The Waterfront Town of Sausalito

Are you visiting San Francisco?

Be sure to also pay a visit to Sausalito, an absolute must-see! Keep on reading and we’ll tell you all you need to know about this charming waterfront town – including tips, local events, and more!

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll find Sausalito—a picturesque town located in a small harbor in Richardson Bay. Boutique shops, trendy restaurants, and charming hotels fill the main street of the town as it stretches along the coastline, facing a beautiful panorama view of the Bay Area and San Francisco’s skyline.

After World War II, artists, writers, actors, hippies, and musicians took refuge in Sausalito because of its striking beauty, bringing with them their culture and free-thinking lifestyle. Those who came created a bohemian vibe that is still felt today.

After the passenger ferries returned in 1970, Sausalito became a popular tourist destination for mainstream visitors of the Bay Area, and it still is to this day. Each year, over a million people visit the waterfront town to experience the views, weather, art, and easy lifestyle unique to Sausalito. 

Looking for a tour of Sausalito? Our San Francisco to Muir Woods tour is a great way to get out and see Sausalito and enjoy a great lunch, as well as experience the other iconic parts of San Francisco! Dylan’s Tours offers guided minibus tours to explore the unique neighborhoods in San Francisco, and then venture across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. Depending on the tour you choose, you can see other iconic sites, like the redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument or Alcatraz Island.

Tips for Visiting Sausalito

Tour Sausalito on City Tour of San Francisco with Dylan's Tours

How to Explore Sausalito

If you are going to San Francisco to experience the Bay Area’s vibe and scene, a day trip to Sausalito should be on your itinerary. Once you arrive in this small waterfront town, you can walk everywhere.

The boardwalk is probably one of the most scenic spots in the entire town. On the boardwalk, you’ll find many shops and restaurants, as well as a stunning view over San Francisco’s skyline and the Bay.

To get the full Bay experience, you could take the ferry to Sausalito or enjoy a nice picnic at one of the parks located on the waterfront.

If you want to know more about the history and get all the best local insights and recommendations about Sausalito, we’d suggest you hop on a guided tour!

Why Visit Sausalito With Dylan’s Tours

With the beautiful views and sunny weather, Sausalito is a worthwhile attraction to add to even a short San Francisco trip. But, it isn’t the easiest commute, especially if you don’t have a car. When planning the logistics alone, you may waste precious time fitting a Sausalito day trip into a busy schedule. That’s where Dylan’s Tours comes in!

You can easily check all of San Francisco’s most iconic day trips into one awesome tour—including Sausalito. No need to sort through transportation logistics and stress about plans. Dylan’s Famous Tour with Muir Woods will take you through famous neighborhoods in San Francisco, across the bridge, into Sausalito, and all the way to Muir Woods in a single day. You’ll enjoy plenty of exploratory stops, photo ops, and snack breaks along the way.

Dylan’s Famous Tour stops for the longest break of the day in Sausalito, so that guests can explore the shops, have lunch, soak up the sun, and recharge for the next adventure. Dylan’s Tours will take care of every detail. Your only job is to enjoy the new experiences and grab some great pictures along the way.

green grass on the sausalito waterfront

What to Expect When Visiting Sausalito

One of the best things about Sausalito? The town is known for always being sunny! Even if San Francisco is covered in a thick fog, chances are that the sun is out in Sausalito.

You will also find that Sausalito isn’t usually crowded. The summer months are busier than the winter months, but you’ll have space strolling around town. Sausalito is the perfect mini escape from the hustle of the city. It’s the ideal destination if a slow, quiet afternoon is what you’re craving.

What to Visit While Exploring Sausalito

Marine Mammal Center

  • Cost: free
  • Hours: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM daily

The Marine Mammal Center advances global ocean conservation. Different marine mammals that are injured, ill, or abandoned are rescued, rehabilitated, and released every year. Besides being very educational, it is entertaining to spend the day watching sea animals!

Sausalito House Boats

  • Cost: free
  • Hours: all day, every day

Sausalito houseboats are somewhat famous, so checking out these unique residences while visiting Sausalito is a definite must-do! The dock at Richardson Bay is an eclectic, colorful sight to see with vibrant mosaic serpents and cottages covered with flowers.

Marin Headlands

  • Cost: free
  • Hours: all day, every day

The crown jewel of the Golden Gate National Parks is Marin Headlands, and it’s only a 10-minute drive from Sausalito. It is a place of natural wonder, beauty, and historical significance. It also offers fantastic views of the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge (from up close!), and of San Francisco’s skyline.

Muir Woods

  • Cost: $15 (excluding parking)
  • Hours: Every day from 8:00 AM until sunset

Another day trip to consider is visiting Muir Woods National Forest! Muir Woods is one of our favorite places in the Bay Area and is home to ancient groves of towering redwood trees, spectacular views, and diverse wildlife. To get there, book Dylan’s Famous Tour with Muir Woods or check out our guide for more information on everything you need to know about visiting Muir Woods!

Events in Sausalito

Jazz and Blues by the Bay

The summer Jazz and Blues by the Bay concerts are held each Friday from the end of May through the end of August at Gabrielson Park in downtown Sausalito. These concerts have become a legendary local favorite. A great time with good music, views, and food with your friends and family is guaranteed!

Sausalito Cook-Off

The chili cook-off, held in September, has been an annual Sausalito tradition for over 40 years. Every year, different teams cook at least 15 gallons of chili and can compete in three different competitions. You can taste all of the chili you can eat for just $15! The chili cook-off always has a (dress-up) theme!

Arias in the Afternoon Concert

This free program has been a fixture in the late summer calendar in Sausalito for many years. Every year, singers from the Golden Gate Opera serenade fans of all ages in Gabrielson Park in downtown Sausalito. It is free sitting on the lawn, but you could also reserve a table for you and your friends.

For more information about local events, you can visit the Sausalito event calendar. If visiting San Francisco, we recommend adding this charming waterfront town to your itinerary.


What is there to do in Sausalito?

There is so much to do in Sausalito! But be sure to have lunch along the waterfront and enjoy the wonderful views. Also be sure to check out the houseboats, Marin Headlands, and the Marine Mammal Center.