Doing Touristy Things: Coit Tower

Had visitors in town- local Bay Area folks- and we went up Coit Tower. I personally love doing touristy things.. After I went to Alcatraz (age: 30) I realized being a local is about knowing *when* to hit the touristy stuff. Today, it was: go when it’s overcast with high cloud cover. Alcatraz? Evening tour. Convincing my companions to go was a little tougher:

Me: “We’ll never do it again. Carpe Dieum!”
Brother in law: “The kids won’t even remember it.” [they totally lost the significance of Lombard] (To 4 year old:) “Will you remember this forever and ever?”
I look at sister, her husband, “Have you ever gone up?”
Both shake their head- all our lives here, and we’ve never done it.
“So how much?”
We figure out it’s going to be $14.00, three adults, and two kids under 6.
Later, we agreed that the lack of a line was the major reason we decided to go up.

For those that haven’t gone up, description & photos after the jump.


You wait in line at the base and climb into a roughly 8-person occupancy old elevator that smells like rubbed iron, like the Cable Car Museum. It’s a quick 10(ish) flight climb, and an elevator person tells you jokes about the tower and her job. Then, you climb a spiral cement set of stairs up to the top of the firehose. Big windows all around that are sealed with plastic. The view is quite incredible- all directions. You can see why this was a key point for telegraphing ship arrivals. I wish they’d left the old building, though, as I heard (can’t remember where) that there were initials & carved engravings from almost everyone who went to the place. Old graffiti! Neat.

The tower wasn’t as crowded or claustrophobic (except for the elevaor) as I’d feared. One key thing is to go on a somewhat overcast day- nobody will be there.

3 Comments so far

  1. Doing Touristy Things: Westin St. Francis Glass Elevators | San Francisco Metblogs (pingback) on May 6th, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

    […] This is a series- the first one was on Coit Tower […]

  2. Doing Touristy Things: Chinatown | San Francisco Metblogs (pingback) on May 9th, 2008 @ 5:17 pm

    […] is a series. Earlier ones: Coit Tower, & St. Francis glass […]

  3. Doing Touristy Things: Afternoon in North Beach | San Francisco Metblogs (pingback) on June 1st, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

    […] is a series, see: Coit Tower, St.Francis Elevators, Chinatown Note: make sure to have a hangover and/or huge appetite before […]

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