Sitting just north of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach is the famous Cliff House Restaurant. It has a complicated and fascinating history and is currently on its fifth incarnation. The first Cliff House was built in 1853 by one of California’s more colorful Gold Rush characters, Sam Brannan. In the 1956 photo below, you can just see the top and rear of the building, perched above the Sutro Baths (right), another San Francisco legend.
Below is another peek at the Sutro Baths in 1956. The baths were constructed in 1896 and held, among other attractions, six salt-water swimming pools, one fresh-water pool, and a 2700-seat amphitheater. The buildings burned down in 1966, and the ruins continue to be something of a tourist attraction.
Up in the northwest corner of California you can still find the California Redwoods and roadside attractions dating from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Trees of Mystery, in Klamath, California (near the Oregon border) is one of those; it first opened in 1931. The familiar figures of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox have been there since 1946 but have been replaced and repaired a number of times. This 1956 version of Babe is actually still standing, although the head had to be replaced in 2007.