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Sutro Baths, San Francisco

(4.4/5 based on 260+ 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The first question that people have is why is it called "Sutro Baths"? Well, at one time, a huge building covered the hillside, enclosing several swimming pools. The building burnt down but the ruins ...  more »
  • I stopped by on the day went to the Golden Gate Bridge on a bicycle. During bicycle and walking trail along the sea, enjoyed the wave surges up close, was very wild. Especially in the evening at sunset. When weather is nice, but it's pretty cold, so dress is attention.
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  • The baths must have been Incredible - in its day...but now it is a bit of a disappointment. Look at the photos to appreciate what was once there - you may want to keep that memory vs. what you will se...  more »
Google
  • This is a beautiful hiking area! The remains of the pools are beautiful. You're able to walk along the edges to get near the middle. Absolutely beautiful spot. Great for pictures, lunch, and hiking!
  • 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.
  • Gorgeous park, easy to get to. You can walk back into San Francisco from here also along the coast. Great views of the Golden Gate bridge.
  • Ruins. Was ok. I suggest have brunch or lunch at Louis' or Cliff House, make a quick visit here, then a nice walk to Lands End Labyrinth. Lands End Labyrinth is really nice for photos, it's a hidden gem.
  • This is a beautiful spot to watch the sunset...I've been here a few times when there was trash everywhere but it's generally pretty clean