Coit Tower. Experience the best views in the city

Enjoy amazing views of the whole city from inside San Francisco’s exclamation mark. Already standing atop Telegraph Hill, the 360˚ vistas over the city, bay and Golden Gate Bridge from Coit Tower make all the climbing worthwhile.

A tower of controversy

The history of the 70-meter (210-foot) Coit Tower is a little unusual. It was built with funds donated by heiress and philanthropist Lillie Hitchcock Coit to commemorate the actions of fireman in the 1906 earthquake fires.

Even before the tower opened in 1934 it had sparked controversy. Federally funded murals depicted conditions in the city during the Great Depression. Authorities accused the 25 muralists of being communists but the city rallied to protect the artworks. The murals were fully restored to their colorful best in 2014.

Other interesting facts about Coit Tower

  • Legend has it that benefactor Lillie Coit was known to drink and smoke as much as any off-duty fireman, and never missed a firefighter’s funeral
  • Lillie is also said to have had the firehouse emblem embroidered on her bed sheets
  • The colorful but controversial murals depict soup kitchens, dock workers unions and speakeasies
  • The tower is said to have been designed to resemble the nozzle of a fire hose
  • The best views from the top of the tower are from the east side, with murals running up the internal spiral staircase