Ocean Boulevard from Sutro Heights.

Point Lobos Avenue

Point Lobos Avenue began as a privately owned toll road. It started at the intersection of what is now Geary Boulevard and Presidio Avenue and continued west to the beach.  The road was designed for horse-drawn carriages and omnibuses, and was a favorite racing road for horse drivers.

The road made Lands End accessible to visitors from the inner districts of San Francisco. The Point Lobos Toll Road was a popular ride for visitors and no sight-seeing trip was complete without a ride to the Cliff House.  When other modes of public transportation began to reach Lands End, the toll road went out of favor.  In 1887, the toll booths were removed and the road became a public thoroughfare, renamed Point Lobos Avenue.

As a public road Point Lobos Avenue continued as the main thoroughfare along which the businesses, attractions, and residences of Lands End were located. The small stretch of road running from 48th Avenue down to the Cliff House and Ocean Beach was the site of the main developments in Lands End: the Cliff House, Sutro Baths, and Sutro Heights. It was also the route to Merrie Way, where Sutro’s Pleasure Grounds, the 48th Avenue Train Depot, and Ocean Terrace were located.

The stretch of Point Lobos Avenue between Presidio Avenue and 42nd Avenue was renamed Geary Boulevard, in honor of the Gold Rush-era San Francisco mayor. Today, Point Lobos Avenue begins at 42nd Avenue and runs west, curving down past the Cliff House to Ocean Beach where it turns into the Great Highway. Although many of its 19th and early 20th century attractions and businesses are gone, Point Lobos Avenue still offers plenty opportunities for fun as well as stunning views of the beach, ocean, and a glimpse of the fog shrouded Farallon Islands.  

Learn more about Point Lobos Avenue by exploring the topics below. (The links open Adobe Acrobat pdfs 530 KB or less – Get Adobe Reader)

48th Avenue • Firth Wheel • Louis' • Merrie Way • 

Merrie Way Concessions • Ohlone
ASC Logo