Twin Peaks San Francisco
Twin Peaks San Francisco offers the most expansive views of the city and surrounding bay area.
This page of the San Francisco Travel (Secrets!) Guide will give you the practical information you need to visit to this popular destination, as well as local tips on things to do and where to eat nearby!
View of downtown San Francisco from Twin Peaks:
About Twin Peaks | Getting There | Weather
Restrooms, Food, Nearby Attractions | More Images
About Twin Peaks San Francisco:
The quick scoop...
- It's free!
- It's typically less crowded than a visit to popular Coit Tower.
- At roughly 922 feet, they are the second highest peaks in the city (Mount Davidson is the highest).
- The peaks are located in the city's geographical center, which is why it's considered the best view.
- You can identify the peaks from almost anywhere in they city by the tall TV Tower which sits at the top.
- The parking lot near the top offers a great view, but for the absolute experience - climb to the top of one of the peaks for the full 360° view.
South Twin Peak:
Weather at Twin Peaks San Francisco:
The weather up at Twin Peaks is often very windy, so it's always a good idea to bring a jacket! San Francisco weather can change quickly, so even if it is warm, it's good to be prepared with layered clothing.
Of course the view is best when it's a clear day, but even a foggy day can occassionally offer up an interesting perspective...
Twin Peaks serves as a dividing marker of San Francisco weather, and since the two hilltops are situated on a north/south axis, the neighborhoods that are west of Twin Peaks are usually much foggier than those on the east.
If it's a really foggy day, sometimes you can't see a thing...
...but if the fog lies low, you'll feel like you are standing above the clouds!
My sister took the upper right image when we were showing my cousins around town, and they were fascinated by this alternative perspective!
Getting to Twin Peaks San Francisco:
Traveling by car is the easiest and most convenient way to get to Twin Peaks.
- Drive southwest on Market Street for about 2 miles. (Market will turn into Portola Drive)
- Make a right onto Twin Peaks Boulevard.
- Follow Twin Peaks Boulevard (about 1 mile) all the way to the summit.
There is a free parking lot at the top, and although it is not super large, I've never really had to wait long for a space.
Tip! While on Market street you will pass through the Castro district (recognizable by the rainbow flags everywhere), this is a good area to stop for a snack or meal.
One of the hairpin turns of Twin Peaks Boulevard:
Side note: If you have the resources to rent a car for a day, I highly recommend it! For most of your needs, a car isn't necessary, but having one for at least a day will allow you to explore some of the outlying areas, which is absolutely worth your while!
By Public Transportation:
The bus lines that will get you closest to the Twin Peaks summit are numbers 33 and 37.
Neither will drop you off at the top though; you will have to hike up a hill via a pedestrian trail (about 15-20 minutes) before reaching the viewpoint.
Click here for a good site to help you plan your route from anywhere in the city.
This can be a rewarding option if you are up for a good hike with steep inclines.
Bring water and a snack (there are usually no food options at the top), and wear good walking shoes, a windbreaker, and long pants. (Pants will limit any exposure to poison oak that you may encounter on the upper portion of Twin Peaks trail.)
Start at the Castro and Market intersection. It's easy to get to via public transportation; muni lines K, L and M stop there, as well as the F-Market Streetcar.
This detailed walking route, written by an SF local, takes you through an interesting part of San Francisco on the way up to Twin Peaks.
Map of Twin Peaks San Francisco:
View Larger Map
Restrooms, Food and Nearby Attractions:
There is a single pay-restroom at the south end of the summit's parking lot.
Occasionally there is a vendor serving snacks at the summit, but otherwise you won't find anything to eat. If you are planning to bike or walk up, definitely keep that in mind. You may want to pack a meal or snack to bring with you.
For nearby areas with places to eat, you can check out 24th Street in Noe Valley, 18th Street and Castro, or 9th Avenue and Irving in the Sunset district.
Other areas of interest that are near Twin Peaks are...
- Golden Gate Park (including the De Young and Academy of Science museums, as well as the Japanese Tea Gardens, Conservatory of Flowers and Stow Lake)
- The Seward Street Slides
- Shops and restaurants of Noe Valley (along 24th Street).
- Shops and restaurants of the Castro district (at Castro and 18th St, and along Market).
- Shops and restaurants of the Inner Sunset (at 9th Avenue and Irving Street).
More Images from Twin Peaks San Francisco:
View from Twin Peaks Looking Northeast:
It's 50 cents to use this telescopic viewer for zooming in on San Francisco's iconic landmarks.
View from Twin Peaks looking South:
Visit other San Francisco Attractions with gorgeous views:
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