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Is Sausalito Worth Visiting? A Local’s Insight

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As you probably know if you’re considering a trip, Sausalito is a charming, picturesque town located in Marin County, California, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. It is famous for its stunning views of the Bay Area, its unique bohemian culture, and its vibrant arts scene.

After our first visit, Mr. V and I were sold on moving to this part of the Bay Area, and I was fortunate to call Sausalito home for several years. I got to know first-hand what makes Sausalito special, and I think this gives me the perspective – as both a visitor and a local – to help you figure out if you should spend time in Sausalito as part of your visit to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sausalito Worth Visiting Hero

So: is Sausalito worth visiting? In this article, I will explore the town’s history, attractions, and lifestyle to help you decide. (Spoilers: the answer is yes – Sausalito is definitely worth visiting!)

Sausalito is the traditional lands of the Graton Rancheria, Miwok, and Me-Wuk (Coast Miwok) peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation to the past and present stewards of these lands. To learn more, I invite you to explore Native-Land.ca.

This post was originally published on my blog Discover Sausalito; it was migrated to this site in January 2024.

History of Sausalito

Sausalito has a rich history that dates back to the Native American Miwok tribe, who inhabited the area for thousands of years. In the 19th century, Sausalito became a bustling port town, with ships carrying goods and passengers to and from San Francisco. During World War II, Sausalito played a crucial role as a shipbuilding center, contributing to the war effort.

Today, Sausalito has transformed into a thriving tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world… including – hopefully – you, soon!

Lifestyle in Sausalito

Sausalito is known for its bohemian lifestyle, with a laid-back vibe that attracts artists, writers, and musicians. The town has a thriving arts scene, with several galleries, live music venues, and theater performances. Sausalito is also a popular destination for cyclists, hikers, and water sports enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Sausalito has a range of dining options, from fine-dining restaurants to casual cafes and bistros. The town is also famous for its seafood, with several restaurants serving fresh catches from the Bay. For those who enjoy shopping, Sausalito offers a range of boutiques and specialty stores, featuring unique items from local artisans and designers.

Things to Do in Sausalito

Sausalito has a range of attractions that appeal to tourists of all ages and interests. Here are some of the must-see places:

  1. The Bridgeway Promenade: This street and sidewalk runs throughout Sausalito, giving you stunning views of San Francisco Bay, the city skyline, Richardson Bay, Angel Island, and Tiburon. Just taking a nice walk along the Promenade is one of the top things to do.
  2. The Bay Model Visitor Center: This center provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the San Francisco Bay and its ecosystems. The center features a working hydraulic model of the Bay, as well as interactive exhibits.
  3. Sausalito Art Galleries: Sausalito is home to several world-class art galleries, showcasing a range of art styles and media. Some of the popular galleries include Studio 333, The Studio Shop, and the Artists of Sausalito.

I have a full list of all the things to do in Sausalito that I recommend, and how to plan a perfect Sausalito day trip.

Further afield, you could admire the Golden Gate Bridge from Vista Point, go hiking in the Marin Headlands, or explore among the redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument; Sausalito is a great base for striking out for even more adventures.

Is Sausalito Worth Visiting?

Sausalito Worth Visiting

So, is Sausalito worth visiting? I mean, I might be biased, but I think absolutely, Sausalito is worth visiting!

With its stunning views, rich history, diverse attractions, and bohemian lifestyle, Sausalito is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Bay Area. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventure, artistic inspiration, or simply a relaxing getaway, Sausalito has something for everyone.

To recap in case you’re just not sold yet, here are some reasons why you should visit Sausalito:

  1. Beautiful Views: Sausalito offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Bay Area, with its hillside setting and waterfront location. The town is also a great place to catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
  2. Rich History: Sausalito has a fascinating history, from its Native American roots to its shipbuilding legacy. Visitors can learn about the town’s past at the Sausalito Historical Society and Museum, or take a self-guided walking tour to learn about the history that way.
  3. Vibrant Arts Scene: Sausalito is a hub for artists, writers, and musicians, with several galleries, live music venues, and theaters. Visitors can explore the town’s artistic side by visiting or just window shopping at Sausalito’s art galleries.
  4. Outdoor Recreation: Sausalito is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with several hiking and biking trails, water sports activities, and parks. Visitors can explore the Muir Woods National Monument or go kayaking in Richardson Bay.
  5. Dining and Shopping: Sausalito offers a range of dining options, from seafood restaurants to cafes and bistros. Visitors can also enjoy shopping at the town’s boutiques and specialty stores, featuring unique items from local artisans and designers.
  6. Convenient Location: Sausalito is located just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, making it an easy day trip destination for those visiting the city. The town is also within driving distance of several other Bay Area attractions, such as Muir Beach and Mount Tamalpais.

Whether you are traveling to the Bay Area for the first time or are a seasoned visitor, Sausalito is a must-see destination that offers something for everyone. Have any questions about whether Sausalito is worth visiting and what to do there? Let me know in the comments below!

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I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.

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