House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

11 Most Famous Houses In San Francisco (with Pictures)

Famous Painted Ladies San Francisco California

Home to attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, San Francisco is well known for its Victorian architecture. The city has been featured in movies and on TV screens, as well as in music videos and art. It is an iconic city, especially known for the Summer of Love in 1967 and there is a great collection of buildings, old and new, that are popular with visitors and locals.

Below are 11 of the most famous houses in San Francisco, so that you can plot which you would like to visit during your stay in The Golden City.

house divider

The 11 Most Famous Houses in San Francisco

1. The Painted Ladies

  • Location: Alamo Square

The Painted Ladies are perhaps the most iconic of San Francisco’s long list of famous houses. They epitomize the city’s Victorian architecture style, painted in a series of colors. Behind the Painted Ladies is a modern city skyline vista, with the modern blocks serving to really make the Victorian houses stand out. The row of houses is regularly used for photographs of the city, and they were featured in the opening sequences for the TV show Full House, although they weren’t actually used in the shooting of the show.

2. The Full House House

  • Location: 1709 Broadrick Street

Another San Francisco house made famous, at least in part, by Full House is 1709 Broadrick Street. The Full House House, as it has become known, was used for a lot of the exterior shots in the show, although interior shooting was conducted at Warner Brothers Studios in Los Angeles.

3. The Princess Diaries House

  • Location: 724 Brazil Avenue

Moving away from the small screen to the big screen, and specifically to 2001’s The Princess Diaries, we have an old firehouse that was featured in the film as Mia Thermopolis’s house where she lived with her mom. The house was a working firehouse until 1976 when it sold at auction. It was put up for sale again in 2014 with an asking price of $2.6 million. Fans of the movie can see the exterior of the property but can’t get inside.

4. The Mrs. Doubtfire House

  • Location: 2640 Steiner Street

Mrs. Doubtfire was one of actor Robin Williams’s biggest movies and it was set in San Francisco. Specifically, exterior shots of this property were used for the filming, although the majority of filming occurred away from the house.

5. Robin Williams House

  • Location: Tiburon

Robin Williams moved to San Francisco aged 16. When the actor tragically took his own life in 2014, he was actually living in Tiburon, a small town just to the north of San Francisco, but he spent a lot of his life in San Francisco proper. This property, on El Camino Drive, is a former home of the actor and is a regular stop for fans of the actor looking to experience aspects of his life.

6. The Spreckels Mansion

  • Location: Washington Street

Built-in 1912 for Alma de Bretteville Spreckels and her husband Adolph Spreckels, the Spreckels Mansion, which is also known as The Sugar Palace, was the largest single-family home in the area when it was built. It has 55 rooms and Alma Spreckels lived on the property until her death in 1968. Today, novelist Danielle Steel lives on the property, which can be viewed from Lafayette Park across the street.

7. The James C. Flood Mansion

  • Location: Nob Hill

Commissioned in 1885 by James C. Flood, this brown stone mansion was badly damaged by the earthquake of 1906. Although it was one of only two properties in the area to survive the quake, the incident scared the Flood family, who moved to another mansion in San Francisco. Today, the building is used as a clubhouse for the Pacific Union Club, which is an exclusive men’s only club that has included some of the country’s most powerful men as its members.

8. The Whittier Mansion

  • Location: Pacific Heights

The Whittier Mansion has a somewhat chequered history. It was built by William Franklin Whittier in 1894 and made from a steel framework and stone. Its unusual construction meant it survived the 1906 earthquake, but when Billy Whittier was forced to sell the property after blowing his inherited fortune, the German Reich bought The Whittier Mansion. It was used as a German Consulate for three years from 1938 and was reported to have been the main base for spies working across the U.S.

9. The Flintstone’s House

  • Location: Hillsborough

The Flintstone’s House has nothing to do with the Flintstones, but its design does give it more than a passing resemblance to something from the prehistoric cartoon. It was built in 1976 by William Nicholson and used modern building technology. It has a very unique appearance and was painted orange in the 2000s, only making it seem even more unusual. It currently has a value of around $4.2 million despite boasting a relatively modest three-bedroom and two-bathroom interior.

10. The Old Vedanta Temple

  • Location: Webster Street

The Old Vedanta Temple is a unique design that carries an inspiring message. The building was built at the beginning of the 21st Century by architect Joseph A. Leonard and Swami Trigunatitananda. The Swami wanted to show that different religions and cultures could co-exist and relayed this message by combining Christian church motifs, Bengal temples, and the architecture of Russian Orthodoxy.

11. Charles Manson House

  • Location: Haight-Ashbury

Charles Manson was the head of the Manson Family and an infamous cult leader. Although the address most associated with the Mansons was Cielo Drive in Los Angeles, where the Tate murder was committed in 1969, Manson lived in a house in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, during the Summer of Love 1969.

house divider


San Francisco is packed full of places to visit and sites to see, including some iconic houses and incredible architecture. From the house where Charles Manson spent the Summer of Love in 1969 to various houses that were featured in movies and the opening credits to TV shows from the 1980s through to the start of the new millennium.

See also: 16 Most Famous Houses In Palm Springs

Featured Image Credit: Canadastock, Shutterstock


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools