Alamo Square

Bring your camera to capture the iconic, colorfully painted, Victorian-style houses and the downtown cityscape from this well-known hilltop park.

Even if you haven’t heard of Alamo Square by name, you may well recognize it on sight, as this park is one of the most photographed places in San Francisco. Come here to admire the Victorian mansions known as the “Painted Ladies.” Lounge about on the square’s grassy lawns.

Alamo Square Park was first established in the 1850s but was only really landscaped and tamed in the later years of the 19th century. Around the same time, the surrounding neighborhood was coming into existence as more and more wealthy residents built homes in this part of the city. Though the park fell into disrepair in the ’50s and ’60s, it has since undergone renovation, including a big restoration project that finished in 2017.

While in the park, take the time to photograph so-called “Postcard Row” on Steiner Street, along the eastern edge of the square. These colorfully painted Queen Anne-style properties were built between 1892 and 1896 and have featured in many film and television productions, including, perhaps most famously, Full House. Visitors to San Francisco now flock to this park to take selfies in front of the iconic row of houses.

From higher elevations in the park, view the skyscrapers of downtown San Francisco in the background. Though Postcard Row is the most well-known stretch of San Francisco’s iconic Victorian residences, it is not the only one. Make your way to the northwestern end of the park to see more historic homes bearing bright paint jobs.

The park itself is a great place to spend a few hours. Wander along the paved paths and bring a picnic to enjoy on the gently sloping grassy areas of the square. Kids can play in the park’s playground, while dogs can run free in the dedicated off-leash area. The park also features tennis courts, flowerbeds, shade-providing trees and a restroom.

Find Alamo Square in the Alamo Square residential neighborhood of San Francisco. Several bus routes have stops nearby. The park is open from sunrise until late evening throughout the year and entrance is free.