Travel Tips

Autumn in Sausalito: A Guide to a Surprisingly Pleasant Season

Northern California is a huge region, characterized by everything from the dramatic rainy weather of the Pacific Northwest near Crescent City to the windswept coasts of Big Sur further south to the dry, dusty slopes of the Sierra Nevadas in the east. The San Francisco Bay Area – including Sausalito – sits somewhere in the middle, and has equally middling and temperate weather on the whole.

This is part of what makes the Bay Area – and Sausalito – a year-round destination: the weather is marginally better during certain times of year, but there’s no season with terrible weather. (Though wildfire season definitely sucks, and these atmospheric rivers that keep coming in each winter are also a big threat.)

In any case, Sausalito is worth visiting in any season, and autumn in Sausalito is a lovely time to visit. Below you’ll find a quick breakdown of the autumn season, what weather you can expect, and some special events you can only experience when visiting Sausalito in the autumn.

Sausalito is the traditional lands of the Graton Rancheria, Miwok, and Me-Wuk (Coast Miwok) peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation to the past and present stewards of these lands. To learn more, I invite you to explore Native Land.

When is Autumn in Sausalito?

Autumn in Sausalito Hero

Since Sausalito sits in the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumnal equinox generally starts around late September or early October and lasts until December. But for the picky ones out there, autumn starts on September 23rd and ends on  December 22nd. 

During this season, temperatures begin to cool down, and the days become shorter. 

Sausalito Weather in the Autumn

Autumn in Sausalito tends to be mild and pleasant – pretty much like all the seasons. Average high temperatures range from the mid-60s to the low 70s Fahrenheit, while lows typically dip into the mid-40s to low 50s Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures occur in the evenings and early mornings. Rain is possible, but it’s not as common as in the winter months.

Sausalito Autumn Events

In the autumn, Sausalito hosts tons of fun events you can enjoy to make your visit to the quirky bayside town even more special. Below you’ll find six great events you can attend during your stay. 

Sausalito Art Festival (September TBA)

Autumn in Sausalito - Art Festival
Photo courtesy of the Sausalito Art Festival

Want to explore Sausalito’s rich cultural scene? Come to the Sausalito Art Festival. Usually held every Labor Day weekend*, this festival brings together more than 260 award-winning artists and musicians from around the world. The works of art are rigorously selected by a knowledgeable jury.

Unfortunately, due to issues with homelessness in Sausalito, the SAF lost its location and the event is not currently scheduled for 2023. If that changes, I’ll be sure to update this post.

Sausalito Chili Cook-Off (September 23)

Autumn in Sausalito - Chili Cook Off
Photo courtesy of

For all my brave foodies out there, the Sausalito Chili Cook-Off festival is held in Sausalito in September. This event is a celebration of all things chili, where cooks from all around the Bay Area come together to compete for the title of the best chili in town.

Go booth-hopping and sample a variety of chili recipes, each with its own unique twist and flavor profile. From sweet and smoky to fiery and intense, you’ll go home with a ton of new recipes to try back home!

Fleet Week (October 2-10)

Autumn in Sausalito - Fleet Week

Fleet Week is a unique experience if you’re a military buff. This exciting event brings together the best of naval aviation and marine technology, as the U.S. Navy’s finest ships and aircraft take center stage.

The highlight is the aerial displays by the Blue Angels – the performance is a bit scary for some people as the planes fly so close that you can clearly see the pilot’s face. There are also live music performances, food vendors, and a variety of interactive exhibits for attendees to enjoy.

Halloween Parade (October 31)

Don your spookiest costume and join the fun at the Halloween Parade! This annual event is a highlight of the fall season, bringing together families, friends, and community members for a night of thrills and chills.

The parade features a wide range of costumes that are sure to make your spine tingle. But the fun doesn’t stop there. You can also attend fun events, like the Howl’OWeen Dog Costume Contest or the  Haunted House. 

City-Wide Sausalito Yard Sale (October TBA)

Spring in Sausalito - City-Wide Garage Sale

Who doesn’t enjoy finding great stuff for a few bucks, or even less? If you’re a talented thrift shopper get ready to uncover hidden treasures and bargain finds at the City-Wide Sausalito Yard Sale, which happens twice a year – in the spring and fall.

This bi-annual event brings together sellers from all over the city to showcase their goods, creating a bazaar of unique and eclectic items. You can find everything, from vintage clothing to handmade crafts, furniture to jewelry.

Outdoor Movie Night (October TBA)

Fancy watching a movie under the moon and stars? Sausalito screens classics of all time in one of the city parks. The event is free and takes place throughout October. There’s not much information about the 2023 schedule yet, so make sure you visit Sausalito’s website to stay current on the latest news and you don’t miss it!

Have any other questions about visiting Sausalito in the autumn, between September and October? Let me know in the comments below!

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Valerie fell in love with Sausalito after her very first visit; she and her husband then moved there in 2019. It's one of her favorite places in the Bay Area and she's excited to show you the best parts of her city.

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