I wrote this in May of 2013 for a San Francisco-based event discovery startup.
Treat yourself to a less-traveled urban hike with two breathtaking sights: the artistry of the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps and panoramic views from one of San Francisco’s highest points. This is one of the Inner Sunset’s best-kept secrets, flying under the radar of tourists and locals alike.
The stairway begins at the corner of 16th and Moraga, ascending 163 beautifully tiled steps to the base of Grand View Park. The mosaic depicts a colorful scene befitting the scope of its surroundings, rising from sea to sky with enough details to surprise even repeat visitors. The stairway—inspired by the Santa Teresa Steps in Rio de Janeiro—is a stunning example of public art and neighborhood crowdfunding.
Once you’ve completed the tiled stairway, continue across both sections of 15th Avenue and climb the wooden steps to the bench atop Grand View Park. There you’ll find sweeping, panoramic views of both city and sea, as well as some strong wind gusts. Bring an extra layer or two: this view’s worth a long, leisurely look.