Nob Hill Hotel Flags

Nob Hill / Russian Hill

Nob Hill

Walking the hills of San Francisco may be tough for the first-time San Francisco traveler. Because of this, many people tend to avoid the mounds during their initial visits. But you shouldn’t be in avoidance mode. Instead, as the adventurer you are, take a walk to the top of the hills — and why not start with Nob Hill?

Named after the original magnates (nobs) who constructed their mansions at the top of the peak during the San Francisco boom days — some say for superiority, others say for the views of San Francisco Bay — Nob Hill (sometimes referred to as Snob Hill) is an elite residential neighborhood and one of the original seven hills of San Francisco.

Nob Hill is a great spot for large mansions, good views and an affluent community. The walk from Union Square — although uphill — is short.

Although many of the mansions were destroyed during the 1906 earthquake and fire, some still remain today, a few renovated into luxury hotels. The Fairmont Hotel, for instance, is a normal hotel to enjoy a drink in, but once you look at the room prices — such as the Presidential Suite for a mere $10,000 per night — you might second guess on where you want to stay that night. Another inn, the Mark Hopkins Hotel, although not one of the original mansions, still offers great views of the city from its famous bar, Top of the Mark.

Just make sure it’s a clear day, or else Top of the Mark is a waste of good drink money.

Other landmarks include Grace Cathedral, an old-style church on California Street; Huntington Park, one of the local parks of Nob Hill; and you even can spend your day browsing the residential houses that line the perfect-view streets of the neighborhood.

Nob Hill is an affluent neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean it’s off-limits. You can take the California cable car to the top, or better yet, get some exercise by walking. Nob Hill is in the perfect location, directly between Union Square, North Beach and Chinatown. Start walking.

Huntington Park Fountain

How Do I Find Nob Hill?

  • Nob Hill is the nearest hill to Union Square; all you need to do is walk up. A good central location for Nob Hill is the corner of California and Mason Streets.
  • You can use public transportation routes 1, 27, 30, 45 and the Powell Street cable cars to reach the neighborhood. We recommend you only use the cable cars if departing FROM Fisherman’s Wharf. Otherwise, the cable car to reach Nob Hill is a waste of money.
  • To reach Nob Hill from Union Square you should walk. If you become thirsty on your way, feel free to stop at Bacchus Kirk for a beer.

Nob Hill Big 4

Orange Sky Co. says:

Orange Sky SF Logo

Although the attractions are limited on Nob Hill (maybe on purpose, maybe not), you can still locate cool spots to visit like the Fairmont Hotel, the Cable Car Museum or Top of the Mark. The views, of course, are the best part of the neighborhood.

Location of Nob Hill