Bay Area Day Trips - Angel Island State Park
One beautiful Californian sunny morning, we boarded the ferry around 9:40 am from Pier 41 in San Francisco Bay and 20 odd minutes later landed on Angel Island State Park which is, true to its name, a beautiful island and a state park in the Bay Area. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to spend a deliciously sunny day on an emerald green island watching over the cool blue waters of the Bay while soaking in the views of the Golden Gate Bridge. You can choose to hike up to the top of Mt. Livermore to admire the wildflowers and the unmatched views of the Bay Area or just relax under the swaying trees allowing the cool breeze to lull you into happiness. We did both and absolutely loved it.
|Boarded the 'Blue & Gold Fleet' Ferry to Angel Island
|View from the Ferry - And this is just the beginning!!
|Entering the Angel Island
Once we disembarked the ferry onto the island, we started off with the North Ridge Trial which takes you to the top of Mt. Livermore. The Trail started off with a set of stairs, quickly merged into a path shaded by pine and oak trees, then opened up with more-than-you-could-ask-for views of the Bay Area before bringing you to the top of the summit which has several picnic tables making it a great lunch spot amidst a perfect setting. You could see at once, the Golden Gate Bridge stretching from San Francisco's Presidio to Marin's rolling Headlands, Alcatraz Island, Mount Tamalpais, the downtown San Francisco skyline, Mount Diablo, Treasure Island, and the Bay Bridge - all for a mere $18 round-trip ferry ticket and an easy 5-mile round-trip hike. What more could you ask for, except for a bottle of wine and yummy food :)
|Sorry, we already ate the Parathas and samosas :)
|One of the several views of the Bay
Going for a hike in Spring is a pleasure. Not only the weather and views are great, you get to enliven your senses with the lovely and colorful wild flowers.
|California poppy - I only know this one :(
Didn't you already make up your mind to take the ferry over the next weekend and mentally pack your favorite bottle of wine? If not, what I am about to tell you should seal the deal for you. On the way back from Mt. Livermore after a heavy lunch and a half bottle of wine, we realized that the Sunset Trail that we are supposed to take to get back to the ferry dock is closed for some repairs; so we ended up taking the paved perimeter road. As the name suggests, this road circles the perimeter of the island and is more popular with hikers, bikers and tram riders who visit the Island. While walking on this road, we found a very inviting spot under a tree overlooking the Bay. Without a second thought, we spread out our picnic mat and settled down with half a bottle of wine for an open air siesta. To describe the pleasure of taking a nap under a tree on a warm afternoon with a cool breeze is beyond me. You have got to experience it.
|Open air Siesta
After the rejuvenating nap, we walked along the perimeter road to reach the ferry dock. At the end of the trail closer to the ferry dock, we saw about a hundred people having a well organized picnic lunch under the trees, kids playing in the grass and by the small beach area. A curious inquiry later, I found out that it is an annual ritual for a certain neighborhood in San Francisco to get together for a potluck lunch on Angel Island the day before Easter. It was then I understood why we only saw few people on our hike while the ferry unloaded a bunch of us.
|By now, did you not get tired of looking at it?
If there is something called 'monument sickness,' I might have got it by the end of this trip. On our ferry ride back, I refused to look at the Golden Gate Bridge and sat in the opposite direction to avoid the view in complete contrast to being all over it on our way to the Island!
All in all, a great day trip for couples, families and friends alike and one that is highly recommended. My husband and his friend exclaimed, ' What a perfect day!' and I nodded in silence. With the exception of the memorable open air siesta, I kind of expected the rest. While I thoroughly enjoyed the day, I was not blown away by the place like I was at this other day trip that we took which I am going to write about next. Stay tuned!
P.S: Don't forget to pack your lunch for the day. Eating options are very limited on the island. And if you are interested in biking along the perimeter road, you can take your bike on the ferry or rent it on the island.
Go ahead guys, pack your picnic bags and make a lovely trip out of it!