Hundreds of thousands of people cross San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge each day—by car, bike, or foot—but few continue the journey beyond the bridge’s end. Just three miles around the tip of the peninsula sits Sausalito, a coastal community tucked into the rolling foothills.
An afternoon walk or a short bike ride following East Road takes you through picturesque Fort Baker and past stunning views of the bridge and the city. Sausalito itself is worth spending a day or an afternoon, strolling main street and gazing up at the hillside homes or down at the docked houseboats—some quaint, some eccentric (including one shaped like the Taj Mahal!).
Perhaps the most memorable part of the experience is the return trip to San Francisco. While it is possible to take a bus, I highly recommend hopping on a ferry. As you cruise across the bay, you’ll pass the hauntingly dilapidated Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Bay Bridge, which has a nightly LED light show. And if the wind is just right, you’ll find the bay filled with sailboats sporting brightly-colored spinnakers.