The southernmost town in Marin County, Sausalito is best known for its spectacular water vistas and close proximity to San Francisco, which is accessed in minutes via the Golden Gate Bridge or by a convenient and tranquil 30-minute ferry trip. Often compared to the Italian or French Riviera, Sausalito is a quiet, charming town punctuated by a lively waterfront, houses perched on wooded slopes above or floating in the waters below, exceptional shopping and dining, and maritime pleasures.
Sausalito’s downtown area is characterized by tiny Plaza Viña del Mar, named for Sausalito’s sister city in Chile. The small space surrounded by palm trees and centered on a fountain and twin elephant sculptures is the focal point of the town and serves as a hub between Bridgeway – the smart waterfront avenue and commercial center – and the ferry pier. Up above, tree-lined streets traverse the hills, which are dotted with homes ranging in style from vintage estates to modern masterpieces. Common characteristics for these homes are large decks and picture windows taking in the captivating views of Richardson Bay, Tiburon/Belvedere, Angel Island and San Francisco. Other points of interest in the area are Fort Baker, the Bay Area Discovery Museum and Cavallo Point, which are located near the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Sausalito’s floating homes are among the city’s most unique characteristics. This lively community is comprised of over 400 homes of various shapes, sizes and values bobbing at their moorings along the north end of town. While the docks are closed to the public, each year locals and tourists alike are invited into these homes during the annual Floating Homes Tour for a peek into what it’s like to live on the Bay. Ottis Redding was so captivated by boat living, in fact, that his hit song “Sitting On the Dock of the Bay” was inspired while renting a houseboat in Sausalitoin 1967. Many other celebrities are said to have been taken by Sausalito as well, with current and past full or part-time residents like Bill Cosby, Jerry Garcia, Isabel Allende, Robin Williams, Julie Christie and Tim Lincecum.
An artistic community at its heart, Sausalito plays hosts to several art galleries and special events celebrating the arts, including the annual Sausalito Art Festival and Artists’ Open Studios.