Field of Dreams (build it and they will come) chronicled by film footage produced by Thomas Alva Edison in 1902? Add in amazing views of another engineering wonder The Golden Gate Bridge, with a few seals along the way, and you get a Must Experience, ½ day destination, while visiting San Francisco!
What remains of the 1896 construction of the Sutro Baths, adjacent to the Cliff House restaurant, is only a foundation outline of the original bath site. Part of the Land’s End Trail is along the old locomotive and electric streetcar line which extended from near the Presidio out to the Sutro Baths. This is more a Rod Serling, “Imagine If You Will” experience, contemplating the bold mankind quests around the end of the 19th Century to develop such sizeable public attractions on very rugged terrain. Amazingly still preserved over 100 years later, in the 21st Century, is this trail to allow your own imagination to run wild about earlier era’s while enjoying the stunning vistas along the “end of land” framing the mouth of the Golden Gate! There is a wow factor to be had during this excursion!
Land’s End Trail: Walk from the Legion of Honor towards the City along El Camino Del Mar. Circle around the Lincoln Park Par 3, 17th Hole green for the trailhead entrance to maximize your viewing pleasure. The Trail offers fabulous vistas, educational placards about Sutro and the locomotive/electric car line, an opportunity to visit the USS SF Memorial, then a descent to the bath ruins (walk through the tunnel/cave), a stop at the Land’s End Visitor Center (great photo and film history), a pass-right-by Louis Restaurant (not recommended), a look inside The Cliff House or possibly enjoy a refreshment/ appetizer/ lunch in the Sutro Dining Room (preferred), then catch the bus back to the Legion of Honor or per below continue on to Golden Gate Park! http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5633868 (shows elevation drop = 435 ft to 16 ft)
Strategy = Use the Legion of Honor as your start/finish point: One, you may really enjoy touring the art and exhibits (features a wonderful collection by Rodin (personal favorite)) before hiking the trail. Two, heading FROM the Legion of Honor to the Cliff House offers a somewhat easier “downhill” terrain concluding after a short stroll along Ocean Beach to catch a 18-46th Avenue Inbound Muni bus return ($2 without a Muni pass, terminus Legion of Honor) at the Safeway corner of Cabrillo & La Playa (cross Great Highway, behind first row of houses). Three, parking at the Legion of Honor is Free! Weekdays should present little problem finding a space, weekends will require some parking Karma. Without a car, find your way to the Legion of Honor using 511.org http://tripplanner.transit.511.org/mtc/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2?language=en and monitor the bus arrival times using www.nextmuni.com. Also, best without a car, you can continue further down Ocean Avenue and head back to the City via Golden Gate Park. Personally I would jump on Bus 5 along Fulton Street (http://goo.gl/maps/lpkIl) and rent a bike at Golden Gate Park Bike & Skate for 1-2 hours before touring the various museums, gardens and science attractions. Checkout http://www.sfcityguides.org/current_schedule.html to see if a Sutro Heights, Japanese Tea Garden or Golden Gate Park walking tour fits your schedule as well!
Also, there are many terrific ethnic restaurants along Clement/Geary Streets to enjoy lunch before heading to the Legion of Honor. By scheduling the Trail Hike for after lunch, if there is morning fog, then there is a better chance it will burn off for better views in the early afternoon!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.