Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

April 16, 2013

Napier Lane

San Francisco has a lot of hidden gems and 'best kept secrets'.  This includes Napier Lane, The City's only wooden street.  It's located below Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill.  You can see where it's located on this map; the street name is under the 'H' of 'Hill' 

There is only one very narrow road up to the top of Telegraph Hill, and a tiny parking lot.  The waiting time to park up there can be a long one, so often the easiest or fastest way to get up there is the grueling hike to the top by foot.  The tourists go inside the tower, take pictures of the sweeping views of The City, Bay and bridges, jump in their cars and head out.  Oddly enough, I never made it up to the top of the tower.

If the tourists had a little looksee on the back side of the hill, they'd discover the Greenwich Street steps....

The Filbert Street steps....

And the most curious street of all, Napier Lane.  I stumbled on this quite by accident when I was checking out the above staircase streets (several streets in SF turn into staircases and in the 90s I was on a quest to see as many of them as possible).

There are a lot of homes that cling to the side of the hill, and Napier Lane is a real address.  Can you imagine having to move in or out of these places?  Or just bring your groceries home?  The homes sell for close to a million dollars too.  Great views but you'd have to be in great shape to live here!!  This area is directly above the notorious Barbary Coast of 1800s San Francisco, and rumour has it that prostitutes took their clients up to these homes, where they were drugged and 'shanghaied', only to awaken late the next day on a ship far out to sea.

If you ever find yourself in San Francisco, you must check this out for yourself.


  1. Very cool! Oh how I wish I had known this before I went there! Been twice: in 1976 and again in 2005. I LOVE SF; to visit, not to live... beautiful city but I'd rather live on solid ground thankyouverymuch. ;)

    BTW, was thinking about you yesterday on such a sad and tragic day.

  2. Maureen, I was in SF a grand total of 2 months when the 1989 Loma Prieta quake hit. That was a wake up call. lol But despite that, it was a wonderful place to live.

    Thank you for your kind words about yesterday. My heart is broken....

  3. Hi JoJo, did you make it out to the beach this morning? I hope so.

    Neat post. The street's past might be checkered but it sure is quaint looking now. Can't imagine how much it would cost to try to buy there. Ouch!

  4. San Fran is so beautiful. I wish I had a gazillion dollars so I could live there near all the cute cafes and see the pretty people everywhere.

  5. I love San Francisco! I've never explored this area, but will make sure it's included on my next trip...whenever that may be...
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  6. I'd like to check out those street steps. I always wanted to live in Frisco when I was in college. I consider it very similar to Vancouver BC, and I felt quite at home there.

    Thanks for the 'travel secrets' JoJo.

  7. What a cool place! I love your pictures.


  8. Tracy, yes I did, it felt great.

    SF is a very cool place for sure. I wish I could go back in time and reshoot everything in digital pictures because there are so many cool things to do and see.

    DG, I chuckled at your use of 'Frisco'....San Franciscans HATE that. lol

  9. A wooden street? Never heard of that. And streets that turn into stairs? LOL

    I am thinking if you weren't in shape before, you would be after you have to climb up and down those stairs everyday. LOL

    Sonia Lal