An easy jaunt from San Francisco lies one the best places for skyline vistas: Sausalito. Situated on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge from the city, Sausalito attracts thousands of visitors each year for its boutique shopping, good dining, and of course the view.
The southern end of the city is the main draw. Walking southward, the main strip leads you to the bayside walkway where hundreds gather to capture on film (er, memory card) the grandeur that is San Francisco. The Transco Tower and the rest of the financial district; the Bay Bridge and the bay itself; and the city's northside locales of Marina, Presidio, and Fisherman's Whorf; all are right there in panoramic prominence.
With a view like that, be ready to drop a pretty penny. The food is fresh, the atmosphere is upscale, and clientelle ranges from locals to the rich and famous (we saw a 10.5 million dollar boat in the bay...apparently an affluent Russian businessman came for lunch). Scoma's restaurant sits on stilts in the bay and offers local fish and of course Dungess crab. For something a bit more casual, Fish restaurant is a popular choice for sailors and yachters due to its location on the harbor. BBQ oysters are a specialty of the house.
For those who pass up views and fine dining for intellectual stimulation, visit the Bay Model Visitor Center. In an area the size of 1.5 football fields lies a to-scale replica of the bay and all its waterways. From viewing platforms and walkways, visitors can watch a sped-up version of the tide cycle. One day passes every 13 minutes and you can see the tides going in an out every 3.
More of a day-trip destination than a weekend getaway, Sausalito is still a no-miss.