Cliff House

Things to do Outer Richmond
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Cliff House
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/kiltron
Camera Obscura at Cliff House

After a fire in 1894, a magnificent, eight-storey Victorian turreted palace replaced the original 1860s house on this site. However, only a year after surviving the 1906 earthquake, the second building also burned. Its subsequent ‘restorations’ involved more demolition and rebuilding; the current, contemporary structure, complete in 2004, includes an upscale restaurant and bar with floor-to-ceiling glass walls that make the most of its breathtaking Pacific views. Public walkways allow the less well-heeled to amble around the building. The whimsical camera obscura, a 19th-century optical marvel, was saved after a public outcry halted its demolition and is still accessible on the walkway; it projects an image of the outside world, including a large stretch of Ocean Beach, on to a giant parabolic screen using mirrors and lenses.

Posted:

Venue name: Cliff House
Contact:
Address: 1090 Point Lobos Ave
San Francisco

Cross street: at the Great Hwy
Opening hours: Bar/restaurant 11:30am–3:30pm, 5–9:30pm daily. Bistro 9am–9:30pm Mon–Sat; 8:30am–9:30pm Sun. Walkways 24hrs daily
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Erin Kuschner

Cliff House is where you take your out of town relatives, friends and loved ones when they come to town, for the sheer beauty of watching the waves crash against the cliff as you scope out the Camera Obscura, walk through the old baths and take in the view.The restaurant is pricy but excellent for special occasions - and the view is well worth stopping by, even if it's just for some tea.