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Sutro Baths, San Francisco

Categories: Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.4/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web
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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  • Not much left but really cool ruins. It was great that there was something left. Do check out if at Lands End. 
  • We had driven out here to look at the Cliff House and stumbled on this by chance. There is a large parking area just above the bath ruins. A trail leads to the ruins and to Point Lobos. There is also ...  read more »
  • an afternoon of exploration, amazing setting, haunting. You can walk and walk freely, with the ocean at your feet! do not miss it
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  • Dates, hang outs with friends - Sutro Baths is where you go for all your outdoor adventures. There are ruins, a walk-in cave, a small beach to play frisbee and hold small gatherings and parties. Only uphill from Ocean Beach, it's a spot perfect for taking that special someone for a romantic sunset picnic. There's nothing like the sunset at Sutro Baths, where the reds, pinks and oranges of the sun kiss the clouds - and it really makes for some great photos. Take your obligatory Michael Bay movie kiss photo here! I also shot parts of my short film 007: I Only Need One here, although it has been photographed so as not to directly showcase the building and appear to be a vast and isolated beach. Great spot for filmmakers looking for an epic scene.
  • Very interesting historical landmark with rustic feel to it, and I mean literally, you could still see some old bolts that used to hold the wooden structure to concrete foundation. There is only one building left with no roof, which has graffiti all over its walls. Highly recommend visiting it with nose plugs or close friend due to funky smell from birds and other natural creatures living in the area. If you like oceans and beaches, then this is definitely a good sightseeing spot.
  • This place is absolutely stunning. It's not just the ruins, but the landscape, the views, and the surrounding areas/trails. Read up a little on the history of the place to get some perspective about what you're looking at for an even better experience, and wear comfortable shoes you don't mind getting a little dirty/sandy.
  • Free parking. Not too bad of a trek to get to it. Interesting piece of history. My husband and I had a lot of fun trying to reconstruct the ruins in our minds. Afterwards we took a nice stroll on the beach where I got my first real look of the ocean! Loved this placeN
  • This place was beautiful and surreal. You can walk all across the remains of these baths and they have colorful water with sea weed inside and wildflowers all around. A beautiful place to watch the sunset. Also, there is a really neat cave right next to the baths that has a little hole in it that you can see waves crashing into that makes the whole cave reverberate with the sound of the surf. Suuuper cool! Everyone recommended this place, and we are glad we went! Be careful with kids though! Lots of places to fall and jaggedy/unsafe places and features abound!
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