Travel Tips — By Craig Given on September 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm

One of the most prominent features on the San Francisco skyline is the Sutro Tower. Built in 1973 and topping out at 981 feet (299m), it can be seen from all around the bay. It dominates any other building around it and is often poking out above the fog layer. I personally have been able to see the tower from every home I have ever lived at in San Francisco. Yet most photos of San Francisco seem to exclude it. It is rumored to have even been edited out of several movies that pictured the city’s skyline.

Tolerated by locals, it is fondly and jokingly referred to as the “mind control tower”. Actually though, it is simply used for TV and radio transmissions. You can’t go inside the tower but you can get close. A great way to see panoramic views of San Francisco from bridge to bridge is to drive or hike up to the base of the tower at the top of Twin Peaks. On a nice day the views are unmatched. Be sure to bring a jacket though, because the fog can roll in on even the nicest of days.

Tags: "off the beaten path", castro, free, hiking, outdoors, san francisco, Travel Tips