Weather permitting, Angel Island – the largest natural island in the San Francisco Bay – is easily visible from bayside Marin, San Francisco and the East Bay. So close, and yet… of course, being an island, it’s surrounded by water, so access is by boat. If you don’t have one of your own, there is ferry service either from Tiburon or San Francisco at Pier 41.
For information and history, there’s a Visitors’ Center, and the fantastic Immigration Station Museum. There is also interpretive signage around the island at the many sites from the time as the Immigration Station as well as the various uses by the military. The military remnants include buildings and batteries, there was also a Nike Missile installation. There is still an active Coast Guard Station, but that is off-limit to visitors.
You can bicycle around the island, which is of course what we did, or hike. You can bypass the traces of man and enjoy the natural splendor of the island if that is more your cup of tea. I’d imagine it gets quite busy in the summer – we were there on a beautiful sunny December day – we didn’t have the place to ourselves, but were able to find quiet spots most of the day. There are also camping accommodations, which I haven’t made use of yet but would like to some day.