What to Do in Sausalito: 15 Activities, Places to Stay, and Restaurants

Nestled in Marin County, CA, just across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and close to the historic Angel Island, lies the charming city of Sausalito. This picturesque bayside enclave boasts a diverse array of fun attractions, luxurious hotels, and delicious dining options.

From national parks and museums to charming boutique restaurants and cherished mom-and-pop shops, Sausalito, California, offers an abundance of attractions for visitors.

Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, explore the unique houseboat docks, and savor the delights of fresh seafood sourced straight from the Pacific.

With a plethora of enticing activities awaiting, making decisions about what to do, where to stay, and where to dine becomes almost instinctive. Rest assured, we’ve thoughtfully compiled a guide featuring the top things to do at Sausalito, hotel options, and must-try restaurants.

Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure or exploring with loved ones, our comprehensive guide ensures you have all the information you need for an unforgettable journey to Sausalito.

Without further ado, here’s a glimpse of the best experiences, accommodations, and culinary delights waiting for you in Sausalito.

Best Activities in Sausalito

See the Golden Gate Bridge

Immerse yourself in one of the top activities in Sausalito—savoring the majestic views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Along the Sausalito shoreline and hills, discover several vantage points offering an unparalleled view of San Francisco landmarks.

For a truly unforgettable experience, embark on a scenic bike tour from Fisherman’s Wharf. Cycle along the waterfront, passing by Aquatic Park and Crissy Field, and finally cross the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito.

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Led by a lively local guide, this adventure promises both scenic beauty and an easy-going cycling experience whether you’re a novice rider or simply looking for a delightful day trip from San Francisco.

ground view of Golden Gate Bridge with bay at sunset in San Francisco, California, USA

Visit the Bay Area Discovery Museum

Curious about what to do in Sausalito? Head to the Bay Area Discovery Museum at 557 McReynolds Rd, Sausalito, CA 94965, for an absolute blast, especially if you’ve got a lively crew of kids!

This interactive wonderland is jam-packed with hands-on exhibits and activities that bring science, art, and nature to life in the most entertaining ways possible. Imagine your little ones not just having fun on a giant outdoor playground.

Related Post: San Francisco in 3 Days – Your Complete Itinerary to Exploring The City By the Bay

But also enjoying spectacular views of the Bay Area Discovery Museum as a bonus. It’s like the ultimate playdate meets a stunning scenic adventure!

Experience Muir Woods

Just north of Sausalito is Muir Woods National Monument, home to a rare old-growth redwood forest. Take a half-day tour to Muir Woods from San Francisco to walk among these towering trees, some over 1,000 years old.

Planning some day trips from San Francisco? Immerse yourself in nature on the Muir Woods Redwoods and Sausalito Half-Day Tour, one of the top Sausalito half-day tours. Capture memories as you cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and enjoy scenic photo stops along the way. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did!

View of a walking trail inside of Muir Woods near San Francisco, California, USA

Go to the Bay Model Visitor Center

Situated in downtown Sausalito, the San Francisco Bay Model Visitor Center houses a captivating 9,000-square-foot miniature replica of the entire San Francisco Bay and Delta region. This model provides an in-depth exploration of the intricate waterways of San Francisco.

The center offers educational programs and workshops that delve into the bay-delta system, tides, and currents, creating an engaging experience for both children and adults. Additionally, visitors can enjoy a fusion of science and art through the center’s gallery space and art exhibits.

Related Post: Day Trip From San Francisco – 10 Drives You Don’t Want to Miss

With free admission, the Bay Model Visitor Center is an accessible and affordable destination for those eager to learn about the complexities of the San Francisco Bay. You won’t want to miss it!

Learn at the Marine Mammal Center

Dive into the incredible world of marine life at the Marine Mammal Center at 2000 Bunker Rd, Sausalito, CA 94965! They’re like the superhero rescuers for seals and sea lions along the California coast.

From Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf to Sausalito, this center becomes the cozy home for these charming furry marine pals. Engage with interactive exhibits, hop into lively programs, and embark on entertaining walking tours to unravel the ins and outs of rescuing and caring for these creatures.

Pssst…admission is not just free but your ticket to a whale of a time! So, if you’re on the lookout for cost-free and fun Sausalito places to visit, start here!

small boy in a blue and green hoodie leaning on the side of an aquarium gazing at bright coral and fish in an aquarium

Appreciate Art at Gallery 111 Art Studios

When visiting Sausalito, be sure to check out Gallery 111 at ICB Building, 480 Gate Five Road, Sausalito, a cornerstone of the thriving local art scene. Hosted by the ICB Artists Association, it is a dynamic hub for artistic expression, featuring exhibits, art critiques, workshops, films, and more.

