Are you looking for a luxurious hotel stay near San Francisco?
The Golden Gate Bridge view is among the most spectacular and iconic sites in the world and one of the best place to experience that view is from the Cavallo Point Hotel and Spa.
The luxury lodge offers both historic and contemporary rooms, king beds, fireplaces, and great views!
The entire area is surrounded by the stunning backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, and the Marin Headlands.
What is the history of Cavallo Point Lodge?
The land, also known as Horseshoe Cove, was occupied by the coastal Miwok Indian tribes long before the Golden Gate Bridge was built. In 1866, the US army acquired the land to help fortify the harbor.
The Fort Baker army base was built in the early 1900’s on the stunning 10 acre setting. The army built the 24 buildings for the Coastal Artillery Corps lodging. The structures included modern plumbing, a gymnasium, a bowling alley, and a hospital.
During World War II, the base was used to send the metal mines of TNT out to sea. After the war, the fort became an air defense base deploying anti-aircraft missiles. Much later, between the 1970’s to 1990’s, the fort was used to develop training for the National Guard and Combat Support.
In 1973 the fort was officially made a National Park and was declared a Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places. And in 1995, the fort was transferred to the Golden Gate Recreation Area. All military personnel were gone by 2000. By 2008, the historic buildings were renovated.
The 142 lodgings offer spectacular views, fireplaces, luxury amenities, and excellent service. Half the rooms are restored in the historic style and the other half are modern units built for sustainability. The lodge offers spa treatments, a heated pool and the famous Michelin Star restaurant, Murray Circle.
What are the things to do at Cavallo Point Lodge?
The lodge atmosphere is ideal for staying on the premises and enjoying your cozy room or having cocktails on the giant porches. But if you are in the mood to leave your bed, then…
~ The lodge offers luxurious spa packages that include yoga, massage, and pool access.
~ There are many outdoor actiities as well with excellent hiking trails on the 75,000 acres surrounding Cavallo Point Lodge.
~ The lodge offers complimentary guided hikes on the weekends and also provide maps for self-guided hikes. You can even hire a private guide, if you like!
The popular trails are:
- Slackers Hill Trail
- Fort Baker Trail
- Point Bonita Trail
- Black Sands Beach Trail
- Hawk Hill Trail
- Morning Sun Trail
- Battery Wagner Trail
~ If you would like to ferry to the city, the lodge offers a complimentary shuttle to the San Fransisco and Sausalito terminals.
Where to eat at Cavallo Point Lodge
The Cavallo Point Lodge offers a luxurious vacation with a legendary Michilin Star restaurant, Murray Circle, serving lunch, dinner, and a brunch to die for!
The food at Murray Circle is definitely a highlight of the Cavallo Point experience. The restaurant is described as exclusive, inspired, and sophisticated.
The 601 Murray Circle Restaurant is known for its locally sourced specials and charming atmosphere.
The Farley Bar offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus while the Sula room is for the elegant dinner experience.
You can order the food to be delivered to your room or enjoy the lovely atmosphere of the restaurant, either indoors or out on the porch.
I highly recommend the mushroom appetizer, anything with crab, the salmon, and the eggs benedict! The staff are super respectful and friendly.
Be sure to check the schedule for special festivals and their renowned cooking school opportunities.
Is staying at Cavallo Point Lodge worth it?
As luxury hotels go, The Cavallo Point Lodge isn’t outrageously expensive. I put it in the “spend more because it’s a special occasion” category.
You can pay extra for the contemporary room with a Golden Gate Bridge view. However, proceed with caution because that Golden Gate Bridge view is almost always socked in with fog!
So, the extra cost may be for the foggy view, and the remote setting with a private balcony. I would still say it was worth it!
The bed was divinely comfortable and overlooked the Bay. There are fireplaces in the room and very high ceilings.
Did I mention the bathrobes? I love me a hotel room equipped with oversized terry cloth robes!
And it’s a dog friendly hotel!
The hotel allows up to two dogs per room for a fee, if you’re interested. We saw many guests with their happy dogs running around on the field.
Golden Gate Bridge Fun Facts
~ The architect, Irving Morrow, created the specific color of orange for the bridge.
~ The paint is rust resistant and is easily seen in the dense fog of the Bay.
~ The bridge experienced an earthquake while it was being built in 1935. Construction workers were on the top of the South Tower while it swayed 16 feet side to side!
~ The bridge has been featured in over 24 films.
~ The bridge opened in 1937 and more than 2 billion cars have crossed over since.
~ At the time of its opening the bridge was the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world.
~ Over 300,000 people walked onto the bridge for the 50th anniversary in 1987 and flattened the bridge nearly 7 feet.
~ The bridge took 4 years to build.
~ It is the most photographed bridge in the world.
~ It is named as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
~ It is named for the Golden Gate Strait, the water under it.
~ Even though the Bay water averages just 14 feet deep, the water under the bridge is 360 feet deep.
Things to do in Sausalito
Now that I’ve told you all about Cavallo Point, I better introduce you to Sausalito!
Sausalito is the charming, European-esque town across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. As Bay Area locals, we love to pop into Sausalito for a stroll, shopping, some ice cream, and the views.
Sausalito is known for its gorgeous homes up against the backdrop of Mt. Tamalpais and its views and proximity to the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.
Take a walk along the Bridgeway Promenade and the Sausalito Boardwalk, sit in Gabrielson Park, and find high end boutiques, art galleries, and great restaurants. Enjoy the Plaza Viña Del Mar Fountain while you finish off your ice cream cone from Lapperts.
A must see are the famous houseboat communities. It’s about a 30 – 40 minute walk from downtown Sausalito to the Marinship houseboat neighborhood.
Some 500 floating homes have been a part of this community since the late 1800’s but became the hip, bohemian culture in the 1940 – 60’s for artists, writers, beatniks looking for an alternative lifestyle.
The most famous of the homes, the Taj Mahal houseboat, was affected by storms in 2023, but is reportedly being restored. To find this spot walk to Johnson Street and bear right, looking for a public pier.
These homes are private residences, so be respectful when touring around.
If you’ve got the kids with you, be sure to take them to The Bay Area Discovery Museum. It’s a hands on, indoor/outdoor museum overlooking the bridge and the city. My kids loved the field trips there growing up. Lots to see and do for the whole family!
Now you know where is the best place for the Golden Gate Bridge view!
In a nutshell…
Stay at Cavallo Point and plan on hiking, hanging out in Sausalito and relaxing in your room to look at that one and only Golden Gate Bridge view!