SF 02 | Golden Gate Park, Sutro Baths & Ocean Beach

This is a series on my time in San Francisco so far! You can read Part One here.

Queue, adventures! As I mentioned, right as February started we moved to SOMA and got settled for a few months where we found an awesome sublet with two cute cats to keep us company. And I started my new job! I find change really inspiring, so I was pretty happy with all of this new stuff.

SuperBowl 50 started up right as we moved into the heart of it, so we caught the Metallica concert with bourbon in the parking lot (complete with fire show) - we're on a budget, guys - and also explored The Mission & Dolores Park our first weekend there. After we unpacked, hung out with the cats, walked the Embarcadero by the water a million times, and generally hid out from the crazy-busy Superbowl festivities, we went to explore! Our first stop? Golden Gate Park, the Sutro Baths, and Land's End.


That would be the only picture I took in Golden Gate Park, above. I so badly wanted to go to the Botanical Gardens there, but maybe next time. The park is cool, but not quite what I expected with Stanley Park in mind (I feel like we got it pretty good at home, nature-wise, and we always find ourselves comparing it to here!). It's a long, nice park but it's definitely in the middle of the city, but it quiets-out as you go along and The Panhandle has nice lawns to hang out on.

After walking through the park for a while, you eventually get to Ocean Beach: which we caught on a gorgeous early February day - it's sunny and warm this early here, what?! To me, it feels like if the Tofino coast was in the city and all graffitied, it's really pretty vast and lovely for an urban beach. We hung out here for a bit, so happy to be near the ocean, and from there you can walk up and around to the Sutro Baths and Land's End. I took a ton of pictures because I'm a nerd for landscape shots, so this pretty much chronicles our walk along the shoreline from there:


As you walk up the hill from Ocean Beach, you get to the Cliff House (there are some really cool Victorian-era pictures of this spot right here), which had this hilarious old "Giant Camera" that I was so bummed was closed: apparently it's an old Camera Obscura that was built in 1946, and reno'd to look like a camera in 1957.

And around the bend a little from there lie the ruins of the Sutro Baths:


Gorgeous, right? The view from the top of the hill before you descend down to the ruins is pretty breathtaking. You can walk down into them and meander around, and the view of the waves breaking at the base of the lighthouse across the bay from there is so lovely, too I hadn't learned about them beforehand, but the ruins made me want to know what the baths looked like in their heyday, and it was a pretty beautiful place! You can read more about them here and read a program from 1906 right here, if you're interested.

And then, around the corner, we walked Land's End, which is super-beautiful but I don't have any pictures of - it's a must-see! Past Sutro Baths, you finally get a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge:


From the photos I took later, we made a habit of seeing it from every possible angle on most of the other long day treks we took after this first one - the kind where you walk so much your body aches everywhere, but you're happy because you were outside all day! Part three, up next.