Ride the ferry
- Ride the Golden Gate Ferry from the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero to Sausalito. On the bay, you'll see the great container ships coming in through the Golden Gate Bridge, sail boats galore, tug boats pulling barges, pilot boats, and more. On the ferry trip to Sausalito, the ferry goes right next to Alcatraz Island, with super views. The ferry ride is inexpensive, and one of our favorite things to do in San Francisco. Here's the schedule
Picnic area - Just north of the ferry landing is a grassy area with picnic tables in the shade and benches, with views of the bay. Grab a sandwich from the local delis and sit out.
Playground - On the corner of Locust and Caledonia St., little kids will enjoy this playground (Robin Sweeny Park) with swings and climbing structures, and lots of grass to run around.
Schoonmaker Point Marina -
- The beach at Schoonmaker Point Marina is popular with local families. A flat sandy beach, bring your kids and sand toys, they'll splash in the water and build sand castles.
- Right next to the beach, rent kayaks and explore Pickleweed Inlet and Richardson Bay. You might see harbor seals in the water and pelicans in the air. Wetsuits and life jackets are provided, for kids six and up.
The Bay Model - The Bay Model, built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is a huge three-dimensional model of the tides and water movements of the San Francisco Bay and Delta. The model, spread out in a 2 acre building, has 343 square miles of water (fresh and saline), bridges, roads, cities, parks, shipping channels, man-made islands and levees in the Delta, all labeled by land use. Watch the short video "Beneath the Bay" to find out what goes on under the Bay.
Tip: From the ferry landing in Sausalito, it's a 20 minute walk down Bridgeway, or get a free bus transfer on the ferry.
Bay Area Discovery Museum – Just over the Golden Gate Bridge, this is a super museum just for kids (10 and under). In the Bay Hall, kids can catch crabs at Fisherman’s wharf, crawl through an underwater tunnel, or unload containers the port of Oakland. Toddles will have fun splashing in the Totspot. Outside, play on a fishing boat, explore a shipwreck, learn about tide pools, hike to a lookout with views of the bay and bridge.
Sausalito is often called the "ice cream capital." Right along Bridgeway (the main street through town), you'll find several shops selling ice cream in homemade waffle cones. Pick your favorite flavors, then sit outside in the sunshine at the fountain in the center of town, or along the water and watch the boats in the bay.