For those of us who are fascinated by alternative dwellings, a trip to the San Francisco Bay area isn't complete without a visit to the unique Sausalito House Boat community of Marin County. With over 400 floating homes docked in a system of wooden piers, you could spend a whole morning admiring the creative architecture. Here's a bit of what we saw during our walk down beautiful Liberty pier.
The pier system of wooden walkways in Sausalito harbour creates a way to access the floating homes here, while also providing community space for the residents. There is little shade out on the water, but with hundreds of potted plants thriving in the sunshine it feels completely lush. Some residents even had fruit trees among the flowers. Vines climb railings and latices. It's magical!
This place is exploding with creativity. Incredible mosaic sculptures, stained glass, shells & adornments layer seamlessly. There isn't a dull spot to be found. It's enough to make your head spin!
The diversity in size, shape and aesthetic of homes was astounding. Everything floated in that harbour, from tiny pink cottage boats to pirate ships, tugboats to mod clean lined floating homes, asian inspired boats to whimsical, drifting works of art. No two are alike.
Near the end of our walk, we had the luck of striking up a conversation with a new houseboat owner who was in the process of moving in. We told her that we were from Canada and she exclaimed "I love Canadians! Come in!" How cool was it to get an inside look at what tiny living is like in a Sausalito Houseboat!
There are a couple ways you can view this houseboat community, including via guided tours. We chose to drive to the Liberty docks ourselves and went exploring for an hour one morning. Since this is a real community, we tried to be quiet and not stand too long gawking or taking photos of anything personal. Luckily it was very quite out there that morning and we were the only non-residents wandering around with our mouths gaping open. Guhhhhhhhhh ... wow ...
There's a good guideline for visiting the Sausalito Houseboats HERE. Just over the Golden Gate Bridge, and accessible to those renting bikes for the day, I wholeheartedly encourage a visit!