I've finnally found some time to share another adventure, our day trip to the Golden Gate Recreation Area on the San Francisco side. On this day trip we visited the Sutro Bath House Ruins at Lands End, Fort Winfield Scott, Battey Boutelle and Fort Point National Historic Site.
Our first stop for the day was the Sutro bath House ruins at Point Lobo. The ruins are located at the end of Point Lobos Avenue near the famous Cliff House. Both the Cliff House and Bathhouse were built by the former mayor of San Francisco, Adolf Sutro. The bathhouse was completed in 1896 and was built out of steel and glass and consisted of seven indoor swimming pools. Six of the pools were filled with sea water and one fresh water. Not only was this the worlds largest bath house it also included Sutro's large collection of personal artifacts he obtained during his travels across the globe. There was also a 6000 seat concert hall here and a skating rink in the 1960's .
In April of 2012 the Park Service opened a new visitors center and expanded the parking area, with these improvements it has made this stop much more enjoyable. The kids and I took some time and toured the visitors center and then headed down the trail to the Bath House ruins.
From the Bath House ruins we drove further north past China Beach, Baker Beach and continued up Lincoln Blvd. We drove north until we reached Fort Winfield Scott. Across from the fort we parked at Langdon Ct. Whether you go on a week day or a weekend there's usually a spot to park here. From Langdon Ct. you can stroll up Dove Loop passing by Battery West and Battery Godfrey. Once you pass Battery Godfrey you can walk north through Battery Boutelle and eventually end up walking down the Coastal Trail which takes you beneath the Golden Gate Bridge and over to Fort Point.
Once you go under the bridge the Coastal trail turns into the Battery East Trail. From the trail you can see Fort Point beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. This was our next stop.
Fort Point was constructed between 1859-61 during the height of the Gold Rush era. This fortification was the only one of it's stature west of the Mississippi River. The simple fact that this brick fort resides in an area known for earthquakes and is still a standing is amaing. It's a testimony to the contruction work done by the Amy Engineers of that time period.
Walking through the fort is pretty darn cool I must say. As you walk through you can't help but imagine what it was like back in the day. I loved the architecture of this place with all of the brick arches long hallways. As we walked around I couldn't help myself from hiding from the kids in some of the nooks and crannies, it's the little boy in me. There are plenty of exhibists regarding the contruction and the inhabitants over the years, theres also a nice little souveneer store where you can pick yourself up some chachkas. Ourselves, well, we collect patches. When you make it to the top be prepared for two things. Amazing vistas, and a stiff breeze. Bring a windbreaker and a hat if you get cold easily. With the bridge superstructure overhead the fort can be covered in shade making the wind blowing a bit colder than expected. On the northwest side, near the lighthouse we have spotted dolphins on several occasions swimming under the Golden Gate Bridge and down the coast. And of course, you have amazing views of the city of San Francisco, Acatraz and the bay to the northeast.
During this trip we found out that there are candlelight tours November thru Febuary. They are only on Saturday nights and require reservations. (415)-556-1693
After eating packed food all day it was time to go to a sit down resturant. Uncle Leo's choices were Giorgio's Pizzaria and Humphry Slocombe for desert. Giorgio's pizza was pretty darn good if I say so for myself. But to be honest desert was the best. Humphry Slocombe has some the most interesting ice cream flavors. We found this place by watching the Food Network. If your in S.F. you must stop here! From the outside you would never guess that inside there are ice cream magicians. Making magic happen, that's what they do.
Here are the links.
Thanks for visiting and we hope to see you on a trail.