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Cross the Golden Gate and viola! - SAUSALITO!
So, you just arrived in SFO and saw the Golden Gate, took some pictures when you got down (on the south end) and then decided to cross the bridge...as you walk the bridge, you see a great view of the bay and the city of SFO. ..
But if you go a little further, you will find the small city of Sausalito! This is where you can also rent bikes or just stroll around its many little stores and cafes.
Sausalito, meaning "small willow grove", is a charming little residential community situated at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge and also a well-loved tourist spot for seeing an awesome view of SFO.
Don't miss this town that's so near the Golden Gate Bridge! Go to the other side!
- Family Travel
Sausalito is well known as the setting of many of Danielle Steel's novels. It's situated at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, 20 minutes from San Francisco, and it's a very picturesque small town overlooking the sea, with a marina and a harbour.
You can find here many souvenir shops and art galleries. It's a cute small town, which atracts many visitors and has nice postcard views. A nice place to visit and to get out of San Francisco. I found it very charming and romantic, though a bit touristic.
There is a ferry service from Fisherman's Wharf to Sausalito at Pier 41.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Luxury Travel
We decided to skip the fog and cool temperatures and take the ferry to Sausalito one day. It's amazing how San Francisco is cloaked in fog and the mist falls away as you cross the water near Alcatraz, and head towards Marin County.
If you want to see the Ferry Building as well, just combine it with a trip to Sausalito, as you can catch the Golden Gate Ferry from the Ferry Building. We visited the farmer's market in the morning, had lunch at the Ferry Building, and caught the afternoon ferry to Sausalito.
The main reason to go to Sausalito is to get some sun, and look at art galleries and unique crafts. I would probably categorize it as a girl's side trip, though my husband did find enough to not get bored. I found the shopping was okay though pretty touristy, with some albeit unique shops and galleries thrown in.
One of Sausalito's saving graces is some very nice views if you walk along the waterfront. If you don't find time to go to Sausalito, you are not missing out on a life-changing experience.
Take a ferry boat to Marin County
At the San Francisco Ferry Terminal at Pier 1, you can catch the ferry to Marin County. You may even bring a bicycle on the boat.
The ferry is relaxing and scenic. You can get a beer, glass of wine or snacks at the snack bar.
I take this ferry to and from work almost every work day. If you'd like to commute into work with me, click on this link:
Is Commuting All That Bad?
One of my favorite areas in the Bay Area
Marin County (Sausalito and Tiburon are the most frequented towns for tourists) is definitely worth a trip for tourists visiting San Francisco. It's only 30 minutes away by ferry, and easily accessible by car via the Golden Gate Bridge. Sausalito and Tiburon are beautiful towns surrounded by the San Francisco Bay. They are both extremely affluent, and the houses are beautifully designed. Both towns are very green, the air fresh, and have many beautiful boats docked around them. Sausalito is quaint and charming with its small little shops, and has delightful architecture in their "downtown" area. Tiburon, however, is less touristed - but is equally beautiful. The island part of Tiburon, known as Belvedere-Tiburon, reminds me of Switzerland with its picturesque homes, greenery, and beautiful views of the water. Both towns have excellent views of San Francisco, as they are located directly across the Bay.
Whale Watching !
On the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge is its namesake National Recreational Area. This is a very interesting landscape of mostly treeless hills overlooking the waves of the Pacific Ocean. The area was formerly a WW2 military base used as part of the coastal defense system for San Francisco Harbour. As a result, there are a number of old military buildings down by Rodeo Beach and a network of paved roads and trails weaving through the hills to some of the gun emplacement locations. Due to the unstable nature of the soil in this area, most of the hillside road system is blocked to traffic - leaving it as a very convenient walking route! While we were elevated on the trail, I decided to concentrate on the inshore ocean to see if there were any whales about (since I had seen them in a similar situation while in Nova Scotia, Canada). Sure enough, after a few minutes of eye-balling for disturbances on the water surface, I spotted a spout as a whale surfaced for air (I was glad that I had my bird-watching binoculars with me for a close-up look!). It was not long before we were able to observe the pod making its way slowly north along the shore, coming up for air every few minutes, not far from the surfing activity on Rodeo Beach! It was an unexpected bonus on our hike!
- Family Travel
It was very relaxing to wander around the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean, not far from the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The wild flowers were putting on a great display and kites and hawks were soaring overhead! A great spot to just stroll around at leisure and take in the whole scene from a great vantage point!
- Family Travel
After finishing our day outing in the area of the Golden Gate Bridge, we stopped off in the north-side community of Sausalito to admire its quaint streets, hillside housing and fine views of the city. This photo of the park on its main street was taken as we were walking down to lunch at the Water Street Grille.
- Family Travel
A little paradise in SF bay area.
