Sausalito and Muir Woods Day Trips from San Francisco

Complete your trip to San Francisco with an excursion full of nature and unforgettable landscapes.

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

6 min read

Sausalito and Muir Woods Day Trips from San Francisco

Sausalito | ©Janayna Velozo

San Francisco is a charming city but in its surroundings there are also amazing places worth visiting. Such is the case of Sausalito, a beautiful town with Mediterranean flair just 13 kilometers away that is usually visited in combination with a visit to Muir Woods, home of the giant sequoias. Would you like to go? I'll tell you the best excursions!

1. The best option: get to know Sausalito and Muir Woods on an organized tour

View of Sausalito| ©Bryce Edwards
View of Sausalito| ©Bryce Edwards

Just across the bay from San Francisco is Sausalito, a picturesque town well known for its typical houseboats on the water that was a refuge for bohemian artists during World War II. In fact, the streets of this small town are full of cozy cafes, boutiques and art galleries that are a delight to stroll through and its fishing port is also a marvel.

Visiting Sausalito is one of the most enjoyable getaways you can do during your stay in San Francisco. A totally recommended plan!

By taking a half day tour to Sausalito you will have the opportunity to explore other landscapes of the west coast and enjoy the beautiful views of San Francisco from another perspective. It will also take you to discover Muir Woods, a forest famous for its giant sequoias, the largest trees in the world!

In my opinion, visiting Muir Woods as part of a Sausalito tour is an excellent option if you don't have enough time to visit Yosemite National Park, where there is also a spectacular world famous sequoia forest, but it is 300 kilometers away.

Book your tour to Sausalito and Muir Woods

2. Complete the experience by also enjoying a Bay Cruise or a tour of San Francisco

Take some amazing pictures on your bay cruise.| ©Will Buckner
Take some amazing pictures on your bay cruise.| ©Will Buckner

If this is the first time you travel to this great Californian city and you would like to take a tour to get a global and complete view of the area, my advice is to join a tour of San Francisco that shows you not only the most emblematic places of the Golden Gate city but also other tourist attractions in the surrounding area such as its famous bay by taking a cruise, the nearby town of Sausalito or the Muir Woods forest.

Sausalito is considered the most beautiful town in California. Built on a hill on the shores of the bay, it is a quiet place with a bohemian soul, famous for its landscape of colorful houses floating on the water. With these credentials, there is no doubt that this town is one of the places where you should make a getaway during your stay in San Francisco.

It is not a very large town but its charm lies precisely in its small size and picturesque aesthetics. You will spend a very pleasant day walking through its streets full of art galleries, boutiques and cafes as well as strolling through the fishing port, where you can take some nice pictures of the seascape.

Another place you can see during the tour is Muir Woods, a forest famous for growing the tallest trees on the planet, the giant sequoias. Did you know that they can grow up to 150 meters tall and live for 4,000 years? A place like this is a must see!

Book a bike tour of the Gondel Gate and Sausalito

How much does the tour to Sausalito and Muir Woods cost?

Entrance to Muir Woods| ©Thank You (21 Millions+) views
Entrance to Muir Woods| ©Thank You (21 Millions+) views

A trip to San Francisco is not complete without a trip to Sausalito and Muir Woods. They are two emblematic sites of California that are very close to the city, so you can't miss them in your vacations. You will change of scenery and see other beautiful landscapes!

My recommendation is that you visit Sausalito and Muir Woods with an organized tour. There are many tours and prices vary depending on factors such as duration, group size, locations to be visited on the route, activities to be done during the tour or if you have the services of a guide, among others. You can find options from 63 euros.

Is it worth visiting Sausalito and Muir Woods? What will I see?

Sausalito Houseboat| ©gérard
Sausalito Houseboat| ©gérard

Absolutely. Both Sausalito and Muir Woods are two fascinating enclaves on the west coast of the United States that you have to visit. Here's why and what you'll see there.


