Sausalito, named by a Spanish explorer for the little willows, or saucelitos, growing along its shores, always has been a vibrant area. In the 1800s, the area was known as Whaler’s Harbor, and sailors and whalers flocked to the port for its safe harbor, saloons, bordellos and gaming houses. After its incorporation in 1893, the town became a major ferry and railway center, and then a shipyard during World War II. Through the 1960s, Sausalito carved an enduring reputation as the bohemian haunt of artists, writers, actors, poets, and others who spent their time on waterfront houseboats. Today, Sausalito is a favorite tourist destination, for its art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques lining Bridgeway, and for the beautiful and in some cases, funky homes that line the hills facing the bay as well as the harbor.
What To See
Sausalito is a veritable play land, with parks and playgrounds, private docks, trails and state recreation facilities all within a short distance from downtown. The city is a popular place for tourists, and downtown along the Sausalito Waterfront boasts a wealth of small boutiques, souvenir shops, ice cream stands and eateries. To avoid the tourist crowds, go to the area where the locals hang out: Caledonia Street, with interesting shops, galleries, and several terrific restaurants.
Sausalito is right on the water, and thus gets a lot of fog and mist coming in off the bay. This fog burns off by early afternoon most of the time, but sometimes the town can stay socked in for most of the day. Average temperatures range from 40 to 74 degrees.