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Look Up, San Francisco! A Walking Tour of Telegraph Hill

24 pages15 minutes


There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. Whether you are preparing for a road trip or just out to look at your own town in a new way, a downloadable walking tour from is ready to explore when you are.

Each walking tour describes historical and architectural landmarks and provides pictures to help out when those pesky street addresses are missing. Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.

San Francisco has 44 named hills; seven stand out as the “Original Seven Hills” - Telegraph Hill, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Rincon Hill, Mount Sutro, Twin Peaks and Mount Davidson. The Spaniards called this protrubrance Loma Alt or “High Hill” and early San Franciscans knew it as Goat Hill. It became Telegraph Hill in 1849 after a windmill-like structure was constructed on top that signaled the nature of incoming ships entering through the Golden Gate. this information was used by financiers, merchants and speculators in the know to negotiate commodity prices. The coming of the real electrical telegraph made the semaphore system obsolete with a decade but the name never left.

In the 1920s, Telegraph Hill became with North Beach a destination for poets and bohemian intellectuals. Telegraph Hill was the residential area; North Beach was a neighborhood of cafes and bars that became internationally known as the epicenter of the Beat Generation in the 1950s.

Our walking tour will begin near San Francisco Bay and climb up Telegraph Hill and back down into North Beach before finishing down Broadway that developed into the town’s red light entertainment district as the remnants of San Francisco’s infamous Barbary Coast. And we will begin at the headquarters of one of San Francisco’s iconic companies...

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