A family trip to Sausalito

In a fast-paced world, we often find ourselves over-subscribing, disconnecting, reconfiguring and over-committing. But, have you ever experienced one of those rare and magical travelling moments when everything comes to a standstill and you form an instant connection with a place as soon as you arrive? Well, for me, this place was Sausalito, California.

Sausalito’s Old World Charm

In a country, as big as the USA, this little gem of a town may be small, but, what it lacks in size, it makes up for in old world charm.

There is something so enchanting about Sausalito. This chic Mediterranean-like village gives you goosebumps. It is nestled beside the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and sits perfectly alongside the picturesque San Francisco Bay. Whether you want to bike, hike, sail, shop or even just sit, eat and drink by the Bay –Sausalito, has it all.

This pretty little coastal village is bustling with tourists most of the year and holds a place in the heart of many Californian west siders. Locals flock here for the view, abundance of culinary treats, art galleries and stunning al fresco dining options on offer.

The main town of Sausalito curves around a natural harbour with stunning houseboat style buildings decorating the waterfront. Filled with charming fishing boats and hanging baskets on every corner, the harbour is surrounded by high mountains in the background and is the perfect place to base yourself while exploring wider San Francisco.

Where to eat

For a cheap but delicious feed for the whole family, head to local favourite Osteria Divino offering authentic Italian cuisine inspired by the finest local, organic, seasonal produce, available with live music every night offer that old world & modern atmosphere combined in an eclectic mix.

For a special night out, be sure to visit Murray Circle, a Michelin star dining experience that is suitable for the family and one of Sausalito’s top culinary destinations. Highlighting refined modern Northern California cuisine anchored to its Marin roots, the freshest local ingredients and stunning Golden Gate Bridge views, a meal here is a must. Not to mention it boasts a kids menu to rival any other!

How to get around

The best way to explore Sausalito is by bike or foot but this is not for the faint hearted as there are several hill climbs and heart stopping mountain bends as you climb towards the bridge. Visit Sausalito Bike Rentals for a good deal and they even offer kids bikes!

Best view of the Golden Gate Bridge

Battery Spencer, Marin County. This is the postcard shot of the Golden Gate Bridge — but hold onto the kids, it’s crazy windy!

Where to stay

When visiting Sausalito, you can’t go past Cavallo Point Lodge. Who says you can’t experience luxury and romance when travelling with kids?

Set at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge on the San Francisco Bay, Cavallo Point is the perfect destination for a fun-filled family getaway. This handsome family friendly resort located on the site of Fort Baker in Sausalito, has around 68 historic rooms and 74 contemporary green lodgings boasting San Francisco skyline views. These incredibly spacious and storybook like historic lodges all have original artwork; gas log fires, sunporches; and best of all, rocking chairs to watch the sunset. Or for the early risers, nothing beats watching the dense fog roll in from the sea straight through the Golden Gate bridge into the bay.

Kids can fly their kites on the lawn, while mum and dad can indulge in a local glass of wine on the porch and watch the bay glistening in the sun, with views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and a picturesque setting reminiscent of the early Californian settlement days.

There is even a heavenly day spa on site with a private meditation pool, but leave the kids at the door for this one or do what I did and tag-team with hubby.

A private buggy tour with resident historian, Brit Thurston, is well worth it as you get to gain a glimpse into the history of the place and the hidden secrets of Fort Baker, a former U.S. Army post.

Last but not least, be sure to put the kids to bed early and watch the magical lights of San Francisco twinkle in the night sky and save some time for a hot spa bath in your room, followed by a sleep in the most luxurious organic cotton sheets I’ve ever encountered… and dream the night away with the distant lull of the ship fog horns on the San Francisco Bay.

Bliss, pure bliss.

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