Photo by Hans Blossey/age fotostock
Hop aboard the ferry at Pier 41 in San Francisco or in Tiburon, and spend a day on the largest and most beautiful island in the bay—Angel Island State Park. You can bring your own bike, or rent one when you arrive, and ride the paved perimeter trail around the 760-acre island. There are open-air tram tours, too, with guides recalling the island’s rich history, as well as guided hikes. Of course, you are free to roam the trails on your own, one of the best of which is the hike up to the top of 788-foot Mount Livermore, where 360-degree views take in the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge. Whatever your plan, know you'll be immersing yourself in local history in a place that has been a fishing and hunting site for Coast Miwok Indians, a haven for Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala, and a U.S. Army post starting with the Civil War. From 1910 to 1940, hundreds of thousands of immigrants were processed here, and during World War II, Japanese and German POWs were held on the island. Several buildings and other relics remain as a reminder of the island's varied history, including the United States Immigration Station museum (open March–October).
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Tiburon, CA 94920, USA