Visiting Sausalito: a Perfect Day Trip from San Francisco
Looking to take a day trip to Sausalito? You’re in luck because this quaint enchanting town located directly across the Bay is the perfect place for a day trip from San Francisco. From the waterfront, you have views of the San Francisco skyline, The Bay Bridge, and even Alcatraz. It was first recognized by artists directly after WWII. This charming town is very reminiscent of a Mediterranean Village. Even the houses are etched into the hills! It’s the perfect place for a peaceful escape from San Francisco City and I’m here to give you all the details before visiting!
How to Get to Sausalito
It’s fairly easy to get to Sausalito and you can either take the Golden Gate ferry from the city or drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. Either way you choose, you’ll encounter beautiful views!
Blue & Gold Fleet Ferry
This ferry departs from Pier 41 in San Francisco and is roughly 30 minutes of travel time. It runs daily from 9:45 am to 6:45 pm but you’ll want to check the schedules before planning your trip to Sausalito! Tickets cost $13 each way and you can head here for the schedule!
Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge
If you want to be in control of your own schedule you can drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to get to Sausalito. It’s only a 10-15 minute drive from the San Francisco side of the bridge to Sausalito. If you’re feeling up for a little adventure stop by Battery Spencer Park for the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge
Things to Do in Sausalito
Visit the Houseboats
image via travelandleisure.com
This is the most popular thing to do in Sausalito. The houseboats are well known over here and Shel Silverstein himself used to live on one! It’s a great free activity to do in Sausalito.
Pro tip: If there is a dock with a rope attached please do not enter as it’s private property but if not you’ll be fine to check out the dock!
Biking in Sausalito
The best way to cover a lot of ground in Sausalito is by renting a bike. There are a couple of places on the island that rent bikes and you can bike along the bay for beautiful views of the city.
Grab Lappert’s Ice Cream
This local ice cream shop has such a cute backstory. Walter Lappert wanted to turn his regular ice-cream shop into an ice cream shop that made and sold ice cream in Kauai as well. Since that was his favorite place to visit! It’s a local legend that you need to try out!
There are a number of local artisan shops to check out on the main street downtown. It’s a great place to shop for unique clothing, art, and souvenirs! Not only that but the facades are so charming.
San Francisco Bay Model
The San Francisco Bay Model visitor center has an entire model of the city of San Francisco. If you’re into museums then this is a cool exhibit to check out!
Visit Yee Tock Chee Park
Yee Tock Chee Park is a tiny park dedicated to a local resident, with a shade tree & bay views from a concrete abutment.
Best Restaurants in Sausalito
Barrel House Tavern
A modern eatery with stunning views of San Francisco. They have craft cocktails and delicious seafood. The “I can’t drive” cocktail was a favorite of ours!
Hotels in Sausalito
- Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa: an 1885 mansion converted into a hotel, this hotel is another great option! It’s located on the water and offers a full-service spa ladies!
- Waters Edge Hotel: an upscale boutique hotel that is only a 2-minute walk from downtown. The location is beautiful since it’s directly located on the water. They even have free bike rentals so you can roam around!
- Hotel Sausalito & Suites: built in 1915 this hotel is a Mission-style boutique hotel that boasts loads of charm. It’s only a one-minute walk from the ferry terminal and has a beautiful terrace.
- Cavallo Point Lodge: a little outside of Sausalito but located right at the golden gate bridge which should be added to the day trip itinerary!
What to Pack for Sausalito
- A light jacket for the evenings since it gets VERY cold in the bay area at night.
- These Madewell Sandals are my favorite since they’re timeless and comfortable. Also, you could use a sturdy pair of flip-flops that are great for the pool or walking around town (they’re so comfy). These Olukai Sandals are my go-to and have lasted me years.
- Sunscreen: This GOOP FACE SUNSCREEN BRUSH is perfect for traveling because it adds SPF to your face all while not messing up your makeup. It’s my new holy grail product and you need to add this one to your packing list.
- Flowy Dresses: These really come in handy when the temperatures are high in the spring/summer. My favorite white dress for photos is linked here + here.
- Shorts: Abercrombie has the best shorts for all sizes and shapes. Check my favorite pairs that have lasted multiple seasons here. I also love these classic Levi Shorts.
- Basics: I always find the best basics at either Madewell & Abercrombie. It’s nice to have some neutral tees and tanks handy during your stay.
- A large sun hat for sightseeing. Shop my favorite affordable straw hat here!
So there you have it! Thank you for reading my “Sausalito, California: A Perfect Day Trip from San Francisco” blog. If you’re looking for the Top Photography Spots in San Francisco you can check out my other post linked here! And make sure to check out more of my California travel guides here!
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What a perfect spot to roam around and spend the day in calm reflections. Love the Ice cream shop trivia and I would definitely visit it 🙂
Such a gorgeous place! We visited briefly last year enroute from Muir Woods. We walked around a bit and I really like the place. Hope to stop by another time with more time.
This neighborhood looks beautiful! I’ve gotta check it out 🙂 Love the houseboats!
Linda de Beer says
Some super tips for a day trip to Sausalito! Just the opportunity to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge will make the trip worth it for me.
Courtney Delfino says
Isn’t it so cute? Thanks for the read!
Courtney Delfino says
I didn’t get to a chance to go to Muir Woods when I was there! Now I need to go back too lol
Courtney Delfino says
Those are my favorite!
Courtney Delfino says
I couldn’t agree more with that one!
This looks like a great place to spend the day! I haven’t been to California before but I can’t wait to go!
Califorin is mine place
Am almost enjoy all the beautiful things and places here
You choose amazing place too
Thank you so much
Sarah A says
This is a great guide! Thank you for the information