View from a Cliff
Twice a month we share some of our favorite destinations in the city and the Muni routes and lines that will take you there.
The latest incarnation of the Cliff House. Photo taken Feb. 25, 2015.
Panoramic views of Ocean Beach and the former Sutro Baths can be seen from the Cliff House. Photo taken Feb. 25, 2015.
Did You Know?
The first Cliff House was a modest structure built in 1863 by Senator John Buckley and C. C. Butler.
Adolph Sutro spent $75,000 to rebuild and furnish the Cliff House in grandiose style. Fashioned after a French chateau, the second Cliff House opened in February of 1896 and boasted eight stories, four spires and an observation tower 200 feet above sea level.
In 1907, after extensive remodeling and just prior to reopening, the most resplendent and beloved of all Cliff Houses burned to its foundation. The exquisite building had survived the 1906 earthquake only to succumb to a raging fire that destroyed it in less than two hours.
In 1918, the Cliff House was shut down due to military orders signed by the President of the United States, "all establishments within a half mile of military installations are to halt the sale of liquor."
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area acquired the Cliff House in 1977
The restoration of the Cliff House was a joint undertaking of current owners, Dan and Mary Hountalas and the National Park Service.
How to Get There
Muni Bus Routes:
The Cliff House is a short walk from the following Muni bus routes:
From LaPlaya & Cabrillo: 5 Fulton, 38 Geary, 31 Balboa, 18 46th Avenue
From 48th Avenue & Pt. Lobos: 38 Geary, 38 Geary Limited