Best of the Bay 2013: BEST EYE ON THE OCEAN

Pub date October 15, 2013

Perched above Sutro Baths near Ocean Beach, on a cliff whose face always seems to be exploding with colorful blooms, the exceedingly graceful 4,050 sq. ft. National Park Service visitor center at Point Lobos known as Lands End Lookout is one of our new favorite places in the world. (Although it’s closed as of this writing due to the government shutdown, boo.) Opened earlier this year, it contains a smart little cafe, oodles of info on the area’s environmental features, wildlife, and historical hot spots, and a nature-loving staff. Most people will come here at a starting point of an energizing down to the or through the surrounding hills. But the low and angular yet surprisingly capacious design of the Lookout itself, by EHDD, fits so perfectly into its Point Lobos surroundings (and puts further to shame the industrial barn-like Cliff House next door) that you may find yourself lingering beyond a cappuccino to enjoy the light and light-filled space, waves frothing on the rocks far below.