Sutro Baths

sights / Parks & gardens

Sutro Baths information

Location
San Francisco , USA
Address
Point Lobos Ave
Getting there
Bus: 5, 31, 38
More information
www.nps.gov/goga/historyculture/sutro-baths.htm
Opening hours
sunrise-sunset; visitor center hours 9am-5pm
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Hard to imagine from these ruins, but Victorian dandies and working stiffs once converged here for bracing baths and workouts in itchy wool rental swimsuits. Millionaire Adolph Sutro built hot and cold indoor pools to accommodate 10,000 unwashed masses in 1896, but the masses apparently preferred dirt and the baths closed in 1952. There's just one part-time resident: river otter Sutro Sam .

Above the baths are the new Land's End Lookout visitor center and cafe plus the Sutro Heights Park public gardens, built in 1885 and restored with native plants. The path down to the baths is steep, but worth it at low tide to discover a hidden gem: a sea-cave tunnel that leads to end-of-the-world views of Marin Headlands. If the baths look familiar, you must be a film buff: these splendid ruins made a fitting backdrop for 1971's May–December comedy classic Harold & Maude .