Sausalito is a great place to visit – it draws visitors from around the Bay Area and world! Many people cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge, take the Sausalito ferry from San Francisco, or drive to visit Sausalito. But if you drive, where should you park your car? Parking in Sausalito is a bit tricky, so I’m here to help.
This guide to parking in Sausalito will break down the different parking options and other details about each one (including hours, rates, and daily maximums). If you are driving to Sausalito to visit our great town, you’ll have all the basic information you need to know when and where to park – and how much it will cost (or if you are lucky enough to find free parking!).
Note: Sausalito is currently closed to non-resident vehicle on weekends due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rest of this article focuses on the parking rules and fees that normally apply or for weekday parking.
Parking Lots in Sausalito
There are five public parking lots in Sausalito:
- Lot #1 is located near the Sausalito ferry terminal, at the intersection of Anchor Street and Humboldt Avenue. It is a large public parking lot near downtown and the closest lot to Bridgeway Promenade.
- Lot #2 is located along Humboldt Avenue adjacent to and north of Lot #1.
- Lot #3 is north again from Lot #2, located at Humboldt Avenue and Bay St. This lot is easy to miss as it is blocked by trees from Bridgeway Promenade.
- Lot #4 is the northmost lot in the string of lots running north from the ferry terminal. It is officially along Ensign Street and serves as a good lot to access New Town.
- Lot #5 is located at the mouth of Locust Street. It is the northmost of the public parking lots; all lots north of Lot #5 are not city lots and parking restrictions may apply.
Lots #1-4 are pre-paid parking lots with specific hours and rates that must be paid in advance of parking.
Parking Lot Rates & Hours
Lots #1-4 are pre-paid lots with set hours and rates; Lot #5 offers free short-term parking up to three hours. However, residents from a local marina also park in Lot #5 so parking can be tough to find at times.
During the summer (see more about seasons below), Lots #1-4 have parking enforcement from 7am to 10pm daily at the following rates:
|Lot||Rate per Hour||Max per day|
Parking Lot Fee Seasons
As noted above, there are two seasons for parking in Sausalito:
- Summer runs from May 1 through September 30 each year
- Winter runs from October 1 to April 30 each year
These seasons matter because the hours, rates you pay per hour and maximum per day all change. Broadly speaking, the rate per hour during the winter is $1 less in all lots compared to summer rates. The maximum per day is also less in Lots #1-4 during the winter, though it varies by how much.
Paying to Park in Sausalito Parking Lots
You have two options to pay for parking in Sausalito’s public parking lots:
- You can pay using the terminals in each lot. Before leaving your vehicle, you must pre-pay for the total amount of time you want to park or come back to add-on time.
- You can use the Parkmobile app on your phone to pay for your parking and add-on time.
Street Parking in Sausalito
Broadly speaking, you can park on most streets in Sausalito, including in residential areas. Here are the general guidelines you might encounter:
- Some residential areas are by permit only
- Some streets mix permit and non-permitted parking based on hours and duration (such as from 9am to 6pm not in excess of 3 hours)
- In the downtown core, most street parking is metered and you should pay the meter rate before leaving your car
- Meter parking generally costs between $1.50-$3.00 per hour depending on the season and location
It’s important to check the signage before street parking in Sausalito to understand what rules apply in the area you’re parking. Be sure to confirm the time on your meter before leaving too!
Parking Permits in Sausalito
The City of Sausalito offers a number of parking permits and passcards for different groups.
- Residents can apply for parking permits for overnight parking, multi-day parking in certain lots (up to 72 hours), and passcards for free local downtown parking (up to 3 hours).
- Commuters can apply for Daily Parking Cards that greatly reduce parking costs. Generally, these allow commuters to park in city parking lots for a maximum of $4, significantly lower than the hourly and daily maximum rates for visitors.
Free Parking in Sausalito
As mentioned, Lot #5 offers free short-term parking for visitors and locals, up to three hours. Lot #5 is located near Bridgeway Marina, one of Sausalito’s many marinas.
There are also locations around Sausalito where you can park for free on the street for 2-3 hours. It’s important to check any signage on a street, especially in residential areas, to ensure you don’t park in a permit area or overstay the time for that area and receive a citation. (Yes, Sausalito is strict on parking citations and hands them out liberally for those in violation!)
The City of Sausalito also occasionally offers free parking at other times of the year. For example, the City offers free street parking during the holiday shopping season to encourage visitors to complete gift shopping in town.
Overnight Parking in Sausalito
There is no free overnight parking in Sausalito. Broadly speaking, you can park overnight in Sausalito if you pay for the parking fees associated with that spot and are not in violation of any other terms of parking.
(For example, Lot #5 is a free lot, but only permit-holders may park between 2am and 6am each day, so this is not an overnight lot.)
If you are staying overnight at one of the Sausalito hotels, they provide parking services and you should check directly with the hotel to determine where to leave your car.
Have other questions about parking in Sausalito? Check out the City of Sausalito Parking site, or let us know in the comments.