Saturday, December 13, 2008

San Fransisco Wanderings

I decided to take the family out on a quick day trip and thought it was time to do something in "The City". San Francisco is just across the bay from me, but always seems so far away. The original plan was to head to Golden Gate park and check out the recent changes to the Stienhart Aquarium and the new California Academy of Sciences, but then I found out that the main thoroughfares into Golden Gate Park are closed to cars on Sundays. Not knowing the area very well, I didn't want to mess with the hassle, especially with the family along. After delving into my memory a bit and a little research, I came up with three places for our venture: Land's End, The Palace of the Legion of Honor and the Sutro Baths. The goal for the day really wasn't to do hiking (Hey, I'm allowed!), but to just to get out of the house for a bit.

In my youth (It seems strange to be able to say that), I used to love heading out to Eagles Point (pictured above) at Land's End for its spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge from outside the gate. With the forecast of a beautiful November Day, I thought it would be a perfect place to take the wife and kids. Close by Land's End is the Palace of the Legion of Honor, a spectacular fine art museum focusing on treasures from 14th - 18th Century Europe and also featuring an impressive Rodin exhibit including an original bronze cast of The Thinker (pictured to the right).

A short drive from the Palace of Legion of Honor is the ruins of the Sutro Baths. The baths, built in 1896, was the world's largest indoor swimming complex. It was quite the destination with seven swimming pools, an observation deck that sat thousands and a structure of concrete, steel and 100,000 panes of glass. All that is left now are some concrete walls and remnants of some pools, but it is a fun place to explore.

We hit all three places and had a great time indoors and out (though the kids did get tired of the museum). We still did a little bit of walking, okay, a lot of walking (especially in the museum. I also scoped out a nice hike for the future: The Land's End Trail. This trail goes from Eagle point to the Sutro Baths (pictured to the left) and I am planning on working out a loop hike which I hope to feature soon. I'm not providing a lot of details for this trip, but I won't apologize, I'll let you find your own experiences there. Here's a web site with nice map.

I encourage you to head to "The City" and see some great sites and check these places out. There's quite a bit of variety and you can spend a few hours or the whole day. I've provided some links below for more details on each location. Enjoy!

Land's End - Located on El Camino del Mar St on the Eastern edge of Lincoln Park.
Palace of the Legion of Honor - Located at 34th Ave & Clement St in the center of Lincoln Park.
Sutro Baths - Near the Cliff House on Point Lobos Ave and Merrie Way.

small Rodin sculputre

Great Egret at the baths

Closeup of the Great Egret

Kids playing on the Ruins


John Soares said...

Great entry! My sweetie and I will be staying in San Francisco for a week at the end of the month and you've given us good ideas of what to do.

Dave Miller said...

John, Have a great time. I certainly did!