What are the best scenic drives in San Francisco?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Katie Sweeney

At just seven by seven square miles, San Francisco is a relatively small city. However, it's somewhat difficult to navigate by car — there are countless one way streets and many formidable-looking hills. If you do find yourself in a car and want to take a scenic drive around the city, start by following the 49-mile scenic drive. The route is marked by blue and white signs and leads you all over San Francisco past landmarks like the Civic Center, Japantown, Union Square, Chinatown, the Transamerica Pyramid, North Beach, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Legion of Honor, and the Presidio. It's an incredibly comprehensive tour of the city and will probably take about two hours to complete.

Another drive, that's not quite as scenic, but is certainly worth doing, is down San Francisco's most famous street, Lombard Street. Known as the 'crookedest street in the world,' it's fun to slowly make the winding drive down this steep hill.

Kimberley Lovato

If you have a car in San Francisco, then you'll want to take on the 49-mile scenic drive. The drive is marked by blue and white seagull signs that lead passed some of the city's best attractions, though vibrant neigborhoods, and by other treasures like a tour around the storied Presidio of San Francisco, a zoom down the Great Highway and the wide sands and crashing waves of Ocean Beach, and loop around the lovely Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park.

It was created as an entertaining urban diversion for tourists attending the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939-40, a fair that opened the following year on Treasure Island.

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