What’s Best: An active cove with a fishing pier, Coast Guard Station, and children’s museum, all in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Parking:From Hwy. 101 north, take the last Sausalito exit after coming down the grade from Waldo Tunnel. Turn right at stop sign toward Sausalito and loop under freeway. Now headed downhill on Alexander Ave, turn left toward GGNRA. Turn right before entering light-metered tunnel, on Bunker Rd. Follow Bunker Rd. to bottom, and park near pier. From Hwy. 101 south, take the Sausalito-Alexander Ave. exit just north of the bridge. Turn left toward GGNRA and East Fort Baker and follow directions above. Agency: Golden Gate National Recreation Area
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Horseshoe Bay hosts Fort Baker’s 46 historic buildings. Begin with a stroll out the fishing and crabbing pier, the end of which offers a point-blank look at the Golden Gate Bridge rising above the lighthouse at Lime Point. In the 1850s, the Army detonated 25 tons of gunpowder inland from Lime Point its largest blasting operation then to date with plans to construct a brickwork fort similar to Fort Point across the strait. Although it was never constructed, the
Army’s efforts weren’t totally wasted, since some of the earth removal was helpful in constructing the big bridge some 80 years later. Head around the interior of Horseshoe Bay, part of the Bay Trail, past the Coast Guard Station to the Presidio Yacht Club, where you can walk onto a jetty. Beyond and above the yacht club is Cavallo Point, site of Battery Yates and, farther inland, Battery Cavallo. These low-slung emplacements afford big views across the bay to the city.
The Bay Area Discovery Museum, designed for children 10 and younger, is located within and around a half-dozen wood-frame former military barracks, set on 7.5 acres. They have been converted to an interactive learning center and inventive playground. Art, science and multimedia play centers give kids a hands-on good time. The lovely grounds are often abuzz with active toddlers amid a traffic jam of strollers. Note: A healthy admission fee is charged; yearly passes available for up to four persons.
BIKE: Fort Baker is the scenic, relatively traffic-free way to get from above Sausalito to the Golden Gate Bridge. After climbing out of Sausalito on Alexander Avenue, veer left on Baker Road and glide down to Horseshoe Bay. Stay to your right along the water through Fort and head up Conzelman Road, pumping up from the base of the towers to the bridge’s roadway.