Obscura Society SF: Explore Sutro's Silver City with John Martini - Atlas Obscura
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San Francisco, California

Obscura Society SF: Explore Sutro's Silver City with John Martini

Explore the legacy of Comstock millionaire Adolph Sutro's elaborate play land at the city's edge

In the second half of the 19th century, German immigrant Adolph Sutro used his fortune gained in the silver mines of Nevada to transform the city's western edge. We'll explore what remains from the Cliff House's most famous gingerbread incarnation to his private residence on the heights and his gift to the city: the spectacular, glass topped saltwater baths, now laying in ruins.

Join us for a historian-led one-mile loop walk starting at the Lands End Lookout visitor center and covering Sutro Baths, Lands End, the Golden Gate overlook, and Sutro Heights. Along the way we’ll see the remains of two oil tankers that wrecked near Mile Rock in the 20th century, and follow the abandoned right-of-way of the legendary steam train that wound its way around Lands End. We’ll finish at Sutro Heights for lunch, his the once-lavish estate grounds.

Guiding us on our exploration will be retired National Parks Ranger, historian, historical preservationist, author and lecturer John A. Martini. Mr. Martini is a 4th generation San Franciscan and has worked across the American West but his professional focus is primarily on this incredible city we call home.


  • Date: Saturday, March 8, 10am-11:30
  • Tour starts promptly at 10. Please allow time for parking
  • Meet at the Land's End Visitor Center: 680 Point Lobos Avenue, San Francisco
  • Wear comfortable shoes for walking, and dress in layers suitable for the changeable weather at the coast
  • This is a walking tour, including some uneven terrain, and may not be suitable for people with mobility issues
  • Parking is available at the Land's End Visitor Center or Ocean Beach

Space is limited. Advance tickets recommended