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Best places to stay:

Last updated: 19 January, 2023
Expert travel writer: Laura Kiniry

If you like it quiet, head to Cavallo Point, surely the area’s most atmospheric hotel. The 142-room property sits in a lovely park setting at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge on the Sausalito side – which translates to amazing views at nearly every turn.

Rooms come in historic and contemporary styles and spread out over modern lodges and several heritage buildings, and there’s a rigorous eco ethos throughout.

One of the Bay Area’s best spas has an impressive selection of wellness offerings that includes integrative medicine services, alternative healing treatments, wellness workshops, and even a tea bar.

The resort also offers an expansive activity roster that includes cooking classes, yoga lessons, and guided hikes – so it’s a great place to hang out and unwind. It is, however, across the Bay from the main sights, so it’s not the most convenient for city sightseeing, though the ferry gets you from Sausalito to Fisherman’s Wharf in 30 minutes.

Surrounding area

Fort Baker served as an army post until the 1990s. Nowadays, the historic green-filled site (which was built around the turn of the 20th century) is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

It’s on the Marin County side of the Bay, and San Francisco’s many diversions are a quick ferry hop or drive (or walk) over the bridge. Also nearby is the very picturesque, quaint waterfront town of Sausalito, where great dining and shopping abound.

While you're there

The Cavallo Point Lodge, 30 mins across the bay in Sausalito, operates one of the best ‘hotel cooking schools’ in the country. If you can, time your visit for one of their excellent classes, often featuring local recipes and the farm-to-table produce that the city is famous for, or one of the summer ‘Oyster experiences’, featuring local bay oysters. Book well ahead – they invariably sell out.

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Key facilities

Airport transfers: Not available
Beach: None
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
Parking: Not available
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Jacuzzi (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito

San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA)[0.6 miles]

Bike it over the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, and stop for lunch in this picturesque hamlet and artistic community. One of the world’s great scenic cycle rides.

Best for ages: 6+ | £20 | 3-4 hours

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Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA)[2 miles]

One of the world’s most famous bridges – a red-hued, 1.75-mile suspension bridge that spans the Golden Gate Strait, where the Pacific Ocean meets San Francisco Bay. San Francisco’s most iconic landmark.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free

Sailing on San Francisco’s harbour

San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA)[3.2 miles]

With spectacular scenery, a breathtaking Bridge, barking sea lions, and rich maritime history, the largest estuary in the U.S. already stands-out as a fine place for a sail.

Best for ages: 8+ | £50 | 1.5-3 hours

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San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA)[5.1 miles]

A mile-and-a-half offshore in the San Francisco Bay, the most notorious escape-proof prison still sends a shiver down the spine. Book in for a tour for fascinating insights into the inmates’ lives and legends.

Best for ages: 8+ | £35

Other worthwhile experiences in this destination if you have the time or the interest, closest first

The Walt Disney Family Museum, operated and funded by the Walt Disney Family Foundation in Presidio Park

Walt Disney Family Museum

San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA)[4.4 miles]

This fascinating museum is dedicated to the life and achievements of the Great Imagineer ‘Walt Disney‘. Interactive galleries feature early drawings and animation, movies, music, and a 12-foot diameter model of Disneyland. The lobby holds 248 awards Walt won during his career, including an honorary Oscar for Snow White and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Best for ages: 6+ | £20

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Irish Coffee drinks being made on the bar counter at the famous Buena Vista cafe where it was invented, near the Powell Hyde cable car line

Buena Vista Cafe

San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA)[6.2 miles]

Hailed as the U.S. home of Irish coffee. Legend has it that in 1952, the cafe’s then-owner Jack Koeppler challenged a well-known travel writer to recreate a drink he’d had at Ireland’s Shannon Airport, and this local landmark has been serving them up (in an endless line along the bar) ever since.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Interior of Legion of Honor Museum

Legion of Honor

San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA)[6.2 miles]

A Beaux Arts replica of Paris’ Legion of Honor Palace of all things, this art museum houses a collection of European and ancient art that spans over 6,000 years of artistic creation. The sister museum to the De Young.

Best for ages: 18+ | £10

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Arcade doll on a slot machine in Musee Mechanique

Musee Mecanique

San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA)[6.4 miles]

This 20th-century museum at Fisherman’s Wharf is stocked with over 300 mechanical (i.e. pre-electronic) carnival and arcade games, like arm wrestling machines and mechanical fortune tellers a la Tom Hanks in Big. Good old fashioned, nostalgic fund for kids and big kids. Open daily.

Best for ages: 6+ | Free

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Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay

San Francisco

California, United States of America (USA)

Beautiful bayside city with home-grown authenticity, charmingly unique neighbourhoods and excellent locally-driven food.

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