Housing numerous art galleries and studios, it fosters a vibrant artistic community, contributing to Sausalito’s reputation as an art center. Make sure to add exploring the arts and culture in this charming city to your Sausalito things-to-do list!

Pro Tip: Supercharge your vacation vibes with the Go San Francisco All-Inclusive Pass! Score epic savings on 25+ top attractions, and unleash your inner explorer by creating your personalized itinerary.

Stroll along the Sausalito Boardwalks

Explore the charm of Sausalito and things to do for free with a leisurely stroll along the popular Sausalito Boardwalk. It’s one of the best places to visit in Sausalito, offering stunning views of the San Francisco Bay and skyline.

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Lined with restaurants, shops, galleries, and floating homes, this scenic pathway provides an ideal setting for a relaxed walk and picturesque moments. Be sure to grab a photo with the famous Sausalito Sea Lion statue on the boardwalk at 400 Bridgeway for a lasting memory!

Pro Tip: Enhance your San Francisco experience with the Go San Francisco Explorer Pass, saving up to 55% on 3, 4, or 5 popular attractions. Maximize your visit at an unbeatable value!

Wide shot of a bay with boats bloating with flowers and greenery in the foreground under a cloudy blue sky

Best Places to Stay in Sausalito

Cavallo Point Lodge

Before or after you dive into these activities, you deserve an ideal starting point for your adventure or a sanctuary to recharge. Perched at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, Cavallo Point Lodge offers a luxurious lodging experience with two distinctive accommodation styles.

The contemporary lodging features modern design and breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge. While the historic lodging exudes turn-of-the-century charm and provides scenic city vistas.

In addition, this lodge offers elegant rooms, cottages, and suites, along with a full-service spa and multiple dining options. With its idyllic location on the San Francisco Bay, Cavallo Point Lodge serves as a tranquil base for exploring the beauty of the Bay Area.

The Gables Inn

The Gables Inn invites visitors to experience a charming and comfortable stay. Originally established in 1869 as the first hotel in Sausalito, this historic inn continues to exude a warm and welcoming atmosphere for its guests.

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Providing polished lodging with complimentary WiFi, daily housekeeping, and a delightful continental breakfast, along with evening wine receptions, the inn ensures a delightful experience. Guests can relish the comfort of cozy rooms, some featuring working fireplaces and splendid bay views.

Located near the town center and attractions such as Schoonmaker Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge, the Gables Inn stands as a delightful choice for a memorable stay in Sausalito.

View of a very clean beige and brown hotel room with flowers on the bed and a large window with the curtains open on.

Casa Madrona Hotel and Spa

Housed in an 1885 mansion, Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa is a luxurious boutique hotel in Sausalito. Offering elegant lodging with sweeping views of the San Francisco skyline and the bay.

The spacious and well-appointed rooms boast modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, cable TV, coffee makers, and more. Plus, the hotel features a full-service spa, a fitness center, and an upscale Italian restaurant.

Positioned near the downtown Sausalito waterfront and the Golden Gate Ferry, Casa Madrona provides easy access to San Francisco and other nearby attractions. Renowned for its exceptional hospitality and contemporary elegance, it stands as the perfect choice for an intimate and luxurious escape.

The Inn Above Tide

Indulge in the opulent charm of The Inn Above Tide. Situated directly over the bay atop pilings, the rooms at this intimate hotel have gorgeous waterfront views. Watch seals play, and boats cruise by right outside your window.

With chic rooms and suites, each adorned with a private furnished deck, the hotel offers guests a distinctive and inspiring luxury retreat. The accommodations feature elegant interiors and modern amenities, providing a sophisticated and comfortable stay.

Related Post: Tide Pools San Francisco – 6 Best Places to Delve Into the Wonders of Sea Life

Enhancing the experience, the hotel offers a complimentary breakfast and evening wine and cheese receptions, ensuring a delightful blend of indulgence and relaxation.

Pro Tip: Secure your San Francisco Hotel effortlessly with Tripster today! Whether you fancy the vibrant vibes of Union Square or the coastal charm of Fisherman’s Wharf, discover a diverse range of hotels in San Francisco tailored to your taste and budget.

