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Coit Tower Tours

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Coit Tower
Visitors flock to Coit Tower to take in views of downtown San Francisco, Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and other landmarks. With its perch in Pioneer Park atop Telegraph Hill, the 210-foot-high (64-meter-high) tower, built in 1933, offers some of the best panoramic photo ops in the city.
 
The Basics
Coit Tower was built with money left to the city by Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a philanthropist and firefighter groupie who wanted to beautify her city. Visiting the park at the base of the tower is free and still provides good views of San Francisco Bay, but if you want the ultimate vista, head up the elevator to the summit of the tower for a fee. 

First, though, stop to admire the 1930s-era murals in the lobby that depict the history of California. Controversial when they were painted, the frescoes were part of President Roosevelt’s Public Works of Art Project. Some city tours include a drive-by of Coit Tower but most do not stop there, so look for a more specific tour such as a North Beach urban hike if you want time to visit.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Wear comfortable shoes if you plan to walk—it’s a steep climb to get to the base of the tower from any direction.
  • Restrooms are available.
  • Tickets for the tower can be purchased in advance if you wish to skip the line.
  • Docent-led tours are available on-site for small groups.
 
How to Get There
Taking public transportation or walking is recommended, as parking is very limited on Telegraph Hill and the only road to the top—Telegraph Hill Boulevard—can get backed up. MUNI bus 39 takes you right to the base of the tower, while the 45 and 30 go to Washington Square in North Beach a few blocks away. For a thigh-burning workout that gives you an up-close look at neighborhood homes, take the lovely Filbert Street Stairs.
 
When to Get There
Coit Tower can be quite crowded on summer weekends. To avoid the masses, visit early in the morning or at sunset for golden views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and remember that the area at the tower’s base can be accessed even when the tower itself is closed. Coit Tower is particularly popular on the Fourth of July, when the city puts on a fireworks display over the water, and during Fleet Week in October.
 
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
As you walk up to the base of the tower, watch for the local band of parrots who spend much of their time in the trees that surround the park. Made famous by the documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, the red and green birds are noisy but generally beloved.
Address: Telegraph Hill Boulevard, North Beach, 94133, USA
Admission: Varies
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48 Tours and Activities to Experience Coit Tower

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Straight to the Gate Access: San Francisco Bay Twilight or Sunset CruiseDay Cruises

Straight to the Gate Access: San Francisco Bay Twilight or Sunset Cruise

star-4.5
Bypass the line and head directly to the gate with your prebooked tickets. This sunset cruise takes you across San Francisco Bay with outstanding views of the city skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Sausalito. Enjoy a light appetizer buffet while you sip an included glass of wine, beer or soda from the full bar. Relax as you listen to the captain’s live commentary while background music sets the tone. Watch the sunset or select a twilight cruise during winter months.
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San Francisco Cable Car City Trolley Tour From Fishermans Wharf

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Early Access to Alcatraz and Cable Car Sightseeing TourDay Cruises

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San Francisco Vista Helicopter TourFull-day Tours

San Francisco Vista Helicopter Tour

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Take to the sky and soar over San Francisco on an exhilarating helicopter tour. During the flight, get an unbeatable perspective of iconic attractions like Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, the Embarcadero, the city’s famous hills, and the San Francisco Bay. During suitable weather conditions, experience the thrill of flying under the Golden Gate Bridge.
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  • 20 minutes
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San Francisco Helicopter and Alcatraz TourAttraction Tickets

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Vantigo San Francisco City TourHalf-day Tours

Vantigo San Francisco City Tour

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Step aboard a vintage Volkswagen bus for a San Francisco city tour. Travel down streets a typical tour bus can't access while your guide fills you in on the history of the City by the Bay, from the Gold Rush to Silicon Valley. Get views of landmarks such as Twin Peaks, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Painted Ladies as you travel through distinct city districts.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
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Discover the famous crooked street in San Francisco—Lombard Street—by Segway. One of the most challenging Segway routes in the City by the Bay, this tour is designed for people have previous riding experience and would like to push their skills. You’ll cruise up Russian Hill, admiring attractions in North Beach and along the water. With a maximum of eight people, this Lombard Street Segway tour provides a small-group experience. This is not a beginner tour. All participants must have had Segway experience within the last two years—at least a 2-hour tour with a guide on the newer-model i2 Segway. Test rides and tours on older models are not eligible. There are no exceptions to this requirement. 
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • 4 hours
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San Francisco Guided City TourBus Tours

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  • 4 to 5 hours
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San Francisco Combo: Alcatraz and Three Hour City Segway TourAttraction Tickets

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Ride the ferry to Alcatraz Island for an award-winning audio tour of the notorious former prison, and take a city Segway tour of San Francisco the following day. This combination package offers a comprehensive look at famous city attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square and Washington Square Park. The Segway tour — offered in the morning or afternoon — is limited to eight passengers for a small-group experience with a personable guide.
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  • 5 hours

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Full-Day Guided Tour of San Francisco with AlcatrazAttraction Tickets

