Fort Baker & Cavallo Point
Fort Baker is a historic military post that was founded in 1850, developed during World War II, and active up until the mid 1990’s. (Sorry, I’m such a history nerd!) If you love hikes that involve historical landmarks, you will love the Marin Headlands. Sitting directly North of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, Fort Baker has a beautiful green field where military drills used to take place. It’s lined with picturesque buildings from World War II that were recently renovated for the Cavallo Point Lodge and Spa. You can bike here easily from San Francisco or Sausalito and easily spend half a day here partaking in all of the activities this place offers! It’s beautiful whether it’s sunny or (more often than not) foggy, but I think it’s most magical when the fog is rolling over the ridge and disappearing in colors.
There are plenty of amazing scenes to explore in this area! The hikes are not particularly long but you’ll have walked a good amount after seeing all the sights!
Golden Gate Bridge: You can walk up to a great viewing point beside the Golden Gate Bridge, or even walk underneath it and feel tiny under its looming metal structure. There is also a neat dock with amazing views of downtown SF across the bay.
Murray Circle: This is essentially the road that circles all of the historic buildings. You can walk around the giant field and see all of the beautiful architecture up close. There are fun lawn chairs in the grass and huge trees to wander in.
Battery Yates and the Bay Trail: East of the little harbor you can walk up the hill to Battery Yates. Climb up the stairs and you can see the old bunkers and gun emplacements built in the 1890’s. You can continue walking on this short section of the Bay Trail along the cliff until it joins a dirt road. Follow the new Bay Trail signs right to wooden stairs leading up to paved East Road. There are picnic tables here with a view of Angel Island.
Bay Area Discovery Museum: This is a discovery playland and creative thinking center for children. When I was a little kid growing up in San Francisco, there was no better place on the entire earth than the Discovery Museum. This is an amazing place to go if you have little ones!
Cavallo Point Spa: Ranked #4 top hotel spa in the US by Travel + Leisure, this spa is the real deal. Sophistication and luxury at it’s finest, and in one of the coolest historic settings you could build a spa. Definitely worth checking out!
Farley Bar at Cavallo Point: This is a cocktail bar that’s known as the social heart of Cavallo Point. It has creative cocktails, a small plate menu, fireplaces, big leather chairs, and a bar literally carved from a fallen tree.
Murray Circle Restaurant at Cavallo Point: This is a very nice restaurant in the lodge. Very fancy! Perfect for a special occasion. When you walk into the building it feels like you’ve time-travelled back to the 1930’s.
This is only one of many amazing places to adventure in the Marin Headlands! Stay tuned for more parts of this series to follow :)