Ruins at the Ocean Shore in San Francisco

San Fran Sutro Baths Road Trip West Coast Shore Flowers  Artistic

On my west coast road trip I came across Sutro Baths, definitely something I wasn’t expecting. Looking over the ruins was fascinating to me, and a bit eerie at the same time. The baths opened in 1896 as the world’s largest indoor swimming pool establishment. Through an elaborate system of pools, tunnels and pumps, swimming pools were filled by ocean tides! Two acres of glass arched over steam-heated pools, restaurants, a theater and a museum with rare plants, animals and artifacts. The Sutro Baths were the last major recreation project of millionaire Adolpho Sutro, the once-mayor of San Francisco. But in 1937 the Baths were losing money and the main tank was converted to an ice-skating rink. In 1966 a fire leveled the structures and left us with the abandoned ruins we see today.

The area is located just two miles from Golden Gate Park or 20 minutes from downtown San Francisco. These days, locals and visitors enjoy it for the trails and fresh ocean air. Always amazes me what you stumble across on a road trip. I later found out that my dad, who was stationed in San Francisco in the late 1940’s, actually remembered Sutro Baths from back then — fascinating!

San Fran Sutro Baths Road Trip West Coast Shore Steps Artistic San Fran Sutro Baths Road Trip West Coast Ocean Shore Ruins Artistic

San Fran Sutro Baths Road Trip West Coast Shore Ruins Artistic San Fran Sutro Baths Road Trip West Coast Bridge Artistic

I found some vintage postcards of the baths and what was once called Sutro Heights. Aren’t they great?


vintage Sutro Baths circa 1896

Inside Sutro Baths circa 1896, the year it opened.

Vintage postcard 1910 Parapet at Sutro Heights San Francisco

1910 Postcard: Parapet at Sutro Heights, San Francisco.

Sutro vintage postcard 1910 seal rocks from Sutro Observatory

1910 Postcard: Seal Rocks from Cliff House Observatory.

Vintage postcard 1910 Cliff House from Sutro Heights San Francisco

1910 Postcard: Cliff House from Sutro Heights, San Francisco.

(Visited 620 time, 65 visit today)
Meet Suzette
suzetteHoly crap, you found me. That’s fantastic. I’m Suzette and I’m so glad you’re here! I’ve built a successful career as a travel photographer where I have the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world, and run this blog where I share inspiration for YOUR travel photography. This website is specifically for those of us who love to wander with our cameras. We take it slow. We are curious. We love nature and the outdoors. Most of all, we love taking great photographs.

Follow me on Instagram Twitter Pinterest or Facebook

On this website you’ll find lovely travel experiences and great locations to take photographs wherever you are heading. Subscribe to see new posts via email. If it doesn't float your boat you can unsubscribe any time.