Angel Island SP extensive guide to Berkeley and San Francisco area, plus inspiring articles about trips around the world

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SAN FRANCISCO ●Attractions●Parks/Zoo

SF-Angel Island-from-Headlands-PR-400pix
image courtesy of venue
Angel Island State Park 
Free.  No dogs.  Ferry service:  San Francisco departures from Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf & the Ferry Bldg. on The Embarcadero.  East Bay departures from Jack London Square.  Tiburon ferry departures from 21 Main St. 
          Half the fun of a trip to Angel Island is the scenic ferry ride over.  Visitors disembark at Ayala Cove, as did the first explorers who sailed into the bay.  Picnic tables, barbecue facilities, and a pleasant little beach for sunbathing are nearby.  Packing along a picnic is highly recommended, but the island does have its own Angel Island Cafe.  Approximately 12 miles of well-marked trails and paved roads allow hikers to completely circle the 740-acre island--the largest on the bay.  Some lead to old military ruins that are reminders of the island’s past as a detention center for immigrants from 1910 to 1940 (the island was once called the “Ellis Island of the West”), as a prisoner-of-war processing facility, and as a Nike missile defense base from 1955 to 1962.  A 3.2-mile loop trail leads from the cove to the top of 781-foot-high Mount Livermore, where a picnic area and 360-degree view await.  A park map is available at the Visitors Center, and guided tours are scheduled.  Except for Park Service vehicles, cars are not permitted on the island.  Open-air trams circle the island via the 5-mile Perimeter Road, and bikes may be brought over on theferry or rented on the island.

SF-Angel Island-Sea Trek Kayak-B&W-scan(cMichaelMorgan, courtesy Sea Trek Kayak)
image cMichael Morgan, courtesy of Sea Trek Kayak

Sea Trek Kayak schedules tours, and primitive environmental campsites are available.

View Ayala Cove by webcam.

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Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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