Twin Peaks is my favourite place in San Francisco. Set in the geographical centre of the City, yet out towards the residential areas, it provides 360-degree views - especially as they are the second-highest points in the City itself (first is Mount Davidson). Whenever I have visitors, and a car, this is the first place I take them (sociologique can tell you all about that). Whenever I feel depressed, and have a car, this is where you can usually find me. Whenever I am happy, and have a car, this is where you can usually find me. Whenever I am contemplative, and have a car, this is usually where you can find me. Point is, this is a beautiful place and not just some tourist trap.
Since I was a child, this has defined the City for me, just as much as the Golden Gate Bridge or Lombard Street or the Transamerica Pyramid. It feels more "local" than any other tourist spot, being that it is in a residential area and you'll find just as many locals as tourists out there some days. I've also never seen it in a tourist guide, as most guidebooks focus on walkable things in the City (i.e. towards downtown). If it wasn't for the tour buses up there every day, it would almost feel like a local secret to me.
AND it gets bonus points for having actual, lined, FREE parking (have you ever tried parallel parking on a hill in the City? I have. Yeah, it's no walk in the park, let me tell you.) Another plus is that it's quite easy to get to from my house (which is more than I can say for a lot of places in the City). All I have to do is follow Junipero Serra up to Portola, and slip up to Twin Peaks Boulevard. It takes no more than 15-20 minutes most days, INCLUDING parking, whereas Downtown is 15-20 minutes away, but you have to circle round and round and round until you find parking, unless you're willing to shell out beaucoup d'argent for a spot in one of the huge parking garages. Or, if you're lucky to find street parking, you have to feed the meter (with coins in most places, but there are lots of card reading meters around City Hall and J-Town) and can only stay two hours every day but Sunday. But I digress. Point is, this is my definitive must-see spot because it is more than just some random tourist magnet in the City; instead, you can see the entire city from here. I like to take tourists here first because it's sort of like the table of contents/overview/abstract to their impending adventure,
And how can you say no to this view?
Also, when I feel like a giant shapeless blob
like right now , I can remind myself of the time I hiked all the way from the Castro to Twin Peaks. It's only a mile and a half, but it is uphill the whole way, and anyone who's been to San Francisco knows how lethal certain hills can be. Thus I am extremely proud of making it all the way up - not only was it an epic hike by most proportions, but it was an epic hike to my favourite place in California.
Here is the path we took (it stops at Crestline Drive, and then we went up the hill on an unmarked path
which I'm not sure we were allowed to take, but took us right to the best spot on the observation deck.
I'm so glad I can cross "hike to Twin Peaks" off my bucket list.
- Current Location:Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA
- Current Mood: nostalgic
- Current Music:Save Me, San Francisco - Train