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Flashback Friday: Sausalito, California

The California city of Sausalito is known for its incredible views and historical communities. Visitors will enjoy looking across to San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, shopping along the Bridgeway Promenade and along the Boardwalk overlooking the funky houseboat community. Visitors, whether on a day trip or planning to stay longer, will experience the artsy bohemian vibe of the community.

There are several ways for the budget traveller to travel to Sausalito from San Francisco using public transportation including the public bus service or the ferry. I chose the Golden Gate Ferry because I enjoy every opportunity to get out on the water. There are two different ferry companies. The public Golden Gate Ferry leaves from the Ferry Building and costs $28 for a round-trip adult ticket. Tickets can be purchased online from ticket machines. The Blue & Gold ferries leave from Fisherman's Wharf and are 50 cents cheaper. Tickets can be bought from their office at Fisherman's Wharf or online.

The original inhabitants were the Coast Miwok, a peaceful hunter-gatherer community. The first European explorers arrived from Spain in the late 1700s and named the area Saucito (little willow). In the early 1800s, William Richardson was granted nearly 20,000 acres of land in the area. He built several successful businesses and the area thrived for a time but eventually, Richardson lost his businesses and sold most of his estate to the Sausalito Land and Ferry company which truly developed the town into a bustling transportation hub.

Summer homes and fancy Victorian mansions were built on the hills above the port while merchants and working-class, people set up along what is now Bridgeway Street. During Prohibition times, Sausalito became a bootlegger's town with speakeasies, backyard stills, and tarp-covered trucks rumbling through town. When the Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937, train and ferry services were discontinued and it seemed the town would too. However, during World War II, a major shipyard was built and the town quickly grew in population.