Perfectly arranged on a secure little bay harbor, seaside Sausalito certainly isn’t short on charm. Set across the bay and to the north of San Francisco, Sausalito's small settlement of hillside homes tumbles neatly into a lively downtown area featuring a mix of art galleries and small boutique shops set alongside restaurants often serving fresh seafood. Strolling along the waterfront, visitors will find a number of spots to stop for lunch or coffee, a unique houseboat community, and views of the city and the San Francisco Bay.
Sausalito is a popular day trip from San Francisco, accessible by boat, bicycle, and car. It can be visited as part of a half- or full-day tour, with many also taking in Alcatraz or other Marin County highlights including Muir Woods National Monument. A number of bay cruises run past Sausalito or allow for free time here, while the ferry ride across the water is often rated as one of the most scenic in the world (the ferry pier is in the heart of downtown, so you'll be right in the middle of everything if arriving by water). A San Francisco city sightseeing tour can be paired with a drive or bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito, a highlight of any visit to the Bay Area.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A journey across the bay on the Sausalito ferry takes about 30 minutes.
- Dress in layers, as winds and fog can bring wind, fog, and cool temperatures on the bay.
- Be sure to check out the San Francisco skyline from Sausalito for beautiful views.
- If crossing the bay by road, don't miss the Golden Gate Bridge vista point in the Marin Headlands just across the bridge.
How to Get There
Sausalito is set in Marin County, just north of San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge. Public transport via the Golden Gate Transit bus or Golden Gate Ferries runs on a regular basis, with ferries departing frequently from the San Francisco Ferry Building and offering views of the city skyline, Angel Island, and the coast. Drive can take the first exit off the bridge, Alexander Drive. Free and paid parking is available downtown.
When to Get There
Sausalito boasts a mild climate and is lovely year-round. Temperatures rarely break 70°F (21°C), even in summer, while winter weather tends to hover around 60°F (15°C). Most restaurants and shops are open from 10am to 5pm or so. Stick around at sunset to see the bay and San Francisco skyline surrounded by a pink and orange sky.