10 Things to do in Sausalito CA – 2024 Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

Welcome

Nestled along the picturesque shores of the San Francisco Bay, Sausalito, CA, is a charming waterfront town that beckons travelers with its unique blend of natural beauty, artistic flair, and laid-back atmosphere. From stunning views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to a vibrant arts scene and delectable dining options, there are endless things to do in Sausalito CA that cater to every visitor’s taste. Whether you’re exploring the quaint boutiques and galleries of the downtown area, embarking on a scenic hike in the nearby Marin Headlands, or savoring fresh seafood at waterfront restaurants, Sausalito offers a delightful escape just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of San Francisco. Discover why this hidden gem is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Golden Gate Bridge:

Essential Information

– Address: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA 94129
– Opening Hours: 24 hours a day
– Fee: None for pedestrians and cyclists, toll for vehicles
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Sightseeing, photography, outdoor enthusiasts

Overview

The Golden Gate Bridge stands as an iconic symbol of San Francisco, attracting visitors from around the world. Spanning the entrance to San Francisco Bay, this engineering marvel offers breathtaking views of the city skyline, Alcatraz Island, and the Pacific Ocean. Its distinctive orange color against the backdrop of the deep blue waters and rolling fog creates a striking visual contrast that is a photographer’s dream.

Whether you’re strolling along the pedestrian walkways or biking across the bridge, the experience is unforgettable. The sheer size and scale of the structure, combined with the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, make it a must-see destination for anyone visiting the Bay Area. So, if you find yourself in San Francisco, don’t miss the opportunity to witness the grandeur of the Golden Gate Bridge and capture memories that will last a lifetime.

Muir Woods National Monument:

Essential Information

– Address: 1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941
– Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Fee: $15 per adult, children under 16 free
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, families

Overview

Muir Woods National Monument is a pristine redwood forest located just a short drive from San Francisco. The towering ancient redwoods, some reaching heights of over 250 feet, create a serene and awe-inspiring atmosphere that is perfect for a peaceful escape from the city. The well-maintained trails offer visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature and witness the grandeur of these majestic trees up close.

Walking through the forest, you’ll feel a sense of tranquility and wonder as you gaze up at the towering giants that have stood for centuries. The peaceful ambiance and fresh, crisp air make Muir Woods a perfect destination for nature lovers and hikers alike. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, the trails cater to all levels of fitness and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Visiting Muir Woods National Monument is not just a nature walk, but a journey back in time to experience the beauty and majesty of one of the last remaining old-growth coastal redwood forests in the world. Don’t miss the chance to explore this natural wonder and create lasting memories in the heart of Northern California’s stunning wilderness.

Sausalito Boardwalk:

Essential Information

– Address: Sausalito Boardwalk, Sausalito, CA
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, couples, nature lovers

Overview

Sausalito Boardwalk in Sausalito, CA, is a must-see destination for those seeking a peaceful escape by the water. With stunning views of the San Francisco skyline and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, this boardwalk offers a serene setting for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing picnic. Visitors can enjoy the gentle sea breeze as they watch sailboats glide across the bay or simply take in the beauty of the surrounding nature.

The Sausalito Boardwalk is an ideal spot for families looking to spend quality time together, couples seeking a romantic setting, or nature lovers wanting to immerse themselves in the tranquil atmosphere. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick getaway or a tourist exploring the Bay Area, a visit to the Sausalito Boardwalk promises a refreshing experience amidst the bustling city life.

Bay Area Discovery Museum:

Essential Information

– Address: 557 McReynolds Rd, Sausalito, CA 94965
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Tuesday-Sunday)
– Fee: $15 for adults, $15 for children (1-17 years old)
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Families with young children

Overview

The Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, CA is a must-see destination for families visiting the San Francisco Bay Area. With its interactive exhibits and engaging activities, this museum offers a fun and educational experience for children of all ages. From exploring the outdoor play areas to participating in hands-on workshops, visitors can enjoy a day filled with creativity and learning. The museum’s focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) concepts ensures that kids can have a blast while also expanding their knowledge in a variety of subjects. Whether you’re a local looking for a weekend outing or a tourist seeking a unique attraction, the Bay Area Discovery Museum is a fantastic choice for a day of family-friendly fun.

