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This building is now a museum and formerly housed Chinese immigrants.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Angel Island State Park

Angel Island, Tiburon, CA 94920
8:00 am - sunset
415-435-5390 Half day
September 2009 All year
$10-29 Tiburon California
Website Nature State Parks
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The Ellis Island of the West Angel Island State Park makes up most of Angel Island, which is a large island located in San Francisco Bay. The park was established in 1954 on 37 acres and today is 756 acres. Angel Island has a number of old military forts and bases. There also are scenic natural areas and spectacular views of San Francisco.

Angel Island was a home and hunting ground to Indians for thousands of years. Later the Spanish established cattle ranches. Angel Island became a US military post in 1863 when the US government built a fort during the Civil War. More artillery was installed in the Spanish American War. The island served as a base in World War I, and was a transfer station for both troops and prisoners of war in World War II. In the 1950s an anti-aircraft missile base was briefly in operation. Angel island also was home to a well known immigration station, dubbed the Ellis Island of the West.

If you are in good shape, biking is an effective way to get around here, and bike rentals are available. Otherwise, there are tram and Segway tours or you can walk. The island has docent led tours in different historical areas, check with the park for times and schedules. Paying for a docent tour of the old immigration facility and now a museum was money well spent. Tours of the Civil War and World War II installations also are offered but were not as interesting. However, the extensive history on the island reflected in various buildings and military installations over time provides a good chronology of development and changes in the island's roles. The natural areas can be explored by paved paths or hiking trails, including a trail to the highest point on the island at 788 feet. Taking some time to hike or bike here is an active way to appreciate the island's beauty and to see memorable views of San Francisco. Angel Island will be of most interest to military history types and those seeking outdoor recreation, but there are enough attractions to appeal to a wider audience as well.
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guyonthego
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