About Sausalito CA
History and Highlights
Sausalito CA is a beautiful waterfront community located on the southeastern tip of Marin County, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. This is a colorful waterfront town that reminds many of a Mediterranean fishing village. The town is framed by steeply ascending hills and bounded on three sides by Richardson Bay and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. You can find world-class hotels and restaurants and a diverse selection of shopping, including art galleries and retail fashion. Regular ferry service from San Francisco makes the town easily accessible for both commuters and tourists.First settled in the mid-19th century, Sausalito is one of the oldest communities in the North Bay region and experienced many “false-starts” before becoming a city. In 1838, William Richardson received a Mexican land grant of the entire Marin Headlands. He called it Rancho Del Sausalito, or Ranch of the Little Willow Grove, as willow trees were plentiful along the streams and underground freshwater springs. Richardson wasn’t able to establish the town, and Sam Throckmorton, who also failed to create a financial or municipal enterprise, purchased a large portion of the debt-ridden land. In 1871 the Sausalito Lane & Ferry Company directors cut a deal with the North Pacific Coast Railroad to extend the tracks into Sausalito. It was, finally, at this time that Sausalito became a concentrated, prosperous transportation junction, with working class, modest homes in Old Town and well-to-do families on The Hill, small vacation homes in the shady glens and steep, sunny hillsides and an assortment of workers, merchants, and residents in New Town. Old duck blinds became seasonal houseboats and today Sausalito boasts a large number of year-round houseboat residents.
In 1893 the town was incorporated. Sausalito has a deserved reputation as a refuge for free-thinkers, for those with an artistic bent, and an independent streak. The Sausalito Art Festival, held every Labor Day weekend since 1952, showcases the best local, American, and international artists. The Festival offers more than 20,000 original works of art, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fiber art, fine glass, woodwork, and photography. The Sausalito Art Walk celebrates the public and retail artwork of the town the second Wednesday of each month.
San Francisco’s ex-madam Sally Stanford relocated to Sausalito in the late 1960’s upon her “retirement”. Stanford opened a restaurant she named “Valhalla” that is still in operation. The town’s “free-thinking” residents voted Stanford a seat on the City Council in 1972 and elected her mayor in 1976. One of Marin county’s leading tourist attractions is the Bay Model, a 1 ½ acre tidal hydraulic model capable of reproducing exiting and planned conditions of San Francisco Bay and Estuary. The Bay Model was originally located in San Francisco’s Ferry Building, but has been relocated to one of the old shipyard buildings on Sausalito’s industrial waterfront. The exhibits illuminate aspects of the bay’s ecosystems, navigation, and history of Marinship, the wartime shipyard that build over a hundred liberty ships at this site.
Although only 2 square miles, Sausalito has long been a popular visitor destination and a prized residential and business location – boasting temperate climate, old world charm and some of the region’s most spectacular views.
- Winter temperatures range from 43 to 57
- Spring temperatures range from 48 to 71
- Summer temperatures range from 64 to 88
- Fall temperatures range from 88 to 86
- Rainfall 55-65 days per year
- Precipitation 43 inches per year
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