Point Bonita Lighthouse:

Essential Information

– Address: Point Bonita Lighthouse, Sausalito, CA
– Opening Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, nature lovers

Overview

Perched on the rugged cliffs of Sausalito, Point Bonita Lighthouse stands as a historic beacon overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean. This iconic landmark offers visitors a glimpse into California’s maritime past and the vital role lighthouses played in guiding ships safely along the coast. The short but scenic hike to reach the lighthouse provides stunning panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the surrounding coastline, making it a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. A visit to Point Bonita Lighthouse is a must for those seeking a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and breathtaking ocean vistas.

Fort Baker:

Essential Information

– Address: 1050 Fort Baker, Sausalito, CA 94965
– Opening Hours: 24/7
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: History buffs, nature lovers, families

Overview

Perched on the northern shores of the San Francisco Bay, Fort Baker stands as a historic gem that beckons visitors to explore its intriguing past. Once a military post, this well-preserved site offers a glimpse into the area’s rich history and strategic significance. From the moment you step foot on its grounds, you are transported back in time to an era of coastal defense and military operations.

The fort’s strategic location provides stunning panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city skyline, making it a prime spot for capturing memorable photos. History enthusiasts will appreciate the well-preserved barracks, gun emplacements, and other military structures that dot the landscape. Nature lovers will also find solace in the surrounding natural beauty, with hiking trails that offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Whether you’re exploring the historic buildings, taking a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, or simply soaking in the breathtaking views, Fort Baker is a must-see destination for anyone looking to delve into the history and natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Marin Headlands:

Essential Information

– Address: Marin Headlands, Sausalito, CA
– Opening Hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 2-4 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, hikers, history buffs

Overview

Marin Headlands in Sausalito, CA is a must-see destination for those seeking a blend of natural beauty and historical significance. With its stunning coastal views and rugged landscapes, Marin Headlands offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Visitors can explore the area’s numerous hiking trails, each offering a unique perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. History enthusiasts will appreciate the military remnants scattered throughout the park, providing a glimpse into the area’s past as a strategic defense post. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat in nature or a chance to delve into local history, Marin Headlands has something to offer every traveler.

Sausalito Art Galleries:

Essential Information

– Address: Sausalito, CA
– Opening Hours: Varies by gallery
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Art enthusiasts and culture seekers

Overview

Sausalito Art Galleries offer a vibrant and diverse art scene that attracts visitors from near and far. With its picturesque waterfront setting and charming atmosphere, Sausalito provides the perfect backdrop for exploring a range of artistic expressions. From contemporary works to traditional pieces, the galleries showcase a mix of local talent and internationally renowned artists. Whether you’re a seasoned art aficionado or simply appreciate creativity, a visit to the Sausalito Art Galleries is a must for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the cultural richness of the area. Take your time strolling through the galleries, soaking in the creativity on display, and perhaps even finding a unique piece to take home as a memento of your visit.

Cavallo Point Lodge:

Essential Information

– Address: 601 Murray Circle, Sausalito, CA 94965
– Opening Hours: 24/7
– Fee: Varies depending on accommodation
– Visit Duration: Half-day to multiple days
– Ideal for: Couples, families, nature enthusiasts

Overview

Perched on the edge of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Cavallo Point Lodge offers a unique blend of luxury and nature that beckons travelers seeking a peaceful retreat just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of San Francisco. The lodge’s historic buildings, once part of a U.S. Army post, have been meticulously restored to provide modern comforts while preserving their storied past.

Guests can unwind in spacious rooms with breathtaking views of the bay or indulge in farm-to-table dining at the acclaimed on-site restaurant. Nature lovers will appreciate the proximity to hiking trails, where they can explore the rugged beauty of the Marin Headlands. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family adventure, Cavallo Point Lodge provides a serene escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.

