Best Evening Picnic Spot - 2007
Everybody loves ruins. They're romantic and eerie, and imaginations feed on the remnants to reconstruct the places and lives of yesteryear. San Francisco is too young a city to be rich in ruins, but we do have what's left of the Sutro Baths. The deluxe public bath house opened in 1896, and housed seven swimming pools under a huge vault. It was a last burst of Victorian grandeur that struggled to survive in the 20th century, and eventually burnt down in 1966. Today, the National Park Service owns the land, and it's a playground of rusting pipes and rotting concrete foundations. On a warmish evening, it's a lovely place to be. Bring picnic supplies and settle down on a concrete shelf above a shallow pool, and you can watch the sun sink down into the ocean waves. Be careful if you bring a date, though, it's the kind of place that encourages spontaneous marriage proposals.