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Blue in Green in Gold

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If all that glitters is not gold, then in the green and blue hues that surround San Francisco there is much beauty to behold. Untamed mysteries of the sea and rumors of redwoods shape the city's character as much as its celebrated neighborhoods and festive lifestyle. The infamous wind, rain and fog that whip in from the Pacific remind us of a certain wild physical charm just beyond the peninsula's streets and shores.

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Cavallo Point, a brand new lodge looks to be the perfect place to experience San Francisco's greener side. Set within the Golden Gate National Parks at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge near Sausalito, Cavallo Point will be San Francisco Bay's first national park lodge when it opens on June 1, 2008.

The lodge offers a rich vacation experience in a spectacular location that takes advantage of what the San Francisco Bay Area perhaps does and knows best – food, the outdoors and the arts. For example, guests seeking more than a just a standard hotel stay can challenge themselves by engaging with multi-day programs that focus on the Creative and Culinary Arts, and Adventure & Well-Being include activities like hiking, biking, kayaking and a full-service spa.

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And in keeping with the Bay Area's reputation for eco-consciousness, the hotel is “proud that we have been able to create a comfortable and environmentally responsible lodge experience while restoring the historical and cultural significance of Fort Baker.” U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification is pending; the grounds will be restored with more than 58,000 native plants, many raised from seeds collected from the adjacent parklands. Oh so Norcal.

Rooms include some 68 that are restored National Historic Landmark buildings that originally served as officers' quarters. Another 74 rooms and suites have been constructed in new, contemporary buildings of sustainable design that are set on higher ground and capture spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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If all that that isn't enough, and Cavallo Point' inspirational ethos too much to bear, San Francisco's world-class culture and attractions lay just minutes away. One can escape with reckless abandon, and drive back over the bridge for some good old-fashioned decadence and destruction. Just put on your seat belt.

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