San Francisco – Off the Beaten Path

On the last day of our visit to San Francisco last July we spent the morning at Ocean Beach. Now Ocean Beach is not your typical beach. The cool Pacific air, wind, and fog mean that the temperature is only about 12C. You do not swim or suntan at this beach. Most activities included walking dogs, surfing, exploring, and bonfires.

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IMG_3130The beach was not crowded as it was a Monday morning. We arrived and immediately took off our shoes. The water was cold but exhilarating. Walking north we took in the sights and smells. On the north side of the beach are cliffs. Climbing the cliffs we reached the aptly named Cliff House restaurant. This “house” was originally built in 1858, but has been rebuilt and renovated several times.

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Just below Cliff House

Across the way are Seal Rocks; where seal lions can be found resting and eating. We didn’t see any that day.

IMG_3135North of Cliff House are the remains of Sutro Baths. Built in 1896 the baths were the world’s largest public indoor swimming pool. However they were expensive to maintain and the baths were closed and demolished in 1966. While being dismantled a fire broke out destroying the site.

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Remains of Sutro Baths

Sutro Bath in foreground, Seal Rocks to the right in background, Cliff House background left

Sutro Baths in foreground, Seal Rocks to the right in background, Cliff House background left

Across from the ruins we found more rock structures to explore. Thousands of mussels cover the lower parts of the rocks. We accidentally woke a Dungeness crab from his nap in the sand, originally thinking it was a moulted shell.

IMG_3138Ocean Beach will not appeal to all people. However, if you enjoy fresh air, cool water, climbing rocks, studying history and exploring biology, take a couple hours to visit Ocean Beach.

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~ by emanate80 on February 1, 2014.

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