Sweating All Over San Francisco, Courtesy of Filbert Steps

I’d say I’m pretty familiar with San Francisco. Familiar in a way where it’s an odd blend of local and tourist knowledge; I visited my friend back when I lived in Austin, TX for about a week and a half and she introduced me to her daily grind (not exactly a drag). And San Francisco was one of our main stops when I was a tour guide, during which we visited all the iconic San Francisco things.

One of the downsides of only stopping by for a day or two is that you never get to discover the little city secrets… even though what I’m about to share isn’t exactly a secret per se…

When I arrived in San Francisco from Austin, I was excited that I was finally back in a walkable city. The first day I spent here kicked that notion right out of my head. Don’t get me wrong, it was most definitely a walkable city—whether I was fit enough to walk it was another thing.

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As I faced yet another street with at a 60 degree incline, ensuring that I left my blood, sweat, and tears in this beautiful city, I hit a series of steps… and sat down, breathing heavily. Google later told me these were the Filbert Steps. 

On one end of the steps is the Coit Tower, which displays an awesome view of San Francisco from above; Lombard street from the other side, Pier 39 down below, and all the rolling hills that you could ever want.

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One of my favorite things about this walk was being able to peek into the houses lining the sides. All of them were cute little things, of course. Can you imagine living in such a secluded slice of Amazonian paradise? It’s almost like this wooden boardwalk of the Filbert Steps was your own private terrace—with some random tourists popping up here and there—hidden from the rest of bustling San Francisco. Being forced to work out to get to your home every single day. Am I right?
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IMG_7435 As one of those duck boats drove by, I overheard the tour guide comment on the Filbert Steps.

I knew this one mail man who had this route. Can you imagine? Had this same route for 5 years. Climbed UP all 400 steps each day as part of his job.

I don’t know if I would even mind that route. And the best news for a tourist about this walk? It leads directly to the piers.

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Have you ever made it to Filbert Steps? Or maybe a time when you weren’t fit enough to walk the city?

Please say it’s not just me.

Linking up with Travel Tuesday!

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  • http://www.crumbsinthebed.com/ Kerri

    I would love this! Mostly for sneaking a peak into people’s gardens, but also for you know, travel and stuff.

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hahaha, that was my favorite part of it as well. Now, if I could’ve snuck onto one of those balconies, I would’ve stayed there the whole day…

  • http://www.laurenonlocation.com laurenonlocation

    Steps can be damn treacherous… and these look like some bad ones! I remember feeling this way when visiting Lisbon a few years back. The ENTIRE city is one big hill and our little airbnb was right at the top. Talk about a butt workout! :P

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hahaha! At least you got some free exercise? ;) For some reason I never look at location when I’m using Couchsurfing or AirBNB… although I really should since my whole day would be planned around it!

  • http://www.tanamatales.com Ruth Rieckehoff

    Those steps are kind of scary. I think there are stairs tours around San Francisco. I would like to take one of those. I once visited San Francisco during winter time and I sweat like crazy while climbing those hills (everyday to get to my hotel in Nothing Hill).

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Ooh, I haven’t heard of them, but they would be fascinating! I don’t understand how some people RUN on these hills. They’re crazy!

  • http://www.clemandmarcella.wordpress.com/ Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld

    Wow, they are some steep steps!! I would love, love, LOVE to get to SF one day, it juts looks like the best place to go :)

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      You should totally visit! And then tell me so we can meet up :)

  • http://www.slightlyastray.com/ Anna | slightly astray

    Wow, I cannot imagine living in a house up those steps and needing to climb that much to get home everyday!! And that mailman must seriously be the fittest mailman that has ever lived! I would probably do this once the next time I’m in SF!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      I know! If I lived here, I would get delivery for everything and just hole up forever. What happens after a night out? Would you stumble up 500 stairs? Hahaha

  • http://www.whatupswags.com/ SWAGS @ What Up, Swags?!

    Hahaha, SF is so intense! I didn’t know about these steps, though; maybe I can include them the day I’m in SF this summer! Even as an athlete, I was NOT fit to walk around Europe. I think it took me a year to really accept a 20-minute walk as being normal and easy (it was how I got to “work,” AKA more exercise with volleyball after). Now if a walk is less than an hour and a half, I don’t feel like it was very hard…I like this feeling! :D That postman fact is awesome, thanks for sharing this activity idea with us!

    • http://mishfish13.com/ Michelle @ Mishfish13

      I know! There’s so much to explore while there. You’ll only be there for a day??

      Same, but once I got back into the States, it’s the cars and everything again, so I don’t think my walking endurance is very high anymore haha. Thanks, Cristy!

      • http://www.whatupswags.com/ SWAGS @ What Up, Swags?!

        I’m flying out of SF in the evening at the end of July, so I’ll spend only a day or two in the city before leaving. I’ve done most of the touristy stuff there already, so it’s not the end of the world. :)