The best islands near San Francisco are great for a short getaway from the city. The Bay Area has many nature reserves providing refuge for native and migratory wildlife, including birds, whales, orcas, and sea lions. You can choose to visit these islands or simply join a cruise to spot these animals from afar.

    Some of these islands have a colourful past, which results in interesting structures you won’t find in the city of San Francisco. You could explore the insides of a World War II aircraft carrier, an infamous (and supposedly haunted) prison, or a geological site with Native American carvings. With our guide, escape the typical city life and plan a day trip to the islands of San Francisco.

    1

    Alcatraz Island

    San Francisco Bay’s infamous island prison

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    Alcatraz Island is well-known as the once-infamous prison where some of the worst criminals in US history used to reside. Officially known as Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, it’s best known by its nickname ‘The Rock’ due to the island’s barren appearance.

    Alcatraz Island held the reputation as ‘America’s toughest prison’ until its closure in 1963. The prison island is now home to a museum and is a must-visit for anyone coming to San Francisco. The small rocky island lies north of the coast of North Beach in San Francisco – you can reach it by taking a 20-minute ferry ride from Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing.

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    電話: +1 415-561-4900

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    2

    Angel Island

    Stunning views and outdoor adventures

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    Angel Island offers hiking trails, outdoor adventure, and stunning views of the San Francisco skyline, Mount Tamalpais, and the Marin County Headlands. This former military installation is now a state park and forms one of the largest natural islands in the San Francisco Bay.

    Angel Island has boat docks, mooring buoys, restrooms, hiking trails, picnic areas, a visitor centre, and camping areas. You can enjoy boating, hiking, wildlife viewing, and birdwatching – great for a mini escape from the crowds of San Francisco. You can also visit the former immigration station's barracks museum or head to the Visitor Center to learn all about the island's importance and history.

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    開放時間: Daily from 8 am to sunset

    電話: +1 415-435-1915

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    3

    Treasure Island

    Artificial island with historic landmarks dating back to the 1930s

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    Treasure Island is an artificial island in San Francisco Bay. It has rocky beaches, excellent dining, and secret gardens, as well as historic attractions dating as far back as the 1930s. Most come to Treasure Island for spectacular views of the entire northern waterfront of San Francisco.

    Treasure Island hosts a variety of events throughout the year. The Treasure Island Flea Market (or TreasureFest) takes place on the last weekend of every month. More than 400 local vendors sell vintage, antique, and handmade items, while food trucks, live music, and scavenger hunts liven up the atmosphere.

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    4

    Brooks Island Regional Preserve

    A sanctuary for birds and harbour seals

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    The Brooks Island Regional Preserve is a prominent bird sanctuary in Richmond, about 21 miles northeast of San Francisco. The 373-acre island is mostly flat, though you can hike to its highest peak, Jefferds Hill. At 160 ft high, it offers spectacular views of the island and surrounding Bay Area.

    You can only visit the island by joining a ranger-led guided tour by the East Bay Regional Park District. Over 18 species of bird species call the island home, including the largest nesting colony of Caspian terns in San Francisco Bay. California gulls, black-crowned night herons, and black oystercatchers are commonly spotted, too.

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    相片由 Dreamyshade 提供 (CC BY-SA 4.0) 經修改

    5

    Alameda Island

    Miles of beaches and coastal parks

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    Alameda Island is a city located 14 miles east of San Francisco. It consists of charming Victorian homes dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, ample dining options, vintage shops, and family-friendly attractions. Crown Memorial State Beach stretches for 2.5 miles along the island's southern edge. It's a great place for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying views of San Francisco Bay.

    A variety of artefacts are on display at the USS Hornet Museum. Located on Alameda Point’s southernmost pier, the complex is named after the USS Hornet aircraft carrier. The flight and hangar decks display various aircraft that served in World War II, as well as exhibits from the NASA Apollo Moon missions.

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    6

    Belvedere Island

    One of the wealthiest islands in San Francisco

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    Belvedere Island is part of an affluent community in Marin County. This rather rocky island is linked to the city of Belvedere and Tiburon Peninsula by 2 causeways. You’ll find many beautiful Victorian and Mediterranean-style houses near the island, some of which have boat docks with access to San Francisco Bay. Belvedere also hosts the San Francisco Yacht Club and the Corinthian Yacht Club.

    A must-visit is Ring Mountain, a geological site originally populated by the Coast Miwok indigenous people. You can see petroglyphs on the rockface. Hike to its peak for dramatic views of the northern Bay Area. Belvedere Island is around 17 miles north of San Francisco.

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    7

    Yerba Buena Island

    San Francisco’s naval training base

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    Yerba Buena Island’s military history dates back to the 1870s, when it hosted the Army Post Camp Yerba Buena Island. The military post includes a fog signal and an octagonal lighthouse. Around 20 years later, the United States Army Corps of Engineers established the now-abandoned Torpedo Station, which has floating mines for defence against enemy vessels.

    Located on the island’s northern point is Port of Trade Winds Beach. Great for family outings, the dog-friendly beach is a popular spot for swimming and boating in Clipper Cove. Yerba Buena Island is around 6.5 miles northeast of San Francisco, accessible via the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge.

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    8

    Farallon Islands

    National wildlife refuge off the coast of San Francisco

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    The Farallon Islands provide refuge for a variety of birds, whales, and seals. This protected area is closed to the public, but wildlife-watching tours are available from May through November. San Francisco’s Oceanic Society organises full-day cruises with experienced naturalists providing commentary of the islands.

    During your journey, you might be able to spot dolphins, orcas, and humpback whales in the waters, or sea lions and seals resting on the rocks close to the Farallon Islands. The wildlife refuge also protects tufted puffins, rhinoceros auklets, and pigeon guillemots.

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    9

    Bair Island

    A 3,000-acre marsh area offering ample outdoor adventures

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    Bair Island covers a total area of 3,000 acres, comprising 3 islands in the San Francisco Bay. Part of the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge, it’s a mix of tidal wetlands, salt marsh vegetation, and mudflats. As a result, a variety of migrating waterfowls and shorebirds can be seen on the island. Common species include curlews, peregrine falcons, pelicans, and egrets. The island is also a natural habitat for the endangered California clapper rail and salt marsh harvest mouse.

    If you want to enjoy great views of San Francisco Bay, Bair Island has a 1.7-mile-long hiking trail leading to the Middle Bair Island observation deck.

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    10

    Marin Island National Wildlife Refuge

    2 wildlife-rich islands in San Rafael Bay

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    The Marin Island National Wildlife Refuge consists of 2 islands in San Rafael Bay, namely East Marin and West Marin. The 329-acre sanctuary is very popular with birdwatchers, with large colonies of black-crowned night herons, snowy egrets, and great blue herons nesting on West Marin Island. East Marin Island supports its neighbour by providing native plants and nesting materials for the birds.

    Both islands are also resting habitats for surf scoters, diving ducks, and black oystercatchers. The Marin Island National Wildlife Refuge is offshore from San Rafael, around 21 miles north of San Francisco.

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    相片由 Conn, Kit 提供 (CC BY-SA 3.0) 經修改

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