The Sutro Baths of San Francisco are the eerie remains of what used to be the world’s largest indoor swimming pool establishment. Adolph Sutro, an eccentric, wealthy entrepreneur and one-time mayor of San Francisco, built this impressive public facility in the 1800s. It was made of mostly glass, iron, and reinforced concrete and featured 7 different kinds of pools – 1 freshwater, and 6 saltwater pools with different temperatures. During high tide, water from the ocean would flow into the pools and recycle 2 million gallons of water. There was also a concert hall with seating for 8000 people and an ice skating rink. Unfortunately, the maintenance costs were too high and the Sutro Baths were eventually deserted. The building that housed the pools burned down in a fire in 1966, and the site has been in ruins ever since. The Golden Gate National Recreation area purchased the land and preserved it as one of San Francisco’s most picturesque landmarks.
Located along Lands End, San Francisco’s wildest and rockiest coastline, it is one of the most photographed parts of San Francisco by tourists and photography clubs. Walking along the Lands End trail is a great tourist activity and will make for some great photo ops!
The Cliff House is located next to the Sutro Baths and can offer an excellent view for those who are curious, but not brave enough to walk directly through the ruins.