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These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.
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- 98%History Buffs
- 81%Outdoor Enthusiasts
- 69%Local Culture
- 69%Family Travelers
- 57%Budget Travelers
- 57%Adventure Travelers
- 54%Green Travelers
Member Reviews (32)
- Sutro BathsCommunity ManagerMember ofLocal CultureFoodiesBackpackers+ 4Feb 24, 2014
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Formerly Alfred Sutro's glorious multi-level series of indoor pools (including the largest salt water natatorium in the world), Sutro Baths is now a series of holes in the ground, ruins of its former glory.
To be fair, it's still technically a salt water pool.
- Sutro BathsMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 9Nov 05, 2013
If you lament a past that was never yours but could have been a century ago, you'll need to visit Sutro Baths. Hike down to where San Franciscans used to swim in their Victorian skivvies. From the ruins, hike towards the Golden Gate Bridge along Lands End trail. Loop back and have a warm cup at the Lands End Lookout Center or end with a meal at The Cliff House – another relic that overlooks Ocean Beach and the ships passing through the Golden Gate into the San Francisco Bay.
- Sutro BathsMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 11Sep 25, 2013
Over 100 years ago on this part of San Francisco's western edge, facing the Pacific Ocean, there were two iconic symbols of 19th century/early 20th century San Francisco. They were Playland, sort of a Coney island amusement park at the north end of Ocean Beach just south of the Cliff House, which are now condominiums (and of which you can see some of the older antique arcade games now housed in a museum in th east bay city of El Cerrito, called "Playland Not At The Beach"), and even before that, the Sutro Baths.
The Sutro Baths were salt water pools here on the ocean's edge where one could enjoy the cold San Francisco waters without worrying about washing out to see, and it was a popular place way back when horses pulled carriages, swimsuits look more like pajamas, and perhaps women still wore a bustle and carried a parasol.
Now all that remains are the ruins, but on a nice day, they are stunning in their solitude against the backdrop of the pacific ocean and the promise of exotic destinations far beyond the horizon. It is a good hike and exploration point, to walk amidst the stone ruins, the secret tunnel to the ocean , and the little sliver of glimpse out to the north ocean and the rock islands. The nearby Cypress trees add character, and after a bit of a hike back up the hill, you can rest over at the CLiff HOuse with a bit and a drink.
- Sutro BathsMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 5Sep 05, 2013
I always love taking people to the Sutro Baths - it's one of the few historical sites in SF that lays in ruins. It's beautifully eerie to view from above, and even more so when you walk down to it along the ocean's edge. There are caves you can go inside and if you're lucky, you might be able to spot "Sutro Sam," the famous otter swimming nearby.
I'm not sure if he's still there, but an older gentleman was there when I visited, who volunteered to stand at the entrance of the trail down to the baths and provide people with an interesting history lesson on it. If you don't encounter him, you should definitely read more about the baths on Wikipedia, and also stop into the Cliff House to view old photos and a painting depicting the beautiful bath house during its glory days in the 1920's.
- Sutro BathsMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersBusiness Travelers+ 3Jan 04, 2013
The history behind these ruins are a little interesting, but nothing more than that. These days it's nothing more than small walls of the what used to be Sutro Bath. Not one of my top 10 things to see in SF, but interesting enough to taking a look at if you happen to be in the area.
- Sutro BathsMember ofBudget TravelersFoodiesVegetarian+ 2Dec 19, 2012
One of my favorite places in the city. The ruins of Sutro Baths is both historically rich and beautifully sad. Like most beautiful buildings of it's time, it was destroyed in a fire and the hunting ruins remind of us a different time.
Make sure to explore the cave on the right side of the ruins as you face the ocean.
For the best (and the cheapest) romantic date: pack a pick-nick dinner and watch sunset from the ruins. While there is still light, climb up to the Cliff House for a after dinner cocktail.
- Sutro BathsSep 06, 2012
Like a ton of people have said here already, there is a ton of interesting history related to the Sutro Baths, which makes this place even better...and I'm not usually the type of guy that is super into history. Look it up on Wikipedia, there is a really cool artist's rendition of what the baths looked like back in its glory days.
We went down to the baths and also through to these caves nearby, where the sounds of the waves crashing against the cave walls were amplified. Made for a really awesome little walk. I bet this place was amazing to swim at back in the day, because the ruins still made for a great time, walking among them with the ocean right by your side.
It can get chilly, so bring a jacket/hoodie!
On 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 sleepy western side of San Francisco by wealthy entrepreneur and former mayor of San Francisco (1894–1896), Adolph Sutro. The vast glass, iron, wood, and reinforced concrete structure was mostly hidden, and 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 and operated by the United States National Park Service.
A visitor to the baths not only had a choice of seven different swimming pools—one fresh water and six salt water baths ranging in temperatures—but could also visit a museum displaying Sutro's large and varied personal collection of artifacts from his travels, a concert hall, seating for 8,000, and, at one time, an ice skating rink. During high tides, water would flow directly into the pools from the nearby ocean, recycling the two million US gallons (7,600 m³) of water in about an hour. During low tides, a powerful turbine water pump, built inside a cave at sea level, could be switched on from a control room and could fill the tanks at a rate of 6,000 US gallons a minute (380 L/s), recycling all the water in five hours.
At the Sutro Baths, Sutro also maintained an extensive collection of stuffed and mounted animals, historic artifacts, and artwork, much of which he acquired from the Woodward's Gardens estate sale in 1894. The baths were once serviced by a rail line, the Ferries and Cliff House Railroad, which ran along the cliffs of Lands End overlooking the Golden Gate. The route ran from the baths to a terminal at California Street and Central Avenue (now Presidio Avenue).
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 Sutro Bath ruins are open to the public, but a warning sign advises strict caution, stating "People have been swept from the rocks and drowned." (source: Wikipedia)