October 15, 2014

Introduction to Sausalito

101 North 


A Little Background

view of San Francisco from Sausalito, California
view of San Francisco from Sausalito, California

People come from all over the world to stroll Bridgeway, the main street in this warm and sunny town.  A former fishing village, Sausalito is often referred to as California’s Riviera and is now a magnet for both artists and tourists and remains a pleasure for both.  Restaurants and boutiques abound, and the view across the bay to Tiburon and San Francisco is stellar.

hillside stairway in Sausalito, California
hillside stairway in Sausalito, California

Take time to climb some of the intriguing hillside stairways found throughout town.  Once shortcuts to brothels and speakeasies, they now lead to beautiful bay views.  Excelsior Lane is the longest.  A warning—the largest source of income for the city is parking fines.  It is interesting to note that Jack London wrote the opening chapters of The Sea Wolf here.

Vina del Mar Park in Sausalito, California
Vina del Mar Park in Sausalito, California

Viña del Mar Park  

Bridgeway/El Portal, downtown. 

Named for Viña del Mar, Chile, which is a Sausalito sister city, this sweet little triangle-shaped park is known for two features left over from the Court of the Universe (which was designed by Sausalito architect William Faville) at the 1915 Panama Pacific Fair and Exposition in San Francisco:  its fountain and twin 14-foot elephant statues (known as Jumbo and Pee Wee) which now serve as streetlights.  They were moved here by ferry when the fair closed, and are not the originals but instead concrete versions made from a plaster cast.

More Information:

Sausalito Chamber of Commerce  1913 Bridgeway, (415) 331-7262. 

Visitor Center and Historical Exhibit  780 Bridgeway, across from Poggio Restaurant, (415) 332-0505.  Free. 
    The Sausalito Historical Society operates a small museum inside this former icehouse originally located on Caledonia Street.  Exhibits include photos of the building of World War II’s Liberty ships. 

More things to do in Sausalito.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.  
images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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