Lombard Street in San Francisco is known as the world’s most crookedest street. It is an east-west street in San Francisco, famous for its steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. But it turns out, Lombard is not even the crookedest in San Francisco, as that honor belongs to Vermont Street.
Despite that, Lombard is one of the most famous streets in the world. Every year, more than 2 million people come to visit, and take pictures on the steep street. On a busy summer weekends, up 20,000 visitors come to the city for the famous street.
Tourists gather to watch as drivers make their way through the hairpin turns. The street was completed in 1922, and was designed to slow cars down on the steep hill. Drivers drive through the street with speed of 5mph.
History of the street
The portion that we all known from postcards is the section that has been classified as the crookedest street in the world. We use that term to refer to the windy switchbacks of road that grace the block between Hyde and Jones. Because of the curvy nature, and the one-way drive along the steep slope, this fun ride is also a visual treat. You can count eight tight turns in just one block portion of the street.
People often ask why is the street so crooked? Well, it is all about safety. The naturally steep grade of the street was a potential safety hazard waiting to explode. One property owner suggested that the scenic switchbacks to add aesthetic appeal. That was back in 1920. The move improved safety for pedestrians, and also for cars.
What can you do on Lombard Street?
We mentioned that more than 2 million tourists visit the Lombard street on a yearly basis. What they do there? There are a couple of options for fun activities.
For starters, you can take scenic photographs. The best place for that is the bottom of the curvy portion of the road and looking up at the top. You get an amazing vision of the winding part of the road, and cars will be coming down to you. Each portion is perfectly decorated with lush greenery and pretty flowers. And if you go at the top of the hill, you can look down east at a terrific view of the city.
If you are in a car, on the other hand, you can head west on Lombard street to take a drive down the curving part. Yes, it will take a lot of time, but it is a fun little drive. You can lean out the window with the video camera to capture the experience.
If you are in for some exercise, the scenic curvy part is perfect for it. Being it is steep, you can get quite the exercise there.
Famous Homes on Lombard Street
Many tourists do not know it, or realize, but there are few landmark homes on the curvy part of Lombard Street. Also, some of the most expensive real estate sits on Lombard Street. Here are some you can check.
- The Real World House, located on the Southern side of the street. This home is where the cast stayed when the show was filming, and the address is 949 Lombard Street between Jones and Leavenworth
- The Montadon house, which is slightly further up on the right, at 1000 Lombard Street, is the former home of the 1960s socialite Pat Montadon. It is known as one of Bay Area’s haunted houses
- Scottie’s Apartment from Vertigo, is another spooky home. Scottie’s apartment from the Alfred Hitchcock movie Vertigo is located at 900 Lombard Street, on the same side as the Montadon House