While there’s no shortage of things to do in Sausalito, you might be looking for something a bit less common to enjoy your time in this lovely waterfront community. Sure, you can rent a kayak, window shop along Caledonia, or do a wine tasting at one of our tasting rooms – or you can try something new and different, guided by a local host.
That’s where Airbnb Experiences come in. These tours are all guided by locals from in and around Sausalito, and these Sausalito Airbnb Experiences allow you to try something new – tie-dying, crabbing, or hiking – that you might not otherwise try on your own, or find a tour for.
In this post, I’m highlighting the seven best Airbnb Experiences in Sausalito. As you’ll see, they take full advantage of Sausalito’s location and proximity to incredible sights and experiences, including the San Francisco Bay, the Redwoods, and more. Pick any one of these, and you’ll have an amazing time in Sausalito.
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.
This post was originally published in November 2021, and was updated most recently in July 2022.
1. Sailing from Sausalito
Ahoy there! Sailing is one of the loveliest ways to explore Sausalito. Luckily, there are plenty of sailing Airbnb Experiences in Sausalito to bring out the sailor in you.
Those wanting to get their hands dirty can book a tour with Ryan, sailing on the San Francisco Bay aboard his refurbished 1968 Bristol Corsair. He’ll teach you all about the basics of sailing while soaking up the sun and enjoying the watery views. Those looking to unwind at the sea should book Evan’s tour aboard Alsager. In this experience, he takes you to see SF’s fantastic landmarks as he shares all about his voyages and sailing lifestyle. Evan also offers an evening sail to witness sublime sunset views.
You can also find luxurious Sausalito Airbnb Experiences when it comes to sailing. Treat yourself to a private sunset sail aboard Heather’s yacht. She’ll take you for a journey around the bay and make sure you witness the most stunning sunset on the deck while sipping a glass of your favorite wine.
Or, if you have a special occasion coming, don’t hesitate to book the San Francisco Bay Cruise with Sean. He accommodates special requests on his classic motor yacht to cruise around San Francisco Bay. It’s an unforgettable experience with music, delicious food, and sublime views.
2. Scenic Sausalito Waterfront Walking Tour
There’s no doubt that Sausalito’s waterfront gives this little town much of its unique charm. While there are plenty of ways to explore the waterfront, one of the best is by walking.
Ben, a San Francisco native and certified guide, has designed this three-hour scenic walking tour where he takes you to experience and explores Sausalito’s highlights like a local. The experience is quite diverse, with sightseeing, history bits, and wildlife viewing. The adventure begins in Sausalito’s quirky houseboat community. You’ll feel like traveling back in time as Ben shares all about the 1970s, the Beatniks and hippies whose wild spirit flooded this area and gave birth to the houseboat community.
Make sure you have your camera ready for you’re about to see some eccentric houses along the way. From the houseboat community, you’ll shuttle to Fort Baker, right in the heart of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Here you’ll enjoy a lovely shoreline walk; keep your eyes peeled for the wonderful native birds, plants, trees, and animals that call this place home. You’ll also experience sweeping bay views of the Golden Gate Bridge and SF’s gorgeous skyline.
3. Exploring the Redwood Forests of Marin & Mt. Tam in Mill Valley
Ben also offers the Redwood Forests of Marin & Mt. Tam experience for anyone who wants to explore Marin’s magical redwood forest. Admittedly, this tour isn’t in Sausalito, but visiting the Redwoods is one of the top activities people enjoy in addition to visiting Sausalito.
This three-hour experience starts in Old Mill Park near downtown Mill Valley. From here, Ben will take you through quiet backroads and footpaths to visit groves of ancient redwood trees. Be ready to witness some stunning scenery. The trails Ben chooses are gorgeous and unspoiled. You’ll walk past spring-fed creeks, natural pools, and cascading falls.
Similar to his other experiences, Ben gives this tour a local’s approach, sharing little-known aspects of the coastal redwoods’ ecology and their clever adaptations for survival over many millions of years.
For those who can’t make it to Mill Valley, Ben offers up to three guests to meet him in Sausalito 45 minutes before the start time, where you will shuttle to Mill Valley’s Old Mill Park.
4. Legendary Sausalito Record Plant Tour
It may not seem like it, but Sausalito isn’t all about sailing or crab cooking. The small town has a rich past in the music scene and is home to one of the most legendary recording studios in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Record Plant.
If you’d like to experience this tiny piece of music history, stand in the same rooms where the music you’ve heard for years was recorded, then you can’t miss DJ Katia’s Record Plant tour. A DJ and analog music lover, Katia is also passionate about Record Plant. She has committed to preserving its history and sharing it with everyone who visits Sausalito. In this experience, she opens the studio doors and invites you to explore the iconic building where singers like Fleetwood Mac, Carlos Santana, and Aretha Franklin recorded their songs. You’ll be able to access the studio live room, mastering studio, the iso booths, and many more places where songs started to take shape.
