Sausalito is a picturesque community that is perched on a hillside between the San Francisco Bay and the Marin Headlands in Marin County, California. Sausalito is 8 miles south-southeast of San Rafael, at an elevation of 13 feet. The community of around 7,000 residents is situated near the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Sausalito is just a ferry ride across the bay from San Francisco and offers unique tours, attractions such as “Bay Model” and “Bay Area Discovery Museum,” enchanting boutique shops, art studios and galleries and a wide selection of restaurants, outdoor cafes and bistros, many with stunning views back across the bay to the city.

Most of the frequently visited waterfront area can be seen on foot and are within easy walking distance from the ferry landing. If one heads north on a walk along Bridgeway to Caledonia Street, one will discover many great stores, restaurants, cafes, and art studios.

Sausalito is also an easy town to bike in. A favorite local ride is to Sam’s Restaurant in Tiburon for lunch or drinks on the huge outdoor deck. Another lovely ride is the one from Sausalito to Mill Valley and on up any bike trail on Mt. Tamalpais.

Muir Woods is a must on many visitors’ list of places to see, with a stunning forest of old-growth redwoods located a few miles away from Sausalito, nestled in a valley on the side of a local mountain. The huge trees and quiet forest make this more than just a nature walk for some people, for whom it becomes a spiritual experience. One stand of trees is even called Cathedral Grove.

Sausalito’s weather has the Northern California “Mediterranean Climate,” with warm, dry summers and relatively mild winters. In most years there is occasional rain from November through April.

Sausalito also has a rich history: the first Europeans known to visit the area were Spaniards, in 1775. The real development of the area began after an English mariner won a land grant for the area, establishing Richardson Bay in 1838. In the post-Gold Rush era, Sausalito’s unusual location became a key factor in its formation as a community: it was San Francisco’s nearest neighbor, less than two miles away at the nearest point and easily seen from city streets, yet transportation factors rendered it effectively isolated. The region was largely dominated by two disparate classes of people, both with ready access to boats: commercial fishermen and wealthy yachting enthusiasts.

In the 1870s, the railroad came to town, then by 1926, a major auto ferry across the Golden Gate was established. This ferry was an integral part of old U.S. Highway 101, and a large influx of automobile traffic, often parked or idling in long queues, became a dominant characteristic of the town. This era came to an end in May 1937, with the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge made large-scale ferry operations redundant, and since the new route of Highway 101 bypassed Sausalito entirely, in-town traffic was quickly reduced to a trickle.

Developed rapidly as a shipbuilding center in World War II, the city’s industrial character gave way in postwar years to a reputation as a wealthy and artistic enclave, a picturesque residential community (incorporating large numbers of houseboats), and a tourist destination. It is adjacent to, and largely bounded by, the protected spaces of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Sausalito was a center for bootlegging during the era of Prohibition in the United States. Because of its location facing the Golden Gate and isolated from San Francisco by the same waterway, it was also a favorite landing spot for rum runners.

Drug Problems in Sausalito

Unfortunately, the picturesque beauty of Sausalito is marred by similar drug problems to those discovered across the rest of the country. According to a report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol continues to dominate emergency room treatment admissions, ranking as the most frequent primary drug in Bay Area treatment admissions, particularly among males older than 35. The bootleggers were only the beginning of the alcohol problem, or so it would seem.

Methamphetamine ranked second as the primary drug at admission, followed in order by heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs. Smoking was the primary route of administration for methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana, while injection was used mainly with heroin and methamphetamine. Prescription drugs were chiefly administered orally, while infrequently heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine were inhaled. According to that same report, opiates ranked first among drug-related deaths, followed by cocaine, alcohol, stimulants, and benzodiazepines.

Solutions to Addiction Problems

Fortunately, Sausalito is home to several renowned addiction treatment centers. The beauty of and desirability of the location lend themselves to attracting highly qualified treatment staff and are a definite bonus for the person seeking help with addiction problems.

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