SAN FRANCISCO’s BEST ●Attractions●Parks/Zoo
image courtesy of venue
Angel Island State Park
Free. No dogs. Ferry service: San Francisco departures from Pier 41 at Fisherman’s Wharf & the Ferry Bldg. on The Embarcadero. East Bay departures from Jack London Square (seasonal). 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, which has oysters and live music on weekends (seasonal) and with an advance order will have a box lunch available to pick up when you arrive.. 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.
image cMichael Morgan, courtesy of Sea Trek Kayak
Sea Trek Kayak schedules tours, and primitive environmental campsites are available.