I went on a ferry trip to Sausalito because I thought the name was beautiful! Sausalito is a very small town with really nice houses, lots of art galleries and shops. I loved it. It hasn't got much to do or see but just being there makes you want to stay there forever.
It's always sunny in Sausalito.
- Sailing and Boating
Sausalito, just across the Golden Gate Bridge
I try to get some good walking in for exercise and San Francisco is the perfect city to walk in. One of my favorite walks is from San Francisco to Sausalito. What I like about this is the scenery, once you get along the waterfront there is lots to see. Crossing the bridge on Foot is the best because you get to take time out to admire the city views, look down towards the water and see just how far it really is.
My particular walk was from City Hall up and down Gough street through the Marina, to the Marina Green, great people watching, lots of people take advantage of the open space at the Marina green to get some exercise. Keep walking through Crissy Field and then up the hill to the parking lot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Pedestrians walk on the right side, bicyclists on the left, when you get to the Marin side there are places to rest and use the facilities. Find the steps that lead down from the parking lot and take you underneath the bridge, this will take you to a parking lot, follow the pavement as it turns to the left and continues down, you will eventuall go underneath the bridge one more time and pass the Coast Guard Station. Follow the signs for Sausalito and enjoy the architecture of the houses hugging the hills of Sausalito. Once you get into town there are many places to grab a bite to eat. You can return to the city by Ferrry or the Golden Gate Transit (BUS)
- Hiking and Walking
Drive to Sausalito
Sausalito is a cute town on the water. It's an easy drive across the Golden Gate Bridge or you can take the Ferry. You can do a little shopping, grab something to eat and catch amazing views of the city across the bay. Bridgeway is a beautiful walk along the water and if you're lucky you can find Bill Dan "the rock guy" balancing rocks into zen sculptures.
My favorite place is called Hamburgers (on Bridgeway) which has the absolute best hamburgers and fries!
There are mostly resaurants and shops geared toward tourists but it's a pretty town. There is something quiet and peaceful about it. And it's usually sunny so it's a good place to get a break from the San Francisco fog.
A nice boat ride
We had heard that Sausalito was a good place to go to, so we decided to go.
We took the ferry across the bay to get there, which was a lovely boat ride across the bay, past Alcatraz. there were tons of black birds who seemed to be roosting ON the water very near to Alcatraz, it was really weird.
There is a part of the ferry ride that becomes quite cold with the wind that comes in from the Golden Gate bridge direction, but once you are past this, its very pleasant indeed. I suppose we could have gone downstairs on the ferry but it was too nice upstairs so I just put my rainjacket on to ward off the wind.
Sausalito itself is a nice town, very picturesque and pretty, but there isn't really a lot to do there once you get there. we had a wander around, and had some lunch in a local fish and chip shop(!) and then got an icecream and came back to get on the ferry again. There are a lot of shops along the main street, but I suppose we weren't reallly in the mood to shop.
When we were queueing to come back onto the boat, there were tons of people with bikes- they had rented the bikes to cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito and were getting the ferry home with us.
When we got onto the ferry, they all parked their bikes in a special bike rack in the middle of the boat, it was a bit strange looking, I wish I'd taken a photo of it!
Beautiful little town just over the Bay. The Blue and Gold Fleet run boats here frequently. Its a little quieter than San Francisco itself and the people there are lovely. Especially the man in the Taffy Shop who told me I could work there if I ever managed to move over permanently. The houses on the hills are so lovely, a perfect place to live if there ever was one!
A Day in Sausalito - Highly Recommended
I would highly recommend a day trip to Sausalito. We visited Sausalito as part of a half day tour along with Muir Woods, through Grayline Tours. We really enjoyed Sausalito but felt that we could have spent the whole day there.
We later found out that you could go on the tour to Muir Woods and Sausalito and then catch a ferry back to San Francisco - giving us more time to spend there. The ferry is an extra $5.00 each one way. Or you could just catch a ferry there and back if you don't fancy Muir Woods.
Threre are lots of lovely shops to visit and plenty of places to eat, some of which have great views across the bay.
If you do book the trip through Grayline Tours (situated at Fisherman's Wharf) there is a hotel pick up and drop off service available on request.
They say that Sausalito has the look-and-feel of a Mediterranean town. I can't confirm this, however, because I haven't been to China...okay, Europe. The Blue and Gold Fleet that operates out of Pier 41 has a ferry that takes you to Sausalito and back (to Fisherman's Wharf). One-way fare in September 2006 is $8.50. The ferry ride is pretty interesting with great views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Once you get to Sausalito, you can visit its various shops and attractions. Personally, I always have an ice cream cone at this restaurant in Hotel Sausalito...then I explore the place and buy the usual tourist stuff.
- Family Travel
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