How do I Get to Sausalito from San Francisco?

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ALERT: Car break-ins and thefts have become common in California due to a change in criminal punishments. In “safe neighborhoods” of San Francisco and other major cities any purse, briefcase or backpack left in sight in a parked car on a busy street in broad daylight for even five to ten minutes may be gone when you get back, with the car window shattered. If it’s dark and an isolated area the odds get even worse.

Locals have gotten used to always putting everything in their trunks when they park. If you rent a car, be sure it has a trunk or other space where you can hide suitcases etc. 
It is not as common in Sausalito as in San Francisco and larger cities, but there is nowhere in California where this is not an issue.


How Do I Get to Sausalito from San Francisco?

If you’re coming to Sausalito from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) please click here for a complete list of options including public transit, private shuttles and more.

There are several ways to get to Sausalito from San Francisco. Here’s the list:


From SF by Ferry

Boats from two different services link Sausalito to San Francisco’s Ferry Building (on the Embarcadero at the foot of Market St.) and to Fisherman’s Wharf (at Pier 41, next to Pier 39.)  It’s a beautiful, fun ride.  Our complete Sausalito Ferry Guide gives you all the details and links.  Here’s our easy-to-print Sausalito Ferry Schedule.


From SF to Sausalito By Bike and Ferry

If you rent bikes it’s about an 8 mile ride from Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco to the Ferry in Sausalito, and the first two segments of the ride are primarily on bike paths.  Our page with all the details is here.


Tour Bus Service to Sausalito

If you’d love to visit Sausalito but you don’t have a lot of time and don’t plan to drive, this can be a great option. We’ve noticed that Big Bus Tours, a hop-on hop-off service, has frequent routes, stops at both ends of the Golden Gate Bridge, and in addition to downtown Sausalito adds two additional Sausalito stops at Fort Baker and  at the Bay Model. This allows you to visit the Sausalito houseboats (several blocks north of their stop at the Bay Model) and additional spots on our Fun Things to Do in Sausalito list. They also run open-top double-decker buses in nice weather and closed-in (warmer) buses when it’s cool or rainy. Note: Because of their enhanced services we sought them out and Big Bus Tours is now a sponsor of OurSausalito.

Our page with Insider Tips on saving time and money on a bus tour to Sausalito or the Golden Gate Bridge is here.


Driving, Ride Share or Taxi to Sausalito

If you choose to take a taxi, cab fare rates in Sausalito are similar to those in most large American cities. Both Uber and Lyft are very active in San Francisco and are available in Sausalito. We’ve seen typical Uber fares between $20 and $35 to go from Union Square in San Francisco to Downtown Sausalito, depending on time of day and traffic — plan to pay more during the evening commute. Fisherman’s Wharf rates will be a little lower since that area is closer to the Golden Gate Bridge.


To get to Sausalito: The map above shows a trip starting in Union Square as a sample case.  Cross the Golden Gate Bridge on Highway 101 headed north; there is no toll going north but a $7.50 toll ($6.50 with FasTrak) on the return to San Francisco.  You’ll pass Vista Point, with great views of the Golden Gate.  Immediately after Vista Point the Sausalito exit will be on your right, and will place you on Alexander Ave.  Follow Alexander down the hill and it will turn into Bridgeway and bring you into the heart of Sausalito.


From San Francisco to Sausalito by Commuter Bus

Golden Gate Transit’s comfortable commuter bus service runs through Sausalito. We have a page with detailed bus information for Sausalito, and you can call 511 in the Bay Area for transit information at any time.

Insiders Tip: Make sure you check to see if your selected route stops at the downtown Bridgeway bus stop (opposite the Ferry pier, at El Portal) going to and from San Francisco.  Many routes instead stop at the Spencer Ave. off-ramp from Highway 101, but that wind-blown off-ramp is a long steep climb (or a $6 cab ride) from downtown Sausalito. Everyone who moves here and commutes on the bus makes this mistake… but we only make it once!

Insiders Tip: If you’re commuting to San Francisco by bus from Sausalito there is free daytime parking along the frontage road on the eastern (Bay) side of Highway 101 near the northbound Spencer Ave. bus stop. Limited parking is available in a small Park n Ride lot on the west side of the highway. You can walk under the overpass to reach the southbound bus stop if you park on the frontage road. This area can get crowded with cars by late morning on weekdays, however.

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