ActivitiesTravel & Day Trips

How to Get to Sausalito from Fisherman’s Wharf or San Francisco

Nestled just across the bay, the serene city of Sausalito offers a delightful contrast to the bustling streets of San Francisco. If you’re at Fisherman’s Wharf and want to make the short journey over, here are the most popular ways to get there, ensuring your journey is as captivating as the destination.

I love Sausalito, and I go there about once per month. It’s a fantastic day trip if you’re visiting San Francisco.

1. Take a Tour

Sausalito tour buses
Tours are the easiest way to get to Sausalito from SF

Taking a tour is the easiest way to get to Sausalito. Many tours include visits to other iconic destinations, so you can make Sausalito part of a bigger Bay Area day trip.

This Sausalito and Muir Woods tour is very popular with our readers. It tends to sell out, so you’ll want to book in advance. But if you can get in, you get to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, see Muir Woods, and visit Sausalito in one day.

The nice thing about a tour is that you don’t need to do any driving, and you don’t need to worry about parking in Sausalito, which can be really challenging. Even bikes get towed in this popular city, so a tour is a nice way to visit without worrying about logistics.

The downside is that tours are pricier. But if it’s within your budget, a tour of Sausalito and a nearby landmark like Muir Woods is our favorite option.

Pros:

  • Guided experience with informative narration.
  • Often combined with other sightseeing spots like Muir Woods or wine country
  • Hassle-free with transportation provided. Don’t worry about Sausalito’s notorious parking!

How it works:

2. Ferry Ride

Ferry boat in Sausalito
The Golden Gate Ferry (yellow and blue boat in the picture) visits Sausalito.

This has to be the most unique (and often least expensive) way to go to Sausalito from Fisherman’s Wharf. Several ferry companies operate passenger ferries from San Francisco to Sausalito from the Ferry Building.

It definitely can take longer to get to Sausalito on the Ferry, but the ride across the bay is an experience in itself.

I wouldn’t recommend this for rainy, foggy or cold days, though. It can get really chilly out on the water.

Pros:

  • Breathtaking views of San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz.
  • Refreshing marine ambiance.
  • A swift and delightful 30-minute voyage.

How it works:

  • Secure your tickets at the Ferry Terminal located at Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • Relish the journey and alight at Sausalito’s Ferry Landing.

Schedule & Fare:

Check the ferry website for details, since departures change seasonally.

DayFirst Departure (from SF)Last DepartureFare
Weekdays7:35 AM7:10 PM$14.25
Weekends10:35 AM6:50 PM$14.25

3. Bicycle

Bridgeway road in Sausalito
You can bike across the Golden Gate

This is another iconic way to get to Sausalito–rent a bike and bike over the Golden Gate Bridge!

This ride definitely requires more work than taking a tour or a boat. But if you love to cycle, it’s one of the world’s iconic rides.

The bridge itself is easy, but the downhill ride into Sausalito requires biking beside a road. I wouldn’t do it with really small kids. Otherwise, it’s a great option.

You can either cycle back or take the ferry. You can either book a self guided ride (cheaper) or a guided tour (pricier but easier).

Pros:

  • Engaging way to tour the route.
  • Stunning views along the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Choose your own pace and pit stops.

How it works:

  • Rent a bike in advance so you know it’s ready for you
  • Trail the bike path to the Golden Gate Bridge and continue to Sausalito.
  • Optionally, ferry back with your bike or cycle the return trip.

4. Car

Bridgeway road in Sausalito
You can drive, but it’s not ideal

Yes, you can rent a car and drive to Sausalito. But you probably shouldn’t. As we’ve covered before, renting a car in San Francisco is unnecessary and expensive.

Parking in Sausalito is also a nightmare. If you’re leaving very early or going on a quiet day, driving works. But we’d recommend considering other options.

Pros:

  • Total control over timings and stops.
  • Opportunity to explore Sausalito’s surrounding gems.

How it works:

  • Set off from Fisherman’s Wharf and head towards the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • After crossing the bridge, the first exit leads you into Sausalito.

Parking Tips:

  • Weekend parking in Sausalito can be a task.
  • Scout for city parking slots or on-street parking.
  • Keep change or payment apps ready for meters.

5. Bus

This is likely the least expensive way to get to Sausalito from SF. Walk to Lombard and Fillmore street and take the #130 bus all the way to Sausalito. The whole journey takes a bit under an hour. The far is generally less than $10.

Pros:

  • Skip the parking dilemma.
  • Economical.

How it works:

  • Board the Golden Gate Transit bus #130 from Fisherman’s Wharf.
  • Hop off at the designated Sausalito station.

Wrapping Up

San Francisco seen from Sausalito
San Francisco seen from Sausalito

The journey between Fisherman’s Wharf and Sausalito can be as delightful as your time spent in the city itself. Be it through an insightful tour, the mesmerizing ferry, a fulfilling bike ride, a personal car drive, or the handy bus, your choices are vast and varied. Whatever your pick, the charming lanes, delectable dining spots, and panoramic bay vistas of Sausalito are eager to welcome you. Safe travels!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we may receive a commission at no cost to you. Thanks!

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

Leave a Reply

Back to top button