Tiffany Beach is in the foreground, Swede’s Beach is adjacent to it farther from the camera. We lived up the hill from this spot at one point and came down here all the time. I still couldn’t tell you where one ends and the other begins! (though I’d guess that the middle of the foot of Main St. is the likely line of demarcation.)
Foot of Valley St. near Bridgeway, Sausalito CA 94965 (See Map Below)
Neighborhood: Old Town. No rest rooms or water. Very limited street parking nearby.
Note: In October, 2020, local residents tried to get an African American man who worked nearby to leave the area by telling him that Swede’s Beach and Tiffany Beach were private property and he was trespassing. This is not correct, and this stretch of beach is owned by the City of Sausalito — it’s public property and open to the public. In that context, most adjacent homeowners have been friendly apart from this incident.
Swede’s Beach is Ground Zero in the history of Sausalito (along with the adjoining Tiffany Beach): this is where the first ships stopped for fresh water in the 1830’s, leading to the first European settlement of Sausalito almost 200 years ago.
Today the tiny beach is adjacent to a few old pilings from different decaying 19th and 20th century piers. It’s reached via a tiny, secluded stairway at the end of Valley St., with a small bench at the bottom on the white sand beach.
Insiders Tip: Since 1952 the Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District has pumped its sewer effluent into the Bay at the foot of Main St., next to Swede’s Beach. It’s just up the slope from the large rectangular concrete structure which is barely in the water. If there is a sewage overflow (which occasionally happens with the rains of winter) warning signs will be posted to alert people to stay away.
Whether you want to let your dogs, yourself or your kids play in the treated sewage water (which meets all legal health standards for being pumped back into the Bay, but is not potable or safe to drink) is a personal decision. Our editors who’ve lived in the area have seen people playing three feet from the sewage outflow pipe with their babies in the water, and we routinely see people walk their dogs through the stream. We love the area around Swede’s Beach, but as our personal choice we do not go in the water here.
Note: On the map below you need to use the “+” key to zoom in to see the label for Swede’s Beach, which is at the foot of Valley. St. Its neighbor Tiffany Beach, which is not labeled on the map, is just north of the foot of Main St.