The best hotels, hostels, and campgrounds in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
1 of 11Photo by Kodiak Greenwood
Cavallo Point Lodge
On a highway lined with stunning views, this former army base on the Sausalito side of the bridge has some of the best: San Francisco Bay, the city’s skyline, and of course that big orange span. Overnight guests bunk in the historic officers’ quarters or in new units with less character but even wider vistas.142 rooms and suites. $$$$. cavallopoint.comor 888/651-2003.
2 of 11Cheri Larsh Arellano, HI USA
San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Hostel
Despite its name, this hostel sits on top of a hill in Fort Mason, well away from the crowded Wharf. 8 private rooms. $. norcalhostels.org or 415/771-7277.
3 of 11Cheri Larsh Arellano, HI USA
Marin Headlands Hostel
Not just for hearty Euro-backpacker types. Private rooms in these 1907 former military quarters, just 10 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, can house a family of four in comfort. Shared bathrooms. 7 private rooms. $–$$. marinhostel.org or 415/331-2777.
4 of 11Cheri Larsh Arellano, HI USA
Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel
Just beyond the new Tom Lantos Tunnel that links Pacifica with points south, the hostel occupies the former Coast Guard quarters and the historic fog signal building of the 1928 lighthouse. Shared bathrooms. 5 private rooms. $. norcalhostels.org or 650/728-7177.
5 of 11Chris Shelton, courtesy of Green Gulch Farm Zen Center
Lindisfarne Guest House
This hand-built Japanese-meets-Craftsman-style octagonal house at Marin’s Green Gulch Farm Zen Center contains 12 small, simply furnished rooms (shared bath). Rate includes meals. $. sfzc.org or 415/383-3134.
6 of 11Courtesy of Green Gulch Farm Zen Center
Also at Green Gulch, the cottage sleeps four and has a kitchen stocked with cooking equipment and food. Two-night minimum on weekends. $$$. sfzc.org or 415/383-3134.
7 of 11Petra Sell (Via Flickr Creative Commons)
Ocean Park Motel
A room at this 1930s streamline moderne motel gets you in with the wave-riding crowd in San Francisco’s newly hip Outer Sunset District. Dogs welcome for a small surcharge. 24 rooms.$$. oceanparkmotel.com or 415/566-7020.
8 of 11Ebbe Roe Yovino-Smith
Inn at the Presidio
Once, only campers and soldiers could bed down in San Francisco’s Presidio. Now this century-old brick barracks offers 22 comfy rooms in the middle of the park, plus a stand-alone four-bedroom cottage called the Funston House. $$$. innatthepresidio.com or 415/800-7356.
9 of 11David Berry (Via Flickr Creative Commons)
Camping in Gerbode Valley
Hawk is a hike-in, three-site campground in the hills above Gerbode Valley—the shortest route is two miles, from the Tennessee Valley parking lot. No fee. 415/331-1540.
10 of 11Creative Commons photo by 1Flatworld is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Haypress campground’s five campsites are in Tennessee Valley, just three-quarters of a mile’s walk from the parking lot. No fee. 415/331-1540.
11 of 11Creative Commons photo by Angel Ortega is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Kirby Cove Campground
Kirby Cove Campground, just northwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, has four beachside campsites. Open April through October. $25; www.recreation.gov or 877/444-6777.