Who’s up for a swim? Well, back in 1896, the Sutro Baths was the place to be for the water-inclined among us. But now, the ruins are all that’s left of this once popular and vibrant bath house.

The baths are located out near the northwestern tip of the San Francisco peninsula, nestled at the bottom of a large beach inlet.

When you first lay eyes on the ruins, it’s from the top looking down. The view is as beautiful as it is bizarre. Looking at pictures of the facility back in it’s hay day, it’s hard to imagine this vibrant glass house enclosing happy kids and families swimming around having the times of their lives.

allison at sutro baths san francisco

During high tide, ocean water would literally spill over into the baths, filling the pools. During low tide, there was a powerful turbine pump that would send 6,000 gallons a minute into the baths. At the time, it was the world’s largest indoor swimming facility.

The baths were officially closed down in the 60’s. Ironically, the facility burned down in 1966. Luckily it had been officially closed down shortly before catching fire.

If you’re visiting San Francisco, do yourself a favor and take a trip to the Sutro Baths. The area is free and open to the public and there weren’t many roped off areas so you’re free to explore the bulk of the ruins.