Sausalito, a charming coastal town just north of San Francisco, is an idyllic setting where romance is seemingly written into the landscape. From the panoramic views of the Bay to the quaint houseboat community, Sausalito paints a picturesque backdrop for love, even if it’s not Valentine’s Day.
Whether you’re planning a first date or a special anniversary, there’s no shortage of romantic things to do in Sausalito. Below you’ll find a guide to all of those experiences: the most romantic activities, restaurants, and places to stay, so that you can plan the ultimate romantic getaway in Sausalito.
Don’t see something that strikes your fancy or that your significant other will enjoy? There are lots of other options! You can always check out my whole list of things to do in Sausalito for more inspiration. Ready to plan the perfect romantic rendezvous in this little city by the bay? Here’s your guide!
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.
Top Romantic Things to Do in Sausalito
If you ask me, Sausalito is a romantic place in its own right. The quirkiness, the bay, the ferries coming and going… But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a few romantic activities handy to spend some tie with your special one. Here are my suggestions.
Take a Stroll Along Bridgeway Promenade
When thinking about romantic things to do in Sausalito, I like to start with a classic one: walking dates! Sausalito has tons of scenic walks, but Bridgeway Promenade is by far the best option. Meander hand in hand along the walkaway while you enjoy breathtaking views of the Bay, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and the skyline of San Francisco.
If you can, time your walk around sunset to make it even more romantic. On the way back, pop by one of the restaurants or bars along Bridgeway for a drink or a delicious meal.
Admire the View from Vista Point
For a panoramic vista that will steal your breath away, head to Vista Point. This vantage point is perched on a hilltop and offers a stunning outlook over the Golden Gate Bridge. This scenic spot is ideal for stealing kisses and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Note: getting to Vista Point can be tricky, so check my guide to ensure you take the right turn depending on which direction you’re traveling from.
Dip Your Toes in the Sand on a Sausalito Beach
If there’s a beach, there’s a romantic spot, right? Sausalito’s beaches were always going to make their way into my list of romantic things to do in Sausalito; it’s like they’re made to have a date. The breezy air, the sound of the waves crashing, the piers…
Sausalito has a fair share of beaches where you can take a walk while holding hands. You could go barefoot or stroll in the surf – just don’t be surprised because the Bay/Pacific (depending on which one you visit) can be very chilly!
Bond by Paddling a Tandem Kayak
In case you haven’t noticed, Sausalito has a lot of water around it. And while there are tons of ways to get on the water, but, for me, the best is kayaking.
What could be more romantic than paddling in the same vessel with your partner? Tandem kayaking embodies the “couple as a team” concept. You have to be in tune with each others’ needs to maneuver the kayak and face unexpected challenges. It’s a great opportunity to strengthen the bond and create a fun memory to remember later.
Enjoy a Sunset Sail Aboard the Freda B
I’m going to finish this list of romantic things to do in Sausalito with the best of the best: setting sail on a romantic sunset cruise aboard the Freda B. This schooner is iconic, and the crew provides a friendly and intimate experience, especially on their sunset sailings. There are families and couples on board celebrating engagements, anniversaries, and birthdays.
The sunsets are spectacular and you can be lucky enough to see the moon rise, too. You’ll also enjoy great views of the San Francisco skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, and Alcatraz. There’s a bar that serves a great deal of items so you can toast to your love with a glass of champagne.
Sausalito’s Most Romantic Restaurants
No romantic getaway is complete without a romantic dinner. Luckily, Sausalito has tons of restaurants for a candlelight dinner with views of the bay.
Perched on a hillside overlooking the bay, The Spinnaker offers breathtaking panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline. If you want a nice date, I figure a restaurant with a nice view is in order, and The Spinnaker fits that bill.
It’s a great place to bring a date for a nice dinner, and the food will definitely make a good impression. The menu has a lot of seafood choices just like you would hope. It can seem a bit overwhelming because you definitely have a lot of options, but your waiter will give you some great recs.
Scoma’s of Sausalito
During our first year in Sausalito – and right before the pandemic closed everything down – we actually had our first Valentine’s Day dinner at Scoma’s… and we were not alone in thinking it was the perfect spot for a romantic meal.
