Cliff HouseBoth the Cliff House and the nearby Sutro Baths Ruins are featured San Francisco landmarks in the mystery novel Nine Lives Last Forever.

The current rendition of the Cliff House, pictured left and below, is a square, bunker-like structure, nestled against the side of a cliff beneath Sutro Heights. An earlier version of the Cliff House, built in the late 1800's by mining millionaire and one-time San Francisco mayor, Adolph Sutro, had a far grander design.

Cliff HouseFrom Nine Lives Last Forever, chapter 12:

"(Sutro's) Cliff House was styled as a fanciful, eight-story French castle. The towering building's foundation exceeded the horizontal space provided by the rocks beneath it, so that it appeared to hang dangerously off of the side of the cliff. From a distance, it looked as if the whole structure might fall into the ocean at any moment. Inside, the glamorous establishment provided fine dining for both the high society who arrived at Lands End in horse drawn carriages as well as the swimmers who walked up from the Baths."

During its hey day, the Cliff House was visited by several famous and noteworthy figures, including a young, San Francisco newspaper columnist named Mark Twain. Twain memorialized his experience in the humorous essay, Early Rising as Regards Excursions to the Cliff House.

The modern day Cliff House features a bistro on the top floor, serving breakfast and lunch, and a fine-dining restaurant on the lower level. Both establishments boast an jaw-dropping view of the Pacific Ocean.

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