While I can’t imagine why you’d ever want to leave Sausalito, some folks who visit this charming city by the bay have a desire to see other parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. Fair enough – but where to go? You can certainly see tourist sites like Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, or get some fresh air in your lungs at Angel Island or Muir Woods… but there’s one more place you might want to visit, and it’s a lot like Sausalito (though obviously not as cool, and no I’m not biased at all!): Tiburon.
Tiburon is another small waterfront community located in the North Bay, and it’s a short distance from Sausalito. In fact, you’ll likely see Tiburon from the ferry on your way from San Francisco, if that’s how you decide to reach Sausalito.
In any case, you might be wondering how to travel from Sausalito to Tiburon during your time in our area. This post details it all: your options for traveling to Tiburon from Sausalito, as well as some top activities to enjoy during your time there. While I’ll always love Sausalito most, charming Tiburon is well worth a visit during your time in the Bay Area, and here’s how to make it happen.
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.
How to Get from Sausalito to Tiburon
Sausalito and Tiburon are only 10 miles apart. Depending on your interests and possibilities, there are a few ways in which you can cover that distance. Below you’ll find a detailed guide on the different ways to visit Tiburon from Sausalito.
Tiburon Ferry Schedule & Tickets
Unlike other destinations in the Bay Area, there’s no direct connection from Sausalito to Tiburon.
If you want to ride the ferry (which is an attraction in its own right), you have to go to San Francisco first and then take the ferry from the Ferry Building on The Embarcadero for Tiburon.
Golden Gate Ferry is the only company running daily services from San Francisco to Tiburon. The ferry ride from San Francisco to Tiburon takes about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the day.
Here’s the 2022 summer schedule:
|Depart Tiburon||Arrive San Francisco||Depart San Francisco||Arrive Tiburon|
|–||–||7:20 AM||7:50 AM|
|8:00 AM||8:30 AM||8:35 AM||9:05 AM|
|9:20 AM||9:50 AM||10:25 AM||11:20 AM|
|11:35 AM||12:05 PM||12:15 PM||12:45 PM|
|1:15 PM||1:45 PM||3:35 PM||4:05 PM|
|4:10 PM||5:05 PM||5:20 PM||5:48 PM|
|6:00 PM||6:30 PM||–||–|
The company sells one-way tickets only and prices vary depending on the age of the visitors. You can buy them from terminal ticket machines in San Francisco.
Here’s a list of current fares for a one-way trip:
- Adult Single Ride (ages 19-64) $14
- Youth (ages 5-18) $7.00
- Seniors (ages 65+) $7.00
- Disabled (with approved ID) or Medicare $7.00
- Children (ages 4 & under) Free
Biking from Sausalito to Tiburon
As I mentioned before, Sausalito and Tiburon are only 10 miles apart, so a bike ride is a great way to travel between these towns, especially on a summer morning. It’s also a popular cycling training route, so you’ll likely see lots of other folks out on two wheels if you decide to bike from Sausalito to Tiburon.
The first leg of your journey starts in downtown Sausalito. Follow Bridgeway all the way to the north end of town to access the Mill Valley-Sausalito Multi-Use Pathway. Continue straight until you go past the Holiday Inn Mill Valley. Here, the path turns north and stretches along the edge of the Bay through Bayfront Park from Sausalito to Mill Valley. When the path meets E. Blithedale Avenue, you’ll turn right on Blithedale back towards Highway 101 to start your journey to Tiburon.
Keep in mind that when E. Blithedale Avenue reaches Highway 101 its name changes to Tiburon Boulevard. Now all you have to do is stay on Tiburon Boulevard until you reach the town of Tiburon.
Tip: Have your camera ready! Tiburon Boulevard skirts a good portion of Richardson Bay, offering breathtaking views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Driving from Sausalito to Tiburon
Driving is another way to travel directly from Sausalito to Tiburon. It’s a short 15-minute drive along Tiburon Boulevard. However, what you save in time driving, you’ll likely spend it finding a parking spot in Tiburon.
Much like biking, driving allows you to explore the wonders of the North Bay. While it’s a short drive, it’s full of interesting sights. If you’re in no rush, you can make the Sausalito to Tiburon drive a mini road trip. Remember that traffic can make a big difference in driving time – especially the Richardson Bay Bridge on US 101 –, so take that into account when planning your itinerary.
What to Do on a Day Trip to Tiburon from Sausalito
When people think of a day trip to Tiburon, they often reduce it to lingering brunches and pretty views of San Francisco. This is all true, but beautiful Tiburon has a lot more to offer.
Go Hiking at Old St. Hilary’s Preserve
Old St Hilary’s Open Space is one of Tiburon’s natural treasures. This 122-acre open land sits at the end of the Tiburon peninsula and offers stunning 360-degree views of San Francisco, the Bay, Marin Headlands, and so much more.
The highlight of the preserve is Old St. Hilary’s, a little white chapel on top of the hill. It’s a pleasant hike to the top and the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs before hitting the road again if you came by car.
Dig into Local History at the Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum
Photo (R) courtesy of Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society
The town of Tiburon may be small, but it’s packed with history. You can learn a slice of Tiburon’s history at the Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum.
Housed in the former San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad Station House/Depot, the museum explores the times when Tiburon was the terminus for the Northwest Pacific Railroad. For the train buffs out there, the museum has a scale model of Tiburon with a working model train – sometimes, the staff runs it for you. Cool bit of history in motion.
Swing at the Hippie Tree
On your way to or from downtown Tiburon, swing up Gilmartin Drive and you’ll get to one of the most beautiful places in Marin, the Hippie Tree.
An old giant Eucalyptus, the Hippie Tree is a not-so-secret spot in Tiburon famous for its sweeping vistas of the Bay Area. But this isn’t your typical vantage point. The tree has a sturdy swing where people can sit and enjoy an idyllic experience. As a heads up, the swing is quite high, so you’ll probably need some assistance getting up.
Grab a Drink at Sam’s Anchor Cafe
Brunching is like a national sport in Tiburon, with most visitors coming to the luxurious town to partake in this activity. And so should you.
You’ll find tons of dockside restaurants offering tip-top brunches. However, if it’s your first time, you need to go brunching at Sam’s Anchor Cafe. This waterfront restaurant is a Tiburon institution and a rite of passage for first-time visitors. They serve decadent and one of the best views of Angel Island. However, they’re utterly famous for their Bloody Marys. The secret behind their success is the recipe. Sam’s takes a traditional approach to the Bloody Mary, meaning it’s full of vodka and celery, but with whole peppers giving it that extra kick.
If it’s summer, arrive early and, by all means, grab a place outside – just be careful with your food as you’ll be sharing the space with pigeons and gulls.
Take a Walking Tour
Walking is the best way to explore a new place. I also covered it in my guide to Sausalito Airbnb Experiences, but Elliot’s Tiburon walking tour is perfect for those who are interested in learning what’s behind Tiburon’s facade as a touristy jaunt.
A former teacher and Tiburon resident, Elliot knows every interesting nook of this town and shares it with you while explaining their history. You’ll travel back in time when Tiburon was inhabited by indigenous people, a move forward to learn how it became a Gold Rush train town, and finally a tourist attraction.
Have any questions about how to travel from Sausalito to Tiburon for a day during your visit to the area? Let me know in the comments below!