Angel Island State Park, San Francisco

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 Reviews

In the middle of San Francisco Bay (415) 435-5390

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  • Ferry to Tiburon
    Ferry to Tiburon
    by iandsmith
  • The monument at the internment camp
    The monument at the internment camp
    by Tom_Fields
  • Ayala Cove, where visitors debark
    Ayala Cove, where visitors debark
    by Tom_Fields
  • iandsmith's Profile Photo

    I did but see it passing by

    by iandsmith Written Aug 8, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Established in 1975, Angel Island Association is a nonprofit organization working to facilitate the preservation, restoration and interpretation of historical and natural resources on the island, enhance visitors’ experiences, and build a community to support Angel Island State Park.
    The island is alive with history; over three thousand years ago it served as a fishing and hunting site for Coastal Miwok Indians. It was later a haven for Spanish Explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala, a cattle ranch, and a U.S. Army post starting with the Civil War.
    From 1910 to 1940, the island processed hundreds of thousands of immigrants, the majority from China. During World War II, Japanese, and German POWs were held on the island, which was also used as a jumping-off point for American soldiers returning from the Pacific. In the ’50s and ’60s, the island was home to a Nike missile site.
    In 1946 the Quarantine Station located in Hospital Cove was declared surplus, and all functions were moved to San Francisco. In 1954 a number of citizen’s groups managed to persuade the California State Park Commission to obtain 36.82 acres surrounding Hospital Cove (aka Ayala Cove) for a State Park.
    In 1962 the Nike missle site on the south side of the island was deactivated, and the army left the island. In December of that year, the entire island was turned over to the State of California for park purposes – with the single exception of the unmanned Coast Guard station on Point Blunt, which continues in active operation to this day.
    Ferries go from Tiburon and I actually didn't land on the island but went past the old quarantine station. I'd certainly pencil it in next time were I to return.

    Buildings of the past Ferry to Tiburon
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  • sftravelertips's Profile Photo

    Angel Island, Ellis Island of the West

    by sftravelertips Written Mar 30, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Even though, Alcatraz gets the attention of most tourists, due to its famous prisoners and the Native American Movement. Angel Island, sometimes been refer to as the Elis Island of the West, also has a rich history that’s part of many Chinese American immigrant’s families, whose ancestor/relatives migrated to the state from 1910~1940.

    Due to the restrictions of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, many immigrants spent years on the island, waiting for entry. In 1940 a fire destroyed many immigrants’ documentations and it became a loophole in the exclusion law. Any Chinese who could prove citizenship through paternal lineage would not be denied entry. Those without true fathers in the United States became "paper sons" or "paper daughters". They bought papers which identified them as children of American citizens. Because official records were often non-existent, an interrogation process was created to determine if the immigrants were related as they claimed.

    Some detainees stay on Angel’s Island for years before their paper work could be processed. Some detainees expressed their feelings in poetry that they brushed or carved onto the wooden walls of the detention center. Others simply waited, hoping for a favorable response to their appeals, but fearing deportation. Many of the poems that were carved into the walls of the center are still legible today.

    If you ever go to Angel’s island, I recommend you to visit the Immigration Museum and learn more about the history of the Angel’s Island.

    Related to:
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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  • Rassors's Profile Photo

    A great walk, bike or picnic trip

    by Rassors Updated Aug 14, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Angel Island State Park sits in the middle of the bay and one can get a ferry to the Island from Fisherman's Wharf in
    San Francisco or Tiburon in Marin County. You can bring your bike or rent one there. They have a great web page. The great part about Angel island is that you can just sit at the little beach on the cove and picnic, cycle, hike or ride in a tram thing around the island. The Island has been many things to many people. Its big claim to fame now is that it was an Ellis Island of the West for Asian Immigrants. Many Chinese were kept on the island for months before being allowed to enter the US or being sent back. There is an interesting museum about this on the island. The island also served as a Spanish Garrison and there is a section left to explore that served that function, it also had a missle base and most of that is used as housing at this time. It is a great way to get away from the city . The walk around is fairly flat (except for one short stretch) and with great views. There is a small cafeteria on the Island but I suggest you bring a picnic lunch. Watch for the ferry schedules.

