Driving in Downtown San Francisco: Sightseeing Landmarks The city is filled with steep streets and great views, but it’s worth it to drive so you can stop at all the iconic spots!
I had been warned before we left for our San Francisco vacation that some of the streets were steep.
Guys. That statement does not prepare you at all for what it is actually like in reality.
We were just driving down a residential street and I was pretty sure we were on a roller coaster. And I may have screamed and squealed like I was on one too.
I was provided this 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander for a week courtesy of Mitsubishi and DriveShop. All opinions are 100% mine. I did not receive compensation for this review.
At one point, there were 7 people in our Outlander. My husband was the silent driver, my mom and I were screaming, my Dad was telling us we weren’t helping, and my 2 kids and brother were maniacally laughing from the 3rd row. All because we were at a normal intersection in a normal residential district.
A street filled with homes where we were watching a family carry groceries in from their car. And we were 20′ away screaming like we were dying because that street was so steep that all you saw in front of you was sky. I don’t know how these people ever get used to this.
I swear to you, there were intersections where you literally could not see in either direction or what was in front of you. Sometimes I would tell the kids to look at something and they’d let me know that they couldn’t even see the windshield! We were at such an angle that they could only see through the sunroof!!
But we didn’t die, and you want to know why?? I seriously attribute the fact that we lived through those intersections to the Mitsubishi Outlander. I kid you not, this glorious vehicle has a feature that is literally called Hill Start Assist.
Say it with me… HILL START ASSIST. Straight from Mitsubishi’s website, “The hill start assist makes it easy to start off on a steep uphill slope by preventing the vehicle from moving backwards. It keeps the braking force for about 2 seconds when you move your foot from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal.”
In other words, The Outlander was made for San Francisco. Because regardless of those crazy hills, there is SO much sightseeing to do! My husband and I were actually trying to think of another city that has as many landmarks as San Francisco. It’s amazing how it’s divided into the different districts that all cater to so many aesthetics and personalities.
Driving in Downtown San Francisco: Sightseeing Landmarks
My daughter fell in love with the Mission District. I’m trying to ignore how many times she mentioned that she wanted to move there! The murals were pretty amazing and worth the drive out there to wander the alleys.
My son fell in love with the Golden Gate Bridge! We actually drove across it and took a trip up to Battery Spencer (again, not for the faint of heart!!), just so we could get better views. Those “hills” off to the left are what we drove up once we crossed the bridge. Or maybe not, because I swear we were SO much higher than that looks!
But once we reached the top, the view was incredible!
The drive out to Chrissy Field for that view of the Golden Gate Bridge, was a much calmer drive and there was not a handlebar that had to be grabbed.
That’s the thing about driving around San Francisco, most of those awesome views can be found at the top of a hill! And since there are 43 named hills in the city, it’s fairly easy to find an incredible view. That was probably one of my favorite characteristics of the city- everywhere you drove, there were gorgeous views!
My husband’s favorite part was driving down Lombard Street, “the crookedest street in the world”. As we were driving there early in our week, I thought for sure we were parking and walking down the side. In fact, that’s what my son and I did.
And Lombard Street is so steep and crooked, that it actually has steps built into the sidewalk instead of just a standard sidewalk!
But as we approached it, my husband announced that he wanted to drive it! 8 hairpin turns in one block, and he wanted to drive down it!
But it was fairly empty when we were there, so he went for it and LOVED IT! He said it was one of the highlights of his week! And I kid you not, the other cars were squeaking and breaking the whole way down and the Mitsubishi Outlander took it like a champ! Not a squeal to be heard and smiles on their faces!
But that’s how he was on every hill! By the end of our week, he was so confident that the Outlander could handle it, that he was outright giggling on these hills!
I’m not a technical person at all when it comes to cars, but even I got giddy right along with him with some of these features! Every single time we had to park, he remarked over the park assist feature on the console. I truly don’t get how it works. It was literally a live image of where we were parking down to the exact cars around us and even pieces of trash that were on the ground!
But cooler than even that, once you were done parking and locked the doors… drumroll, please…
The side mirrors folded in against the car!! How cool is that?
Of course, if we’re talking practical points, our whole family loved the multiple USB ports. When you have 6 people in the car on vacation, you’re often away from charging devices for hours at a time. And you’re probably taking lots of pictures and videos.
Having these USB ports right in the car was a lifesaver, and made sure our batteries never died and we didn’t miss any important moments!
And we definitely didn’t want to miss any important moments! It was such an amazing week! Even though the sun had to eventually set on our vacation, we were thankful that Mitsubishi was there to travel with us through all our adventures!
Have you ever visited San Francisco? Do the steep streets scare you as much as they do me? Or did you read this whole thing giggling because I’m such a wimp?? Let me hear it!