This weekend we had 2 hours to spend and we were looking to spend them in San Francisco. Sutro Baths turned out to be a great place to kill a couple hours and meet up with a friend from college.
Once a gilded age indoor swimming complex, the Sutro Baths are now ruins inviting graffiti, climbing children, and swimming dogs.
The water comes right up to and into the ruins, so you get the impression that you’re looking at the original salt water pool, just without the building around it. We even saw a dog jumping off the ruins and swimming laps.
From the ruins you can see the Cliff House, the third in that location since the first and second burned down in 1894 and 1907. The first Cliff House hosted Mark Twain and President Hayes, the second hosted Buffalo Bill, and the third hosted President Taft. Considering the Sutro Baths also burned down in 1966, you have to wonder what exactly led to so many fires in this one spot! Now both properties are owned and protected by the National Park Service.
Despite the tagging, it’s a really beautiful spot. It’s rare to come across ruins like this in the US, and it’s rare to find ruins the kids are allowed to play on! So it’s well worth the stop if you are in the area!
Once the kids were tired of playing on the ruins, we walked through the tunnel next door and got a peak into the sea caves below. We didn’t stay long, even though the tunnel was super cool, because the wind was whipping through there like crazy and we didn’t have any jackets. I always forget that even though San Francisco is so close, it’s an entirely different climate.
We didn’t have much time but we did walk a short distance (maybe a quarter mile) up the Coastal Trail to get a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a beautiful day and we had clear skies and sun shine! It was definitely a little chilly though, it is San Francisco after all!
If you find yourself in the area, this is a unique and fun place to check out and burn some energy!