The address is Sausalito, but tucked away into the Marin Headlands a mile from town, Cavallo Point Lodge isn't the tourist strip you know. Honeymooners and other celebratory types have discovered this place, a renovated Fort Baker outpost just north of the Golden Gate (601 Murray Circle at Kober, Sausalito). But it's managed to retain a secret-hideaway feel, at least for now. The lodge has a knack of feeling farther away than it is, no small point in a climate that values both escape and accessibility (see staycation). The good news? You don't have to stay at the lodge to breathe its rarified air.
Bike over the bridge and stop in for lunch -- the dining room, Murray Circle, is open to the public. Or stop in for a drink at Farley Bar (yep, named for the beloved comic strip by local Phil Frank) and sit out traffic on your way back from Wine Country or some other jaunt up Highway 101. Public spaces are front and center, situated in gorgeously restored former military buildings (think tin ceilings, wood-slat floors, and big porches with rocking chairs) with views of the city and the bay.
Or get your art on and ask for a tour of the photography collection, which includes rare images by Imogen Cunningham and fascinating pieces by Gregory Colbert that juxtapose humans and animals in unusual ways. You could spend the day learning knife skills or fish-cooking techniques at the cooking school. Or have a spa moment at the outdoor heated meditation pool. Less than 10 miles from downtown S.F., you can totally lose yourself.