The origin of Alamo Square goes back to the1800s. By that time this prominent hill was known for having a water hole where horses made a stop to drink on their way in or out of the Misiones. Around 1850 the Mayor of San Francisco declared the area an official park, and it has remained like this until nowadays.
What I guess it was completely different in the old days are the views you can reach from it. The cottonwood tree, eucaliptus, and oak forests that once dominated the landscape have been replaced by skyscrapers, gigantic bridges, and infinite light points. It is a view that never disappoints, even when fog partially blocks Downtown. If you add the pastel colored victorian style houses at the foreground, you understand why this is still one the most recognizable postcards of San Francisco.
The Painted Ladies are probably the best known example of victorian architecture in the area, but it’s not the only one. My personal favorite are four houses located at Steiner and Fulton intersection, where you can also get a clear view of the Vatican style City Hall dome.
The Alamo Square name comes from the ancient cottonwood trees—Alamo in Spanish—that once populated the area. There are just a bunch of them still standing, but they are home for a surprisingly large number of hummingbirds. Something I definetely didn’t expect in a city.
Like most public spaces in the city, Alamo Square is dog friendly. There’s a designated off-leash area for dogs where to romp and socialise.