You don’t have to drop a load of benjamins to enjoy the grounds at the upscale, yet understated, Cavallo Point Lodge, the tastefully restored reincarnation of historic Fort Baker. Anyone can enjoy brunch or a drink on the wide-open veranda overlooking the complex’s grassy, sprawling parade ground. The site is literally around the corner from the Golden Gate Bridge, so it’s easy to get there by bike—a short, sweet, and classic way to appreciate the Bay Area’s iconic wonders. Start the ride at Crissy Field, cross the Golden Gate, and descend Alexander Avenue, following signs to Fort Baker. When you arrive, head for the Muir Building, home to the wonderfully woody Farley Bar and the elegant Murray Circle Restaurant. The best seats in the house are the veranda’s soft-cushioned rocking chairs. Weekend brunch serves up farm fresh comfort food including steak and eggs, house made granola and fruit, and ciabatta French toast. (Prices are reasonable, too). Or just order the mint julep refresher. Either way, you’ll likely want to stay a while and savor the tranquility and the views of the bay, the Golden Gate, and the city skyline beyond. This Northern Belle is an original.