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5 Reasons Why Land’s End is the Most Beautiful Place in San Francisco

5 Reasons Why Land’s End is the Most Beautiful Place in San Francisco

Picture of Sophia Xiao
Updated: 25 April 2017
There’s something irresistible about the City by the Bay. While it has many charms, its main attraction is its seamless integration of nature and the metropolis. For all its urbanity, San Francisco also boasts a breathtaking view of the ocean. One spot that epitomizes its natural beauty is Land’s End, which lies along the northwest corner of San Francisco and and is home to remarkable historical sites and art in the city.

The Coastal Trail

Formerly a rail line, the California Coastal Trail is a 1,200 mile path that winds along the Pacific coastline. Starting from Mexico, it reaches all the way up to Oregon. The portion of the trail in San Francisco is part of Land’s End, and it extends 10.5 miles. The Coastal Trail connects some of the most scenic natural and man-made landscapes in San Francisco.



The trail passes over the Golden Gate Bridge, winds through the Presidio, and snakes along the coastline to the Golden Gate Park and Fort Funston. It offers a gorgeous view of San Francisco’s history, from the Sutro Baths to the sunken ruins of ships that had crashed along the rocky beaches. Perfect for morning walks or bike rides, it is a favorite for locals and tourists alike for its display of the iconic city’s beauty without the hustle and bustle of the crowded streets.


The Sutro Bath Ruins

The Sutro Baths Ruins are located north of Ocean Beach and offer not only a gorgeous view of the coastline, but also direct access to the beach below. The view is most breathtaking during sunset or sunrise, when the rays reflect off of both the ocean and the water left in the ruins. Opened on March 14, 1896 by former mayor of San Francisco Alfred Sutro, the Sutro Baths was the world’s largest indoor swimming pool establishment at its opening.



The Baths contained seven swimming pools at various temperatures and used water from the Pacific Ocean to fill the pools. However, this establishment was not commercially successful, and developers bought and demolished the building to make space for apartments. A fire destroyed the rest of the Sutro Baths in 1966 and the remains became a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation in 1973.

Sutro Baths Ruins, 680 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA


Fort Funston

Fort Funston consists of 200-foot-high bluffs on the westernmost edge of San Francisco. It is a location ideal for hang gliding, hiking and horseback riding. Famous for its sand dunes, Fort Funston harbors the largest remaining dune field in San Francisco. Built in the early 1900s, Fort Funston emphasizes both the history and natural beauty of San Francisco.


<u>Legion of Honor</u><u></u> In 1915, Alma Spreckels, wife of sugar magnate Adolph Spreckels, convinced her husband to build an exact replica of the <a href=””>Palais de la Légion d’Honneur</a> in Paris to house a new art museum in San Francisco. Constructed on a remote site known as Land’s End, the California Palace of the <a href=””>Legion of Honor</a> was completed in 1924 and dedicated to the memory of 3,600 California men who were killed on French battlefields during WWI. Home to one of twenty-two casts of Rodin’s statue <i>The Thinker,</i> a <a href=””>Skinner</a> organ, and a variety of collections from European painting to American and European photography, the Legion of Honor offers pieces that resonate with everyone as well as a panoramic view of the bay. <a href=”,-122.500842,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xb9ffd88c77154d2c?sa=X&ei=ShoRVdTlE9SwogTG2oCIDQ&ved=0CI4BEPwSMBA”>Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave, San Francisco, CA, USA</a><u>Eagle’s Point Labyrinth</u><u></u> Tucked behind the Legion of Honor and at the eastern edge of Land’s End, <a href=””>Eagle’s Point Labyrinth </a>offers the one of the most spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands. Created by artist <a href=”″>Eduardo Aguilera</a> in 2004, the labyrinth itself is constructed of large, smooth stones that form a circular maze on the edge of a small plateau that juts into the bay. It is a place of meditation and relaxation, and it is secluded from the rest of Land’s End. Burnt once and destroyed twice by unknown individuals, Aguilera rebuilt the labyrinth each time. Even today, the labyrinth is waiting to be discovered by hikers and explorers. <a href=”,-122.505852,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x9536fe6d1540ff8a?sa=X&ei=jBoRVayjKYysogSK14HIBg&ved=0CIQBEPwSMA4″>Eagle’s Point Labyrinth, Land’s End Trail San Francisco, CA, USA</a>Sophia Xiao is a native Californian with a passion for art and biology. She loves to travel in her free time. </p>


With the coming of WWII, there was a common fear that San Francisco could become the target of an enemy attack. As a result, military bunkers were built along the coast of the bay to protect the city. While many of these installations are now in ruins, Fort Funston offers a glimpse of the military bases of the past.

Fort Funston, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA


By Sophia Xiao