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The Land’s End National Recreational Center is within the center of a lively historical landscape. When the Spanish explorers looked out over the land, they named this spot “Point Lobos,” for the many lobos marinos (which means sea lions) that were on the offshore rocks. Visitors can still see shipwrecks at low tide, World War II cruisers, and the ruins of Sutro Baths that highlight this area’s diverse history. Today, the area has winding trails that provide overlooks of the San Francisco coastline, rocky cliffs, shady shrubbery and the Golden Gate Bridge. Wildflowers are abundant in spring time, and both cypress and eucalyptus trees grow along the trail.
Walking the Coastal Trail allows you to be on the very edge of the continent! This vantage point gives visitors the opportunity to look for migrating whales, which could be moving through at any time of year since different species move at varying times. From Point Lobos, Ocean Beach, or Fort Funston Beach, keep an eye out for large humpback whales (reaching up to 50-feet long) breaching and spouting from May to November. Gray whales and orcas may move through the area in winter and spring, and blue whales move through beginning in July. At the northern portion of the park, Mile Rock beach is an interesting secluded cove to visit, adorned with towers of stacked rocks. Just southwest of Mile Rock beach is Seal Rock beach, where strong waves crash against uniquely shaped jagged rocks and cliffs, creating quite a spectacular scene.