Katia will also share the craziest anecdotes this place has seen and, of course, hear some of the famous tunes that were born here. You’ll also be able to see some cool pieces of psychedelic wood art along the hallways, which still capture the essence of the wild 70s.
5. Redwoods of Marin Photo Walk & Printmaking Session in Mill Valley
Art and nature have gone hand in hand since remote times. In fact, some of the best artists in history found inspiration in the nature surrounding them.
The Redwoods will definitely spark your creativity and you can take advantage of that in this Redwoods of Marin Photo Walk & Printmaking Session. Hosted by Ben, this three-hour outing takes you to discover the marvelous redwood forest canyons at the base of Mt. Tamalpais.
Along the way, you’ll hear all about the coastal redwoods, their uniqueness, and the habitat they provide for wildlife. Then, you’ll stop at natural pools and a cascading fall to create cyanotype photo prints of ferns and leaves you’ve collected on the journey. The cyanotype was a very popular printing process in the 19th century in which sunlight interacted with light-sensitive paper, changing the color of the exposed paper and leaving a silhouette.
The experience starts in downtown Sausalito at 10:30 am on weekdays and 11:00 am on weekends. From there, you will shuttle to Mill Valley to start the exploration of the redwood forest canyons.
6. Painting Ducky Bubbles
Speaking of art, Adele has the perfect Airbnb experience if you want to include an artistic stop during your Sausalito trip.
Adele opens the doors of her art gallery for visitors to take a class with professional artist Michelle Fillmore. She will teach you to paint funky ducky bubbles and all. The workshop walks you through the basics of painting. You’ll learn how to layer and mix color, the rules of composition, the tips and tricks of painting, and how to take care of your brushes.
Adele and Michelle provide all the materials you’ll need to create your work of art. They also serve tea; although you’re free to bring any snacks you’d like to indulge in while painting your ducky bubbles.
By the end of the experience, you’ll have a fantastic Ducky Bubbles painting to take home as a souvenir plus all the necessary knowledge to continue making your own paintings.
7. Hiking the Marin Headlands
Are you looking for Sausalito Airbnb Experiences to escape the crowds? If so then sign up for this Golden Gate Headlands hike. This Sausalito experience is an excellent opportunity to look at Sausalito’s charm and history from a different perspective.
Ben is a Bay Area native and local guide whose only wish is to share every in and out of Sausalito. To do so, he has decided to take you on a scenic walk through the lush Marin Headlands. You’ll meet at the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce, right next to the ferry landing. As you venture into the vast wilderness, Ben will share the stories this place holds. He knows pretty much everything about the area’s plant life, terrain, and historical spots. You’re sure to walk away with a wealth of knowledge.
Have your camera ready! You’ll be stopping by fantastic lookout points along the way (those only the locals know) to take in gorgeous and unusual views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and the city.
Ben offers two different options to conclude this lovely experience: either you can walk across the Golden Gate Bridge back to San Francisco or continue to Fort Baker, a former military base turned into a park.
8. Beekeeping in Mill Valley
Bees are extraordinary animals and their world is truly fascinating. You can discover how these amazing animals live and work and even learn the basics of beekeeping with Jennifer in this Airbnb experience.
Jennifer, a professional beekeeper, invites you to join her in The Woolly Egg Ranch, where you’ll put on beekeeping gear, open hives, and learn all about honeybees.
First things first, though. Jennifer gives you a short farm orientation and shares the basics of beekeeping safety and etiquette right off the bat. Once you’ve put on the protective gear, Jennifer will open hives, pull out frames of comb, and show you how the bee’s activities and behaviors change depending on the season.
You’ll also get to taste honey fresh from the comb! Courageous visitors can hold a frame of honeycomb in their hands and watch the bees busy at work.
I know, despite being so tiny, bees can be intimidating. But don’t let your fear of getting stung deter you from booking this experience! Jennifer makes sure to take all safety precautions so you can feel comfortable during the tour.
9. Hiking in the Redwoods in Mill Valley
You’ve never experienced the Redwoods in this way! Nicki and her team of amazing guides will take you among the Redwoods to rediscover the power and beauty of nature. In this immersive outdoor experience, you’ll indulge in the smells, flavors, sights, and sounds of the majestic Redwoods.
This Airbnb Experience begins on beautiful Mt. Tamalpais and follows down into the ancient forest. Nicki and her team follow a 3.5-mile trail with a 1-mile uphill climb on the way out. You’ll see unspoiled beauty all around as there are ancient trees, pristine waterfalls, and small valleys on the trail. While walking through the Redwoods is impressive, the “herbalistic” approach to the experience is the highlight making this tour different from others. Seriously, the guides have such vast plant knowledge that you can easily confuse the hike with an introduction to herbalism class.
They pick different plants and berries along the way and explain to visitors about their properties and uses. You’ll also learn tons about foraging and the science behind the Redwoods flora. By the way, be ready to widen your gastronomic horizons as you’ll be picking and munching on exotic berries and leaves!