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Explore San Francisco on a small-group full-day tour that covers top attractions including Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz. Get great views of the San Francisco Bay Area during the short ferry ride to Alcatraz Island, where you then take a self-guided audio tour of the infamous prison. Return to shore for your bus tour of destinations such as Nob Hill, the Haight-Ashbury, the Castro, the Mission, and Golden Gate Park. Includes hotel pickup and drop-off in San Francisco.
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  • 10 to 11 hours
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5 Hour Sightseeing Tour: San Francisco and SausalitoDay Trips

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What’s the best way to see San Francisco sparkle by night? Why, in a Tuk Tuk, of course! Don’t let the size of this adorable modern-day rickshaw fool you—it conquers hills and weaves into the tightest of places to give you up-close and personal views of the CIty by the Bay’s most beautiful attractions. This eco-friendly electric vehicle takes you into bustling Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can marvel at the majestic Golden Gate Bridge and ominous Alcatraz Island. Cruise through the back alleys of Chinatown, breathe in the delicious aromas of dinners in North Beach, and feed your Instagram with glittering shots of the most gorgeous city in the world! Your experienced, entertaining tour guide narrates your 2-hour excursion. Your tour guide picks you up in Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf. Tours are limited to five riders per Tuk Tuk (6 guests ok with group that includes children and adults). Larger groups can reserve multiple Tuk Tuks to ride around in together.
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  • 2 hours
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Custom Private tour in convertible MINI Cooper

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  • 2 to 4 hours
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  • 2 to 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

San Francisco Urban Hike: Coit Tower, Lombard Street and North BeachHiking & Camping

San Francisco Urban Hike: Coit Tower, Lombard Street and North Beach

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San Francisco is undoubtedly a hilly place, and this challenging 5-mile walking tour doesn’t shy away from the steepness. Instead, it takes you off the beaten path and onto some of the city’s stairways for an incredible exploration of several neighborhoods and downtown attractions. While meandering through SF’s Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill and North Beach neighborhoods, you’ll come upon some hidden gems, jaw-dropping views, and world-famous sites. Climb to Coit Tower via the Filbert Street Steps; ascend Lombard Street, often referred to as the crookedest street in the world; and discover a tiny park overlooking St Peter and Paul Church, where Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio took their wedding pics after tying the knot at San Francisco City Hall.
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours
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San Francisco Private SUV Tour see all main attraciton in under 3 hoursBus Tours

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Experience the best San Francisco attractions. Private tour just for your party. Luxury SUV, knowledgeable and courteous driver. We encourage you to customize this tour to make it as unique as possible, making it unforgettable, one in a lifetime experience.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
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  • 2 to 3 hours
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Skyline Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off ToursBus Tours

Skyline Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tours

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The Hop-On Hop-Off tours are a fun way to see San Francisco! They show you all major sights in the city, with unlimited Hop-On Hop-Off access for 3 different tour routes. Chose between a 1-day or 2-day ticket and explore San Francisco on your own pace! Enjoy the live commentary from our entertaining live tour guides, or listen to the audio guide in various foreign languages. Be sure to bring your camera, there will be plenty of photo opportunities from the open top Double Decker bus - a great way to remember your visit to the beautiful City by The Bay.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
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  • 1 to 2 hours
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San Francisco Self-Guided Audio TourAudio Guided Tours

San Francisco Self-Guided Audio Tour

Take a self-guided tour of San Francisco that provides lively commentary about the city’s history and landmarks. After booking your tour, simply download the mp3 audio guide and map, then proceed at your own pace. You’ll get great views of monuments including Coit Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Fisherman’s Wharf as you tour the city at an affordable price.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
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  • 1 to 3 hours

Lonely Planet Experiences: Chinatown & North Beach with Tea & Dessert Local TourLuxury Tours

Lonely Planet Experiences: Chinatown & North Beach with Tea & Dessert Local Tour

star-5
Discover the highlights of Chinatown and North Beach on a 2.5-hour walking tour. Your knowledgeable guide provides insight into the Chinese and Italian immigrant cultures that have shaped these famous San Francisco neighborhoods. In Chinatown, visit a historic Chinese temple, bakery, fortune cookie maker and tea shop for tastings of their delectable goods. Then stroll past Italian cafes and restaurants in neighboring North Beach where you visit City Lights Bookstore, hear about the Beatniks and Barbary Coast, and see Coit Tower and Washington Square Park.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

San Francisco Telegraph Hill & The Old Waterfront TourHistorical & Heritage Tours

San Francisco Telegraph Hill & The Old Waterfront Tour

This four mile walk begins and ends at the Ferry Building and explores the history of the old waterfront on Yerba Buena Cove, the Barbary Coast, and Telegraph Hill. We will ascend the wooden Filbert Street steps to Pioneer Park and Coit Tower. A hidden park awaits on the other side of Telegraph Hill along with dramatic views of the Bay, Golden Gate, and Alcatraz. We descend the Greenwich Street steps down to Levi Plaza and meander along the Embarcadero and back to the Ferry Building. The birth of television and blue jeans, wild parrots, and an old observatory are some of the highlights. Some of the the City's most beautiful hidden gardens and alleyways are along this walk. This tour has many steps both up and down and can be a bit challenging, but we take our time to enjoy the gardens and sites.
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  • 3 hours to 3 hours 40 minutes
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  • 3 hours to 3 hours 40 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Coit Tower?

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