Somewhere Over the Golden Gate Bridge…awaits a rejuvenating oasis for weary parents.


Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Someday I’ll wish upon a star, and wake up where the clouds are far behind me. Where trouble melts like lemon drops, high above the chimney tops, that’s where you’ll find me…

If you’re like me, there are days as a mom that will have you repeating those lyrics to yourself on a loop as your kids tear around the house like the Wicked Witch of the West. And let’s face it, even on the days when they behave like happy little munchkins, being a parent is exhausting.

My husband and I have found a (temporary) solution that restores our sanity, brings us closer together and—hallelujah—requires no cooking or cleaning. And fortunately, you don’t have to go over the rainbow to get there—just over the Golden Gate Bridge.

The place I’m talking about is Cavallo Point, an award-winning lodge located in the Golden Gate National Park on the grounds of the former Fort Baker military base, just five miles from San Francisco. Open since 2008, it features 142 rooms and suites divided into two categories—historic and contemporary—as well as the acclaimed restaurant Murray Circle (serving French-inspired Northern California cuisine) and an 11,000-square-foot Healing Arts Center & Spa.

We first discovered Cavallo Point as non-overnight guests at one of the frequent weddings that take place there year-round, and we have stayed there several times since, for one or two nights at a time. The beauty of this place is that you can escape there for less than 24 hours and emerge as rejuvenated as you would after a week somewhere else—and without the airport security lines, maintenance delays or other travel headaches that accompany so many getaways. (I don’t think I have ever even used a proper suitcase on our trips to Cavallo—just throw a dinner outfit and some toiletries in a shopping bag and you’re good to go!)

The spa alone is worth the trip, and you don’t need to be a hotel guest to make an appointment; same goes for the restaurant. So if you can’t find someone to watch the kids overnight, you can still enjoy a lovely afternoon massage and a dip in the heated outdoor meditation pool, top it off with a great dinner, and then Uber home in time to relieve the sitter.

But if you can swing an overnight stay, you don’t want to miss out on the in-room fireplaces, spectacular Bay views and blissfully comfortable beds in each guestroom. I know, it’s hard to give up the neon glow of the baby monitor next to your head, or that 2am wakeup call for an “urgent” glass of water, but I think you’ll manage somehow.

I’m writing this post fresh off of our most recent stay at Cavallo Point—a 19-hour getaway to celebrate our anniversary—and I think my toddlers would agree that Mommy has been more energetic, patient and calm all week. (Plus, they spent our night away being cared for by grandparents who share none of my opinions about how much ice cream is reasonable for a 30-pound human to consume.) All in all, our little retreat allowed us to recharge and return to the fray of parenthood with renewed vigor.

I hope you’ll have the opportunity to visit Cavallo Point in person. And if you need a spa buddy, you know who to call.


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