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Just beyond San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge sits the little town of Sausalito. Named after the small willow trees that used to bloom on its banks, Sausalito is a laid-back place for San Francisco visitors to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The town sits on Richardson Bay, which is lined with the town’s picturesque, colorful houseboats. It can be a challenge to pick what to do when you visit Sausalito, but we have you covered.


Below is a list of the best things to do when visiting Sausalito, from the perfect ice cream cone to strolling along the harbor.

Before we jump into what to do, you need to decide how you’ll get to Sausalito. Sausalito is just north of San Francisco and right over the Golden Gate Bridge, making it accessible to many different transportation options.

Here are your options for getting to/from Sausalito from San Francisco:

  • Ferry
    Take the boat over to Sausalito! You can catch the ferry from Fisherman’s Wharf or the Ferry Building, and the ride itself is a lot of fun. Typically, it takes 25-30 minutes each way (to and from Sausalito) and it’s a fantastic, affordable way to see the San Francisco Bay!
  • Drive over the Golden Gate Bridge
    By car, it’s about a 20-minute drive from San Francisco to Sausalito by means of the Golden Gate Bridge. Once you cross the bridge, you’ll take route 101 toward Sausalito/Marin County. Here is a Google Map with directions for reference!
  • Bike over the Golden Gate Bridge
    Biking over the Golden Gate Bridge is totally possible, but if you feel like you aren’t at that level yet, you are allowed to bring your bike onto the ferry! Exploring Sausalito by bike is a great way to take in the views of the town and enjoy the beautiful weather. For more information about bike rentals in San Francisco: Blazing Saddles Bike Rental or Bay City Bike Rentals
  • Take the bus
    Another affordable way to get to Sausalito is by bus! The 30 bus has a direct route from many stops in downtown San Francisco directly to Bridgeway & Bay Street in Sausalito. The journey is about an hour, but could take longer depending on where you are in San Francisco. To map out your journey, take a look at the Golden Gate Transit site.
  • Private Tour
    San Francisco Jeep Tours offers private tours for up to six guests in their easy, breezy open-air Jeeps! In addition to visiting Sausalito, a private guide will drive you to walk among the giant redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument, with a stop at Muir Beach or the Muir Beach Overlook as well.You can even upgrade your experience and extend your Sausalito visit – more time for a meal or shopping. Then take the Ferry back to San Francisco from Sausalito.
  • Want to cruise to Sausalito in style? Learn more about private Jeep tour options here.

Now that you know your options for getting there, let’s talk about what to do in beautiful Sausalito:

Stroll down the Sausalito Boardwalks
Head to the Bridgeway Promenade for some of the best views of San Francisco you can find in the area. While wandering around one of the three boardwalks in Sausalito (some of which have actual wooden walkways and some that do not), you will have plenty of options for a bite to eat and local stores to shop. You’ll also run into the Sea Lion Statue!

Relax at Viña del Mar Plaza Fountain and Park
The Viña del Mar Plaza is truly the town square of Sausalito due to how central it is to almost everything in town. Located next to the ferry drop-off, this Mediterranean-style, romantic feeling plaza and park is the perfect place to unwind, people watch, and picnic with friends and family. The plaza is one of the most well-known and photographed parks in Sausalito!

Explore the San Francisco Bay Model
Located in the Bay Model Visitor Center, visitors to Sausalito can see the San Francisco Bay Model, a 1.5 acre, fully functional model of San Francisco Bay. Built in 1957, this model gave the U.S. Army Corps and educators more insight into the bay-delta system. Even if science isn’t your jam, this is a cool thing to see in-person!

Watch the sunrise or sunset at Gabrielson Park
Right next to the Sausalito ferry pier sits Gabrielson Park. Gabrielson Park is famous for its jazz festivals and fourth of July fireworks display. Gabrielson Park offers excellent views of the neighboring Angel Island and the Bay Bridge, making it a great spot for catching a Sausalito sunrise or sunset – a one-of-a-kind experience. The full day Combo Full Day City and Muir Woods Tour ends the day in Sausalito, and for good reason: it’s the perfect place to take in the laid-back vibes and watch the sun go down.

Enjoy a scoop of Ice Cream

Lappert’s Ice Cream with two locations on Bridgway is the local favorite. Stop in for some of the best ice cream in the Bay Area. They offer unique flavors including my favorite Hana Road – Their version of Rocky Road, with marshmallows, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and chocolate covered almonds. Or Check out Nuku Hiva with Coconut Pineapple ice cream, brownie pieces, and a Raspberry sorbet swirl! YUM!

Sausalito Houseboats

The majority of the Sausalito houseboats are located at the Northern end of Sausalito off of Bridgway St. There are a number of floating home docks on Gate 5 Road including these Waldo Point Harbor Docks: Liberty Dock, Issaquah Dock, South 40 Dock and Main Dock. At Gate 6 Road you will find moe Waldo Point Harbor docks and the two Kappa’s docks. There are also a few houseboats in the harbors closer to downtown Sausalito.



Nearby things to do: 


Meet Local Wildlife at the Marine Mammal Center

The Marine Mammal Center is focused on ocean conservation through their own research, education, and rehabilitating wildlife native to the bay area. Guests can visit rescued marine animals and learn more about how they can help further the Marine Mammal Center’s mission! A staple of any visit to San Francisco, Sausalito, or the Bay Area in general is to get a glimpse of the sea lions.



When visiting San Francisco, remember that there are countless places to visit and sites to see just outside of the city! We encourage you to get out there and discover something new. There are tons of San Francisco jeep tours that can help you see all the important landmarks of San Francisco while also taking you to see some of the stunning natural landmarks just outside the city.

Take advantage of a San Francisco Private Jeep Tour; adventure is waiting, and you can’t pass it up! Here are a few we recommend:

Want To Explore Sausalito?

These Private Jeep Tours are the best way to See and Explore San Francisco
Muir Woods National Park
Muir Woods giant redwoods - tours depart from San Francisco

Muir Woods and Sausalito Tour

3 or 4 Hours
Embark on a captivating 3 hour Muir Woods and Sausalito private group jeep tour. Travel north over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge into scenic Marin County, with a stop at a vantage point for breathtaking views of the bridge. The tour's highlight is Muir Woods National Monument, where you'll wander amidst towering Giant Redwoods in […]
Full Day San Franciso & Muir Woods
Full Day Muir Woods and San Francisco sightseeing tour

Full Day – Ultimate City Tour Plus Giant Redwoods and Sausalito Private Tour by Convertible Jeep

7 to 8 Hours
This full-day, 7-hour tour offers an enriching exploration of Muir Woods and San Francisco's iconic landmarks. Starting at Umbrella Alley or with an optional pickup from your Union Square or Fisherman's Wharf hotel, you'll meet your Jeep guide for an exciting adventure. In the morning, travel over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County. The […]
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