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.