Side of a wooden shingled building with glass enclosed patios next to a bay with San Francisco in the background
Photo Credit: The Inn Above Tide via Facebook

Best Restaurants for Foodies in Sausalito

Sushi Ran

All those adventures must have stirred up a hunger! If so, elevate your food trip to sushi heaven at Sushi Ran, a Bay Area gem consistently hailed as one of the best sushi spots around!

Step into a sleek and modern setting where fresh sushi and Japanese cuisine take the spotlight. Sushi Ran is not your average sushi joint—it’s a lively fusion of traditional Japanese and Pacific flavors.

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Top-notch chefs, exceptional service, and a California-sized wine and sake list that’s downright legendary. These make Sushi Ran a must-visit destination for anyone craving an extraordinary Japanese feast in the Bay Area!

Copita Tequileria y Comida

Embark on a flavor fiesta at Copita Tequileria y Comida, the hip and modern Mexican spot in Sausalito! With seasonally driven fare and tequila drinks that’ll make your taste buds dance, this restaurant brings a vibrant and contemporary twist to Mexican cuisine.

Their menu is all about modern Mexican delights paired with a tequila bar that’s straight-up legendary. Copita Tequileria y Comida is a lively and fun-filled journey through the delicious wonders of Mexico, right in the heart of Sausalito!

Close up photo of street tacos with lots of white onion
photo credit: Xavier crook via Facebook

Bar Bocce

Embrace the laid-back coastal charm at Bar Bocce, a beloved waterfront hotspot in Sausalito, offering a relaxed and inviting vibe with panoramic views of Richardson Bay.

Picture yourself unwinding in the outdoor setting, complete with a fire pit, back patio, and a bocce court. Creating the perfect ambiance to chill while gazing over the scenic Sausalito Harbor.

Related Post: Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco – Know Before You Go Insider’s Guide

Known for its wallet-friendly menu featuring healthy garden salads and unique sourdough pizza paired with a diverse selection of local beer and wine. This place has all the ingredients for a good time.

Lappert’s Ice Cream

Sweeten your day with a delightful treat! Indulge your sweet tooth at Lappert’s Ice Cream, a renowned brand celebrated for its distinctive and unique flavors. From Mint Chip and Lemon Creamcicle to Kauai Pie and many more.

With a rotating selection of 125 flavors, the brand is committed to delivering a diverse and delightful ice cream experience. And that’s not all – Lappert’s also features bakery treats and freshly roasted coffees!

Pro Tip: Can’t decide where to go? Opt for a food tour adventure! Join the Secret Food Tours San Francisco to discover how immigrants have influenced the distinctive features and incredible cuisine of the Mission District. Bon appétit!

young boy with a yellow shirt eating blue ice cream on a sunny day

Sausalito What to Do: Book Your Bay Area Adventure through Tripster Today

Sausalito is a fantastic seaside town offering a variety of activities, top-notch accommodations, and delicious dining. After exploring the area, relax at one of the town’s comfortable hotels.

Then, enjoy fresh seafood, Mexican cuisine, and artisanal ice cream at various restaurants. With stunning natural scenery and a laid-back atmosphere near San Francisco, Sausalito is a perfect getaway from the city hustle.

So, what are you waiting for? Book Tripster’s San Francisco Vacation Packages today! Come and discover the beauty and adventures waiting in Sausalito for yourself!

Things to Do in Sausalito CA FAQs

When packing for Sausalito, don't forget to include some lightweight and breathable clothing in your luggage. This type of attire is ideal not only for the city's mild marine climate but also for spontaneous beach trips or breezy sailboat excursions.

So, you've asked the million-dollar question: how long does it take to fully soak in the Sausalito magic? Rest easy because this stunning gem on the San Francisco Bay demands an entire day (or more) to fully appreciate its boundless beauty, rich history, and sun-kissed waterfront.

Ever heard about a 4-mile popular easy route near San Francisco, California, and wondered, "Can you walk across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito?" Well, buckle up because, yes, you certainly can! This enchanting stroll will take you on an adventure across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, offering breathtaking vistas of the city skyline, the bay, and even Alcatraz Island.

Tell Us, What Other Best Things to Do Sausalito CA Did We Miss?

Have anything to add to our Sausalito travel guide? Share with us in the comments below!

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Written by Archie Villaflores

Over the years, he has won numerous national contests for news and editorial writing, but he has recently discovered that his true passion...

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