San Francisco is one of the favorite cities for tourists visiting California, USA. Its exceptional setting on the edge of the Pacific, its famous Golden Gate Bridge and its streets with incredible slopes have made its reputation. One of the essential steps during a stay in San Francisco is the passage on foot or by car in Lombard Street. Here’s what the street dubbed “the crookedest street in the world” has in store for you.
The most famous street in the city
Lombard Street is one that crosses San Francisco from west to east, from Presidio to Embarcadero. Today, you certainly know this famous street for its stretch located on the slopes of the Russian Hill district. It all started in 1922 when the landowner of the place, Carl Henry , came up with the design for this road. The goal was then to limit the slope to 27% . Indeed, it was then far too steep for horses and vehicles to climb up. Since this work, the slope is now 16% , which is more reasonable.
On the other hand, traffic is only authorized in one direction, that is to say from west to east downhill. The bends are also intended to reduce the speed in this descent which could prove to be dangerous. Surrounded by beautiful flowers , these 8 unique switchbacks are the source of Lombard Street’s fame. Indeed, the vast majority of tourists passing through San Francisco do not fail to pass through this street full of originality to see it with their own eyes.
An incredible panorama
By going to this street during your vacation, you will enjoy a double experience. In fact, if you choose to travel this winding road by car, you will certainly be filled with thrills, especially if you are in a rental car and you are not sure of the capacity of your brakes… But you you will also have the opportunity to admire a breathtaking view. The top of Lombard Street allows you to see a piece of San Francisco Bay, but also a small piece of the Golden Gate when the weather is favorable. And above all, don’t forget to turn around once you have descended this stretch of street in order to observe its particularity and its beauty seen from below.
In the late 1990s, this winding stretch of Lombard Street was closed to traffic due to excessive crowds that disturbed local residents. Since 2001, it is once again possible to travel through it by car even if it happens that it is closed to cars, especially during school holidays. We therefore advise you to inquire in advance. For an even more spectacular experience, it is best to get there early in the morning. Thus, you will be almost alone on this section and will discover this setting with sublime morning colors.