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Sausalito

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The waterfront in Sausalito

Sausalito [1] is in California, across the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco. Sausalito is a unique and picturesque community, perched on a hillside between the San Francisco Bay and the Marin Headlands.

Get in

By air

Sausalito proper has no airports, instead use one of the three bay area airports: San Francisco, Oakland, or San Jose. From there you can get to Sausalito.

By car

Sausalito is just over the Golden Gate Bridge (US 101) from San Francisco. Just take the first exit (Alexander Avenue) after crossing the bridge and follow it into town. If coming from the north, exit at the sign marked from Sausalito, turn left, and make your way down Bridgeway into town.

By ferry

Two ferry companies serve Sausalito:

  • Blue & Gold Fleet, +1 415 705-8200, [2]. Offers ferry service to/from Pier 41 in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. It is a 30-35 minute trip. Adults $11 one-way, children $6.75 one-way.
  • Golden Gate Ferries, +1 415 923-2000, [3]. Offers ferry service to/from the historic Ferry Building in San Francisco's Financial District. It is a 25 minute trip. Adults $7.85 one-way, seniors/youth $3.90 one-way.

By bike

A very popular cycle for tourists to San Francisco is to hire a bike, cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge, and then down into Sausalito. Planning this the previous day will make sure you arrive in Sausalito in time for brunch. If worn out from the ride, you can catch the ferry back to San Francisco; the ferries have lots of capacity to carry bikes. A map of the route is available from most bike hire places in San Francisco.

Get around

Most of the frequently visited waterfront area can be seen on foot and are within easy walking distance from the ferry landing. Make sure to head north on your walk along Bridgeway to Caledonia Street - it's full of great stores, restaurants, cafes and art studios.

Sausalito is also an easy town to bike in. A favorite local ride is to Sam's Restaurant in Tiburon for lunch or drinks on the huge (and very entertaining!) outdoor deck. It always seems to be sunny there, so bring your hat and sunscreen. Another not to be missed ride is from Sausalito to Mill Valley (hit the Depot for a great lunch) and on up any bike trail on Mt. Tamalpais.

  • Sausalito Mountain Bike Rental, 803 Bridgeway, +1 415 331-4448.

See

Downtown Sausalito
  • San Francisco Bay Model, 2100 Bridgeway, +1 415 332-3871, [4]. Currently closed for renovations. Free.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Road, +1 415 339-3900, [5]. Tu-F 9AM-4PM, Sa-Su 10AM-5PM. Hands-on childrens' museum. $8.50/$7.70.

Do

  • Artwalk. Every 2nd Wednesday of the month you can tour art studios and galleries along Bridgeway.
  • Captain Kirk's San Francisco Sailing, +1 650 492-0681, [6].
  • Harbor Dive Center, 200 Harbor Drive (off Bridgeway), +1 415 331-0904, [7].
  • Segway Tour, +1 415 474-3130, toll-free +1 877 474-3130, [8]. Tours the Sausalito area on Segways. Reservations required.
  • Sausalito Art Festival, [9]. Labor Day weekend.

Buy

For a directory of local art galleries, see [10].

  • Butterflute Studios, 2350 Marinship Way (Arques Shipyard at the end of Road 3 off of Harbor Drive), 415.332.6608, [11]. 9-5. Art studio of Victoria Colella. Visit the last artist's studio of it's kind on the Sausalito waterfront and see Victoria's illustrious Folk Art Collection. By appointment only.
  • Five Star Station 33 Caledonia Street, +1 415 331-5055. A very eclectic shop filled with a range of historical hard to find and interesting pieces. A great place to buy great gifts or get your mind going for finding great gifts. Really fun shopping.
  • John Wilmer Studio 333 Caledonia Street Suite B, +1 415 331-3037. John has an ever changing selection of fine furniture and collectibles on display in his workshop, as well as incredible paintings and photography in his gallery area.
  • Sausalito Artists Open Studios, [12]. The largest location of local artists & galleries under one roof in Sausalito.
  • Studio 333 333 Caledonia Street Suite A, +1 415 331-8272. A hip gallery that offers a collection of work from over 25 local artists, including great furniture.
  • Valhalla Signworks-Boat Lettering, Etc., 2350 Marinship Way (Arques Shipyard at end of Road 3 off Harbor Drive), +1 415 332-6608, [13]. 9-5. Nautical sign specialist, with traditional signage on the waterfront. Carving, gilding, hand painted, custom vinyl designs available.
  • Sausalito Wooden Boat Tour (Nautical History Tours and Treasure Hunts), PO Box 124, 4153326608, [14]. 3. In depth insider's tour of the historic Sausalito waterfront inculdes Historic Houseboats, WWII shipyards, Art Studios, Wooden Boat Center. Refreshements served at the end of the tour in the boat lettering shop next to the WWII shipways. Every Weekend. Call To Reserve. $50.


