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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Sausalito

10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Sausalito (2024)

Sausalito is a quaint little town within the Marin County known for its picturesque seaside setting and Mediterranean village-like vibes. Despite being only 11 miles from San Francisco, Sausalito can still give the Franciscans “the feeling of getting away”. This little waterfront town offers an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge and a wonderful look of the San Francisco city. Any day throughout the year, you can spot South Californian locals spending their time here enjoying the European vacation ambience, scenic waterfront walks, and a unique upscale yet old school vibe.  Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in SausalitoImage Source:

Reaching Sausalito from San Francisco is another great experience on its own, especially when the ferry reaches the mid-way plating magnificent views of both the giant S.F and the quaint Sausalito. Regular ferries from the San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf (at Pier 41, next to Pier 39) links visitors to Sausalito, though bus and taxi tours are also operatives for options. It would not state wrong if we consider a ferry ride from San Francisco to Sausalito as one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world.

10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Sausalito

Here’s, a detailed list of the Best Places to visit when in Sausalito. Have a look:

1. Battery Spencer

When in Sausalito, it is a sin if you haven’t spent time overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Battery Spencer is an old military bunker and the site that provides a way to the most traditional pictures of the famous Golden gate bridge. You can reach here high up on the top of the Marin Headlands, dedicatedly on Fort Baker at Lime Point and get an eye-to-eye level view of the Bridge. Not only for tourism, but Battery Spencer was also once an important location for guiding the Golden Gate. Originally, it had three 12-inch rifles mounted, though all of them were removed by 1943. The site, though, is open all through day and night, mind it that parking can be limited. The best time and most beautiful views can be spotted right during sunset when the sky gets dark, and the Bridge starts lighting up.

2. Bay Area Discovery Museum

Another great place in the Fort Baker region, the Bay Area Discovery Museum, is indeed a delight to explore in Sausalito. It is dedicated to entertaining kids by setting up their imaginations on fire and letting them go wild. The Museum is a compilation of 7 eclectic exhibition rooms along with six-monthly drop-in programs ideally designed for kids from age 5 to 10 years. Here kids can come across the concept of gravity, friction, the law of motion and other genres of science in one of the most exciting and fun way. Monthly programs and activities let the kids use all kinds of tools and techniques for exploring and developing their creative thinking abilities at the right age. It might not fascinate adults, but if you have kids along, do not miss the chance to take them here.

3. Marine Mammal Center

While you are exploring a seaside town of Sausalito, there, of course, will be a lot of Marine based attractions, and the best to start with is the Marine Mammal Center. The organization runs with a great motive of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing all the ill, injured and abandoned mammals and has helped over 23,000 of them since 1975.

Their focus mammals here include dolphins, sea lions, seals, northern elephant seals, Pacific harbour seals, and fur seals and visitors here are allowed to feed them, pet them and spend some loving time with them. Visitors can even adopt a patient marine animal and volunteer their care and treatment. Though note, the centre is free to explore in general.

4. Muir Woods National Monument

The Muir Woods National Monument is a part of Marin County, only 8 miles away from the town of Sausalito. The tourist site in Sausalito is well known for its old-grown humungous redwoods, some of which are here for centuries and more. Ensuring their protection and conservation, the area is designated as National Monument and the National Park service ensure its preservation to the core. Over 1.5 million visitors each year head towards Muir Woods, all thanks to its scenic hiking trails, fairy-tale tunnels, Pacific views, views of Mount Tamalpais and whatnot. Out of all trails here, the Dipsea and Ben Johnson trails are definitely the finest if you want to grab far across views. Because the site is quite crowded throughout the year, makes sure you book your reservation beforehand. Also, be prepared; there are no mobile services in the park.

