Coit Tower rises 210 feet above the ground and offers 360-degree panoramic views of the entire San Francisco area from the top of Telegraph Hill. It's on the National Register of Historic Places and is sometimes called Coit Memorial Tower. The tower is dedicated to the volunteer firemen who gave their life fighting major fires in the city. The hill upon which it's located has been called the most optimal viewpoint of the 5 surrounding counties from San Francisco. 

    Coit Tower features unique architecture and an important public works art project featuring murals by faculty and students from the California School of Fine Arts. The tower can be seen from miles around. Whether you're looking to catch breathtaking photographs of the San Francisco skyline and the harbour beyond, the murals within, or the tower itself, you'll find plenty of photo ops here.

    Coit Tower in San Francisco - one of the highlights of 8 Best Viewpoints in San Francisco (Read all about San Francisco here)

    Highlights of Coit Tower

    The main highlights of Coit Tower are the panoramic views and the murals that grace the tower. From the observation deck of this tower, you can catch unparalleled photographs of the San Francisco skyline, San Francisco Bay, and the surrounding landscape for miles around in every direction as you rise hundreds of feet above the city below. 

    The other feature of the tower is its murals. These murals are in the American Social Realism style. They were created by faculty and students of the CSFA and feature such names as Victor Arnautoff, Maxine Albro, Jane Berlandina, Frederick E. Olmsted Jr., Rinaldo Cuneo, Edith Hamlin, and many others. The murals generally express leftist and Marxist ideals including such concepts as the equality of all races and all workers. The murals are as historic as the tower itself, having been commissioned in 1933. 

    History of Coit Tower

    Coit Tower was created by a one-time mascot and later unofficial patron saint of the San Francisco Fire Department, Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a woman who spent her life breaking traditions and who dedicated a third of her fortune to adding beauty to the city. This project resulted in Coit Tower, which was completed in 1933. The tower provides views of Nob Hill, Twin Peaks, Pier 39, Lombard Street, and the Financial District in addition to city centre. 

    The Public Works Art Project murals were part of FDR's New Deal and are today an important part of history. They are mostly open to the public for free viewing during the day, though there are a few that are only available to tours. In 1984, the tower was named a San Francisco Designated Landmark, and in 2008 it was registered on the National Register of Historic Places. 

    Good to know about Coit Tower

    Coit Tower can be reached by climbing the Filbert Street Stairs, which take you on a scenic walk along quaint cottages and private gardens. On the other side, you can use the Greenwich Steps from Montgomery Street. Scheduled tours are available through the Permits and Reservations Office, and there is a nominal entrance fee, with children and seniors getting discounted entry. 

    The vista point is open just about any time, and the lobby murals and outside areas are free to visit. Be sure to keep an eye open for the flock of wild parrots that live on the grounds. It takes about a half hour to enjoy the sights, and up to 2 hours for a guided tour. Tickets for entry can be purchased at the gift shop in the lobby, where you can also pick up a souvenir of your trip.

    Coit Tower in San Francisco

    Location: 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 415-249-0995

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