When people are listing the beautiful places to go in the Bay Area, a little town called Sausalito will often be at the top of the list. A lot of you have probably heard of it and some of you have already been there and so you know that there’s a reason it got so famous. It’s just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, right on the bay, with a view that I recently watched nearly paralyze a couple of German friends I took there. Still, the town of Sausalito itself has become generic and over-commercialized, the way beautiful places that people like to go will.
If this is as tiresome to you as it is to me, here’s my suggestion: Drive to Sausalito. There is only one way in and you’ll get stuck in traffic along the water as your fellow tourists dally about, looking for parking, trying to figure out how their rental cars work, etc., which will give you plenty of time to enjoy that spectacular view of San Francisco. When you’ve had enough, cut into the hills behind the main commercial strip and start looking for a staircase. You’ll have to do a bit of weaving, but eventually you’ll find one and, in the meantime, the hills of Sausalito are a bit like an architecture museum. Parking will be easy up there, I swear, so as soon as you find some stairs, leave your wheels behind and start climbing. At the end of each staircase, you’ll have to cross a street and search a bit for the next, but it’s not very hard and it won’t be long before you cross into a wooded trail. Just a little bit further and you’ll have a view of the bay and the ocean at the same time. This is stunning and maybe enough, but if it’s not, you can follow the path down into the Marin Headlands. I don’t know why all the rest of the tourists aren’t doing this, but, thankfully, they’re not.