the tourists are here instead of Vermont street. The speed limit is only 5 miles per hour.

Driving down Lombard street is enjoyable but many people find the drive up to the top of Lombard to be a bit more nerve-racking. As I mentioned in 7 Things You Should Pack/Bring When You Travel To San Francisco, Bill Cosby had an old comedy routine about driving in San Francisco in an old VW bug with a manual transmission. He had in mind the drive up to the top of Russian Hill where you get to the top of a very steep street and find a stop sign at the top.

The best views of Lombard street are on foot walking down the street or looking up from the bottom of the street. The Powell-Hyde cable car line climbs Russian Hill and passes by the top of Lombard street although the street is too steep to get a good view without disembarking. Coit Tower also offers good views of Lombard street if you have a zoom lens on your camera.

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