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Sausalito, California

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Sausalito in California.


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Sausalito is a San Francisco Bay Area city, located in Marin County, California, United States. Sausalito is located 8 miles (13 km) south-southeast of San Rafael, at an elevation of 13 feet (4 m). The population was 7,330 as of the year 2000 census. The community is situated near the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge, and prior to the building of that bridge served as a terminus for rail, car and ferry traffic. Developed rapidly as a shipbuilding center in World War II, the city's industrial character gave way in postwar years to a reputation as a wealthy and artistic enclave, a picturesque residential community (incorporating large numbers of houseboats), and a tourist destination. It is adjacent to, and largely bounded by, the protected spaces of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.


Due to its location at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito receives a steady stream of visitors via the bridge (auto and bicycle traffic) and a ferry service from San Francisco. It retains one of the few ungated marinas in the Bay Area that attracts visitors.


The Sausalito houseboat community consists of more than 400 houseboats of various shapes, sizes, and values, along the north end of town, approximately two miles from downtown.

The roots of the Houseboat Community lie in the re-use of abandoned boats and material after the de-commissioning of the Marinship shipyards at the end of World War II. Many anchor-outs came to the area, which created problems with sanitation and other issues. After a series of tense confrontations in the 1970s and 1980s additional regulations were applied to the area and the great majority of boats were relocated to approved docks. Several are architect-designed pieces that have been featured in major magazines.

Notable residents

The following is a list of notable residents of Sausalito, past and present.


Gina Berriault, award-winning novelist and short story writer
Laurel Burch, artist and designer
Bill Cosby, comedian. Until the success of his TV series I Spy prompted a move to Los Angeles, Cosby and his wife lived on a houseboat in Sausalito.
Julie Christie, actress
Gordon Onslow Ford, English surrealist painter
Phil Frank, cartoonist and illustrator, creator of Farley comic strip and local historian
Jerry Garcia, musician
Paul Hawken, environmentalist and co-founder of Smith and Hawken
Actor Sterling Hayden, a resident from the early 1960s until his death in 1986. Hayden rented one of the pilot houses of the retired ferryboat Berkeley, then in use mainly as a gift shop on Sausalito's waterfront, as an office while he wrote his autobiographic book Wanderer (published in 1963)
William Randolph Hearst, publisher. His hillside mansion "Sea Point", never completed, was a precursor to the later, more elaborate San Simeon
Edith Heath, ceramic artist, industrial designer
Mary Tuthill Lindheim, sculptor, potter, and installation designer, juror and planner of the Sausalito Art Fair
Baby Face Nelson, American gangster of the 1920s
Herbert Ponting, English photographer and member of Scott's Antarctic expedition of 1911
Otis Redding, musician, wrote "Dock of the Bay" while staying on a houseboat at Waldo Point in Sausalito in 1967.
Former Bay Area radio and television host Don Sherwood spent his last years on a houseboat in Sausalito, where he died in 1983
Shel Silverstein, American poet, songwriter, musician, composer, cartoonist, screenwriter and author of children's books
Myron Spaulding, concert violinist, renowned sailor, yacht designer and ship builder. His boatworks continues to operate as a living museum, boatworks and wooden boatbuilding school under the name the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center
Sally Stanford, One-time Sausalito City Council member and Mayor, founder of the restaurant Valhalla. Ran a well-known brothel at 1144 Pine Street in San Francisco.
Ted Tetzlaff, film director, choreographer
Alan Watts, 20th century philosopher. The Sausalito Library owns a permanent collection of all available audio cassettes of Alan Watts’ spoken words
Jean Varda, Greek artist and friend of Henry Miller. He was part owner, and a resident of, the ferryboat Vallejo


Isabel Allende, Chilean-American novelist
Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog and The WELL
Robert A. Burton, neurologist, novelist and author
Joanie Greggains KGO radio host
Darren Hayes, singer-songwriter, former lead of Savage Garden
J. R. Hildebrand, professional race car driver
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants pitcher
Vijay Mallya, Indian liquor magnate
Lisa Mason, science fiction author
Michael Murphy, author, co-founder of Esalen
Dean Ornish, nutritionist
Ken Pontac, the author of Happy Tree Friends, an internet series
Jason Roberts, author
Amy Tan, novelist
Steven Wiig, actor and musician
Robin Williams, actor and comedian

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