16th Avenue Tiled Steps
Located in San Francisco's Inner Sunset District, this vibrant piece of public art—flanked by two lush gardens—is spectacular both up-close and from afar. An insider’s gem that is often included in off-the-beaten-track tours, the staircase is divided into themed flights beginning with marine life at the bottom and ending with the sun at the top.
The most famous (and photographed) sections are the two highest, representing the moon and sun. Looking back from the top of the staircase, you can take in views over the rooftops to Ocean Beach. Otherwise, continue into Grand View Park for a bird’s-eye view of Golden Gate Park, the San Francisco skyline, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Things to Know Before You Go
The staircase makes for striking photographs, as do the views from the top.
The stairs are steep and give your calves a workout. Take them slowly and pause to take in views as you climb.
The Inner Sunset District is often much cooler and foggier than the eastern end of San Francisco, so bring a light jacket.
There is no ramp for a wheelchair or stroller, though the entire mosaic work can be seen from Moraga Street below.
How to Get There
There are a number of public transit routes to the steps from downtown San Francisco, including the N Judah light rail. Take the train to the 6th Avenue and Judah stop, then walk about 20 minutes uphill to the bottom of the steps. From Fisherman's Wharf, take the #28 bus to 19th Avenue and Moraga Street.
When to Get There
The steps face west, so visit in the afternoon when the sun makes the colors pop (and the fog has lifted). In the morning, the steps are in shade and are a popular stretch for runners to train, making it harder to take memorable photos.
San Francisco’s Famous Staircases
This hilly city is home to a number of picturesque public staircases. The Hidden Garden Steps in the Inner Sunset are decorated with floral mosaics. The Filbert Street Stairs are perhaps the city’s most famous, running steeply from the Embarcadero near the Financial District to Coit Tower. The nearby Greenwich Steps also run from Embarcadero to Coit Tower, ending with a pretty flight of brick stairs.
- Things to do in California
- Things to do in Sausalito
- Things to do in Napa & Sonoma
- Things to do in Yosemite National Park
- Things to do in Paso Robles
- Things to do in San Luis Obispo
- Things to do in Pismo Beach
- Things to do in Santa Barbara
- Things to do in Santa Monica
- Things to do in Los Angeles
- Things to do in Long Beach
- Things to do in Anaheim & Buena Park
- Things to do in La Jolla
- Things to do in Nevada
- Things to do in Oregon