What Ellis Island was to the European immigrants, this island was to the Asian immigrants. Volunteer guides lead informative ... More
Angel Island State Park
What Ellis Island was to the European immigrants, this island was to the Asian immigrants. Volunteer guides lead informative tours of the island's historical sites, including the Immigration Station and Fort McDowell. Graffiti left by immigrants who were awaiting admission or deportation can be seen on the walls of the holding areas. Hiking and biking trails circle the 740-acre (300-hectare) island and offer spectacular views of the Bay Area. You can even catch a glimpse of the indigenous deer population. Camping is allowed with proper permits. Ferry service varies according to the season.
recently i visited angel island with my wife and friends. The ferry ride i took from the SFO was good and i took the top level deck to sit so that i can enjoy the view. Its good if you have jackets with hood to save you from the high winds, but the view of islands and golden gate is really awesome. One you land there make sure you have the map of the island so that you know which hiking trail you want to choose.There is a nice picnic area where you can sit/eat enjoy. Not all the trials are accessible from the bike. Bike rentals are 10$/hr or 35$ full day.You can ride the whole perimeter of island. This time we wanted to go to the hightest point on Angel island i.e Mt livermore point, so we decided to take the trials. We took the sunset trial as that is more scenic than the other 2-3 trials that also lead you to the same point. Trails are marked properly so you start by taking the sunset trail which will guide towards the Mt livermore. there are many vista points throuhout the way so have your camera handy, as the view will be gorgeous. Give your self minimum 1 hr to reach at the top and it have water on you. there is no water during the hike time on the trails. The trail is not so steep but narrow, so make sure you dont come in contact with poison oak:). One you reach at the top you can see the whole bay, tibourne island ..Golden gate. Spend some time its worth there. Once you plan to head back you can either take the same sunset trail back or the north ridge one, depends on your choice. Gift shop closes by 3pm i guess so i missed my shopping there so if you dont plan to stay/camp there its better to buy when you land on island.
The irony is that while almost all tourists go to Alcatraz, almost no locals do. Locals go to Angel Island, Alcatraz's larger, and just as historically significant, neighbor. Angel Island was the Ellis Island of the West, where most of the Chinese and Japanese immigrants were held while awaiting entrance into the US. It was also a military base, and remains of both of these facilities still remain. It's a wonderful place for hikers, gives incredible panoramic views of the bay, and even has some hidden beaches. During December the tallest tree at the top of the island is decked out in Christmas light and looks stunning. I recommend this to all nature loving tourists and locals alike.
Angel Island is a great Saturday retreat. Everything about the park is great-including the ferry ride from the cute little town of Tiburon. Once at the park you can go wild. I would recommend by starting out with a picnic (bring your own food because the food there is rather expensive) at any of the nice picnic areas (all with views of Tiburon).
Then you can be your own tour guide and decide what you want to see on the Island and how far you are willing to walk. If you are really gung-ho to see everything on the island it can be done! If you're not so keen on walking I would start out going left from the dock and go see the Immigration Station first. Every bit of the island is rich with history-from the internment camps to the WWII guns.
A great place to take youngsters curious to learn about local history!
I'm a big fan of Angel Island State Park. There's so much you can do there.
First of all, unless you're only planning on sitting in the picnic area near the dock and eating, bring your WALKING SHOES. If you're planning on walking the perimeter of the island, not only are you in for some great historic sights and even better views of the bay, you're in for a LOT OF WALKING. It's deceptively large with your fair amount of uphill treks.
But once you're equipped with walking shoes and plenty of water, you're all set. There are many things to see as you walk the permiter path of the island, including old missile sites and bunkers used throughout many wars, some old barracks, a museum, and old internment camp, and many more surprises.
A great place!
I live in the SF Bay Area and when friends come to visit, sometimes I live to take them on a day excursion to Angel Island. I drive up to Tiberon (pay for parking) and then take the ferry to Angel Island. (No need to book in advance). The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes and is a nice experience by itself. One a nice clear day, you get to take in the Bay, let the wind blow through your hair, and watch the other boats pass by.
The Island has several nice hiking trails. A more strenous hike takes you to the top of the island where you're rewarded with some amzing views of the City and the bay. Also, you can hike the perimeter.
For history buffs, it's worthwhile to visit the Chinese Detention Center (the Ellis Island of the East Coast) where all of the Chinese immigrants were detained before they could enter the country.
Take the ferry back to Tiberon and have dinner at Guymas, a great mexican seafood restaurant with a patio over the water.
We went to Angel Island as part of the Alcatraz Tour. I had no idea that Angel Island has such history.
We took the tram around the island. The driver was great, she stopped at several locations for picture taking.
Don't miss Angel Island!
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