Located on the waterfront, Scoma’s of Sausalito presents a charming blend of rustic charm and refined elegance. Its inviting, intimate atmosphere is enhanced by the soft lighting, cozy booths, and stunning vistas of the marina. Renowned for its fresh seafood, Scoma’s culinary creations include the flavors of the ocean, creating an unforgettable dining experience for couples seeking a romantic rendezvous.
Nestled in the heart of downtown Sausalito, Osteria Divino is one of the most iconic romantic restaurants that Sausalito has to offer. Because, how can you beat the romantic ambiance of a traditional Italian trattoria? The intimate tables, soft candlelight, and the aroma of authentic Italian cuisine create an atmosphere of more.
From handmade pasta to flavorful risottos, Osteria Divino’s menu showcases the best of Italian culinary traditions, providing couples with a delightful and intimate dining experience.
Sticking to the European theme, Le Garage captures the essence of a quaint French bistro. It’s intimate setting, adorned with vintage posters, cozy booths, and a crackling fireplace oozes the charm and romance of the old French streets; if you’d rather dine al fresco and the weather is good, the boardwalk dining area is my personal fave.
The restaurant’s French-inspired menu features classic dishes prepared with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, ensuring an exquisite dining experience for couples seeking a taste of France’s culinary delights.
Angelino Restaurant is another Italian option. Located in the heart of Sausalito, Angelino’s menu showcases traditional Italian flavors with a modern twist, offering an array of delectable dishes that cater to all palates. There’s plenty of opportunity for people-watching, boat-watching, or just enjoying your dining companion.
Where to Stay for a Romantic Sausalito Getaway
Finding a place to stay in Sausalito is not as simple as other towns. Mainly, because of a city rule that doesn’t allow for vacation rental stays of less than 30 days. This situation reduces the accommodation options and hotels end up having the upper hand and charging exorbitant rates. You can read more about this in this post.
But, since you’re planning a Sausalito romantic getaway, a stay in a fancy hotel doesn’t sound so bad, huh? Here are your options:
Casa Madrona is a wonderful place to go away and spend some time with your partner. This boutique hotel has beautiful views, posh firepits to sit around and sip drinks at, and even a delightful spa.
You’ll also be in the perfect location for parking, walking to restaurants, coffee, shopping, sightseeing, wine tasting, biking across Golden Gate and Marin headlands, Tiburon.. and don’t forget the romantic walks along the water!
Hotel Sausalito & Suites
Nestled in the heart of town, Hotel Sausalito & Suites is a classic hotel that is next to the Ferry Terminal. This hotel reminds me very much of a European pensione more so than a traditional American-style hotel. So it’s the perfect place for those who love old-fashioned charm.
The hotel is painted in a lovely Tuscan color palette and has antique detail like cast iron bed frames and sun-drenched seating areas. The views are some of the best in town, with the hotel overlooking the Viña del Mar Park and Bridgeway.
The Gables Inn
The Gables Inn is the sister property of Hotel Sausalito. Classy remodel of an old-style house with perfect San Francisco Bay views. Though it’s a bit more on the modern side.
Each of the 15 rooms at The Gables Inn boasts dark solid colors, rich textures, and clean lines. Some rooms have additional features, such as stunning views from the Bay Room (suite), the patio from the Magnolia and Willow Rooms, and fireplaces in many of the rooms.
There’s also wine and appetizers served in the evening and a wonderful selection for breakfast in the morning.
The Inn Above Tides
I’ll round off with The Inn Above Tides. This little boutique hotel is usually the first Sausalito Hotel that people see: it sits right next to the Ferry terminal with the best – and closest – waterfront views in town.
The hotel is perfect for either a short weekend or a long week. They offer a number of different room classes and all have waterfront views – some deluxe rooms also have a private balcony that allows you to sit out over the water to admire panoramic views of Angel Island, the San Francisco skyline, and boats passing. To top it off, a bottle of wine and cheese plate is delivered to your door complimentary each evening. If you’re looking to splurge* on your stay in Sausalito, the Bay View is the room to do it!
*It’s worth noting that Casa Madrona does have one room at a higher price point, but it requires an online quote to even see how much!
And there you have it: a complete guide to romantic things to do in Sausalito, the most romantic restaurants, and places to stay that will carry on the romantic vibes all night long… 😉 Have any questions about planning your romantic getaway to Sausalito? Let me know in the comments below!