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The Golden Gate Ferry Service fleet, Ferry Building (tel. 415/923-2000; www.goldengate.org), operates between the San Francisco Ferry Building, at the foot of Market Street, and downtown Sausalito. Service is frequent, running at reasonable intervals every day of the year except January 1, Thanksgiving, and December 25. Check the website for an exact schedule. The ride takes a half-hour, and one-way fares are $10.25 for adults; $5 for youth (ages 6–18), seniors (65+), and passengers with disabilities; children 5 and under ride free (limit 2 children per full-fare adult).

Ferries of the Blue & Gold Fleet (tel. 415/705-5555; www.blueandgoldfleet.com) leave from Pier 41 (Fisherman’s Wharf); the one-way cost is $11 for adults, $6.75 for kids 5 to 12, free for 4 and under. Boats run on a seasonal schedule; phone or log onto their website for departure information.

By car from San Francisco, take U.S. 101 N. and then take the first right after the Golden Gate Bridge (Alexander exit). Alexander becomes Bridgeway in Sausalito. But before that, consider taking a quick detour for a memorable photo-op at the Headlands. Once you cross the Golden Gate Bridge take the first exit and merge onto Alexander Avenue. Drive under Highway 101 and turn right onto Conzelman Road right before the ramp heading back to San Francisco. From here, you can pull over along the shoulder (you may have to wait for parking) to get a dramatic vantage point of the red bridge jetting out from tumultuous waters. Drive further and you’ll glimpse the rolling hills of the Marin Headlands and the secluded Rodeo Beach to the right. You might be tempted to keep driving on this dramatic, winding road high above the city behind you. If you do, you’ll eventually get to Point Bonita Lighthouse, the opposite direction of Sausalito but a wonderfully scenic, undeveloped diversion.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.