10. Exploring the Beauty of Marin Headlands
Nicki also has designed a fantastic experience to discover one of her favorite places in Marin County, the Marin Headlands. The experience starts in Sausalito, where you’ll meet Nicki and head up to the Marin Headlands.
Make sure you bring your camera to the tour. You’ll walk through the area’s most scenic trails backdropped by the sprawling Pacific Ocean. Nicki will share all about the Headlands’ fauna and you might even spot whales migrating in the water and coyotes roaming the hills along the way. As Nicki is well-versed in the local flora, you’ll get to learn about wild plants, their uses, and taste some of them.
11. Crabbing at Point Cavallo
Yes, there are also Sausalito Airbnb Experiences for the foodies out there!
Eating at a restaurant is a marvelous experience. No one disagrees with that. However, there’s nothing like the satisfaction of eating something you concocted and caught yourself! If you haven’t tried it yet, then this crabbing class is an excellent one to try first.
Uncle Dave has designed this crabbing class, or Golden Gate Bridge-Crab, Cook & Crack experience, as he calls it, and it is the definition of the “from the sea to table” cuisine. He’ll be waiting for you on the front side of the pier – look for the small neon orange flag. In two hours, Dave will teach you all about the different types of crabs, what makes a good crab (and why), the best way to cook them, plus a few clever fishing techniques.
Once you’ve learned the basics, Uncle Dave hands you the net, and it’s time to put all your knowledge to work. You’ll be dropping the nets right off the pier and into the water, pulling them up, and looking over what you caught. Don’t worry, he’ll be by your side all the time. Now that you’ve caught those crabs, it’s time to cook! Uncle Dave puts on his apron and steams the fresh crabs while telling you the craziest stories. Once he serves you the crab, he teaches you how to crack and eat it. After that, grab your cutlery and enjoy!
12. Birding at Rodeo Beach
While Marin County’s flora is undeniably stunning, its fauna is also worth exploring.
Join Leanne in her NorCal Birds and Beach experience to discover the diverse marine and forest ecosystems. A California naturalist, Leanne takes you on a trip to Rodeo Beach, a privileged place ripe with natural fauna. Here, you’ll be able to spot shorebirds, such as the double-crested cormorant, the elegant egret, and the threatened brown pelican.
The experience starts at the cove at low tide. Leanne takes you to see the pillow lava lining the bay first. Then, you will circle the lush lagoon and find native plants and flowers along the way. You’ll also climb the hills to enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean as far as the eye can see while learning about the ancient geology that cradles the beach.
As a heads up, Leanne asks all visitors to bring a water bottle, camera, hiking or walking shoes, and perhaps binoculars to Rodeo Beach.
13. Natural Tie-Dyeing in Mill Valley
Take (and make!) the most beautiful souvenir at this natural tie-dyeing workshop in Sausalito. Turns out plants aren’t just an excellent source of medicine. You can also use them to make natural dyes.
Auli welcomes everyone to her fiber art studio, a gorgeous space surrounded by lush greenery, to do natural tie-dyeing. During the experience, you will learn the different foods, plants, and spices in nature (and the kitchen!) you can use as dyes. The experience is very much hands-on. You’ll be making your own natural dyes and dyeing wool or a silk scarf – both suitable fabrics for Sausalito’s chilly nights.
There’s plenty of freedom, and you can experiment with all the colors you want. Auli’s craft follows a sustainable principle, so she uses mostly traditional plants of the region to extract the dyes. Acorn, eucalyptus leaves, and coffee berry bush leaves are among the most common. Nonetheless, you will also have a wide choice of traditional dyes to work with.
Bonus: Walking Tour of Historic Tiburon
We’ve all been on those walking tours where the guide shares facts you could have easily googled yourself. Well, Elliot’s walking tour of historic Tiburon is nothing like that. He also used to be a teacher, so he knows how to keep his audience entertained.
His walking tour takes you on a historic voyage through Tiburon, Marin County’s second loveliest town – after Sausalito, of course. He’s been a Tiburon resident for years and aims at sharing historical insights that give visitors a new understanding of this beautiful area’s history and evolution. Save at least two hours of your day for this experience. Elliot goes back to the very beginning of history, with the indigenous people who first inhabited the land, and finishes with Tiburon’s present as a tourist attraction.
He has gathered information from every possible source to reconstruct Tiburon’s history– original newspaper accounts, magazines, historical books, local historians, and town old-timers make up his sources. So, he knows the deepest secrets and memorable stories Tiburon holds. He also carries dozens of historical photographs to illustrate each anecdote he shares. Also, you won’t believe Elliot’s ability to accurately recall the smallest detail.
Now that you know all of the different activities you can enjoy in the Sausalito area, are you inspired to book one of these Sausalito Airbnb Experiences? Let me know any questions in the comments!