Like Otis Redding, whose famous hit song “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” was inspired by his Sausalito houseboat view of San Francisco Bay, you’ll be enchanted by this artsy, Bohemian enclave just across the Golden Gate Bridge. Good for a day trip or overnight stay while in San Francisco, or combined with a Napa wine tour, it’s a welcome break from the bustle of the city. To get there, drive the bridge or – better yet – hop a ferry and bring a rented bike from Fisherman’s Wharf. The waterfront area has plenty of outdoor café and bistro options, nautical boutiques, parks and galleries, as well as the 600-slip Sausalito Yacht Harbor – but one of the most unique spectacles is the more than 400, Amsterdam-like houseboats (called floating homes by locals) clustered in communities farther north along the shore. While in the area, check out the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bay Model, a 1.5-acre, working hydraulic scale model of the San Francisco Bay and area river delta system. For something more adventurous, book a seaplane charter and see the whole Bay area from above. Gabrielson Park has a nice lawn, picnic tables and concrete benches to catch sailboat and S.F. skyline views, sunsets and weekly (Friday) Jazz and Blues by the Bay concerts during the summer. If you packed an overnight bag, ritzy options like Cavallo Point lodge or Casa Madrona will pamper you accordingly.