Lands End: Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

Lands End runs along the coast between the historic Cliff House and the mouth of the Golden Gate. I visited in 2017 with some cousins who live in the Bay Area. We drove right from the airport to the Lands End Lookout Visitor Center. This center wasn’t here on my previous visits to the bay area and is one of the newer additions to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.


We had lunch in the Lookout Café attached to the NPS visitor center. They had some nice sandwiches, tuna and pasta salads to choose from as well as organic teas. We ate standing at the bar near the window for fear of being attacked by the birds outside.

We’d been fortunate to dine at the Cliff House on a previous visit. Established in 1858, the Cliff House survived two fires, but not the pandemic. The NPS and the restaurant owners failed to reach a new contract agreement and the doors closed permanently in December 2020.

After lunch, we stopped in the visitor’s center to peruse the displays. Then we walked the trail from the Sutro Baths to Land’s End. The foundation is all that remains of the Sutro Baths, a saltwater swimming complex built in 1896. The bathhouse burned down in 1966.

The trail is an easy one along the coast with great views of the Golden Gate bridge, sailboats, marine life, etc… You can almost forget you’re within city limits except for the litter and graffiti here and there. Also, beware of leaving valuables visible in your car…there are signs posted in the lot warning of frequent break-ins.

Location: 680 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121
Designation: National Recreation Area
Date designated/established: October 27, 1972
Date of my visit: August 30, 2017