Travel Tips

Ask the Locals Travel Guide: Sausalito, CA

Locations in this article:  San Francisco, CA

Golden Gate Bridge - near Sausalito, CAThis weekend, Peter’s radio show is coming to us live from Cavallo Point, inside Golden Gate National Recreational Area at the foot of the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge.

Just over the bridge is the waterfront town of Sausalito, and we’ve rounded up everything from top restaurants to sustainable farms to great places to meditate …  as told by the locals.

Marcia Gagliardi, author, The Tablehopper’s Guide to Dining and Drinking in San Francisco: Find the Right Spot for Every Occasion

Sausalito is such a picturesque little city, and it contains some culinary gems to add to its list of charms.

Cibo Sausalito LogoA somewhat recent addition to the dining scene is Cibo, a casual daytime offshoot from the Ancona family. You can start your morning with one of the better espresso drinks in town (made with beans from local roaster Blue Bottle Coffee), delicious baked goods (try the Italian cornetti, or pop tarts), and perfect poached eggs on toast. If you love sandwiches, then this is your spot: there’s an array of tasty panini, about eight in all, including a shrimp version with greens and house-made hot sauce and mayonnaise .

I’m a fan of Poggio. Poggio Trattoria outdoor diningNot only is it such a pleasurable room to dine in (there’s also a terrace that’s lovely in the afternoon and on warm nights), but Chef Peter McNee’s menu just continues to evolve and impress. There is a variety of house-made salumi to start with and the pastas are savory and delicious. McNee is also noted for using the whole animal in his dishes, from pig ears to face to lamb’s brain (adventurous diners are rewarded for trying these dishes). The charred lamb chops are another favorite on the menu.

Cavallo Point Dining - Farley BarWhen it’s time for a special occasion, head over to Murray Circle at Cavallo Point and dive into the tasting menu from Chef Joseph Humphrey. The traditional tasting menu is $65, and the grand tasting menu for $85, both known as being among the more reasonably priced in town.

There’s the more casual Farley Bar next door, where you can enjoy a cocktail and a burger on the porch, with a can’t-be-beat view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Find more good eats in the Bay Area with Three Days, Nine Meals: San Francisco – Burgers, Tofu, Chinese and More

John Rasmussen, shaman and author of Dreaming Your World Into Being

Golden Gate Bridge - photo by Lee FosterCavallo Point Healing Center & Spa has a basking pool and tea bar where you can experience a tranquil retreat complete with massages, acupuncture, shaman sessions, you name it. It’s a great place to replenish and restore and even begin the process of taking your life to more extraordinary levels of fulfillment.

Tennessee Valley is a popular hiking spot for locals inside the Golden Gate and it never fails to deliver natural beauty in a 4-mile round trip hike to the beach and back. As you sit on the sand and watch the powerful waves crash, you’ll feel humbled by the enormous rock formations that tower on each corner of the beach. Wander even farther up on the coastal trails and stand on the edge of the vast Pacific, a view that naturally inspires you to pause in appreciation of nature’s wonder.

Check out some Offbeat Activities in Northern California.

Crissy Field - photo by Lee FosterGreen Gulch Farm and Zen Center is a Buddhist practice center in the Japanese Soto Zen tradition offering training in Zen meditation and ordinary work. Visitors can some of their workshops or just stroll through the organic gardens and feel centered by the beauty and peacefulness that surround you.

Mt. Tamalpais State Park is the area’s “Holy Mountain.” There are numerous trails, and my favorite is called the North Side trail which takes you from the Eldridge to the Rock Springs trail. It can be a bit challenging, but takes you through all sorts of exquisite nooks and crannies and powerful meditation spots. One of the spots you get to is called “the Church,” which sits at the base of an astonishing Redwood grove. You can learn a lot sitting in dialogue with these giants, but of course the trick to a dialogue with nature is to mostly just shut up and listen.

Bay Area-bound? Don’t miss Five Tips for Photographing San Francisco.

Chef Jayne Reichert, director and instructor at the Cooking School at Cavallo Point

Marin Organic FarmI highly recommend participating in Marin Organic’s farm tours. Tours take place in a variety of Bay Area organic farms, including a local bee farm and a family-run sheep farm. Marin Organic is an association of producers in the county, working to promote the organic, sustainable lifestyle.

The Marin Agricultural Institute operates eight markets in the Bay Area throughout the week, and my favorite is at the Marin Civic Center on Thursdays. A day at the market isn’t the same without stopping by to see Annabelle at Star Route Farms. Be sure to stop by the De Santis Farm stand to buy the family’s famous citrus. The asparagus at Zuckerman’s stand is a Marin County superstar, appearing on menus all over the Bay Area, as are ingredients from both Full Belly and Paradise Valley Farms.

Want to do some shopping in San Francisco? Don’t miss Suzy Gershman’s Postcard from San Francisco: Bay Area Baubles.

Stock - FishingRegarding seafood, most of my seafood is sourced from Fish restaurant, which focuses on serving only sustainable seafood. Co-owner Kenny Belov hosts a variety of events such as beer and seafood pairing at the restaurant, and a “fish fabricating” and cooking class at Cavallo Point.

When I’m in the mood for goat or lamb, I make a special effort to hit the Sunday market in Marin and head straight to Marin Sun Farms. Some of their products may also be found at Woodlands Meats, where Steve Sbragia can walk you through the entire butcher case and  explain where the products are from and why he’s chosen them.

My mornings have to start with a double latte from Café Divino and a visit with Elena the chef.  She keeps me well-stocked with black trumpet mushrooms when her secret “mushroom” man visits. Yes, there are secret mushroom purchases happening in back alleys of Sausalito!

Edited by Sarika Chawla for

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