    Related to:
    • Cycling
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    Angel Island

    by Tom_Fields Updated Jan 2, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This island, in northern San Francisco Bay, is less famous, but no less interesting, than Alcatraz. Hiking the cirumference of the island provides excellent views of San Francisco Bay.

    The island also has a former Army post, with some old gun emplacements still visible. More than a century ago, numerous artillery batteries were set up here, as well as near the Golden Gate and in Marin County. They provided coastal defense during the World Wars, but were dismantled soon afterward.

    During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Chinese immigrants were interned here, awaiting their US citizenship papers. This was the Ellis Island of the west coast. There is a small monument to them, inscribed with Chinese characters.

    Ayala Cove, where visitors debark The old Army post An old Army gun emplacement The monument at the internment camp The north shore of the bay
    Related to:
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Angel Island State Park

    by madamx Updated Aug 23, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We went here one day, just to relax and get away from the city. Angel Island has 12 miles of roads and trails around the island, and you can rent bikes at Ayala Cove, where the ferry docks. It also used to be a military base, so there are old forts and bunkers that you can explore. There is an old Immigration Station which is manned by volunteers that you can visit; it was closed when we were there. If you are ambitious, you can hike to the top of Mount Livermore.

    This place is a nice escape, with it's natural setting and sweeping views of ocean and city.
    Wear layers as the breeze can be cool at times and bring anything else you might need, such as food or water; the ferry comes approx every 4 hours.

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  • Trip to Alcatraz

    by fuco Updated Sep 28, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Buy your tickets two weeks in advance, because they will be sold out and you will not get in. However we found a compeny at street near Hooters, where we got them for the next day. But it was for $70 a person including SF walking tour.

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  • geeyook's Profile Photo

    Angel Island State Park

    by geeyook Written May 31, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Located one mile from Tiburon, this island offers wonderful views of Marin, San Francisco and the Golden Gate. This island is full of history and nature. Angel Island was the "Ellis Island of the West", Serving as the Immigration Station for the West Coast. There is a museum at the old immigration station. The island has 13 miles of hiking trails, cycling trails, numerous campsites for overnight camping and picnic areas.

    Angel Island

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  • mesoblonda's Profile Photo

    Spend the day exploring your way

    by mesoblonda Written Apr 21, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Take your bike, rent a bike, take a tram, hike or kayak...or do 'em all! 13 miles of hiking trails and 8 miles of biking trails are waiting for you.

    Angel Island, a California State Park, can be reached via ferry from the city of Tiburon. Chock full of history, this 740 acre island is a great way to spend the day alone, with a date, family or friends.

    After your trip to Angel Islan, remember to stop at Sam's or Guymas for dinner and drinks!

    No dogs allowed.

    Ferry to Angel Island, Tiburon side
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    • National/State Park

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  • melemeday's Profile Photo

    Top of Angel Island......

    by melemeday Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Top of Angel Island... although Alcatraz gets most of the attention, Angel Island has it's own place in history. As the largest island in the San Francisco Bay, it has been used by the American Indians, as a U.S. military site, and Immigration Station. It provides very good hiking trails and nice views.

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  • Take the ferry to Angel Island...

    by lflarson Written Feb 25, 2003

    Take the ferry to Angel Island and spend the day hiking or biking around it. Take or rent a bike. Great views of SF. Interesting historical sites. Entire island is a state park. Fun and free! Take a picnic or pick up lunch at the 'California Cuisine' style deli.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Alcatraz's neighboring island,...

    by acemj Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Alcatraz's neighboring island, Angel Island, offers a great escape from the fast-paced city. There are great camping and hiking opportunities just a ferry ride away.

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