16th Avenue Tiled Steps: Things to See in San Francisco

16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project is a beautiful and functional staircase in San Francisco CA that leads to some amazing views of the city by the bay. I received tips from Twitter and Facebook friends to visit this and other San Francisco stairways called the Filbert Steps and Greenwich Steps.

Although it has many names—including Moraga Steps (AKA Moraga Stairs/Stairway/Staircase), Tiled Steps (AKA Tiled Stairs/Stairway/Staircase), and 16th Avenue Steps (AKA 16th Avenue Stairs/Stairway/Staircase)—the official name of the San Francisco tiled steps is the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project.

Whatever the name, it is a fun and useful project in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset neighborhood. The project was inspired by Rio’s famous Santa Teresa steps. Construction started in July 2005, and the steps opened in August. The official website shares information about the artists and donors involved in the project.

16th Ave Tiled Steps in San Francisco CA
16th Ave Tiled Steps in San Francisco CA

My previous visit to San Francisco was 12 years prior, so this was a San Francisco attraction I really wanted see. I waited until I had a car and was heading out of town to visit the Tiled Steps. Fortuntately, it was a gorgeous day.

The staircase ascends from 16th Avenue at Moraga Street up to Grand View Park. The climb is worth the effort, as the park offers some of the best views of San Francisco. My first picture shows the overwhelming scope of this project. It is really quite amazing.

 

163 steps covered in 2000 tiles make up this functional artwork. Every section provides a different view. The stairs are quite steep, so stop often to absorb the views and snap more pictures.

16th Avenue Tiled Steps in San Francisco California

Remember it IS a public walkway, so unobstructed views are not guaranteed.

16th Avenue Tiled Steps in San Francisco California

As gorgeous as the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps are in total, it is remarkable to see the detail of each section.

16th Avenue Tiled Steps in San Francisco California

 

There are hundreds of unique tiles. My visit to the Tiled Steps was relatively, short but I bet you can imagine spending hours, especially if you love art or tiles. Entertain the kids by asking them to pick out a favorite tile.

I was somewhat amazed that the view down shows no signs of the gorgeous Tiled Steps.

16th Avenue Tiled Steps in San Francisco California

Once you reach the top of the Tiled Steps, cross the street and climb the staircase. At the top is Grandview Park and an incredible view of the city. The trees of Golden Gate Park, the ocean, the city skyline, and a hint of the Golden Gate Bridge are visible. The view is impressive even when fog rolls in from the bay.

Grandview Park View of San Francisco CA above 16th Ave Steps
Grandview Park View of San Francisco CA above 16th Ave Steps

I said it before (on Twitter or Instagram, I think) but residents of San Francisco do not need to go to a gym. So many hills and stairs. All of that walking partially justifies binging on some great food. Me? I stopped for a fantastic fish taco from The Taco Shop at Underdog’s, one of my 8 Great San Francisco Cheap Eats.

Have you visited the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project in San Francisco?

16th Avenue Tiled Steps: Things to See in San Francisco was originally published on McCool Travel on October 21, 2014 and updated in 2019.

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