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Sutro Tower, San Francisco

3.0
#630 of 684 in Things to do in San Francisco
Observation Deck · Hidden Gem · Landmark
Sutro Tower is a unique three-legged 977 ft (298 m) tall TV and radio lattice tower located in San Francisco, California. Rising from a hill between Twin Peaks and Mount Sutro near Clarendon Heights, it is a prominent feature of the city skyline and a landmark for city residents and visitors. The tower was the tallest structure in San Francisco from the time of its completion in 1973 until it was surpassed by the Salesforce Tower in 2017.

The tower is named after the family of Adolph Sutro, a businessman and former mayor of San Francisco. His grandson, Adolph Gilbert Sutro, built a mansion, La Avanzada, on their property in the highest peaks of San Francisco. In 1948, the mansion and property was sold to the American Broadcasting Company, where it became the original home of their San Francisco operation as KGO Television. KGO then formed a consortium with KTVU, KRON, and KPIX, the three other major San Francisco television broadcasters at the time, to build and maintain the tower. It stands 297.8 m (977 ft) above ground and 552 m (1,811 ft) above sea level. It is the second tallest structure in the city by ground-to-tip height, though its mountain location overlooks the city's downtown skyscrapers.

A visit to Sutro Tower represents just the start of the adventure when you use our San Francisco visit planner to plot your vacation.
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Sutro Tower reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
16 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We like the views from Sutro Tower area. So we returned when we were in San Francisco. Sutro Tower is important to the communication industry.  more »
  • High on the Hill, one gets a view of the Sutro Tower. It is on Mount Sutro. The tower is important to televisoon reception for the Bay Area.  more »
Google
  • It's an imposing tower, and I always wanted to visit the base of it. However, at least when I visited, it's controlled access only. You can get close by foot or bike, or for better views try the Twin Peaks observation area.
  • Went to this on a whim and enjoyed it. There is street parking and public land to walk around the reservoir and get pretty close to the tower. The tower is about 1,000 feet tall, so it's quite the tower to see. There are something like 40 entities renting space on the tower and it's supposedly the largest communications tower in the world. We were told all this by the guard at the gate and gave us a pamphlet saying all this.

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