Sausalito is considered the most beautiful town in California and given its proximity to San Francisco is an essential visit to make during your trip.

It is a charming little town with a bohemian air built on the edge of the bay on a hill. It is known for its quiet atmosphere and beautiful scenery, so it is not surprising that many artists chose it as a refuge for inspiration.

In fact, strolling through downtown Sausalito you will immediately notice that it is a place linked to culture, as art galleries and cafes abound. A great place where you will want to lose yourself for a while to browse the streets and stores and enjoy the views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate or Alcatraz from another perspective.

Get your camera ready because here you will take some of the coolest pictures of your trip to the west coast of the United States!

Muir Woods

Although Yosemite National Park gets all the fame, just a few miles from San Francisco lies Mauir Woods, another beautiful National Park where you can also see giant sequoias in case you don't have much time in your schedule to embark on a long trip to Yosemite.

If you are passionate about ecotourism, this place wrapped in a beautiful emerald landscape will leave you speechless. During your visit you will not only be able to take a beautiful photographic report on nature but you can also go hiking on some of the trails that exist in the park (the most popular are the Ocean View trail and the Dispea trail).

Visiting Muir Woods is a great plan to do during a stay in San Francisco because it will allow you to change of scenery, leave the bustling urban environment and disconnect for a while walking through the forest and enjoying a fun day in nature.

Do not forget to buy your small redwood at the exit of the park! They sell them in the Muir Woods gift store as souvenirs.

Book a tour to Sausalito and Sonoma

How long does it take to get to Sausalito and Muir Woods from San Francisco?

Discover the giant sequoias| ©Jason Toff
Discover the giant sequoias| ©Jason Toff

The great thing about taking a tour to Sausalito and Muir Woods is that you'll see breathtaking scenery without spending a lot of time on the road, as given its proximity to San Francisco it only takes about 20 minutes to get there.

So don't hesitate, this getaway will be one of the most beautiful memories you will take home from your trip to the United States.

Could I visit Sausalito and Muir Park on my own? Why is it better to take an organized tour?

Soak up Sausalito's bohemian ambiance.| ©Pelle Sten
Soak up Sausalito's bohemian ambiance.| ©Pelle Sten

That's right, you can visit them on your own. To get to Sausalito you can take public transportation but if you also want to visit Muir Woods, then it is best to rent a car to do both visits because there is no public transportation there. Also you need to reserve a parking space in the National Park to visit it.

However, in my opinion it is more comfortable and entertaining to join one of the organized tours Sausalito and Muir Woods that depart from San Francisco because you will not have to worry about finding transportation or making transfers along the route, so you will save time on the way by going directly to the tourist attractions.

In addition, you won't have to wait in line at the Muir Woods National Park ticket office to get your tickets since they are included in the tour.

On the other hand, in this type of activities not only these two locations are usually visited, but if you select the option you can complete the experience with other types of entertainment such as a cruise on the San Francisco Bay, ride the ferry back to the city from Sausalito or rent a bike. So by making a single reservation you will be able to do a variety of activities, making the most of your trip to San Francisco.

Book a tour to Alcatraz, Sausalito & Muir Woods

Frequently asked questions

  • What is Sausalito famous for?

    Sausalito is a beautiful coastal city known for its breathtaking views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

  • How long does it take to visit Sausalito?

    The ferry from San Francisco takes about 30 minutes. Most tours make a 30 minute or 1 hour stop in Sausalito, after which you can visit the city at your own pace.

  • What else can I do in Sausalito?

    Take the stairs to the Sausalito Hills, from where you will have breathtaking views of the bay, go for a stroll along the Rodeo Beach and Sausalito Boardwalk, and go for dinner at Bar Bocce, Scoma's or Barrel House Tavern.

  • What is so special about Muir Woods?

    The main attraction of Muir Woods is its coastal redwood forest, where you will also see other trees and vegetation typical of this type of landscape. The tallest tree in Muir Woods measures 79 m (258 ft).