Helpful Links | Sausalito's remarkable evolution from a tranquil village to present-day luxury can be mainly attributed to its close proximity to San Francisco's infamous Golden Gate Bridge which links the world-renowned city to the North Bay. Millions of tourists have crossed the crimson-red bridge from the city to Sausalito taking in its incredible vistas, delicious food, and friendly people.

Coast Miwok, the earliest inhabitants, were eventually displaced by a Mexican land grant and the subsequent European settlers. The Spanish explorers christened the land Sauzalito, meaning “small willow grove” in Spanish. Much later, with the advent of the ferry service to San Francisco, the town became a Victorian village escape for San Franciscans. When the North Pacific Coast Railroad lay down its tracks, and later when the auto ferry was introduced, Sausalito became a transit hub and the population expanded. African American shipbuilders, Italian fishermen, Chinese shopkeepers, rail yard workers, ferry crewmen, and dairy ranchers all called Sausalito home during this period of time. The town continued to change. Painters, dancers, writers, musicians, bohemians, hippies, and houseboaters then contributed to the culture of Sausalito. The people and events of Sausalito have developed its identity.

Present-day Sausalito is a backdrop for a modern travelogue. There is a historic downtown with yacht harbors, boutique shops, original art galleries, restaurants, and hotels built out over the water, and a grand promenade with breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay, Angel Island, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, and the world-famous skyline of San Francisco.

Sausalito is truly an incredible place. It also has a strong sense of community. Events around town include the renowned art festival, jazz concerts, and the Fourth of July parade. Distinguished schools, and some of the most coveted real estate in the world, make Sausalito one of the best places to raise a family and invest in property. It has enjoyed a fascinating history and its extraordinary character is timeless.



The earliest inhabitants of beautiful Sausalito were Coast Miwok. According to historians, these tribes were friendly and had a well-organized community. It wasn’t until 1775 that the first European came to the location of what is now Sausalito. This explorer was named Don Jose de Canizares and he prospered by using a lot of the surrounding timbers for commercial purposes. The land during this time was a vast, unspoiled wilderness and even though San Francisco was founded on September 17th, 1776, the northern part of the Bay, including Sausalito, was left alone for another half a century. It is only around 1825 that William A. Richardson, an Englishman who later became a Mexican citizen, decided to develop lands in the northern part of the Golden Gate. He called the place "Rancho Saucelito". Because others claims of ownership had been submitted for the same region, Richardson temporarily lost Rancho Sausalito. It is only in 1838, that he became full owner of the 20,000 acres of Rancho del Sausalito.

The first post office officially opened in 1870. Sausalito was a terminus of the North Pacific Coast Railroad thanks to extended tracks, built in the 1870s. In the early 1920s, a ferry station was established in Sausalito to carry passengers and automobiles across the San Francisco Bay. It was part of Old Highway 101 and welcomed thousands of automobiles. The town was, back then, known for its long queues of cars lined up waiting for the ferry to bring them across the Golden Gate. In 1937, when the Golden Gate Bridge was opened, Sausalito became quickly a low-traffic town. Sausalito still kept the ferry to commute passengers to the City. When the United States entered World War II, Sausalito became a place where a shipyard building, Liberty Shops, was located along the waterfront. Near Sausalito, in the town of Marin City, thousands of workers were hosted.

After World War II, the shipyard was decommissioned and Sausalito became a smaller community. It has truly evolved throughout the years and is now known around the world for its gorgeous waterfront homes, marinas, numerous boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries.


Location | Climate | Weather

Sausalito is located along the picturesque shores of San Francisco Bay. Just across the Golden Gate Bridge, and facing Belvedere, Angel Island, and San Francisco, Sausalito has a completely different climate from the one San Francisco has come to be known for. It has a Mediterranean climate, much different than the notorious city fog. The temperature ranges from an average low of 38 degrees to a high of 85 degrees and the rainfall averages 47 inches a year. This weather allows locals to enjoy outdoor recreation virtually all year long.



The Sausalito Marin City School District has two schools. First is Bayside/MLK Academy (kindergarten through 8) and Willow Creek Academy (kindergarten through 8) is a public charter school that welcomes applications from any student who resides in California. Residences of Sausalito are fortunate to attend Tamalpais High School, for it is nationally ranked and recognized as one of the premier high school's in the nation with some of the State's highest test scores, rates of graduation, and college acceptance. There are a number of private schools in Sausalito. Click Helpful Links for more information.



Sausalito has commuter express bus stops to speed you into downtown San Francisco in less than 20 minutes. The estimated drive time is 15 minutes without commute traffic. Alternatively, the Sausalito Ferry Terminal is located downtown and is served by a free bus shuttle located along Sausalito's main thoroughfare, Bridgeway. The ferry ride is approximately 30 minutes. Visit Golden Gate Transit for more details.


