San Francisco to Sausalito: 8 Ways to Get Here

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Published: August 23, 2023

If you are looking to travel from San Francisco to Sausalito, you will find various transportation options to get you there. You can take the ferry service, walk or bike over the Golden Gate Bridge, or go on a guided tour.

The small seaside town of Sausalito is about 9 miles away from SF. It's a popular day tour for its shopping, waterfront restaurants, and views. Most people spend just a few hours here exploring everything it offers.

My guide includes details for 8 great options to get you there. Read on to learn more about how to cross the San Francisco Bay to visit this cute town in Marin County.

Images around Sausalito California

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1. Sausalito Ferry from Fisherman's Wharf

One of the most popular options for getting from San Francisco to Sausalito is the ferry from Fisherman's Wharf. It's run by the Blue and Gold Fleet and offers daily service across the San Francisco Bay.

The Sausalito ferry typically runs between 4 to 7 ferries daily, depending on the season. The first ferries usually leave mid to late morning and return in the late afternoon or early evening.

Catching an early one will allow you to spend a few hours in Sausalito or even head over for lunch. 

This ferry leaves from the dock area just west of Pier 39. It drops you off in downtown Sausalito.

Each one-way ticket costs $14.25 for adults, or $8.50 for seniors 65 and older, people with disabilities, and children ages 5 to 11. Children 4 and under ride free.

>> Find out more about taking the ferry to Sausalito

2. Sausalito Ferry from the Ferry Building

Sausalito Ferry from the SF Ferry Building

The second of the two Sausalito ferry companies runs from the Ferry Building over to Sausalito. Golden Gate Transit operates this one.

These ferries also run daily, with about 7 of them departing San Francisco between 7 am and 7 pm. It's a popular option with commuters and those needing to get over to Sausalito a little earlier than the times offered by the Blue and Gold Fleet.

This ferry service leaves from behind the Ferry Building and drops you off in downtown Sausalito. Check the board inside the building to find which gate you will leave from. You can purchase tickets through the kiosks outside or use your Clipper Card.

The historic San Francisco Ferry Building is located along the Embarcadero at the end of Market Street.

Each one-way ticket costs $14 for adults, or $7 for seniors 65 and older, people with disabilities, and youth ages 5 to 18. Children 4 and under ride free.

Paying with a Clipper Card is cheaper; it costs just $7.75 per trip.

>> Find out more about the Ferry Building

3. Guided Tour

The combined Muir Woods National Monument and Sausalito Tour is a popular option. This one offers a shuttle service up to Muir Woods first, where you will spend about 90 minutes on your own taking in the natural beauty of this world-famous redwood forest.

Afterwards, they will take you to Sausalito, where you'll enjoy a 15- to 20-minute in-coach tour through this seaside village. You'll then have an additional 30 minutes to hop out and explore the town on your own.

From there, you can either get back on the bus and return to San Francisco or stay in Sausalito and take the ferry back across the SF Bay. The second option allows you to spend a little more time doing whatever you want to do.

This is a favorite of tour of mine. The cool thing about this tour is that you usually stop at the northern side of the Golden Gate Bridge on your way to Muir Woods for a photo op.

This half-day tour leaves from Union Square at either 7:15 am or 1:30 pm. It starts at $89. 

>> Find out more about this guided tour

>> Learn more about all the options to get to Muir Woods from SF

More Great Pages for Your Visit to San Francisco

Best Hotels in Sausalito 300
Sausalito Things to Do 300
Bay Area Things 300

4. Bike Over the Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge with Flag

Another fun way to get from San Francisco to Sausalito is to cycle here. The route is impressive.

You'll start by riding along the SF waterfront. Your ride continues as you bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, then along Alexander Avenue, which leads you into the heart of Sausalito.

The entire ride over to Sausalito from Fisherman's Wharf is around 8 miles.

You have two options: you can either do this via a guided tour (this is my favorite one) or you can rent a bike to go on your own (this is a great place to rent bikes).

For both options, you can select a manual or electric bike (this is a good electric bike option). 

With the three-hour guided tour option, which is offered any day of the week, you can choose a 10 am or 2 pm start time. The cost of this tour starts at $65 per person or $95 for an electric bike.

If you decide to rent a bike and go on your own, you'll have from 8:30 am to 8 pm to explore freely, starting at $36 per person for a regular bike and $75 for electric. 

You can return from Sausalito to San Francisco again by bike or take one of the ferry services mentioned above.

>> Learn more about biking the bridge and cruising over to Sausalito

5. Walk Over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito from San Francisco

Walking over the Golden Gate Bridge is another fantastic way to get to Sausalito. I've done this walk about half a dozen times.

You'll start by walking over the bridge, then along Alexander Avenue, and finally to the waterfront.

The walk from the San Francisco side of the bridge to downtown Sausalito is about 4 miles.

You can then check out the shopping, restaurants, etc., and take the ferry back from Sausalito to San Francisco.

>> Learn more about what it's like to walk

6. 130 Bus to Sausalito from San Francisco

130 Bus from Sausalito to San Francisco

An often-overlooked option is the bus. Golden Gate Transit runs a bus between SF and downtown Sausalito almost every hour from around 6 am to around 11 pm. It's a great option to take you directly from point to point.

This bus picks up along Mission Street, Van Ness Street, and Lombard Street. It takes you over the bridge and then into Sausalito. It will drop you off near the ferry terminal, giving you easy access to everything Sausalito offers.

I usually recommend this option for those who have an early shuttle over to Muir Woods or end up missing the last ferry back to SF.

7. Electric GoCar Tour Over the Golden Gate Bridge

A fun way to get over the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito is in an electric GoCar. These small but freeway-legal cars (actually three-wheeled motorcycles) allow you to take an open-air tour to Marin County.

Your tour starts at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. It begins with an orientation and safety briefing so you are comfortable before you set off on your adventure.

Even though you are your own "guide," don't worry about getting lost! This GPS-guided car will tell you exactly where to go!

This tour also includes helmets, a fully charged electric vehicle, and a chance to get all of your questions answered before you set off.

This option is unsuitable for kids under 12 or anyone over 254 lbs (115 kg). You must be 25 or older with a valid driver's license.

This three-hour tour is offered every day of the week, and you can choose from different morning start times. Prices start at $235 per GoCar rental, which can fit two people tandem.

>> Find out more about this tour, including booking details

8. Uber/Lyft

Shopping in Sausalito

The final option to get over to Sausalito from San Francisco is by using a rideshare service. Since Sausalito is in another county, it's expensive to get here using a regular taxi or cab (additional fees apply for these taxis to drive between counties), but Uber and Lyft will charge you their standard rate.

To cross over the San Francisco Bay from Fisherman's Wharf, this option is around $35 to 50 before tip and taxes (so plan for around $45 to 60). To cross over from Union Square, it will cost about $5 to 10 more per trip. This is during standard visiting times and not during rush hour traffic.

The ride only takes about 20 to 25 minutes with regular traffic.

Tips to travel from San Francisco to Sausalito Pin

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

I would love for you to join me in my private Facebook group

It's a great place to interact with me and others who know the area well.

You can ask questions, get advice for your upcoming stay, and then share your photos and advice with others when you return home. It's a great community and the fastest way to get answers to those nagging questions about your visit!

Come join the fun here!

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