San Francisco Bay Model Visitor Center

Quick Facts

San Francisco Bay Model Visitor Center

California

(415) 332-3871

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

Imagine walking from the Pacific Ocean to Sacramento and Stockton without traveling all around town. That is exactly what you can do while visiting the 1.5 acre San Francisco Bay Model Visitor Center. This model covers the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun Bays and a portion of the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta. Its three-dimensional hydraulic model of San Francisco Bay and Delta was once used for research by simulating tides, currents and river inflows. Environmental education focuses on current events and allows visitors to learn about how natural and cultural resources are affected by man-made changes to the Bay and Delta.

The Bay Model offers a unique opportunity for teachers and students to learn about the geography, topography, ecology, and the human and natural history of the San Francisco Bay and Delta. The dynamic nature of the model allows students to observe tidal action and visualize currents and eddies, as they would actually occur in the Bay and Delta. The facility also has a self-guided tour. With advance reservations scheduled groups can receive ranger guided tours around the model, explaining how engineers and scientists conduct laboratory tests to seek solutions to the problems of maintaining the bay's water environment. Permanent exhibits include a 12-minute orientation video and a 1 hour audio tour. These programs are available in English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. An exhibit on Sausalito's World War II shipyard Marinship 1942-1945 is housed within the building, which was formerly the outfitting warehouse for the shipyard. You can see pelicans in the fall and winter; waterfowl is abundant in the winter; harbor seals are best seen in the fall and winter. Entrance is free and a great way to enjoy the bay area. Visitor areas are accessible and The Bay Model Visitor Center has water fountains/soda vending machines. For lunch, why not picnic on the waterfront. There are also several restaurants, a convenience store and a supermarket within 15 minutes walking distance of the Model and more than 30 restaurants in Sausalito.

Map of San Francisco Bay Model Visitor Center

Latitude, Longitude: 37.862963, -122.495199

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Activities

  • Historic Sites

    The Bay Model offers a unique opportunity for teachers and students to learn about the geography, topography, ecology, and the human and natural history of the San Francisco Bay and Delta. Permanent exhibits include a 12-minute orientation video and a 1 hour audio tour. These programs are available in English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. An exhibit on Sausalito's World War II shipyard Marinship 1942-1945 is housed within the building, which was formerly the outfitting warehouse for the shipyard.

  • Picnicking

    Enjoy a picnic waterside.

  • Wildlife Watching

    You can see pelicans in the fall and winter; waterfowl is abundant in the winter; harbor seals are best seen in the fall and winter.

Directions

Driving

Coming south on Highway 101 take the Sausalito-Marin City exit and take a left at the stop light. Continue under the freeway overpass and take a right at the following stop light on Bridgeway. There will be small brown and white Bay Model direction signs along the way. Turn left on Harbor, then almost immediately turn right on Marinship Way and follow the signs to the Bay Model. Coming North on Highway 101 take the Sausalito-Marin City exit and continue straight at the stop light, you are on Bridgeway. There will be small brown and white Bay Model direction signs along the way. Turn left on Harbor, then almost immediately turn right on Marinship Way and follow the signs to the Bay Model.

Public Transportation

Other modes to the Bay Model from San Francisco is riding a Golden Gate Transit bus. You can also take a Golden Gate Transit ferry from the Ferry Building or a Red and White Fleet ferry from Fisherman Wharf, Pier 43 1/2, to Sausalito.

For a hilly and longer excursion, bike or walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and follow Alexander Avenue to Sausalito. The building containing the model and visitor center is not on Bridgeway, but between Marinship Way and the waterfront. The visitor's entrance is located at the front of the building on the waterfront. From the East Bay you can take a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train to San Francisco, then take a ferry or bus to Sausalito.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(415) 332-3871

Links