The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps is a short, out of the way stop in San Francisco. It is worth visiting this special stairway just to see a different part of the city. On your visit you will get plenty of the hills and steep streets, but with a lot less traffic and fewer people.
This is a really unique adventure, and though it won’t take much time to stop, it was one of our favorites. The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps are famous because the stairs have been changed into a tile mural by the local community. It is a long staircase that runs through a beautiful garden. There are dozens of stairs. We didn’t count, but we’d estimate there were more than a hundred.
The front of each stair is detailed with ceramic tiles. Because the front of each stair is tiled, you could come down this long, straight flight without noticing anything out of the ordinary. As you climb, the colorful tile stands out in the sunlight.
Toward the top of the staircase, the tiles are arranged to look like a sun. Below that, there is a gorgeous scene of the night sky. As you continue down, you pass underwater scenes, night scenes, and many others.
We really loved this short, unique stop in the city. And our number one tip is to avoid going when the sun shines directly on the steps. The steps face west, so the last hour before sunset made it hard for us to truly capture the colors. We also cast long shadows onto the steps, so morning or early afternoon is our recommendation for visiting.
If you have a little extra time and transportation, make sure to visit the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps in San Francisco. For other ideas in the San Francisco area, check out our San Francisco with Kids post.