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Angel Island is currently one of the largest islands in the San Francisco Bay, and along with its neighbor Alcatraz, is one of the most visited in the state. The island can only be accessed via ferries that run daily from both San Francisco and Tiburon. Unfortunately, cars aren’t allowed on the island, so you’ll want to find somewhere to park up your RV rental close to the ferry terminal, or find a nearby campground.
Along with its outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, biking, and boating, the island’s rich history is one of the main draws to the island. Once inhabited by Coast Miwok for more than 100 years, the island was later used as an immigration station and military base by the government before it was named a state park in the 1950s. Soaked in history and laden with trails, there is plenty to keep your mind and body occupied here. Book a camper in Marin County today to see what this picturesque island can offer you during your next vacation.
RV camping near Angel Island State Park is as much about the great outdoors as it is about its heritage. In fact, you’ll find that most of the hiking and boating trails in and around the island will lead you to historical monuments and landmarks. Keen hikers can take their pick from 13-miles of trails that range from easy to difficult. For a challenge, consider tackling the longest path that climbs the 788-foot-high summit of Mount Caroline. Livermore takes around three hours and provides stunning panoramas over the bay and back to the mainland.
If you’re only camping near Angel Island State Park for a short time, consider bringing your bike or renting one from Cove Cafe on the island. Cycling is one of the best ways to see as much of the island as possible in a limited time frame. Nine miles of well-maintained and paved trails mean children and families of all ages can enjoy time on their bikes here. For something a little different, why not join a Segway tour for the day which run on half-day or full-day time scales. These are usually inclusive of a guide, too, so you can learn heaps about the state park during your adventures!
After a strenuous morning exploring, you might find yourself in need of an afternoon of relaxation, or just a pretty spot for a picnic. Luckily, the island is home to two sandy beaches that can be found at Quarry Point and Ayala Cove, perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, and boating. While swimming is permitted here, the current is unpredictable, and there are no lifeguards on duty, so venturing out at your own risk. Having a paddle in the shallows is generally safe, however. When you’re motorhome camping with your own boat, there are a series of public docks and mooring points at Ayala Cove that can be used on a first-come-first-served basis.
Due to the limitation of vehicles in the park, Angel Island State Park camping is limited to tents only. Should you fancy a night under the stars, it’s well worth taking some of your tent gear with you and setting up camp at one of the island’s 16 campsites. Camping here is primitive with just pit toilets, a drinking water tap and the birds to keep you company.
If you’d prefer to camp back on the mainland with your trusty rental RV, there are several options found not too far away from the island. Those who are heading back to the bright lights of San Francisco have the option of camping with an RV at Candlestick RV Park. Just a twenty-minute drive south of the city, this park has everything you’d need for a comfortable stay, including full hookups, free WiFi, a laundry room, and modern washrooms. On the other hand, if you’re heading back to Tiburon from Angel Island State Park, you’ll want to head in the direction of San Rafael, where you’ll find the nearby Golden Gate Trailer Park and Marin RV Park. Both campgrounds offer similar amenities, including full hookups, a dump station, and a swimming pool, and are more suitable for self-contained vehicles.
When you have an RV rental near Angel Island State Park, it’d be a shame not to visit the infamous Alcatraz Island. Visited primarily to explore the former federal prison, this island is also swathed in a cocktail of Civil War history, and Native American plight. You won’t find a direct ferry running from Angel Island State Park, but there are very regular ferries running from San Francisco. Once on the island, you’ll want to pick up a self-guided audio guide or book to keep on top of the buildings that you’re walking past and hear some insider stories.
Once you’ve seen everything there is to see of the San Francisco Bay Islands; it’s worth spending a couple of days in San Francisco itself to find out what the city has to offer beyond the Golden Gate Bridge. Though most of the historical and cultural attractions are reserved for the islands, the city has one of the most happening atmospheres in the country. Take a walk over the Golden Gate Bridge to the Recreation Area, where lunch can be enjoyed on the waterfront promenade. If you’ve got little ones, The Walt Disney Museum is full of memorabilia, and life-sized characters and is well worth a visit. Here you’ll also find the Palace of Fine Arts, an outdoor rotunda built in the early 20th century.
And, of course, no visit to San Francisco would be complete without exploring Fisherman’s Wharf – a stretch along the waterfront that is home to street performers, gift shops, bars, and restaurants. Here, you can also watch fishers bring in their daily catch, a tradition that has continued for decades. From here, you can catch one of the iconic cable cars to visit San Fran’s numerous neighborhoods and visit one of the world’s windiest streets.