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10 Best Vacations You'll Never Get to Take

        Adventure | Landmarks

6
The Original Cliff House, California
The Cliff House, seen here in 1898, has gone through several incarnations, two of which burned.
The Cliff House, seen here in 1898, has gone through several incarnations, two of which burned.
Buyenlarge/Getty Images

The Cliff House has seen at least three reincarnations of its original structure. Built originally in 1863 from the recycled lumber of a shipwreck, the Cliff House attracted a special crowd from the start. It didn't take long for presidents and wealthy businessmen to escape to the house with a view of Seal Rock.

An early renovation marked a declining reputation. Throughout the 1880s, the Cliff House was gradually seen as a meeting place for low-class visitors. Its reputation deteriorated, becoming a "scandalous" area [source: The Cliff House].

To combat the scandal, a wealthy San Francisco resident named Adolph Sutro bought the property and turned over management to a liquor company. The Cliff House began its resurgence as a clean, high-class restaurant and bath area. Unfortunately, in 1894, the shipwreck lumber succumbed to a fire.

Sutro rebuilt. The new house contained the infamous baths, a restaurant, a gallery, entertainment and private dining rooms. But Sutro rebuilt from wood, and in 1907, the building burned down again.

Sutro's daughter rebuilt with steel. Since then, the Cliff House has survived a massive earthquake. As of 2000, its scenic location on the iconic rock was drawing about 20,000 visitors a week [source: AllBusiness.com]. You can still see the autographed photos from celebrities who visited the original structures.

Nothing remains of the next destination, and no one knows exactly what happened to it.


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