Cliff House and Seal Rocks, San Francisco, California, USA about 1892

CLIFF HOUSE AND SEAL ROCKS, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — On the southern side of that beautiful entrance to San Francisco Bay, known as the Golden Gate, stands the Cliff House. As its name indicates, it is located on a cliff rising abruptly from the sea, and the view from its broad, shady piazzas overlooking the apparently boundless ocean is one of which no visitor can ever become weary. At a little distance from the hotel are a few ledges, called the “Seal Rocks,” over which scores of sea-lions may be continually observed climbing up their steep sides, plunging into the waves, and roaring with delight in tones which make themselves distinctly heard above the breaking of the surf. These animals are protected here by the law of the State, and hence are perfectly fearless and natural in their movements. Some of them weigh at least 1,000 pounds, and these are evidently the masters of the herd which claim the sunniest places on the rocks, and hold them by the principle that “might makes right.” The Cliff House is a favorite place of resort, as can be well imagined. In addition to the attractions already mentioned, its restaurant is famous for its excellent cuisine. Behind it are the lovely gardens of Mr. Adolph Sutro, the millionaire, and into these the public is admitted free of charge. Moreover, the drive of six miles hither from the city is one of great beauty, winding through the Golden Gate Park, which comprises more than 1,000 acres, one-half of which are laid out in walks, lawns, flower-beds and driveways. In this charming park is a music-stand, in front of which stands a fine statue of Francis Scott Key, the author of “The Star Spangled Banner.” (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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