The Best View in San Francisco: Twin Peaks

San Francisco Twin PeaksTwin Peak rise to 920 feet, and they’re near the geographical center of the San Francisco.  The 360 degree views of city to ocean and back again are simply stunning.  No other description.  It has a few surprises for you, too.  The native Ohlone people used Twin Peaks as a lookout point. In the 18th century, the Spanish came and named the peaks the Breasts of the Indian Maiden.

In 1954, the city built Summit Reservoir on top of the peaks. The 14-million gallons of water, provides the water for San Francisco’s fire departments. The reservoir also provides the city’s residents and the city’s bird life with drinking water.  The Natural Area of Twin Peaks is a preserve for native vegetation, allowing indigenous plant life to grow.

At the summit parking lot, there is a sidewalk that curves around the hill. Stop. Lean against the railing and admire the city. There are telescopic viewers that will get you a close-up look at San Francisco landmarks. From there, you can hike the trails over the North and South peaks.

One of the things that make up San Francisco’s atmosphere is the fog.  Watching the fog tumble in from the Pacific like a drowsy blanket is an amazing sight. On rare occasions, when the fog is lying low, you’ll be in the sun at the summit, with the fog below you. When you descend, you’ll be in the thick of it.  Magic.

While you’re enjoying the view from Twin Peaks, there are other things that you can enjoy:

1)       Architecture:  As you wind to the top of Twin Peaks, notice that the bottom portion of the hill below you is a residential neighborhood of colorful homes. Pay attention to the lovely, distinctive architecture.

2)       Wildlife:  The area is home to an array of natural wildlife, including raccoons, skunks, opossums, white crowned sparrows and Red Tail Hawks. Most importantly, Twin Peaks is only one of three areas that provide a home to the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly.

3)       Plant life: There is an abundance of beautiful plant life atop Twin Peaks. Some of these plants can’t be seen anywhere else in the city, so take a good look while you’re up there!

4)       Event views: Twin Peaks is a popular place for people to go when they want to see major events that are happening in the city. For example, it’s a perfect place on Fourth of July to see the fireworks over the Bridge. Of course, this means it’s crowded, so get there early for a great view from The Peaks.

Twin Peaks is one of those San Francisco places that even locals miss.  Go!

 

Writer: Meredith Blevins, featured travel writer for the Authentic Wine Country.  Join her at www.blevinswordworx.com for wine-country mysteries, classes, and the untamed we

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