On a sunny yet cold morning, we decided to go to San Francisco and check out Golden Gate Heights neighbourhood, where you can find the famous mosaic steps a.k.a. “16th Avenue Tiled Steps” or “Moraga steps”. Ever since coming across a picture of the steps on Instagram, I was curious to see it (and climb them!).
What I didn’t know was that this work of art has a pretty cool story behind it: this stairway was created by the local neighbours, who donated handmade tiles and helped put together 163 step panels. Talk about the power of Community.
When we arrived on a Friday morning, we had the whole place to ourselves! Some people on Instagram asked me how I managed to get these shots with no people on the background. The secret is go visit early on a weekday, if possible!
After we took a few pictures, we climbed all the way up to admire the views. From up there you can see all the pastel colored houses in Sunset District as well as the immense Pacific Ocean.
Wait, it actually gets better! If you continue going up to Grand View Park (which I totally recommend you do), you get even wider panoramic views, stretching from downtown San Francisco and Golden Gate Park to Pt. Reyes and around to Lake Merced.
Side story, we saw warning signs about coyotes wandering around the area and two seconds later, I spotted one leisurely walking a few meters from me. So when in Grand Park View, watch out for coyotes!
If you happen to be here around lunch time, I recommend walking towards Golden Gate Park and grab lunch at Nopalito on 9th Ave and Lincoln Way. They do an “elevated version” of Mexican dishes using organic ingredients. It is a bit more expensive than your usual Mexican restaurant, but totally worth it. My husband and I agreed that it was one of the best meals we’ve had so far in San Francisco.
If you’re visiting the Mosaic Steps in the afternoon, then I can recommend Snowbird Coffee, also on 9th Avenue. It’s a cozy little spot with amazing coffee. The bakery right opposite the street called Arizmendi looked like a great option too, especially if feeling a bit peckish.
16th Avenue Tiled Steps | Moraga Steps
Address: Near 1700 16th Ave (between Noriega St & Moraga St)
Directions: From Embarcadero, take the MUNI towards Judah/La Playa/Ocean Beach and get off at Judah St & 16th Ave. The steps are 5min walk from there.
Travelling to San Francisco? Check out my post on Street Art in Mission District (another must-see in the city!)
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