(Oct 15) Museum at the Cliff House Last Hurrah

The Museum at The Cliff’s history gallery in the former Cliff House Gift Shop and special exhibition, Naiad Cove, in the former Cliff House Restaurant are open to the public one final time as we say Bon Voyage to this incredible community creation and sail off into history.

Visitors begin in the history gallery for an overview of what was once here in this area known as Lands End, with stories told through pieces on display from WNP’s Cliff House Collection, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Park Archives collection, and the Global Museum at SF State, which has loaned authentic Egyptian artifacts once collected by Adolph Sutro to The Museum. This provides an overview of the Cliff House and Adolph Sutro, as well as his glass palace, the Sutro Baths, and public gardens at Sutro Heights.

With this context in place, visitors can enjoy the special exhibition. Curated by John Lindsey of The Great Highway gallery and Nicole Meldahl, Executive Director of WNP, Naiad Cove is an immersive experience that instills a deeper sense of place by placing site-specific contemporary artworks in conversation with historic artifacts–both in situ with the landscape that created them.

Enter through San Francisco’s iconic fog to meet old friends from the Cliff House Collection–the porcelain muses, carved wooden bear, and Playland cowboy–who will once again greet visitors at the door. Once inside, guests will experience a simulation of the Sutro Baths mezzanine, where you could once explore a museum, relax with friends, or peer into swimming tanks on the lower level. Walking through the former restaurant’s bar and bistro, you’ll see what it was like to dine at the Cliff House, which was constructed in 1909 but went through several significant transformations as proprietors catered to changing tastes. Then you’ll travel along Great Highway, with a rollercoaster ride and a gallery of contemporary photographs on your way to an area that commemorates the 50th anniversary of Playland at the Beach’s closure in 1972.

Projections by Ben Wood and immersive sound installations by Andrew Roth of Roth Audio Design throughout Naiad Cove transport you to another era, and kid-friendly activities in both the history gallery and special exhibition hall make this fun for the whole family.

There is nothing more powerful than experiencing this history in place and we look forward to hosting you at the Cliff House once again. And we're grateful to District 1 Supervisor Connie Chan and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development for underwriting this exhibition.

It's been an honor to serve you local art and history in this iconic restaurant since October 2021. Thank you all for being part of this incredible happening.

Reserving Tickets

Tickets are not required to visit the history gallery in the former Cliff House Gift Shop. We are now accepting reservations for timed-entry tickets to the immersive Naiad Cove exhibition in the former Cliff House Restaurant. These tickets are free and we recommend you make reservations in advance, although walk-ins are welcome. Please select the date you wish to visit and your preferred 30-minute window for entry. Once you’re inside, you may stay as long as you want but, if you miss your entry time, we may be unable to admit you. Please note that 4:30pm is the last possible entry time to Naiad Cove.

We do maintain wait lists for dates that sell out. Confirmed ticket-holders sometimes cancel their reservations, which means tickets can become available on a first-come, first-served basis through Eventbrite. Those on the wait list will be given priority but visitors can also check the Eventbrite listing for newly-released tickets. All walk-in visitors will be asked to register at the door.

Health and Safety

To visit The Museum at present, we recommend guests wear a pandemic-appropriate mask while indoors although it's not required.

Please note that we reserve the right to refuse entry to visitors at our discretion in order to protect the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and visitors. We also reserve the right to remove visitors if their behavior endangers others or artifacts on display.

Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe!

Access to The Museum at The Cliff

The Museum at The Cliff is ADA accessible. Per Federal guidelines, only service animals are allowed inside The Museum.

There is ample parking available along Point Lobos Avenue in front of The Museum; in parking lots located on either side of Point Lobos Avenue near the Lands End Lookout; and in the parking lot at Ocean Beach along Great Highway.

If driving to The Museum, please do not leave anything visible in your vehicle. There are frequent car break-ins and neither we as proprietors of The Museum nor the Golden Gate National Recreation Area as our landlords are responsible for any damage to or theft of personal property.

If you are taking public transportation, please refer to the SFMTA’s list of Muni Routes & Stops in order to plan your trip.

About Us

Western Neighborhoods Project (WNP) is a 501(c)3 California nonprofit that has preserved, interpreted, and shared the diverse history and culture of San Francisco’s west side since 1999. In support of this work, WNP launched the OpenSFHistory program in 2014 to digitize and make available online thousands of historical images covering all of San Francisco. And in 2021, we became stewards of the Cliff House Project, a website launched by Gary Stark and friends to chronicle all things Cliff House.

Our main offices are located in the Richmond District at 1617 Balboa Street near 17th Avenue. Follow us on Instagram (@outsidelandz / @opensfhistory), Twitter (@outsidelandz / @opensfhistory), and Facebook (Outsidelands) for all the latest news.

We’re the group that saved the Cliff House Collection from auction in March 2021 along with Alexandra Mitchell of ACT Art Conservation LLC and John Lindsey of The Great Highway gallery. Now we’re all best friends! Learn more about this wild ride on Our Website and follow the journey on Instagram (@savethecliffhouseart).

ACT Art Conservation is a fine art studio owned and founded by 4th-generation San Franciscan, Alexandra Mitchell–a fine art Conservator working to protect history and heritage for over 15 years. The Great Highway gallery is located in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset District and founded in 2011 by John Lindsey. The gallery’s mission is to support and promote the work of a diverse group of artists who seek sincere stories, challenge conventional thinking, and enlighten us as they explore the intersection of land and water.


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