Things To

Sausalito is a fun place to live, with many restaurants, art galleries, and boutiques; you will never feel bored. With a great walking path along the waterfront, you will admire amazing views of the City, the hills of Marin, unique and charming houseboats, harbor seals, pelicans, and sailboats on the Bay. Sausalito is a little French Riviera along the shores of San Francisco Bay. It has waterfront shops and restaurants with tourists coming from all around the world to enjoy the unique ambiance.

Downtown Sausalito has numerous art galleries where paintings and sculptures from local and international artists are featured. Sausalito also offers the Bay Area Discovery Museum with an educational center, the Bay Model Visitor Center operated by the US Army Corp of Engineers.


Parks & Recreation

With Sausalito's waterfront parks and marinas, its wooded hills, and its particular ambiance, Sausalito is definitely a town of outdoor activities. Sports excursions are available; renting kayaks, paddle boards, boats, and bicycles are readily available. It's a short ride from Sausalito to the Golden Gate Bridge along amazing vistas of the Bay, hills, City, and the Pacific Ocean.

Walking through the marinas, or on a natural path near the town will make you feel miles away from the busy San Francisco. You can also enjoy one of the many parks Sausalito offers. For our four-legged residents, Sausalito boasts a large fenced dog park where canines can romp with their friends while their owners socialize.

Sailing is popular in Sausalito. Marinas and public boat docks are constantly busy. One can take sailing lessons at Sausalito's Modern Sailing School and Club or kayak and paddleboard lessons and rentals at the Sea Trek Kayak and Stand Up Paddling Center located on a sandy Sausalito beach. The Sausalito Yacht Club is a member-only establishment that was established in 1942 and sits on a pier next to the Sausalito Ferry Terminal downtown. SYC supports the Sausalito Youth Sailing Foundation to foster the next generation of water-loving locals.



Fine dining and casual cafes can be found all over Sausalito. To name just a few; Sushi Ran, Le Garage Bistro, Scoma’s, Fish, Saylor’s, Trident, Angelino, Spinnaker, Osteria Divino, Bar Bocce and Poggio Trattoria. Click Helpful Links for more information.



Dine at Sausalito's The Trident while enjoying San Francisco's skyline, then after dinner, local musicians provide entertainment well into the night. The No Name Bar has featured jazz music since the 1960s. If you want your music live five nights a week with an enormous dance floor, try out the Sausalito SeaHorse. This is fast becoming the place to go for nightlife to have a blast. Sausalito's legendary Smitty's Bar is a small local dive right off the waterfront. It's a fun place to spend time, have some tasty snacks, and play pool, foosball, and shuffleboard. A very secluded haunt that is mainly crowded with locals, the Ultra Modern Lounge, or the UML as it is called affectionately by the locals, arrives early and stays late for all the action. Visit the Sausalito Cruising Club to hear some of the best rhythm and blues, rock, and jazz in the Bay Area. The jam sessions can't be beaten at this classy gem on the waterfront.



Sausalito is known for its art and cultural events, it sponsors free jazz and blues concerts every Friday evening in the summer presented in Gabrielson Park. In keeping with Sausalito's "off-beat" reputation is the town's annual Fourth of July Parade and Picnic. The parade begins at the south end of town, up Bridgeway to Caledonia Street with marching bands, strolling citizens of varied stripes and hues along with their various four-legged friends. The party continues in Sausalito's Dunphy Park where live music is performed in the park's gazebo and picnickers cover the lawn. The Fourth culminates with a fireworks display best viewed at Sausalito's waterfront parks.

The town's premier Sausalito Art Festival, founded over 60 years ago, features the country’s best art, most exciting artists, and a top-name music lineup every Labor Day weekend. The Sausalito Film Festival is held for three days in August and presents an eclectic schedule of feature films and documentaries from around the world.

In September don't miss the annual Sausalito Houseboats Tour presented by the Floating Homes Association, Inc. Visitors get access to private floating homes along Sausalito's storied waterfront.

In December there's the ICB Artists Open Studios, a free event hosted by local artists who open their studios to art lovers. Also in December, Sausalito On The Waterfront sponsors the annual Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks show. Stand along the Sausalito's Bay parks and watch the show.



Sausalito is known for its unique shops, boutiques, and art galleries. Sausalito's very own Heath Ceramics original factory and the retail establishment is open for business and in the same location since 1948. Sausalito Jewelers delights the eye and brings a smile to all who drop by for a visit. For unique gifts and housewares visit Burlwood Gallery and EyeItalia, wine lovers will enjoy Bacchus and Venus, and only in Sausalito where you will find Renovo Hardwood Bicycles. In keeping with Sausalito's maritime past and present, visit the Ship's Store for gifts, marine supplies, and a showcase for local artists. And off the beaten path you will find Studio 333 where local artisans sell arts and crafts. Click Helpful Links for more information.

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