day trip to angel island

day trip to angel island

one of my strongest pieces of advice to those who love travel is to explore your own city when you can’t take a major trip somewhere far away! i always feel like we’ve done almost everything in san francisco and the bay, but i’m constantly proved wrong. there is always more to discover … something we haven’t done … something we’ve never seen. i believe that’s true every place! even the chance to see the same thing in a different light. one thing we’ve never done yet is explored angel island right in the bay. last weekend we decided it was high time! the weather was set to be 75, we had a clear schedule, and it all lined up. 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

as there is only one ferry per day from san francisco to angel island, we packed up for the entire day and it truly felt like a mini vacation! we rode our bikes down the hill to the wharf, hopped on the blue & gold fleet ferry at 9:45, and started to sail across the bay…i love being out on the water with those views.

angel island
^^ off we go! 
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetafter enjoying the sunny ferry ride and views from the water, we found ourselves docked at angel island! stepping off the boat onto land i’ve never been on before has to be one of my favorite feelings in the world…even if it’s close to home!
angel island1
IMG_4019angel island6it was glowing and gorgeous in the morning light!
we read our map, then got on our way exploring.
a short way into our perimeter bike ride we stumbled upon this beach … one of the best settings i’ve ever seen with that city view, and no one else on it! the sun was shining, the water was calm, and we had this beach to ourselves on an island looking back at our city…favorite moment for sure. we relaxed here and made our gameplan for the hours we had on the island until the 4:10 pm ferry.


the list of activities on angel island we wanted to do included:

  • take photos (some of the best views in the bay!)
  • hike the cove-to-crest nature trail
  • have lunch at a picnic table with a view
  • learn about the history of the island
  • visit the immigration station
  • hike to the top of angel island, mt. livermore
  • enjoy the sweeping views
  • walk the history trail around the island
  • go through the visitor’s center
  • swim by the dock
  • bike the perimeter road

 there are also activities like camping, backpacking, etc..but with our day trip that was our checklist. so we set off!
angel island2IMG_4039IMG_4058angel island8we made it to the top of angel island by hiking mount livermore. the 360 degree views of the entire bay took our breath away, and after all the steep hiking it was the ideal place to unpack our picnic at the top and spend some time.angel island5^^ ciabatta sandwiches, apples, and it’s-its made for a great picnic.
IMG_4075as we descended mt. livermore i was basically stumbling down the trail because of these views from every direction! the clouds made things look even prettier.
angel island11IMG_4046IMG_4045 angel island3angel island9after all of that hiking + biking in the sun we kicked our shoes off and laid down on the beach to soak up some rays and just relax. i like that there is only one ferry option back to the city, because it forced us to slow down, be patient, and enjoy. otherwise, we probably would have rushed all over the island to see it, and then headed home. because we had until after 4pm, we truly relaxed. our phones had no service, we had no distractions, and we were completely unplugged and just able to enjoy the natural surroundings. IMG_5875IMG_4117chase bravely took a dip in the chilly nor-cal water ^^ refreshing!IMG_4074  before too long, it was time to head back to that city across the bay ^^    angel island10

IMG_4130we boarded the ferry for a stop through tiburon and then back to SF!IMG_4010we left angel island sun-kissed, spent, and refreshed all at once.
we are so glad we finally made it over here and hope you do too!

IMG_4135this beautiful view of the bay made leaving angel island easier.
this island a slow-paced, quiet, natural escape from our busy city life.

**you can catch the blue & gold fleet ferry leaving from pier 41 in san francisco
on weekends at 9:45 am and returning at 4:10 pm with a stop in tiburon. tickets
are $18 roundtrip. for the slightly different weekday schedule, check ferry
times here and note that there are more options from tiburon.

thank you blue & gold fleet + angel island for having us!

<< see more of our bay area bucket list items HERE >>