Angel Island – Perfect Day Trip from San Francisco

Looking to escape the crowds of San Francisco’s most popular tourist spots?

Angel Island is a perfect escape from San Francisco and just a short ferry ride away. It is definitely worth the visit if you want to hike, relax and enjoy some of the best views of the San Francisco Bay.

Ferry to Angel Island

There are few different ways to catch a ferry to Angel Island. If you are catching the ferry from San Francisco, head down to Pier 41. There are few different ferry companies operating the route and their timetables vary depending on the day and season. It’s recommended to check the timetable and buy tickets in advance. The ferry ride from San Francisco to Angel Island takes about 30 minutes and costs about $10 one way.

Alternatively, you can also get to Angel Island from Tiburon. The ferry ride from Tiburon to Angel Island takes about 12 minutes and costs about $12 (roundtrip).

The ferry ride was definitely part of the fun as you get to enjoy some great views of San Francisco city, Alcatraz Island, Golden Gate Bridge, and Sausalito.

Hiking on Angel Island

There are a few different hikes at Angel Island. I would say the Perimeter Loop is the best in case you want to see the historical sites of the island. The perimeter hike is 5.9 miles (9.5km) long and takes around 2.5h or longer depending on how much time you take discovering different sites around the island.

Another great way to explore the island is by hiking to the top of Mount Livermore. There are a few different trails you can take to hike up and most of the trails are marked as easy or moderate.

As we wanted to see as much of the historical sites as possible, we decided to walk along the Perimeter Loop.

Perimeter Loop

The Perimeter Loop has many historical sites, buildings, amazing views of the city, Golden Gate Bridge, and the rest of the Bay.

Often called the ” Ellis Island of the West” Angel Island operated as an immigration station between 1910 and 1940. The Immigration Point on the northeast corner of the island has a museum that tells the story of thousands of immigrants that entered US during that time.

We stopped along the way to enjoy some beautiful views of the Bay. The road is in pretty good condition and also perfect for bike riding.

Ferry from Angel Island to Tiburon

On the way back we took a ferry to Tiburon. Tiburon has a small town feel with lots of restaurants, cafes, and small boutiques. I will definitely get back to Tiburon next time to explore this cool town thoroughly!

Good to know before your trip to Angel Island

  • Check the ferry timetable as they can vary depending on the season
  • Wear layers. Situated in the middle of San Francisco Bay, you never know what kind of weather you are going to get.
  • Bring snacks! There is a cafe by the ferry pier but the opening hours are pretty limited.
  • Bring cash (at least if you are planning to take a ferry back to Tiburon as they only accepted cash for ferry tickets)

Angel Island makes a great day trip from San Francisco but there is also an option to stay the night as there are many camping sites around the island! So excited to do that on our next trip…

Any tips for camping on Angel Island?

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