Fort Baker

After a few days of technical difficulties here on my website (I broke my database, after a clumsy attempt at ‘optimisation’) hopefully things are again stable enough to post some sketches done just before Christmas. 


Julia & I both traveled a lot this year, complete with our share of trip trauma (I caught covid on a visit to my family) so neither of us wanted to fly over the holiday break. However, we did want to celebrate (the various holidays & Julia’s birthday) so another Bay Area StayCay was in order. We decided to make it even less stressful by doing it before the Christmas/New Year rush.

Nestled between Sausalito & the northern base of the Golden Gate Bridge is an ex-military base called FORT BAKER. Like the Presidio in San Francisco, it was decommissioned in the 1990s and has been absorbed into The Golden Gate Recreation Area (managed by the National Parks Service). Similarly to the Presidio, some of Fort Baker’s buildings have been converted into a posh boutique hotel. Cavallo Point: The Lodge At The Golden Gate


We checked in a week before Christmas, and immediately went for a walk through the hotel surrounds. Simply stunning views were literally right at our front door. At the water’s edge is a panoramic sweep that takes in everything from the East Bay to the Golden Gate Bridge. Simply breathtaking. After this general orientation stroll, we returned to the hotel for some complimentary wine, and then dinner at FARLEY, one of the two hotel restaurants. 

The hotel site was a military base in the past, but its future is interesting as well. This exact location will be the 22nd century site of STARFLEET ACADEMY. Confirmation can be found by looking at many Star Trek TV episodes & films, but also on Google Maps!

The plan for the next day was to explore Sausalito, only a few miles away. Unfortunately, it was utterly freezing outside, so we skedaddled to The BARRELHOUSE bar restaurant, where we had a rather excellent late lunch, and decided to cancel our dinner reservation. Returning to the hotel for more free evening vino. 

The next day was thankfully sunny, and we again went to explore the surrounds of the hotel. Walking down by the water we passed a building now occupied by the Coastguard, with their boats moored nearby. Then a stroll under the bridge and up to an overlook near the bridge deck itself. The original idea was to keep hiking all the way up to Battery Spencer, but it was very slow going for doddery old me, and we had some reservations back at the hotel. So we returned back the way we came for a yummy Dinner at SULA, the other hotel restaurant.


The following day was sunny, and we finally went back to Sausalito for a pleasant lunch outside on the water, at The TRIDENT (where our chow was side-eyed by a patient seagull). We had considered visiting the nearby BAY MODEL, a huge hydraulic replica of the entire Bay Area (built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s) but decided to do that some other time. Instead, we simply browsed Sausalito shops before returning to the hotel. Julia had an appointment for a posh massage, followed by relaxing together in the SULA Lounge.

We checked out just before Christmas. After another walk around the hotel grounds, we had a light lunch before heading home. Over the next few days, we enjoyed tidying up our sketches while hiding from the holiday rain. On hearing of people & luggage stranded in airports over Christmas/New Year, we were very grateful to be warm & cosy in our apartment instead.


This is our 3rd staycation. We’ve stayed at both hotels in The Presidio (Inn At The Presidio & Lodge At The Presidio) and enjoyed both immensely. If anything, we enjoyed this StayCay at Cavallo Point even more. Both of us have lived in the Bay Area for decades and we’d never heard of this place before, nor seen any photos of the many spectacular views seen from this spot. We hope to find other such cosy nooks around the Bay Area in future!

24 thoughts on “Fort Baker”

    • Yes, it was pretty great. We often get micro drama when we try to have a holiday (sickness, lost property, crummy lodgings, etc) but dodged all that this time, thankfully.

  1. Annie and have been to many of the same places you mention and then some. Definitely a lovely area to take in. We don’t walk it much anymore and we do miss that. Good on ya with those sketches.

    • Thanks Richard. If we ever go back to that spot I’d like to see more of the trails. I’m just so slow on rough terrain since my 4wheel drive blew out 10 years ago!

  2. James! Love the sketchery! And thanks for reminding us of all the totally groovy highlights found in our local neck of the woods — one of the best hamburgers I ever wolf’d down was at Farley’s. And we always enjoy hanging out in “The Sauce” as (some) (witty) folks call Sausalito.

    • Yes! there are tons of cosy hidey holes around the Bay Area. I really need to keep my ears open! You’d obviously heard of this place already, but I had not. Any more North Bay tips?

  3. Farley’s is perfect for an outside lunch with view. Hiked those trails a lot when JAX was a whipper snapper. Always wanted to stay there and have a posh massage :°)
    Check out the Mountain Home Inn, Green Gulch Zen Centre and The Pelican Inn for beautiful staycations. Happy New Year lovebirds ❤️

  4. I feel like my blood pressure dropped just reading this post. Thanks for the lovely drawings. The way the world just falls into a blue misty while the trees remain a guarding — That feels like my first memories of California. ❤️


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