If you prefer nature to the traffic, crowds, and sky-scrapers of a big city, this former officers’ quarters, converted to an inn in 2011, was created just for you. Set on over 1,400 acres of coastal dunes, forests, and prairie grasslands, this stately red brick Georgian Revival–style building puts you in the middle of San Francisco’s natural beauty—as well as a flashback to the U.S. Army days when the Presidio played an important role defending the new territories on the West coast. Though Pershing Hall, as the inn was formerly called, is on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s anything but a musty old boys club. Rooms are modern and elegant, featuring high ceilings and original moldings; most are suites with fireplaces; many have views of the bay. At almost 300 square feet, even the basic queen rooms are large by San Francisco hotel standards. Public spaces are warm and inviting; guests enjoy complimentary continental breakfast and an evening wine and cheese reception. The inn has been such a success that in the summer of 2013, Funston House—a Victorian-style home that used to house officers and their families—opened as a four-bedroom cottage that can be rented in part or as a whole by groups or extended families for $220 to $1,000 per night. If you want to see the city sights, the PresidioGo shuttle offers rides downtown on weekdays; Muni buses serve the area daily. Though, with miles of hiking trails just outside the door, a fire pit out back, and rocking chairs on the fporch, you might not make it to Fisherman’s Wharf.
- Erika Lennert