Inside the Sausalito Art Festival: How to Make the Most of Your Day

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Once a year, the “Grandaddy” of all art festivals rolls into town, bringing a spectacular mix of vivid colors, awesome music and killer food, all against the picturesque backdrop of the bay. Visionary artists from the world over will have the whole crew saying wow! Pack up the double-wide stroller and prepare the kiddos for a long day amongst an amazing array of artistic expression at the 61st Annual Sausalito Art Festival. While you might not think of this creative celebration as the most exciting destination for your kids, with a labyrinth of vendors displaying their wares, Marin scenery at its finest, and booty-rockin’ tunes guaranteed to get everyone dancing, it’s guaranteed to be an afternoon of family fun.

When to Go: Sat, Aug. 31st & Sun, Sept. 1st from 9:00am – 6:00pm; Mon, Sept. 2nd from 9:00am – 5:00pm

Insider Tip: No dogs are allowed inside the festival gates, so be sure to leave Fido at home.

Admission & Getting There: The Festival is at Marinship Park. $25 for general admission; $15 for seniors 62 and older; $5 for children ages 6 – 12; free for children under 6. Tickets are available here.

Want to hop, skip, and jump across the bay? The Golden Gate Transit Sausalito ferry is always available for easy, driving-free transport. Heading by car? Take Highway 101 North or South to the Sausalito/Marin City exit and follow the signs to the Sausalito Art Festival.

Insider Tip: The Blue and Gold Fleet is offering a combined Ferry/Festival ticket package and transports Festival-goers from Pier 41 in San Francisco directly to the Festival pier!


What to Do: Every year, the quiet hamlet of Sausalito kicks into high gear and hosts over 260 artists from all over the world. Stroll through the colorful tents and marvel at over 25,000 works of art! From gloriously feathered red hats to wonderful handmade ceramics, this diverse festival calls for slow browsing, sunshine, and smiles. If the little ones need a moment away from the crowds, take some time out at the kid’s area past the food booths by Bay Model.

If picking between the two musical stages, head for the main stage. Kids will get a huge kick out of the fantastic lineup, so head over early to catch folk favorite The Deadlies, on stage at 11:00am. Be sure to check out the family area for local kid-friendly artists, like Tim Cain. See the complete lineup here.

Insider Tip: Restrooms are located west of the Security and First Aid tent, adjacent to the Varda Mural at the southwest corner of the lawn area and on the waterfront to the left of the Lounge and Main Stage.

What to Eat: Choose between hard working moms from the Sausalito Nursery School dishing up crab cakes or the Sausalito Youth Sailing Association serving up Chinese Chicken Salad. Udon noodles, turkey legs, pizza, pulled pork sandos, gyros and ice cream are just a few more of the mouth watering options available for nosh, all dished up by the very best of local Sausalito non-profit organizations, who benefit from the proceeds of their sales at the festival.

Insider Tip: No outside food, such as a picnic lunch, is allowed but be sure to pack little snacks for those hungry tummies!

What are your tips for enjoying the Sausalito Art Festival with your crew?

— Gabrielle Cullen

Photos courtesy of Rock Cousteau via Creative Commons, Paul J. Everett via Creative Commons, and Bryan Costales