Scenic Workout: Telegraph Hill, San Francisco

I work in downtown San Francisco, and I go to a gym nearby several times a week. It’s easy to get caught up in the cardio and weight machine routine. But once in awhile, especially on a really nice day like today, I ditch the gym and get outside. My outdoor workouts aren’t necessarily as intense or focused as my gym workouts, but they tend to be much more relaxing, and are a reminder of how great it is to live and work where I do.

Today I headed for the inclines of Telegraph Hill. From the Financial District, I headed up Kearny St. After a few steep blocks, there are some stairs on the right, which lead up to Coit Tower. There are some great views of San Francisco Bay up here, and on the south side there is even a nice patch of grass, perfect for stretching – that is, as long as you don’t mind the tourists taking photos from the viewpoint nearby.

After my stretch break, I walked down the stairs on the western side toward Lombard St. Midway down the stairs, there is an asphalt path to the right that continues to wind down the hill.  It leads to another set of stairs I had not seen before, which had an amazing view of the Bay, and not many people. I decided this is one of the best spots in the city for a stair workout – which I’m going to have to make a regular thing.

After some stair jogging and incline pushups, and a sighting of the parrots of Telegraph Hill, I took Lombard down the hill, and turned left on Stockton. Walking this way through North Beach affords some pretty views of Coit Tower from below, and of streets lined with the quintessential pastel-colored, bay-windowed houses San Francisco is famous for. After a few blocks, I was in Washington Square, which was thronging with dinnertime tourists. I walked back up the hill on Green St, away from the crowds and restaurants. I returned to the gym on steep Montgomery, which has another set of stairs with perfect views of downtown, including the Transamerica Building.

I never get tired of wandering these classic San Francisco streets.

View from Telegraph Hill 

Pioneer Park sign and stairs

New spot for stair workouts!

Workout selfie

View of downtown San Francisco



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