A couple weeks ago, I went kayaking in Sausalito for the day with my family and Gina. We wandered around the north bay, played tag with sailboats and ferries (even if they didn’t know it), made friends and enemies with seals, and started absolutely no water fights at all. None. Not one!
The best part of the adventure was the houseboat community on the northern edge of the town. Some were anchored out in the bay, but most were in long term slips in dedicated marinas. The neighborhood was big enough that you could honestly call it a neighborhood, complete with streets and intersections, an HOA, and best of all, some utterly fascinating architecture.
Most of the houseboats looked fairly normal, more or less, even if they had more character than your average landlocked Tudor or Craftsman. The area has always attracted offbeat, quirky people, though, so plenty were just plain weird, which generally meant awesome.
The Taj Mahal may be the most famous, but there were plenty of other amazing oddities. One was a squat, angular, gleaming spaceship. Another cloaked itself in a sprawling, wraparound rainbow mural. One was made entirely from squares and right angles, a tribute to minimalist, modern design. Others ranged from Burning Man art car and repurposed train locomotive to trashy, falling down chic and haunted house monstrosity. We loved them all.
Paddling down inlets and around corners in search of the next surreal masterpiece was the highlight of the day. We called out to each other to show off our latest finds, laughed at the particularly crazy bits, and compared our favorites over dinner afterward.
Others have written about them more eloquently, so I’ll just say that the Sausalito houseboats were the unexpected bit of pure joy that made our day. They were definitely worth the visit.