by Ellie Klevins, OurSausalito.com Sr. Contributing Editor
Walking on the waterfront down Bridgeway is one the best places to experience the charm of Sausalito – killer views of the City, boats scooting to and fro, the sun and sea breeze on your face.
But what charms me the most are the houses overlooking the water and the neighborhood up on the hill overlooking the bay. I look up, and see myself on one of the decks, watering my plants. So close to the sea that it is my personal landscape. Someday, I dream, I will live right here. In the meantime, let’s get off the tourist track and really get a feel for this little neighborhood.
From the Ferry Dock head south (The Bay will be on your left, the hillside to your right) and walk down Bridgeway. Pass by Scoma’s and Horizons restaurants. As Bridgeway "ends" (many people don't realize its name changes at the curve), you’ll turn right on Richardson Street.
Walk on the right side of Richardson Street and make the first right onto Second Street. The street dead-ends into twin stairways part way up the block – we took the stairs to the left for the short walk up to the top. When you reach the last step you’ll have arrived at North Street.
Turn left on North Street, continue going uphill.
After about four blocks you'll come to the place where North St. dead-ends into Central. Turn to the left (gently downhill) on Central and follow the road a short ways to the sharp left turn where the road starts to go straight downhill again. Look to the right at the apex of the curve for the street sign that reads "Cable Roadway," where you will find a beautiful stone stairway. Look for the yellow fire hydrant at the base of the stairs.
Editor's Note: Google Maps show a street going uphill at the spot where the stairway is located. This is an error -- the "street" they show is actually the path of the Cable Roadway stairs.
After only a few yards as you start to climb the stairway splits -- the public stairway is to the left of the stone bench. Take a deep breath and begin climbing up the 196 stairs. Wear sturdy shoes, since in autumn and winter there may be mud and leaves on the steps. Take your time -- pausing every 50 or 100 steps allows you to appreciate the wooded hillside and some clever steep-hill landscape design in neighboring yards. As you reach the top of the stairs, stop, turn around, and enjoy the views of the water with the City in the background. (Going about 50 yards uphill from the top of the steps gets you a clear view above the trees.) Wow!
When you reach the last step you are on Crescent Ave. Make a left on Crescent and start your descent downhill. Stay to your left, continue downhill on Lower Crescent Ave (it’s steep but only for a short distance). Soon you will see your first street sign on the left – that’s Oak Lane. Descend this stairway, and you will be back on Richardson Street. It’s just a few blocks downhill to Golden Gate Market.
Time for lunch!
Try one of the most popular sandwiches from the Golden Gate Market Deli: the All American (turkey, bacon, avocado) or the Tri Tip (Thursday only). I’m not a fan of “lunch meat” but that’s fine, because this market roasts their turkey and grills chicken and beef out back.
Robert, the owner will help you pair your sandwich with a very nice half bottle of chilled wine, although he thinks you are better off buying a full bottle. C’mon Robert, we have a little more walking to do to make it back to the ferry!
Bring your lunch down to one of my most favorite spots in Sausalito, the benches at the water’s edge, on the corner of Bridgeway and Richardson. I call it the Infinity Bench – sit here and you will see why. This time of year it's often open when I go by, and if someone is already there the spot is worth waiting for.
Contributing Editor Ellie Klevins has lived in the Bay Area all her life, but moved to Sausalito just this April. Her posts cover the perspectives of life in Sausalito for a new resident as she discovers the joys of our little town.
The opinions expressed in "Views from Sausalito" articles represent those of the authors and do not represent the opinions of OurSausalito.com. Photo credit: Ellie Klevins.