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10 Reasons to Stay At San Francisco’s Lodge at the Presidio

Located in the heart of a national park that was once a legendary U.S. Army post, the Lodge at the Presidio is an ideal home base for natural and urban adventures in San Francisco. The sister property to the Inn at the Presidio, the 42-room 125-year-old historical lodge opened as a hotel in the summer of 2018 and is the closest hotel to the Golden Gate Bridge. One of 470 structures in the Presidio on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Lodge at the Presidio occupies one of the barracks built between 1895 - 1957 by the U.S. Army to accommodate six artillery companies, a Calvary troop, and two infantry companies. At the Lodge at the Presidio, wake up to the sounds of the fog horn, watch the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge with a glass of wine on the porch, or venture out to nearby attractions. Here are 10 reasons to say at the Lodge at the Presidio:

1. Boutique hotel with social areas

The 3-level lodge includes beautiful areas to relax - a courtyard garden with fire pit, a back porch, a front porch with rocking chairs, a lobby reception, and a large dining room lounge with a fireplace - a perfect spot to work on a laptop, connect with family, or enjoy a leisurely breakfast. Pets and kids are welcome and appreciated.

2. Location, location, location

You may be in the city, but it doesn’t feel like it in the Presidio, surrounded by nature. Steps away from the Lodge is the main green (an old parade field filled with picnics and food trucks on Sundays) and the Presidio Visitor Center that opened in 2017. From the hotel, it’s an easy walk to Chrissy Field beach or the Palace of Fine Arts. The hotel’s complimentary shuttle will take guests to downtown San Francisco and within minutes you have access to North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, and neighborhoods with the best shopping and dining.

3. Room with a view

Besides the dramatic window views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the spacious hotel room and bed, sleep well on a custom-made Pillow Top mattress in an elegant modern clean room spilling with natural light. Some rooms come with views of the forest, the bay, and the city, or a combination thereof. Grand modern bathrooms, 52-inch Samsung Smart flat-screen TVs, and a minibar stocked with local products and Equator coffee are some of the in-room perks.

4. Sunset with unparalleled views of the Golden Gate Bridge

 From the back deck or the fire pit courtyard, sip wine as the sunset blazes directly in front of you with the Golden Gate Bridge backdrop, one of the most photographed bridges on the planet. Kick back in one of the rocking chairs, take in the view, and forget the city is so close by.

5. Evening wine and cheese reception

A generous complimentary wine and cheese (plus charcuterie) extended Happy Hour is provided during your stay and makes a perfect addition to a sunset. The quality of food and wine is exceptional and the scenery amazing.

6. Complimentary breakfast and bikes

Enjoy warm oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, cheese, bread, cereal, and pastries in the open modern living room or outside on the porch. Bikes are a fun way to explore the area.

7. Presidio park exploration

Nature and golf lovers, fitness enthusiasts, rejoice! The Presidio features 24 miles of hiking trails, 25 miles of biking trails, and the 18-hole Presidio Golf Course. There are venues for hosting celebrations and meetings and free public events in this 1,500-acre national park. The park is home to the new 600-seat Presidio Theatre and Presidio Officers’ Club, an award-winning museum and cultural center with a current WWII Japanese American incarceration exhibit.

Jump on a trampoline in a former airplane hangar, bird watch at restored wetlands, or dine at out one of several restaurants like The Commissary in an old Army barracks with a Spanish influenced menu, the Presidio Social Club, and Arguello with MexiCali cuisine and over 120 agave spirits all helmed by a two-time James Beard award-winner. For stunning ocean edge eating, head to the Cliff House Restaurant.

8. Walt Disney Family Museum and Café next door

Next door, the Walt Disney Family Museum deserves a few hours of your time as Mickey Mouse is celebrated with a vast collection of artifacts, images, original artwork, and nostalgic merchandise. Founded by Walt Disney’s eldest daughter, Diane Disney Miller, and opened in 2009, the museum is housed in one of the iconic brick Montgomery Street barracks.

Witness the fascinating story of Mickey’s evolution from an animated character to a cultural icon. Housed in a historical building, Mickey is featured in contemporary interactive galleries, early drawings, and cartoons and movies, plus a spectacular model of Disneyland.

9. Historic elements and original character of the building are preserved

Artisan details and memorabilia can be felt throughout while artwork pays homage to military men at ease and the landscape right outside the door with original art, found objects, and historic photographs. A handcrafted circular art piece comprised of chert and serpentine, stones discovered during the excavation of the building that were used by the Native American Ohlone to create tools and weapons, is on display above the fireplace in the dining room. Large photographic murals in the dining room, the front desk, and several guest rooms feature the Presidio forest, Marin Headlands, and nearby beaches, tempting guests to explore the beauty that awaits outdoors. Watercolors by local artist Lynn Sondag depict hiking trails and points of interest throughout the Presidio. The lobby collage “A Soldier’s Story” is an assemblage of items that a soldier may have collected such as matchbooks, postcards, and a torn playing card, referencing the tradition of tearing the last hand of cards when shipping out for service in the hope of returning one day.

10. Tunnel tops coming soon

In 2020 visitors will be able to meander through the Presidio’s new Tunnel Tops, (over the existing 101 highway) a raised plateau with gardens across from the Lodge. The Tunnel Tops will include 360-degree scenic overlooks, a 3-acre play space, picnic areas, and a drop-in environmental learning center where a ranger will shed light on the area’s history. Designed by the same architect who created New York City’s High Line, the 14-acre park will link the waterfront Crissy Field park with the main grounds of the Presidio for the first time in 80 years.

Melissa Curtin

Written by Melissa Curtin

Melissa Curtin McDavitt is a Los Angeles based writer who left her childhood hometown in Connecticut and a decade in Washington, DC to move to the Wild West. Melissa is the Founder of LaLaScoop, an online hub that shares the beauty and vibrancy of Los Angeles life through a plethora of reviews on the City of Angel’s hottest trends, places, products, and people. As an educator and travel writer, her passion for globetrotting and learning about new cultures was fueled when she traveled around the world at age 20 on Semester at Sea. In 2006 she taught in England thanks to a Fulbright scholarship. Her desire for exploration hasn’t subsided as she truly feels, “To travel is to live.” Her favorite destinations include Myanmar, Tulum, Croatia, Thailand, Formentera Island off of Ibiza, Costa Rica, Krakow, Greece, Sicily, Prague, Belgium, Vietnam, and Morocco. Since 2012 she has been documenting her adventures in print and online.

Read more posts by Melissa Curtin

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