The Painted Ladies: An iconic San Francisco Site

This post is about the Painted Ladies in San Francisco, also known as the Seven Sisters, including how to get here, where to get the best photo, and which one is the house from the TV show Full House.

 

 


WHERE ARE THE PAINTED LADIES?

The Painted Ladies are located at  

Since visitors will be coming from many different locations, it’s best to use this Google map to get the most up to date directions.

The Painted Ladies are included on several hop-on-hop-off tours.  Be sure to read our post comparing the different bus tour companies.

painted-ladies

 

If choosing to use public transportation, take the #21-Hayes Muni bus from Market Street to Alamo Square, getting off on Steiner St – you’ll see Alamo Square to the left and the Painted Ladies will be on your right about halfway up Steiner Street.

Read our post on how to ride the Muni buses.  The ride from Fisherman’s Wharf is approximately 40-45 min.

 


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WHEN AND WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST PHOTOS

It’s best to take photos at midday so you can get a clear view of the city. You’ll recognize the most popular view of the houses if you go inside Alamo Square Park where there is a rise in the landscaping.

Below, we have embedded a photosphere taken from a previous visitor.  You can take a look around by putting your cursor on the image.

 

 

For other spots to see the best skylines, check out our post on the Top 10 SF Photo Locations.

 


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HOW MUCH ARE THE PAINTED LADIES WORTH?

Millions, plural. However, one of the homes sold in 2014 for $900K less than asking the price!  While these historic homes are iconic features in San Francisco, owners do have to deal with thousands of photo-taking tourists.

As of 2016, many of the homes had estimated values at 3.5 million dollars, though some have different amenities and sizes that affect the value. They are almost all at least a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom house with a garage – all with a story behind it.

 


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TOURS OF THE PAINTED LADIES?

Although these homes are privately owned, there is one tour company that offers exclusive access to one of the Painted Ladies. 

Take Walks is a relatively new tour company in San Francisco, but they have a great international reputation and everyone who has taken this tour so far has really enjoyed the experience.

This is a rare opportunity to get a look inside one of the famous homes, as they have been off the market and off-limits to tourists for many years.

Take Walks is currently the only company to offer this service!

In addition to getting access to one of the Painted Ladies, you’ll also enjoy a tour of the area providing details about the history of the Victorian houses.

  • $39/Adults, Students | $34/Children
  • Spring Availability: Sundays at 10 am
  • Summer/Fall Availability: Sun & Fri at 10 am
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Includes admission to a Painted Lady.
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Reviews indicate that this tour is quite entertaining and the opportunity to step inside a Painted Lady has been described as an “eccentric adventure.”

Visitors are typically very impressed with their tour guide, describing them as both knowledgeable and friendly.


Here are a few other options to consider if you want to get a sneak a peek inside:

  • If you’re in luck, maybe one of them will be on the market! In years past, when one of the houses has been for sale you could attend the open house.
  • Need a place to stay? One of the Painted Ladies is on Airbnb!

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WHICH ONE IS FROM FULL HOUSE?

If you watched television in the early 90’s, you will probably recognize these homes from the opening credits of Full House. This well-known scene leads to the homes being referred to as the Full House Houses, but actually, the Full House is quite a distance away – still in San Francisco, though!

Within the row of seven houses, viewers are never told which one is meant to be the Tanner’s home and the actual house used to film the exterior shot – the Victorian House with the red door, isn’t even one of those houses.  

The Full House House is located at 1709 Broderick Street, which is a 20-minute walk from Alamo Square.

 

DC Tour Guide Canden on a Trip to San Francisco

Full House House Painted Ladies

 

Unlike the TV show opening credit, the house (as of 2016) is dark blue with a green door. Keep in mind that it is a private residence when visiting!

 

 


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THE PAINTED LADIES IN MOVIES AND TV:

Full House isn’t the only place you may have seen these homes! It is estimated that they have been used in over 70 films and TV Shows.

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
  • Junior (1994)
  • Full House (1987-1995)
  • Not exactly filmed at the Painted Ladies, but only located about one mile north of Alamo Square at 2640 Steiner St., the 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire was shot on this and other San Francisco locations.
  • Other films that have used Alamo Square are Murder in the First, Nine Months, and The Conversation.
  • Author Alice Walker (The Color Purple) used to live in one of the homes – even having house concerts until the neighbors complained about the same song was being played over and over.

Want to learn more about some of the historic sites in San Francisco? We offer walking tours throughout the city – Free Tours by Foot San Francisco Walking Tours.

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About the author

Manager | San Francisco

Britt is a San Francisco Bay Area native, and has spent 25 years in this magical city. He has traveled to over 30 countries, and has never found a place he loves as much as this one! If you come to San Francisco, you might join one of Britt's tours of the city.

A graduate of the University of Maryland and University of Southern California, he has been leading tours for Free Tours by Foot since 2015.