Historic Sausalito Houseboat Walking Tour

pin_dropLocation:Sausalito (USA)
eventSeason:Saturday and Sunday 12:30 - 3:30 pm
check_circle Availability: Saturday and Sunday 12:30 - 3:30 pm
watch_later Duration: 3 hours
people Adult From: $ 58.83 USD
face Child From: $ 29.42 USD

Historic Sausalito Houseboat Walking Tour


Excursion Overview

Visit Sausalito’s famed houseboats and learn the storied history of one of the bay’s most iconic landmarks on this 3 hour walking tour.  Explore WWII era shipyards and learn how wooden boat building has long impacted the quirky town on the northern side of the Golden Gate.  Hear stories of the bohemian writers and influential artist who defined an era, from American expressionist Walter Kuhlman to southern transplant Otis Redding, who spent his short time here recording the song “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” just days before his fatal plane crash.  Learn how the dozens of seemingly unconnected threads of history combine to create a rich tapestry of people, personalities, and art forms known as Sausalito from a local artist and author. Minimum of 6 people required.
Note: If you have fewer than 6 people in your party, please call the day before to check on availability. The Sausalito Wooden Boat Tour guide book offers a self-guidex option

Tour Includes

  • Snacks and limited refreshments 
  • Local guide
  • Walking tour
  • Free Parking
  • Transportation back to your car after the tour

Tour Exclusions

  • Lunch
  • Gratuities (recommended)

What You Can Expect

Growing out of the abandoned industrial shipyards built during WWII, Sausalito’s storied house boat community has long been a haven for artist, eccentrics, and bohemians escaping the daily confines of a more structured society.  On this 3 hour walking tour through the old wooden shipyards and floating docks hugging the coast of Richardson Bay, local author and artist Victoria Colella revisits the wildly entertaining history of these floating homesteads and shares some of her more colorful anecdotes about the people who lived here.

Starting along the waterfront near the oldest surviving wooden hulled ferryboat on the West Coast, your guide will explain how wooden boat building came to define the town of “little willow tree”, which is how Sausalito translates in Spanish, and how it impacted future development.  Moving from dock to dock, you’ll learn how WWII transformed the area, briefly turning the bay into the busiest shipbuilding region in the world during the latter half of the global conflict.  You’ll learn about the incredibly colorful history of the artist and cast-offs, musicians and hippies who moved into the area after the war, turning it into a vibrant alternative cultural center that contrasted sharply with the increasingly affluent communities that grew up on the nearby hills. 

You’ll finish the tour with an understanding of how the craft of building these wooden boats remains alive today, visiting the historic Marinship shipyards where the famed Liberty Ships were once launched and restored houseboats, luxury yachts, and bay-area ferries are still built and launched today.  Learn the heart and soul of this fascinating seaside community from a local guide whose passion for her town and community translates to a rich and rewarding experience throughout the entire tour.

Additional Important Information

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Minimum numbers apply. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
  • A moderate amount of walking is involved
  • Subject to favorable weather conditions.Tour is only cancelled in case of storms - DRESS APPROPRIATELY
  • Minimum of 6 people per booking

Voucher information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Products standard cancellable

Products with Viator standard terms and conditions are fully refundable, without charge, up to 48 hours prior to travel, based on the time/date of the Product Location.

Departure point

Sausalito Houseboat Community - This tour must have at least 6 people registered in order to operate.  If you cannot do this, please call in the day before the tour to check availability or take a self-guided tour using the Sausaito Wooden Boat Tour guide book.  This book is available at Mollie Stones Market in Sausalito, Driver's Market on Caledonia Street or the Historical Society Ice House in downtown Sausalito.

Departure time

Saturday and Sunday 
12:30 - 3:30 PM

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