"Ask Annie" is where we answer readers' questions about Sausalito. Answers come from different members of our editorial and volunteer team, but a certain Editor likes alliteration so in every case we answer through Ask Annie.
Melanie from the UK writes to us to ask:
I will be staying in Sausalito over the Christmas period and would like to know the best ways to travel in to San Francisco.
I am also hoping to watch an Ice Hockey match on the 27th December at Cow Palace Daly City and need to know ( before I buy a ticket online ) whether public transport from Sausalito in the evening is possible for the return trip ? If so would it be by bus or do I need to take the ferry over to SF and then catch a bus from there ? I obviously would like to know the easiest way to make the journey and also need to know that I can definately get back late in the evening !!
Getting to San Francisco from Sausalito
Melanie, on regular daytime visits to San Francisco either the Sausalito Ferry or local bus service will get you to San Francisco efficiently and connect well with San Francisco's BART (regional transit) and Muni (San Francisco public transit).
Those two systems will get you most places in San Francisco once the ferry or bus get you into the City (as SF is called in this area), but neither service serves downtown Sausalito directly.
The only catch is that there are no nighttime ferries and limited nighttime bus service. The consolation is that there are lots of Christmas activities in Sausalito, headlined by the Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks.
We hope you have a great time here!
Going to the Hockey Game at the Cow Palace
Your trip to the San Francisco Bulls hockey game against Stockton at the Cow Palace in San Francisco at 7:30 PM on Friday, Dec. 27 is not easy on public transit from Sausalito. Even within San Francisco the bus service to the Cow Palace is limited, with a long and involved bus route that we would advise against using at night.
The biggest issue of all is that while the venue itself is fine, the area around the Cow Palace includes neighborhoods where it's not advisable for outsiders to go walking at night, wait outside the crowded event areas for a bus, etc.
If you absolutely MUST go to this game our advice would be to consider these options:
1. Get a friend with a car to go with you to the game. Nothing like having help from a local -- I've navigated a lot of London that way!
2. Renting a car for that day if you can't drive with friends. Of course, we drive on the wrong side of the road here. A cab to the Cow Palace from Sausalito and back would cost at least $120 round trip and possibly over $200.
3. Spend that night at a hotel near the San Francisco airport and take a cab to and from the game from there.
4. We would not advise the following route because of nighttime walking through a variety of areas but it's technically feasible if you were with a group of friends (map below): You could take the ferry from Sausalito to the Embarcadero station as mentioned above, take BART to Daly City, take a cab from the Daly City BART Station to the Cow Palace and see the game.
Getting back is trickier, because the surrounding area at the Cow Palace is not one where it's safe for visitors to walk: we have no experience on how easy or hard it is to get a cab after the game around 10 PM.
If you got a cab it could take you back to BART Daly City, where trains run late to take you to the Embarcadero Station in San Francisco, from which you could walk two long blocks (or, to be safe, take a taxi) to the temporary Transbay Terminal at Main and Howard to catch the Golden Gate Transit 80 Bus back to Bridgeway and Bay in downtown Sausalito, which runs infrequently but does run until after midnight. All of this late night walking in San Francisco would only be advisable if you were with a group of people and not just by yourself. We hope that by now we have talked you out of trying this option, at least by yourself.
Once again, we hope you have a great time here, and please feel free to email us with any follow-up questions via oursausalito at gmail dot com!
Note: Melanie wrote to thank us and to report that she's decided to pass on the hockey game. Gotta admit we were happy to hear that and we wish her a fantastic trip.