Sausalito Ferry Terminal:

Essential Information

– Address: 100 Bay Street, Sausalito, CA 94965
– Opening Hours: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm daily
– Fee: Varies depending on destination
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Tourists looking for scenic views and a taste of local life

Overview

Sausalito Ferry Terminal is a bustling hub of activity that offers visitors a unique perspective of the San Francisco Bay Area. With its convenient location just a short ferry ride away from San Francisco, this terminal serves as a gateway to the charming town of Sausalito. The terminal itself is a vibrant place where locals and tourists alike come together to catch a ferry, enjoy a meal at one of the waterfront restaurants, or simply take in the stunning views of the bay and city skyline.

One of the main reasons why Sausalito Ferry Terminal is a must-see place is its picturesque setting. From the terminal, visitors can admire the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the shimmering waters of the bay. The ferry rides themselves are an experience not to be missed, offering a relaxing way to soak in the beauty of the surroundings. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the city, a visit to Sausalito Ferry Terminal is sure to leave you with lasting memories of the Bay Area’s unique charm.

Food and Cuisine

Crab Cioppino

Why is it so special:

Crab Cioppino is a seafood stew that originated in San Francisco but has become a staple in Sausalito as well. This dish is special because of its rich tomato-based broth filled with Dungeness crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, and various other seafood delicacies. The flavors are bold and comforting, making it a perfect dish to enjoy by the waterfront.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic and delicious Crab Cioppino experience, head to Scoma’s Sausalito. This waterfront restaurant is known for its fresh seafood dishes, including their outstanding Crab Cioppino. For a more casual setting, try Fish. Located right on the water, Fish offers a more laid-back atmosphere while still serving up a fantastic Crab Cioppino.

Sausalito Burger

Why is it so special:

The Sausalito Burger is a local favorite that showcases the fresh and vibrant flavors of the area. This burger typically features a juicy beef patty topped with avocado, bacon, and a special sauce that adds a unique twist to the classic burger. The combination of ingredients creates a mouthwatering experience that is sure to satisfy any burger lover.

Where to Try It:

To taste the iconic Sausalito Burger, make your way to Napa Valley Burger Company. This cozy spot offers a variety of gourmet burgers, with the Sausalito Burger being a standout choice. Another great option is Barrel House Tavern, where you can enjoy this delicious burger while taking in stunning views of the bay.

Events and Festivals

Sausalito Art Festival

The Sausalito Art Festival is a renowned annual event that showcases a wide array of art forms including painting, sculpture, photography, and more. Visitors can explore the works of over 260 artists from around the world while enjoying live music performances, gourmet food, and stunning views of the San Francisco Bay. The festival usually takes place over Labor Day weekend and attracts art enthusiasts and collectors from far and wide.

Sausalito Film Festival

The Sausalito Film Festival is a celebration of independent cinema held in the picturesque waterfront town of Sausalito. The festival features a diverse selection of films ranging from documentaries to short films, with a focus on promoting emerging filmmakers and unique storytelling. Attendees can attend screenings, Q&A sessions with directors, and special events throughout the festival.

Sausalito Floating Homes Tour

The Sausalito Floating Homes Tour offers a rare opportunity for visitors to explore the charming houseboat community of Sausalito. Participants can take guided tours of the eclectic floating homes, each with its own unique architecture and design. The tour provides insights into the history of the floating homes and the lifestyle of residents living on the water. This annual event is a must-visit for those interested in alternative living spaces and waterfront living.

Interesting Facts

– Sausalito was once a thriving shipbuilding center during World War II, producing over 24,000 military vessels, including Liberty ships and landing craft.
– The iconic houseboats in Sausalito’s Richardson Bay are home to a vibrant community of artists, writers, and free spirits, creating a unique and colorful living environment.
– Sausalito is known for its picturesque views of the San Francisco skyline, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike seeking stunning vistas of the city by the bay.

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