I was surprised to learn from my patients how few of them knew what Angel Island is. When I told them that it is the big island in the bay, they all thought I was talking about Yerba Buena Island where the Bay Bridge anchors to the other Bay Bridge. No!
Angel Island is the biggest island in the bay, but few people go there because of its barrier to entry–you have to take a ferry there from either San Francisco or from Alcatraz. When you take the ferry, it’s a $15 charge for each adult. Cash. Plus, if you have to drive in to Tiburon, you usually end up paying for parking. I’m not familiar with the fare from the San Francisco Ferry Building, but if you think about it, you could BART it in from almost anywhere in the Bay to get to the island.
Once in a while, it’s worth it.
Over the years, Angel Island has been:
- A cattle ranch
- military base
- quarantine station
- immigration facility
- POW detention center
- Nike missile site
The federal government abandoned the island in the late 40’s, and then it became part of the state park system. Over the decades, the park has been restored to native vegetation and they have cleaned up messes left behind from past destruction.
Here we go on our own journey:
When you get to the landing, there is plenty of information and bathrooms. Even a hamburger joint that sometimes plays live music. Plenty of picnic areas. An informational plaque.
A short incline up the road takes us to the perimeter road. For today, we stuck to this part.
Just a few miles in, and we got to see the treasure: Majestic views of San Francisco!