Saucy Sausalito: A Golden Nugget under the Golden Gate Bridge

by Marika Flatt, Selena Swartzfager on June 14, 2022 in General, Travel,
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Sausalito is a quaint bayside village, just across The Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco,  full of and ideal for outdoor activity (it’s likely that you’ll have amazing weather.) It’s the perfect walkable town to enjoy the good life that nature has to offer. From biking to kayaking, hiking and dining al fresco, Sausalito is a slice of the good life!

 

Overlook breathtaking views of the city skyline, Angel Island, and Marin, directly from your room. Photo courtesy Felipe Passalacqua

Getting There

  • Fly into San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – there are many airlines that fly direct from Texas to SFO. 
  • You can take the BART from the airport to Fisherman’s Wharf (very touristy area); jump on the ferry to Sausalito. 
  • An Uber from the airport to Sausalito will run you about $55-70.

Begin with the Inn In Mind

The ferry drops off next door to The Inn Above Tide which started off in the 60s as luxury apartments (Clint Eastwood actually lived there and a few of his movies were filmed in the inn’s courtyard.) In the mid 90s, it was converted into a boutique hotel with 33 rooms, including eight suites. 

Experience luxury on water at the Inn Above Tide, which houses 33 luxury rooms and suites each with mesmerizing waterfront views of the San Francisco Bay. Photo courtesy Felipe Passalacqua

Highlights:

  • The City Lights suite was formerly half of the owner’s apartment, creating a spacious and elegant one-bedroom suite, with small foyer kitchenette, a large bathroom, and a picturesque patio overlooking the bay. It’s the Cali version of an overwater bungalow in Fuji! From the expansive patio deck, you can lounge next to the double-sided fireplace (turned on with the click of a switch), dine at the circular wooden table or gaze out over the marine life in the bay. This spot is the sauciest of Sausalito! (City Lights averages $1,895/night while the queen deluxe goes for $490/night).
  • Delivered to your suite, and part of your stay, is a full breakfast, which you’ll want to enjoy al fresco on the deck. And, for happy hour (every hour is happy hour here), they’ll deliver a full bottle of your choice of wine with a plate of cheese and crackers.
  • Utilize the inn’s cruiser bikes (complete with helmets and locks) to get around town when you don’t want to walk. It’s not recommended to use a car in this area; there are cyclists everywhere with ample bike lanes on each street. And, there’s no time limit for the bikes.
  • Pro Tip: Checkout is not until noon so plan for a late departure so you can enjoy half the day.

Bay Bites

Recognized as one of the top Japanese restaurants in the US, Sushiran offers a vibrant fusion of traditional Japanese and Pacific cuisine, along with a wine and sake list that is unparalleled in California. Photo courtesy Sushiran

Sushi Ran, within walking distance from The Inn Above Tide, is known as some of the best sushi in the entire Bay Area, which is really saying a lot as you’ll find loads of sushi options in this part of the country. They receive daily shipments of fresh fish from Tokyo! And, make sure to ask for an outdoor table where you can either sit on the street and feel the buzz of the town or enjoy their lush courtyard dining complete with hanging lights. Choose from just about any type of sushi or nosh on their shrimp & basil dumplings or the wagyu-yaki (if you’re looking for a melt in your mouth meat option.)

Indulge in organic handmade tortillas and over 100 tequilas, mezcals, and a unique cocktail lineup curated from local California produce. Photo courtesy Copita

Copita, just a few blocks from The Inn, is a locally-owned Spanish restaurant with a lively outdoor patio option and bustling indoor vibe (tables are packed in there tightly!)  Start with the fresh guacamole and a cold beer (none on draft) or frosty margarita. Their shrimp enchiladas are a hearty treat, with their ceviches making a great light choice. Their menu is 100% gluten-free and packed full of flavor!

Soak up the Outdoors

Muir Woods National Monument is only about a 25-minute drive from The Inn Above Tide. This magical forest of redwood trees is a popular destination at which you need to reserve parking well in advance. However, take advantage of The Inn’s “Pure Muir Adventure & Picnic” where they will take care of all the details: you choose your picnic lunch from a menu the day before (you can even pair your sandwiches with beer or wine); a driver picks you up at The Inn, drops you off at the park, and after you enjoy your chosen amount of time (typically 2-3 hrs), picks you back up and delivers you back to The Inn. This logistics-free experience is as magnificent as the trees are tall! Muir Woods is suitable for hikers of any level, young to old, and if you time it right, you’ll have the benefit of a “tree talk” from a park ranger, where we learned:

  • Redwoods can get up to 380 feet tall and up to 29 feet across!
  • Coast Redwoods are only found in 2 states in the US: California & Oregon.
  • The oldest one is 2,200 years old!
No matter your skill, Sea Trek offers classes, trips, and rentals for both ocean kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. Photo courtesy Sea Trek

Sea Trek is just a short half-mile bike ride from The Inn Above Tide, where you can enjoy kayaking or paddle boarding by the hour ($30/hr). You’ll likely not get in the water but wear something you don’t mind getting wet, add your sunscreen and keep a watch out for harbor seals and other water buddies. Sausalito has a unique and vibrant houseboat community (aka floating homes), which has been around for 65 years, where folks have refurbished and restored boats of all types into brightly painted living quarters. It’s fun to paddle by and see these creations and imagine this relaxed way of living. In addition to paddling out on your own, you can book a guided tour: Scenic Sausalito (2.5 hrs), Paddle to the Gate (Golden Gate Bridge) or a nighttime paddle. 

Historic Fort

Soak up the sun rays on a spacious front porch while viewing beautiful bay and city skyline views. Photo courtesy Cavallo Point

Cavallo Point- the Lodge is nestled at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge in historic Fort Baker, within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Guests are welcomed to this luxurious hotel with a complimentary glass of wine (or two) and an invitation to watch the sunset on the large front porch.  Historic and contemporary lodging options are available, along with e-bikes and Lexus cars for use by registered guests.  Happy hour each evening is also complimentary and provides an opportunity to meet new friends.  Don’t miss dinner at Murray Circle, the acclaimed onsite restaurant. Highlighting the freshest local ingredients and refined modern Northern California cuisine anchored to its Marin roots.  The service at the Lodge and restaurant is A++ and a magical place to spend several days.

One of the Bay Area’s top culinary destinations, Murray Circle restaurant showcases local, seasonal ingredients, outdoor seating, and stunning views. Photo courtesy Cavallo Point

 


Cover photo courtesy Cavallo Point

Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career with Austin Woman Magazine when it premiered in the fall of 2002. Now, she writes “The Texas Traveler” section for Austin Woman Magazine and can be seen on TV shows across Texas, offering travel tips.

Selena Swartzfager is a travel writer, nonprofit president, an amateur athlete, lover of adventures and life. Her favorite type of travel allows her to learn about history while enjoying things for the first time. Follow her on Instagram.