The zeitgeist here echoes its bohemian roots as an artists' colony while also hosting well-heeled inhabitants. Café life informs the pace—start your morning like locals do, with an espresso at Poggio, Sausalito Bakery & Café, Il Piccolo Café, or Caffe Tutti. Then wind down your day with wine tasting—and if you score a night on a Sausalito houseboat, your life is pretty much complete.
Where to Stay: For stunning views of the San Francisco skyline and bay, the hillside cottages and guest rooms of Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa boast sleek design. Rates start at $250; 415/331-3125 or