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Sutro Baths, San Francisco

4.5
#13 of 35 in Historic Sites in San Francisco
Historic Site Tourist Spot
The Sutro Baths were a large, privately owned public saltwater swimming pool complex in the Lands End area of the Outer Richmond District in western San Francisco, California.Built in 1896, it was located near the Cliff House, Seal Rock, and Sutro Heights Park. The facility burned down in 1967, and is now in ruins. The site is within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Sutro Historic District.HistoryOn March 14, 1896, the Sutro Baths were opened to the public as the world's largest indoor swimming pool establishment. The baths were built on the western side of San Francisco by wealthy entrepreneur and former mayor of San Francisco (1894–1896) Adolph Sutro.Before it burned to the ground, the structure filled a small beach inlet below the Cliff House, also owned by Adolph Sutro at the time. Both the Cliff House and the former baths site are now a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, operated by the United States National Park Service. The baths struggled for years, mostly due to the very high operating and maintenance costs. Shortly after closing, a fire in 1966 destroyed the building while it was in the process of being demolished. All that remains of the site are concrete walls, blocked off stairs and passageways, and a tunnel with a deep crevice in the middle. The cause of the fire was arson. Shortly afterwards, the developer left San Francisco and claimed insurance money.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
309 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The ruins of the old Sutro baths are very cool, but the beach and rock formations provide some great climbing and views  more »
  • Just viewing the baths from the parking lot or the trail you just see water filled concrete pools and crumbled walls. BUT, if you visit the Lands End visitors center, see the pictures of the baths in ...  more »
  • I was in San Francisco for a very short time and wanted to do something that was not the normal touristy type of outing. I decided to check out the Sutro Baths for an evening outing and I was not disa...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful place away from the city crowd. I loved the clean air and the only sound you hear is the water and the birds. Washrooms are not too far away. There is a lot of parking too. There is a bit of a walk, specially coming back upstairs!
  • A must see while you visit San Francisco. The views, the history, and walking along the ruins with deep dark waters on narrow walkways and crumbing stones. The dangers are also the magic of this place. Very popular with tourists on the weekends, especially during sunny weather, so plan accordingly. Breathtaking beauty here. Don't miss the gift shop and cafe at Land's End. Highly recommended.
  • Beautiful beautiful!! Go when there is nice weather and prepare a good sandal or pair of old tennis shoes you don't mind getting sand all over!
  • I love taking visitors here to wow them (and going on walks/runs around the area). It's so cool how there are ruins in such a modern city. The coastline view is gorgeous. And, it's not a far walk to Eagles Point, where you can get a great view of the bridge.
  • Really cool, wish the place was still open. A good spot to see whales swim by and you can walk on to Lands End as well as the Lions Gate Bridge which is a good trail.

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