Sausalito Ferry Parking: The Insiders Guide
Note: The video above is directed at residents, but it also teaches anyone how to use the payment machines in all the Sausalito Ferry parking lots!
There is no free parking at the Sausalito Ferry pier. (Officially it’s called the Sausalito Ferry Terminal, but since it’s a pier with no building that term is confusing.)
A series of city-owned lots adjoins the Ferry pier (see satellite image below) The entrance to the closest Sausalito ferry parking lot is located at the intersection of Anchor St. and Humboldt St. in Sausalito. These lots were renovated recently to add motion sensors and allow the use of machines to pre-pay for parking.
Insiders Tip: The lots closer to the Ferry pier cost more, and those farther to the north are significantly less expensive for Sausalito Ferry parking. The signs don’t make this obvious, but walking 2 blocks can save you a lot of money (see map below). The parking payment machines look the same despite the different prices. If you over-pay and then leave sooner than planned the system only charges you for the time you parked, a better deal than in most cities.
The Sausalito ferry parking lots are numbered in order of how close they are to the ferry pier, so:
- Lot #1 is immediately adjacent to the ferry boarding area,
- Lot #2 is a small lot half a block away, across the street from the tour bus parking area,
- Long and narrow Lot #3 (not labeled on the map below) is one block away, and
- The equally long, narrow Lot #4 starts at the north end of #3 and stretches two to three blocks away.
Insiders Tip: Tracy Way is closed by the City of Sausalito each summer and transformed into a bike parking area, which in turn makes El Portal a dead-end cul-de-sac. This intersection is shown on most maps (including the Google map below as of this update) as being open to traffic, but during the busy visitor months of the year there is no access to parking spots on El Portal. You need to use Anchor St. to reach the closest parking lots.
There are no long-term street meters for Sausalito Ferry parking, with a metered maximum of 3 hours in the area, and most meters have a 2 hour limit. This makes the parking lots the best bet.
Parking in residential neighborhoods “up the hill” is restricted if you do not have a residential parking pass. The odds of getting a ticket for parking there are high, and the tickets are expensive.
Sausalito city residents receive deeply discounted Sausalito ferry parking. Actually, if you live here you don’t have to get on the Ferry to get cheap parking, because Sausalito residents get discounted parking downtown for whatever reason they want!