San Francisco is a city filled with wonders — stumbling on a brand new park or secret stairway is the norm. But like anything here, word travels fast. And the popular spots are never secret for long enough.
So, before the crowds and Instagrammers descend upon them, we’re letting you in on two under-the-radar secret stairs so you can do your next outdoor workout in peace.
The Inner Sunset is quickly becoming a wildly popular neighborhood — and it’s not because the sun is always shining there (just kidding). The apartments are bigger, the parks are more plentiful, and the food options are on point.
So, it seems fitting that the two most beautiful, secluded secret stairways are found only five minutes apart from each other in this neighborhood.
If you decide to take a stroll through Golden Gate Park on a day when Karl the Fog is sleeping, walk a few blocks further to these magical pieces of art and get your step workout in. No need to wait in line with tourists and billionaires alike to climb the Lyon Street Steps this time.
The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps and the Hidden Garden Steps are secret passageways just a quarter mile away from each other in the up-and-coming Inner Sunset neighborhood that have been decorated by local artists and are maintained by San Francisco Park organizations (they’re that important!).
These steps have been around for decades, but only in the past ten years were they developed into pieces of art. When you look at them from a distance, you can see beautiful mosaics resembling underwater and garden themes. And if you choose to tack these onto your run or decide to hit some stair intervals, the mosaic steps become a montage of color. It’s gorgeous.
Both sets of stairs have dozens of steep steps and, the best part, they are rarely crowded. So, next time you need an intense workout without blasting music or dark lights, get outside and discover some local beauty.