Getting Oriented

Getting to Sausalito: 5 Options for Visiting (2024)

While you may have never visited before, trust me when I say: Sausalito is a special place. There’s a reason over a million people visit Sausalito each year (source) and many people in the Bay Area dream of someday moving here.

On this site, I’ve covered a lot of tips about visiting Sausalito: where to eat, where to stay, things to do, and much, much more. But one topic I’ve never covered in one place? All of your options for getting to Sausalito.

Getting to Sausalito Hero

Below you’ll find a breakdown of every way you can get to Sausalito (or return to San Francisco by) – while there are no “planes” or “trains,” there are lots of options in addition to “automobiles.” My best advice? Pick one way to travel to Sausalito and return using a different method of transportation. Then you get to enjoy even more!

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.

Option 1: By Ferry

Sausalito Ferry Hero

One of the most popular ways for getting to Sausalito is by ferry. Ferries depart regularly to Sausalito from San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Pier 41, near Fisherman’s Wharf. I’ve written a short description of each terminal, so you know where to find them. 

  • San Francisco Ferry Building: The historic Ferry Building in San Francisco sits on the Embarcadero Promenade, near downtown SF. For yet another reference, the building sits at the foot of Market St.
  • San Francisco Pier 41: You’ll find Pier 41 east of Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco’s popular neighborhood on the northern side of the city. It sits to the west of the famed Pier 39.

Now that you know where to find the terminals, there are two companies in San Francisco operating a ferry to Sausalito. 

  • Golden Gate Ferry: Golden Gate Ferry operates ferry services to Sausalito from the historic Ferry Building in San Francisco. They offer rides seven days a week, and you can catch the ferry to Sausalito and other destinations at Gate B. Make sure you check their website to learn about their current schedule and fares. 
  • Blue & Gold Fleet: Blue & Gold Fleet is the largest ferry operator in San Francisco Bay. Their ferries depart from Pier 41 in San Francisco, and you’ll find their ticket offices are at Pier 39. Check their website for the latest rates, routes, and schedules. 

Regardless of the company, the ferry ride takes about 30 minutes and is a great way to enjoy stunning views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Check out my Sausalito Ferry guide for more details about the ferries, their schedule, and local tips for a smooth ride. 

Option 2: By Bike

How to Bike from SF to Sausalito

Sausalito and San Francisco are connected by the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Luckily, the bridge has cyclists-only paths! If you’re feeling adventurous, biking across it can be a fun way for getting to Sausalito. 

There are two ways to bike to Sausalito: you can do it yourself by renting a bike or booking a guided tour. Renting a bike is by far the most popular one. You’ll find many bike rental shops in San Francisco– most of them are concentrated around Fisherman’s Wharf. 

The ride across the Golden Gate Bridge is 8.5 miles and takes approximately 2.5 hours to cover. Once you arrive in Sausalito, you can park your bike and explore the town on foot. Don’t forget to bring water and your camera for the ride! There are tons of photogenic spots along the way.

Make sure you check my guide to learn all the details about cycling across Golden Gate Bridge, from which rentals you can browse to the easiest routes! 

Option 3: By Car

Driving is also an option for how to get to Sausalito from San Francisco. The ride is fairly straightforward and doesn’t take more than half an hour. The challenging part would be the parking once you reach Sausalito, especially on weekends and holidays. As for directions, just take US Highway 101 north across the Golden Gate Bridge. Then exit at the first exit past the north Vista point (Alexander Avenue) and follow the road downhill into Sausalito.

Option 4: By Bus

The bus is another alternative, though it’s not the most popular way for getting to Sausalito.  

There’s only one bus route between San Francisco and Sausalito: the Golden Gate Transit Route 130, which actually goes to San Rafael via Sausalito. The ride takes about 30 minutes.  In San Francisco, your bus stop will be at Mission Street and 5th Street. Once it gets to Sausalito, you’ll have to get off the bus at Bridgeway and El Portal in Sausalito – it’s opposite the Ferry pier.

Always make sure you check Golden Gate Transit’s website for the current routes, fares, and schedules.  

Option 5: On A Tour

Sausalito Tours - Dylans Tours

Last but not least, booking a tour is another way how to travel to Sausalito. I always suggest tours to explore Sausalito when travelers are tight on time and want to cover as much as possible of the quaint town.

There are tons of tour operators in San Francisco that offer tours of Sausalito. The biggest perk of booking a tour is the huge diversity you have. There are walking tours with a historic incline for those interested in the cultural side, food and wine pairing tours for those who want a glimpse of the town’s gastronomic scene, and even sailing tours if you want the typical Mediterranean experience with azure waters and breezy sunsets. 

If this sounds like a plan you’d enjoy, check out my guide to the best Sausalito tours to explore the little town and even beyond. 

Have any questions about these ways of getting to Sausalito, or which one you should do for your trip? 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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