After arriving in San Francisco, the family spent a week seeing the sights and staying in a hotel near the harbor. Most likely they stayed at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on Spear Street between Mission and Howard, a popular place for tourists not far from San Francisco Bay.
Helen later recalled that they visited Seal Rock and the Golden Gate Park. In the 1860's, people in San Francisco had felt the need for a spacious city park similar to Central Park in New York. Work on California's Golden Gate Park was just beginning in 1871.
The view from the Cliff House provided a glimpse of Seal Rock from the site of what would become a grand urban park on the outskirts of the city being carved out of sand and shore dunes. Laura and Prescott were seeing history in the making.