Octagon House

The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

Crafty architects are always trying to cut corners on clients, and architect William C McElroy has done so splendidly with this house. This is among the last examples of a brief San Franciscan vogue for octagonal houses in the 1860s, when some believed that catching direct sunlight from eight angles was healthful. Three afternoons monthly, you can peruse collections of colonial antiques and peek inside a time capsule that McElroy hid under the stairs.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers attractions

1. Lombard Financial Center Mosaics

0.28 MILES

A couple years ago, blighted trees in front of this bank were cut down and a treasure hidden for almost half a century was revealed: mosaics by California…

2. Haas-Lilienthal House

0.35 MILES

If these red-velvet parlor walls could talk this 1886 Queen Anne–style Victorian could tell you about earthquakes, booms, busts and untimely deaths. This…

3. Vedanta Society

0.37 MILES

Meandering the Marina, you'll pass Mexican-inspired art deco buildings, Victorian mansions, generic bay-windowed boxes – and, hello, what's this? A…

4. Jack Kerouac's Love Shack

0.44 MILES

This tiny cottage on a quiet alley was the source of major drama from 1951 to 1952, when Jack Kerouac shacked up with Neal and Carolyn Cassady and their…

5. George Sterling Park

0.44 MILES

'Homeward into the sunset/Still unwearied we go/Till the northern hills are misty/With the amber of afterglow.' Poet George Sterling's poem 'City by the…

6. Filbert Street Hill

0.51 MILES

With a 31.5% grade, the honor of steepest street in San Francisco is shared by Filbert St and 22nd St in the Castro. Filbert is shorter, but wins top…

7. Church of St Mary the Virgin

0.55 MILES

You'd expect to see this rustic Arts and Crafts–style building on the slopes of Tahoe, not Pacific Heights, but this Episcopal church is full of surprises…

8. Lombard Street

0.56 MILES

You’ve seen the eight switchbacks of Lombard St's 900 block in a thousand photographs. The tourist board has dubbed it ‘the world’s crookedest street,’…