Lands End picture
SawBear\Kenn Navarro/Getty Images

Key Info

680 Point Lobos Ave

Price & Hours

Free
Hours vary by attraction

Details

Beaches, Hiking, Historic Homes/Mansions, Monuments and Memorials, Museums, Sightseeing, Free Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.2

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

One of the top places in San Francisco to catch the sunset, Lands End offers whimsical, winding trails through rocky cliffs. Located in the northwestern corner of San Francisco, the park sits inside of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The park encompasses multiple historic sites, monuments, a golf course, multiple trails and a shoreline labyrinth with excellent views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Past visitors appreciated the historic ruins of the Sutro Baths, which San Franciscans used as a recreational swimming facility from 1898 to 1964. The baths were demolished in 1964, then further destroyed by a fire in 1996, leaving the structure that travelers can visit today. Similarly, the park's iconic Cliff House was destroyed twice by fire, but it was rebuilt each time. Now, the Cliff House offers a space for travelers to enjoy a meal or drink.

The heart of Lands End is the Land End Lookout visitor center, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes exhibits and videos on the nature and cultural history of the area. Entrance to the park and the visitor center are free. Cultural enthusiasts will want to stop by the nearby Legion of Honor museum as well, which houses multiple eras of European art. The Legion of Honor is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Admission costs $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $6 for students and is free for children 17 and younger.

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California Academy of Sciences1 of 26
Golden Gate Bridge2 of 26
Type
Time to Spend
#1 California Academy of Sciences

Attention all traveling families: recent visitors said this is the perfect place to bring kids in San Francisco. The California Academy of Sciences brims with plenty of things to see, including an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum and even a rainforest. 

The Steinhart Aquarium is home to about 40,000 animals representing more than 900 different species, including a penguin colony from Africa, a swamp with an albino alligator, a shark lagoon and a separate 100,000-gallon tank that mirrors the ecosystem of the California coast. Meanwhile, the Osher Rainforest houses 1,600 animals, including 250 free-flying birds and about 100 reptiles and amphibians in its four-story complex. The Morrison Planetarium is known for its 75-foot-diameter screen, which screens "Tour of the Universe" shows daily. And the Kimball Natural History Museum boasts dinosaur fossils, an interactive science exhibit and a unique earthquake simulator. 

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