Nob Hill

Of the city's 40-plus, Nob Hill boasts perhaps the best view of San Francisco Bay, especially when observed from a California Street cable car. Once the home of the silver kings and railroad barons, the “nabobs,” Nob Hill's noble tenants include Grace Cathedral, a replica of Notre Dame in Paris; Huntington Park, site of many art shows and graced by a replica of a 16th century Roman fountain; Nob Hill Masonic Center, an architectural dazzler hosting various musical events; the Cable Car Barn, where the cable cars are stored when not in service, and grand hotels. Russian Hill, named for burial sites of Russian hunters who were active in California waters in the early 1800s, is most famous for the sinuous curves of Lombard Street, “the crookedest street in the world,” between Hyde and Leavenworth streets.