In the middle of San Francisco Bay sits Angel Island State Park, offering spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline, the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais.
The island is also alive with history. Three thousand years ago the island was 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.
From 1910 to 1940, the island processed 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 base.
Today, there are two active Coast Guard stations - at Point Blunt and Point Stuart - on the island (these area are off limits). Angel Island became a State Park in 1958.
Facilities - Opportunities
A cafe, tram tours, and bike rentals are available seasonally (visit www.angelisland.com for schedule) on weekends in March, April and November; and daily during May -- October.
The trams run regularly scheduled one-hour tours with an audio program including information on the history of the island.
Private boats can use the boat slips or mooring buoys at Ayala Cove; day and overnight fees are collected. Mooring buoys can be used overnight. Paid overnight boaters may use the island with their dingy only until 10:00 PM.