Nob Hill and Russian Hill
- Type: Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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Unlike San Francisco's other hip, exuberant neighborhoods, Nob Hill and Russian Hill cast a long shadow of history and refinement. Booming since the 1870s -- when wealthy transcontinental railroad magnets constructed dazzling mansions -- Nob Hill remains an affluent bohemian district. Along the steep city streets, beautiful Victorian homes preside over lush gardens and idyllic vantage points of the bay. To the north, Russian Hill also boasts lavish homes and exquisite city views. While there are a variety of tales to explain its name, one legend speaks of an inebriated Russian sailor drowning in a nearby well. If you climb the Vallejo steps (located at Taylor and Vallejo streets), you'll find a sign that corroborates this myth and speaks of Russian-American sailors that are buried at the top of the hill.
From Russian Hill, you'll also want to stroll to Lombard Street (between Hyde and Leavenworth streets) to catch a glimpse of the "Crookedest Street in the World." One TripAdvisor describes Lombard as, "A little gem street, small and curvy. Don't try to drive it, park and walk it," and adds, "Bring your camera, you'll want it." Looking across zigzagging Lombard, you'll also notice spectacular views of Coit Tower.
You can reach Nob Hill and Russian Hill via the Powell-Hyde cable car line, which stops at Powell and Market streets.