Sausalito, named by a Spanish explorer for the little willows, or saucelitos, growing along its shores, always has been a vibrant area. In the 1800s, the area was known as Whaler’s Harbor, and sailors and whalers flocked to the port for its safe harbor, saloons, bordellos and gaming houses. After its incorporation in 1893, the town became a major ferry and railway center, and then a shipyard during World War II. Through the 1960s, Sausalito carved an enduring reputation as the bohemian haunt of artists, writers, actors, poets, and others who spent their time on waterfront houseboats. Today, Sausalito is a favorite tourist destination, for its art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques lining Bridgeway, and for the beautiful and in some cases, funky homes that line the hills facing the bay as well as the harbor. Housing and Education.
Housing costs in Sausalito are on the high side, especially for houses in the hills. Few houses have been built in the last five years, and real estate sales have remained steady. Along with children from neighboring Marin City, Sausalito students attend schools in the Sausalito School District before heading to Tamalpais High School, in the Tamalpais Union High School District.
Sausalito has eight neighborhoods: Old Town/Hurricane Gulch, Wolfback Ridge, The Hill, New Town, Monte Mar Vista/Toyon Terrace, Spring Street Valley, The Marinship and Nevada Street Valley.
Old Town/Hurricane Gulch extends from the southern City limits to North Street and Cable Roadway to the north. It is the oldest part of the City and is characterized by a mix of single family, duplex and multiple family units, with many small dwellings and rental units. Newer, larger units are located on steeper slopes.
The Wolfback Ridge area is a very low density hillside and ridgeline residential neighborhood, which is physically separated from the rest of Sausalito by Highway 101. The neighborhood represents the western-most area in Sausalito and the area with the highest elevation. Some of the homes are either fully or partially visible from various vantage points throughout the City.
The Hill remains much as it was shortly after the turn of the century. It extends from Richardson Bay, to North Street and Cable Roadway on the southern border, Highway 101 on the westerly border and Santa Rosa Avenue on the northern border. The Hill contains large older homes, mixed with condominiums and apartment units near Downtown.
New Town includes The Glen, the resident-serving commercial uses along Caledonia Street and the central waterfront. It contains smaller bungalows, mixed age apartments, condominiums and older small homes. The high density residential portions are near the Civic Center and Caledonia Street stores. The area extends on both sides of Caledonia Street from Johnson to Napa Street and also includes the frontage along Bridgeway in this area. The Caledonia Street area is intended to be the main shopping area for residents.
Monte Mar Vista includes Toyon Terraces and is located north of The Glen, with Highway 101 as its westerly border. Monte Mar Vista contains a mix of units including single family, duplexes and condominiums.
Spring Street Valley is bordered by the New Town area of the City to the south, Nevada Street Valley to the north, Bridgeway to the east and Highway 101 to the west. It is a mix of more recently constructed multiple units and older single family homes. The bulk of the development in this area occurred during the late 1950’s and early 60’s.
Nevada Street Valley is located in the northerly part of the City bordering Bridgeway to the east and Highway 101 to the west and north. This is the newest area of Sausalito, much of which was annexed to the City in 1981. It contains a mixture of old small single family homes and large multiple family projects mostly built in the 1960’s and 1970’s when the area was under County jurisdiction.
The Marinship area, located east of Bridgeway and north of Napa Street, represents the City’s only industrial and working waterfront area. The majority of the area is comprised of fill which was created in 1942 by the US Army Corps of Engineers to construct a shipyard. A large portion of the Marinship consists of the original buildings associated with the shipyard. These buildings are an important element of the area since they are a defining characteristic unique to Sausalito. During the 1960’s, some portions of the Marinship area were converted to commercial office use.
Though many work at home or take public transportation, the car is the preferred method of commute. Thanks to the nearby freeway, travel times to many key destinations are fairly short.
Sausalito’s mid-sized population includes mainly adults over 25. Many are single, and most are well-educated and work in managerial, technical, or sales professions.
Sausalito is right on the water, and thus gets a lot of fog and mist coming in off the bay. This fog burns off by early afternoon most of the time, but sometimes the town can stay socked in for most of the day. Average temperatures range from 40 to 74 degrees.
City Manager, Public Works, Planning, Recreation, Library, Fire: 289-4100
Main website: www.ci.sausalito.ca.us
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