Sutro Heights Park, San Francisco

4.8
#37 of 73 in Parks in San Francisco
Sutro Heights Park is historic public park in the Outer Richmond District of western San Francisco, California. It is within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Sutro Historic District.
It is located above the Cliff House in the Lands End area, with views of the Seal Rocks, Ocean Beach, and the Pacific Ocean.
The park is on the site of the former "Sutro Heights" estate of Adolph Sutro, a Comstock Lode silver baron, and a major land owner/developer in and mayor of San Francisco.
In 1881, Adolf Sutro purchased 22acre of undeveloped land south of Point Lobos (San Francisco) and north of Ocean Beach at the western edge of the city. It included a promontory overlooking the Pacific, with scenic views of the Marin Headlands, Mount Tamalpais, and the Golden Gate. Sutro built his mansion on a rocky ledge there, above the first Cliff House.
The grounds consisted of a spacious turreted mansion, a carriage house, and outbuildings set in expansive gardens. The estate dominated the Lands End area, with an elaborate entrance gate. He spent in excess of a million dollars to recreate an Italian style garden. It was filled with fountains, planted urns, and statues, Victorian flower beds, hedge mazes, parterres, forests of trees, a glass plant conservatory, and other garden structures. Vista points included the "observation plaza" overlooking the Cliff House, and the "Dolce far Niente Balcony," a long terrace-like structure along the cliff overlooking Ocean Beach. To provide garden decorations, he imported over 200 concrete replicas of Greek and Roman statuary from Belgium, to provide examples of European culture to visitors.
Use our San Francisco trip itinerary website to visit Sutro Heights Park on your trip to San Francisco, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Sutro Heights Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
33 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The West Coast begins here. What used to be an Early to mid-1900's tourist area now is riddled with apartments, condos, native California Cypress trees, (thank God). The memory one retains is the expa...  more »
  • Our friend's widow asked us, his close buds, to join her for a reunion at the same place where we gathered 10 years ago to "celebrate Ed's life". It was a nice occasion but what's important for this r...  more »
Google
  • This place is very strange and one of those San Francisco gems that you just have to check out. I have lived here now for years and I still come back here. It's such a strange story of Sutro and his baths and what this place was that you have to take someone from out of town and explain it. It's also fun for kids because the ruins seem more ancient and mysterious than they actually are. My kids thought that this was a Roman camp, which is pretty funny if you think about it.
  • Loved walking by the ocean. You can walk on the beach or on a walk way if you don't want to get sand on your feet. LOL The restrooms were port-a-potties but they were the flush toilets and very clean. With a place outside to wash your hands. I recommend this beach if you're looking for a beach while in San Francisco.
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