Ocean Beach : San Francisco Neighborhoods

Ocean Beach

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Now: Vast, spectacular, often windy and cold, Ocean Beach is the final border between San Francisco and the Pacific. The memories and ruins of mansions and playgrounds from the past are here like bleached bones sticking up from the sand.

Then: The Victorian Cliff House, Playland at the Beach, Sutro Baths, the statues looking down at the ocean from Sutro Heights, all gone. This place must have been something to see in real life. See related postcards.

How To Get There: The N-Judah goes all the way to Ocean Beach, although it is a long ride. The 5-Fulton Muni bus also goes there from Market Street at McAllister Street, but it's an even longer ride. Parking in the lots along the Great Highway, adjacent to Ocean Beach, is usually possible although warm weekend days can be busy. A great option for parking is to drive to the very end of Geary Boulevard at the edge of Sutro Heights Park. This is not only easy, but gives you the best access to the amazing views from the park and paths that lead down to the beach.


  • Ocean Beach sign, where Balboa Street meets Great Highway

  • Walkway along Ocean Beach at Balboa Street, looking north toward Cliff House

  • Steps leading down from walkway to Ocean Beach

  • Ocean Beach, looking toward Cliff House

  • Playland Memorial Plaque, at the site of the present-day condominiums, near La Playa Street and Cabrillo Streets

  • Condominiums facing Ocean Beach, between Balboa and Fulton Streets, on the site where Playland at the Beach stood

  • Condominiums facing Ocean Beach

  • Great Highway, facing north toward Sutro Heights

  • The Beach Chalet, facing the Great Highway and Pacific Ocean

  • The west edge of Golden Gate Park and Dutch Windmill from Ocean Beach

  • Pacific Ocean from Ocean Beach, near sunset

  • Safeway on La Playa Street, part of the former location of Playland at the Beach

  • Great Highway at Balboa Street, looking toward Sutro Heights and the Cliff House

  • Telescopes on the sidewalk at Ocean Beach

  • Great Highway at Fulton Street, facing the northwest corner of Golden Gate Park

  • Looking south along walkway at Ocean Beach

  • Ocean Beach, below the walkway leading up to the Cliff House

  • Designs in the sand at Ocean Beach

  • The Giant Camera (or Camera Obscura), behind the Cliff House

  • The Cliff House and Great Highway, leading down to Ocean Beach

  • The Cliff House

  • Cowboy Figure, formerly at the Fun-Tier Town area of Playland at the Beach, now on display inside the Cliff House entryway

  • Part of the ledge where the old Cliff House stood, behind the current Cliff House

  • South edge of the ruins of the Sutro Baths

  • Concrete column on the south side of the Sutro Baths

  • Ruins at Sutro Baths

  • Broken support columns for the Sutro Bath structures

  • Sutro Bath ruins, from the north side

  • Above the Sutro Bath ruins, on the north side

  • Straight south view of the Sutro Bath ruins

  • Stairways in the Sutro Bath ruins

  • Looking west toward the Pacific Ocean, past the Sutro Baths

  • Trail leading up toward Point Lobos Avenue from Sutro Baths

  • Exiting the Sutro Baths at Point Lobos Avenue, near the Cliff House

  • Louis' Restaurant at Point Lobos Avenue near the Sutro Baths, just east of the Cliff House

  • Crosswalk at Point Lobos Avenue between Sutro Baths and the parking lot at Sutro Heights Park

  • Entrance to Sutro Heights Park from the parking lot at Point Lobos Avenue

  • Sutro Heights Park

  • Statue of Diana in Sutro Heights Park

  • Lions at the north entrance to Sutro Heights Park

  • Palm Avenue inside Sutro Heights Park, leading north

  • Looking west toward the top of the hill in Sutro Heights Park

  • Inside Sutro Heights Park

  • Parapet at the top of Sutro Heights Park

  • Fire hydrant in Sutro Heights Park

  • Looking south from the steps leading up to the parapet in Sutro Heights Park

  • View south, from the top of the parapet and former site of the Sutro house

  • Along the top of the parapet, where the Sutro house stood

  • Looking down from the top of Sutro Heights Park at ruins of old structures and the ocean below

  • Looking down at the Cliff House from the top of Sutro Heights Park

  • Steps leading down from the west side of the parapet

  • Partial view of Cliff House and Pacific Ocean from the walkway at the parapet bottom

  • Gazebo in Sutro Heights Park

  • South view across Sutro Heights Park from inside the gazebo

  • Rail at the south edge of Sutro Heights Park

  • The south edge of Sutro Heights Park, looking out over Ocean Beach

  • Looking south over Ocean Beach, Golden Gate Park, and the Sunset District, from Sutro Heights Park

  • View of Ocean Beach and the Pacific, from Sutro Heights Park

  • Southern view of Ocean Beach from Sutro Heights Park

  • Ocean Beach and the condominiums where Playland at the Beach once stood

  • Bench at the south edge of Sutro Heights Park

  • Path leading from Sutro Heights Park down to Ocean Beach

  • Stairway leading down to Balboa Street from Sutro Heights Park

  • Steps leading down the hill south of Sutro Heights Park

  • Looking toward Ocean Beach, from the trail leading down from Sutro Heights Park

  • Trail leading down from Sutro Heights Park at Balboa Street