Eat

Sausalito is blessed with more fine restaurants than a town of 7,000 people should have. Whatever you're looking to eat, Sausalito probably has a restaurant serving it up. Beware the 'touristy' district, however. While there are a few genuinely good restaurants, there are also a fair number of establishments catering basic grub to tourists.

  • Angelinos, Italian, home-made pasta.
  • Arawan, 47 Caledonia St, Phone: +1 415 332-0882. Serving Thai cuisine.
  • Avatar's, Top-rated Indian-Mexican fusion cuisine. Sounds weird, but has a fanatical following.
  • Cat N' Fiddle, has now closed and the building is for lease.
  • Fish, 350 Harbor Dr., Phone: +1 415 331-3474, [15]. Excellent, very fresh, and well-prepared seafood. Fish is best enjoyed on a sunny day, al fresco on the large deck overlooking a fishing harbor on the north side of town. Despite being off the beaten path, Fish is always crowded on nice days. Cash only.
  • Fred's Coffee Shop, 1917 Bridgeway, Phone: +1 415 332-4575. Fred's is a Sausalito institution. Fred's has only 6 tables, each seating 4-6 people. You're most likely to be seated with others at 'your' table, which often leads to interesting conversations. One table at Fred's has a brass plaque reading "Stamtisch" which means regular's table. Anyone can sit there if a chair is free. For breakfast, the Fred's French toast is pretty amazing. For those who prefer something a little more spicy, ask for the "Coyote Special", which is a cheese omlette covered with chili.
  • Lighthouse Cafe, Like Fred's, but less crazed and hectic.
  • Poggio Trattoria, 777 Bridgeway, Toll free: 800-288-0502 ext. 8217, Phone: +1 415 332-0502, [16]. Founded by one of the creators of Il Fornaio "back when Il Fornaio was small and intimate), it is an upscale version and really special. All dishes are prepared with care and sauces have the deep, rich flavorful tastes. Menu changes a lot daily.
  • Sartaj, 43 Caledonia St., Phone: +1 415 332-7103. A hole-in-the-wall, with the very little ambiance but delicious traditional Indian food served up by mom, Balbir, who goes from stove to counter in her apron.
  • Spinnaker, Fabulous bay views, seafood.
  • Sushi Ran, 107 Caledonia St, Phone: +1 415 332-3620, [17]. One of the best sushi restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area, Sushi Ran serves up incredibly good and fresh sushi and modern Japanese cuisine. Received a Michelin star in October 2006.

Drink

Coffee

  • Caffe DiVino, 37 Caledonia Street, Phone: +1 415 331-9355. Sidewalk Cafe, Art Shows, Live Jazz Music, Locals. * Poggio, Bridgeway. Sidewalk Fine Dining, fresh pasta on a menu that changes every day; does great Coffee.
  • Starbucks, Princess Street. Coffee as you know it from any other city anywhere.
  • Taste of Rome (formerly Caffe Trieste), 1000 Bridgeway. Always comes to mind for great San Francisco Bay Area Coffee, this is the Sausalito branch. Classic Bicycle rider destination. Internet WIFI, Live Jazz Music, Art Shows, Sidewalk Tables.

Sleep

  • Casa Madrona, 801 Bridgeway, Phone: +1 415 354-8335. The modern rooms are quiet, classy, comfortable and chic located in the heart of downtown Sausalito. The older part of the hotel dates back to the 1880's and has some "dream" rooms with fabulous views, and others where you have to climb many stairs to get there.
  • The Gables Inn, 62 Princess Street, Phone: +1 415 289-1100 or 800.966.1554. Originally built in 1869, this is Sausalito's finest historic bed and breakfast, boasting nine distinctively elegant rooms - many with king beds, fireplaces, spa tubs, and skyline bay views.
  • Inn Above Tide, 30 El Portal, Phone: +1 415 332-9535 Reservations: 800.893.8433 This is a very high-end boutique hotel on the water with unbelievable views. Ideally located in the heart of the village, The Inn Above Tide is a short walk to Sausalito's galleries, restaurants, and shops, and the ferry boat to San Francisco's many attractions.
  • Cavallo Point, The Lodge at the Golden Gate, 601 Murray Circle, +1 415 339-4700 or +1 888 651-2003, [18]. Originally an Army base called Fort Baker, this late 1800's base was decommissioned, given to the National Park Service, and commissioned as a hotel. Amenities include fine dining and a spa. Great location for views, right below and to the east of the Golden Gate Bridge. Has some rooms where walking and stair-climbing are required. No room service.

Get out

  • Hike to the ridge. Ask for directions to the Spencer Avenue parking lot (on 101) and start your hike at the trailhead across from the lot. It zig-zags up to a major trail where you take a right and then wind your way toward the ocean and beautiful ridge top views. From here, you can hike the Marin Headlands pretty much to anywhere along the coast, depending on your time and ability.


Routes through Sausalito
Santa RosaMill Valley  N noframe S  San FranciscoSan Jose


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