Ferry to Sausalito
A ferry ride from San Francisco to Sausalito on a sunny 70 degree February day was travel perfection. It caused my daughter, who lives in San Francisco, to exclaim, “This is why it never gets old.” And my 84-year-old mother visiting from ice-bound Michigan confessed, “This is something I’ve always wanted to do.” For me? It reminded me there were reasons other than grandchildren to move to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Boarding the ferry
Pulling away from San Francisco’s Ferry Building
Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill from the Bay
The Bay Bridge as it enters Treasure Island
Sausalito, situated at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a charming, photogenic community nested between the Marin Headlands and the San Francisco Bay. The picturesque Mediterranean-style waterfront community grew in soil abandoned by a prior ship yard.
Today reliable sources say it is home to Chilean author, Isabel Allende, novelist Amy Tan, and comedian Robin Williams. Not being on a first name basis with these folks, I can’t confirm. In the past it seduced Gerry Garcia, William Randolph Hearst, Paul Hawken, and the incredible Shel Silverstein. I drop names to suggest this is pricy real estate, well beyond the housing budget of most mere mortals. However, a day trip lets you indulge in the same ambiance as the elite for a mere $10 each way.
World Famous Skyline
Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background
The Golden Gate Ferry departs from the historic Ferry Building on San Francisco’s Embarcadero. The ride between San Francisco and Sausalito ranks in the top ten ferry rides on every list available. The reason is obvious: You sail past San Francisco's most famous attractions - from Alcatraz Island to the red arches of the Golden Gate Bridge. You enjoy an uncluttered bay view of the world’s most famous skyline. Less highly touted, but magnificent in its own right is the Bay Bridge that passes through Treasure Island.
The ferry permits you to bring along a bike if you prefer to pedal Sausalito and the hills. For more information go to goldengateferry.org.
Pulling into the ferry dock at Sausalito
Quaint Streets of Sausalito
During our day in Sausalito we perused the shops, enjoyed ice-cream, drank in the scenery, and gloried in the luck of making the trip on a near-flawless day. A slight hint of the haze, which I wouldn’t have noticed if I wasn’t taking pictures, took my rating of the experience from a hundred down to a mere ninety-nine. If you visit San Francisco you must put this trip at the top of your Things To Do list.
Dining on the deck with a view
I am already planning our next visit. It will be just my husband and me. We’ll wind our way along the ridge where a major trail zig-zags to the ocean. In our backpack will be a bottle of Napa Valley wine and a loaf of bread and some cheese we pick up at the Ferry Building before our departure. Pure bliss as we survey the awesome ridge top views and dream of hitting the lottery.
Sailing back to San Francisco after a wonderful afternoon
Julie Albrecht Royce, Travel Adventures Editor, is the author of Traveling Michigan's Sunset Coast and Traveling Michigan's Thumb, both published by Thunder Bay Press. She writes a monthly column for Wandering Educators.
All photos courtesy and copyright Bob and Julie Royce