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March 23, 2017 9:12pm
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Explore Caledonia Street

Enjoy Sausalito’s Real Downtown

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Just one block up from Sausalito’s bustling tourist hub waterfront area on Bridgeway lies a little known and often overlooked street that any local will tell you is the real heart and soul of Sausalito. Caledonia Street lies exactly one block over from Bridgeway and parallels the thoroughfare for slightly more than six blocks, yet is often left completely undisturbed by passerby and visitors to Sausalito.

Complete with shopping, restaurants, artisans, galleries, and the local watering hole, movie theater, and hardware store, Caledonia Street isn’t lacking in any of the charms or activities that you might imagine, and has something to offer almost anyone who is looking for activity in Sausalito.

The Original Main Street

Caledonia Street’s roots trace back to the development of the city of Sausalito and its growth throughout World War Two. With larger lots and more space available when the city was first being divided and developed, Caledonia St. quickly became the haven for the middle classes of Sausalito and businesses sprang up along the stretch to accommodate and serve this population. The result was an instantaneous community in which residents were able to socialize and take care of their daily business while never needing to stray far from home.

The massive influx of single men residing in Sausalito during the war effort and shipbuilding phase of Sausalito’s life further altered the landscape of Caledonia St. adding single resident housing, in-law apartments, and more service and entertainment options like the movie theater.

The Local Downtown

Today’s Caledonia Street could be called the “real downtown” of Sausalito, and residents spend the bulk of their shopping and community time in this area of the city. Local favorite and local supported businesses like Waterstreet Hardware supply Sausalito residents with their community shops and the residents proudly support their local businesses at the same time. In a rare display of neighborhood solidarity for the San Francisco Bay Area, there seems to be a constant and unwavering support for keeping the local atmosphere, business climate, and feel of this neighborhood intact.

Caledonia St. is the real hub for the folks who live in Sausalito, and it shows through in the friendly atmosphere in the neighborhood and in the annual celebrations and parades that occur each year down the street. Like a main street in any town across the country, Caledonia lights up for holidays with a Fourth of July, Halloween, and other parades and seasonal activities.

Things to Do and See on Caledonia Street

For those looking for all of the best kept secrets for shopping, dining, and entertainment in Sausalito, Caledonia Street is the place to see. From trendy clothing and accessories from Green Apples to the neighborhood yoga studio and movie theater there are plenty of things to do and see here. Stop in at Café Divino for live music, explore the handmade glass jewelry from locally famous Katya Glass, or stop in at any of the other small local shops and see why the neighborhood residents prefer their slice of Sausalito over the main drag on the water.

Not to be missed on Caledonia St. is the collection of restaurants, both casual and fine dining, that serve up some of the most overlooked and authentic cuisines in Sausalito. The world renowned Sushi Ran and the newer Sweet Ginger sushi restaurants, Arawan Thai, and Sartaj India Café all serve up some of the best ethnic food in the North Bay Area and are frequently missed by visitors, as is the Sausalito Gourmet Delicatessen that locals will tell you is one of the best in the state.

If you are in Sausalito and looking for a relaxing and genuine way to spend the afternoon, wander over to Caledonia Street and visit the merchants and restaurants in this small, close knit neighborhood to get the feel of the real Sausalito.

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Photos copyright by Jay Graham Photographer