We've been trying to do an activity each weekend that helps us get to know our new city and
avoid watching football all weekend keep us active. Last weekend we opted for a hike down to the Cliff House and to Lands End. I can't help but be surprised each time I find places like Lands End within the city limits. If you didn't know better, you'd think you were in a remote area of the California coast, far from any city lights.
We started at the Cliff House, which has a very cool history. Originally built in 1863, it traded hands a few times until Adolph Sutro, a self-made millionaire and SF mayor, purchased the Cliff House in 1886. He also funded a streetcar line to transport visitors to the coast for 5 cents per ride. He believed the alternative--a 10-cent train fare--was too steep.
The Cliff House burned to the ground at two different times, and this is the third version of the restaurant.
Sutro also constructed baths down near the water. There were seven tanks of salt-water, heated to different temperatures, and the baths could all be filled during high-tide. There were diving boards, trapezes, and slides, and there they hosted parties, competitions, and shows.
The Sutro baths closed in 1966 and were destroyed in a fire later that year, but the remains still exist.
Here's what they looked like while still standing:
After passing the baths ruins, the hike to Lands End takes you through cypress trees. Reminds me of Big Sur: rugged and wind-swept.
Trail sign posts point out the location of numerous shipwrecks. The entrance to San Francisco Bay is narrow, and the currents make it difficult to navigate.
After a couple miles, you round the tip of the coast and reach Lands End. The bit of land there juts out, and provides pretty views.
|A quiet little beach, too.|