I loved everything about this hike, and I put it in my Top Ten List.
The big vistas were fantastic. We were nearly always in hilly neighborhoods, with big views of the ocean, the bay, the Golden Gate, the bridges, the Marin hills, the east bay hills. I liked crossing the tops of so many hills with their terrific views, and we had a long view in at least one direction for nearly the entire trip.
San Francisco neighborhoods are vibrant, diverse, and beautiful. We think we live in perhaps the most beautiful urban area in the world.
Gardens, gardens, and more gardens. Private gardens in yards. Community vegetable garden plots. Stairways landscaped in a cottage garden style by neighborhood volunteers. Gardens designed to attract butterflies. Publicly funded formal landscape installations. Magnolias, Camelias, Azelias, Ceanothus, and many others all in full bloom.
Art everywhere. Public and private artwork. Whimsical art, like the UFO perched on a roof along a stairway corridor. Unexpected little artistic displays tucked into the corners of gardens, from plastic flamingos to lifesize welded bears. And world-class exhibits like The Bay Lights and the four Andy Goldsworthy pieces in the Presidio.
The Stairway theme was a fun game and provided a focus that helped unify the trip.