Sidewalk just off Coit Tower

What do you get when you couple hills and dense populations? The need to build some very steep streets.

San Francisco has faced this reality with some whimsy: If the sidewalks are too steep, build stairways! All around the city's hilly landscape, tourists can find long, sometimes winding, concrete staircases instead of the expected flat sidewalk.

Stairs can be wide and open like the stairway near the Nob Hill Masonic Center or narrow and hidden like the path to Coit Tower. They can be popularly climbed or rarely thread. Some are straightforward and linear, others wind to fit the natural terrain.

More information: Stairways of San Francisco