5. Downtown Sausalito

Exploring downtown Sausalito is any day hands-down the best experience you can live in this small seaside town. Sausalito Boardwalk and the downtown of the city is extremely famous amongst visitors and locals alike. Here you can walk around and capture the Pacific views, the sight of the Golden Gate and San Francisco’s skyline. Some of the best restaurants you can step up to are located in the downtown region, specifically the Poggio Trattoria for Italian cuisine and the Spinnaker for lip-smacking seafood. When here, choose the two-walking direction dedicatedly, south towards the bay with the city skyline in the background or from the north towards the marinas and grab the perfect panorama you might not even have thought of. Downtown Sausalito is also ideal in case you are looking up for a shopping spree or exploring art galleries.

NOT TO MISS: Downtown Sausalito is vividly famous for Lappert’s Ice Cream, a true Hawaiian staple. Though it is a little too expensive for what ice-creams are in general, the generous scoop size, Hawaiian-inspired island flavours and their waffle are worth every single penny.

6. Golden Gate National Recreation Area

A quick 2.4 miles drive from downtown Sausalito takes you towards the magnificent Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The recreation area is 82,027 acres, spread of historical and ecological landscape welcoming over 15 million visitors all throughout the year. It is home to over 2,000 species of fauna and flora and approximately 19 different ecosystems, notedly being one of the largest urban parks in the world. From Fort baker to Muir Woods National Monument, Stinson Beach, Oakwood Valley, Point Bonita Lighthouse, and Headlands Centre for the Arts, there’s a lot to explore, seek and learn about in this region. You can even spend some time here at the seasonal and year-round campgrounds, available for every budget traveller.

7. Marinship Neighbourhood

A quiet and peaceful region near Sausalito, the Marinship Neighbourhood is something that will bring the best out of your soul. It is basically a massive shipyard that was built during World War II, hosting 20,000 workers and several ships throughout the day. Today all you can see here are the floating home, Houseboats to be specific. Visitors can even rent Sailboats, kayaks, rowing, canoe, and several other boats waiting for your way to sail through the water. You can even dip for a quick swimming session here, so do not forget to bring along your swimsuit. Marinship Neighbourhood, though, is a little grimy and funky from other waterfront parts of the town, but because it isn’t as busy as others, having some alone time here can be a nice idea.

8. Harbor Dive Center

If exploring the scenes above water level have satisfied your souls, then for the next, it is time to get inside the Pacific. Harbor Dive Center is located on 200 Harbor Drive, Sausalito, known for the PADI open water certification. It is a full service scuba diving centre that provides lessons for diving and snorkelling, taking the learners through the spectacular underwater view while soaking in the richness of marine. You don’t have to come here prepared as they provide air-fills, equipment service, rental, and gear, ensuring that every single visitor has a wonderful experience here. Harbor Dive Center also organizes Annual diving trips to exotic locations, including Fiji and Iceland.

9. Real Napa

Your wine craving does not always mean you have to head towards the Napa Valley, and when you get a quick glimpse of all of it at Real Napa, then what’s a better deal. Real Napa is a waterfront on the Broadway Promenade, basically a wine tasting room in downtown Sausalito. This rustic and charming wine tasting spot has extreme striking interiors like hand-made iron chandeliers, copper bar, plaster walls with wooden work that altogether goes really impressive. Some of their famous collection includes cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and Riesling from the Fotsch family vineyard and other Napa Valley vineyards. Apart from wine, here you can shop for wine-related gifts and souvenirs as well.

10. Sausalito Events And Festivals

No matter which time of the year you head towards Sausalito, there’s always an event or festival going around on its streets. Some of the unmissable events are as follows:

  • Sausalito Art Festival- One of the best Art fares of America (held every Labour Day weekend).
  • Caledonia Street Festival- Organized every year during the month of May featuring local music and art affairs.
  • Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival- Organized every year during the month of September for art, live events, and shopping primarily.
  • Issaquah Floating Art Show- It is organized at Waldo Point Harbor, Sausalito, where you can explore a wide variety of outstanding art and get a chance to visit some of the unique homes in the world.
  • Sausalito Floating Homes Tour- The Annual Sausalito Floating Homes Tour provides the opportunity to be inside 15 to 20 marvellous floating homes, which indeed are some of the most beautiful you can visit. They are usually held in September but make sure you book in advance as the slot gets full quite quickly.

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