This is one of the most eccentric and wonderful things that are unique to Sausalito. Down by the marina is a community
of over 500 “floating homes”—as the residents like to call them. This community is far from new, as the first floating homes made an appearance in Sausalito in 1880. Over the next 140 years, the community only grew in significance for Sausalito and its cultural heritage.
The floating home community took off in the 1960s as an alternative way to live, especially since Sausalito’s neighboring city of San Francisco was the capital of the hippie and beatnik movements. To this day, the floating home society values art, community, and color. Strolling the docks and gazing at these curious floating homes, one can feel and enjoy the lively energy of this unique community.
Although the floating homes can be viewed from the outside year-round, visitors are offered the chance to see the insides of these eccentric and colorful dwellings once a year. The open-house tour of local houseboats occurs annually in September and is a major attraction for the surrounding area. This tour is perfect for small groups and offers an excellent opportunity to catch up with friends!
The floating homes are a valued part of Sausalito and are an effervescent display of what makes the town such a wonderful and vibrant place to live.
Sausalito Art Festival
Another annual event Sausalito is known for is their very own art festival
. Held alongside the picturesque marina over Labor Day Weekend, the festival celebrates local art and community. Residents and visitors alike enjoy exploring the local talent, dancing to live music, and indulging in curated food and drink.
Having the distinction as the largest art festival in America, this event is no small affair. Previous festivals featured over 260 artists from across the county, including painters, sculptors, photographers, digital artists, and jewelry makers. Musical performers make their mark, and headline performances have included Jefferson Starship, George Clinton, and Eric Burdon.
Since Sausalito is located near Napa Valley, tastings and enjoying the fruits of California’s own Wine Country are an integral part of the festival. The 2021 Sausalito Art Festival is still slated to occur over this year’s labor day with necessary attendee restrictions and mask mandates and is not to be missed. There are few better ways to enjoy and celebrate the extraordinary community they are a part of than attending this glorious festival.
Bay Area Discovery Museum
Located in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Area Discovery Museum has the distinction of being one of the few children’s exhibition centers within a national park. Founded over twenty-five years ago, this establishment features a wide variety of interactive exhibits targeting children’s curiosity and visual sense of the world.
A particularly popular installation is “How Things Work”—an exhibit featuring everyday objects, from pianos to cars, cut in half and detailed to show how they operate. Similarly, Bay Hall houses several scale models of San Francisco landmarks—the bridge, the wharf, etc.—which children can interact with to understand the basics of their functioning. Outside, the Lookout Cove is 2.5 acres of nautical-themed playground equipment, which are hit with the young ones as the parents relax on nearby benches.
Besides the beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay, the Discovery Museum also offers various COVID-19 safe camps and classes. Courses include Pop Art, Game Design, and more, and are all inquiry-driven and hands-on learning experiences. Since stimulation and creativity are critical parts of a child’s well-being, especially during times of quarantine, the variety offered by the Bay Area Discovery Museum is an invaluable resource that parents of Sausalito have at their disposal.
Open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 AM to 4 PM. Reservations required. Adults and children are $18, infants under 11 months are $15, seniors are $16.
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