Friday, March 22, 2013

San Francisco: Vermont Street – Crookedest Street in Town

San Francisco's crookedest street - Vermont Street

If asked to name the crookedest street in San Francisco, you’d answer Lombard Street, right? It certainly is the most famous. The real crookedest street, however, is Vermont Street in the residential neighborhood of Potrero Hill. The section of road between 20th and 22nd streets with its seven sharp turns is steeper and curvier than Lombard Street, though not as picturesque. Hence the reason you’ll find photos of Lombard Street in coffee table books where Vermont Street is noticeably absent. Vermont does have its own claim to fame, though. It’s been featured in movies such as 1973’s Magnum Force where Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry maneuvers around its hairpin turns during a pivotal car chase scene. In the 1968 film, Bullitt, Steve McQueen pilots his Mustang over the same section of road in one of the most famous car chase scenes ever.

Map showing Vermont Street and McKinley Square Park

Vermont Street’s concrete roadway may not be as charming as the brick-lined Lombard Street, but Vermont does have an advantage - McKinley Square Park. Perched high atop the city, it’s one of San Francisco’s oldest parks, accessible via 20th Street at Vermont. It features an expansive grassy area, walking paths, a children’s playground and community garden. From here you’ll be treated to stunning views of downtown, Twin Peaks and even the Golden Gate Bridge.

Vermont Street runs north-south and is a one way (downhill) street. Parking is available at the top of the street if you prefer to tour the road by foot.


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