San Francisco Day Trip Photos and Videos: Mission District, Bernal Hill, Sutro Bath, Grace Cathedral

Mission Delores St. Francis of Assisi sculpture by BufanoWe usually like to take the train or BART into the city. On this Saturday we decided to drive in order to take in a couple of different sites around the city. The culmination of which was the 5pm Easter Vigil service at Grace Cathedral

First we stopped in the Mission district to tour Mission Delores, the old building in San Franciso. The history of the Mission Delores and the attached cemetery are great. It is well worth a quick tour. The ceiling of the mission has a unique painted repetitive theme with various colors. There are cutouts in the walls to show what the original building material is and painting. I particularly liked the inset for the holy water. In the mission museum is a sculpture by Bufano, noted artist, of St. Francis of Assisi. He did several sculptures of Assisi, one of which is in Grace Cathedral.

We walked around the Mission district taking in the different architecture, stores and a walk through the park. The Mission district is known for its vibrant and colorful murals. The Mission Delores Park is relative new and a great place for kids and adults. Next we drove to Bernal Hill and took the easy climb to the top for a great view of the city on a sunny clear day.

From there we drove to the Sutro Bath ruins. Part of the remaining Sutro Baths was the location for a scene in the 1971 movie Harold and Maude. Since I am a big fan of the movie, I had to record the place of the anti-war protest scene. Not much has changed in the 40 years since the scene was shot.

We also walked through the tunnel at the ruins. I am not sure what the purpose of the tunnel was, but it might have had to do with maintenance and facilities. They are building a National Park visitors center above the ruins so look for increase tourist traffic in the years to come.

As if we actually did good planning, we made it in time for Easter Vigil at Grace Cathedral. There were about 20 baptisms this afternoon and the service was centered on children. The cathedral has a great welcoming interior with lots of friendly people.

We were fortunate enough to have dinner at Original Joes in North Beach with friend Claudia Nichols of Pilot Health Advocates. Thank you Claudia for holding a table for us on a busy Saturday evening.

  • Claudia Nichols

    Great photos, Kevin. You took advantage of the last of the nice weather for a time. My best to Chris and Walker – strong family explains much of your profligacy!