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“I loved the tram tour!!!!”

Angel Island State Park
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San Francisco Ferry: Angel Island
Ranked #36 of 561 things to do in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The largest island in San Francisco Bay features magnificent views of Marin County and San Francisco, while offering a wide variety of recreation for outdoor enthusiasts.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed July 7, 2011

My grand daughter and I went on the tram tour and had a wonderful time---I had knee surgery last year so the tram was pefect for us. I"m sure hiking is a nice way to see this lovely island but the tram tour was the perfect amount of time for our viist. We got some great pictures from a 10 minute stop and the audio information was really interesting. We also had a great lunch at the Cove Cafe--there were so many choices and the food was really good.

1  Thank Louholdgren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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733 - 737 of 811 reviews

Reviewed June 28, 2011

This is a long review but it may save you a lot of aggravation if you choose to invest the time.

I believe the best ways to experience Angel Island are to walk or bike the paved five mile trail that circles the island. I’m at a loss to describe how absolutely awful the island tram tour is. UGH! Avoid! Avoid! Avoid! Unless one may somehow be challenged to walk or bike, only use the tram tour as a last resort.

Firstly, Angel Island is a historic, magical and beautiful place. I agree with fellow reviewers that Angel Island is a wonderful experience to share with loved ones.

The tram tour, however, is excruciatingly bad.

The background:

I made a day hike of Angel Island in May 2009 and enjoyed doing so immensely. While I was walking, tram tours came by, stopping at two different scenic sites. At both spots, I heard the guide announce that anyone wishing to stay at the site or enjoy a stroll do so then merely hail a following tram by showing a ticket to tour the island at leisure. Listening to this explanation, I assumed the tram tours ran every hour or half hour and might be a viable option for a return visit. Wrong!

The June 2011 tale:

I revisited the island with my wife and grandkids. My wife is unable to walk for prolonged periods so we opted for the tram tour. It was awful!

After paying and once aboard the tram, we were told by our guide there would be no mid-tour debarking to board a following tram and there would be only one mid-tour offloading for a way too brief photo opportunity.

It is apparent the current tour operator wants to maximize profit by limiting tour departures then filling them ala today's airlines. Sunday high season tram tours departed at 10:45, 11:45, 2:00 and 3:00. The constant, irritating four-person recorded tour narrative served to drown out conversation between family members to point out items of interest along the way.

It also seemed our guide was driving as quickly as possible back to the pick-up point for his next tour or a needed personal pit stop there. The whole tour seemed way too rushed. Other than the one brief stop mentioned above, photos had to be taken on the fly. I regarded the tour as a waste of time.

I’m writing this review because I felt the tram tour absolutely valueless unless a person may be in some way challenged to walk or bike and unable to avoid it.

19  Thank 1963cvs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2011

Pack a picnic, take a short ferry from Tiburon ($11-$14pp). Park 2-3 blocks away from the ferry and all day parking is $5, rather than $20. Grab a latte in tiburon for the ferry ride.
Angel Island offers a panoramic view of the bay area with great views of the city and Golden Gate bridge. There are a couple nice easy/medium hikes around the island (4-5 miles). Lots of picnic tables and grills in the cove by the ferry dock if you want to bbq.
Always bring a sweatshirt. If you are going for the views, dont go on a foggy day.
There are music concerts in the summer

13  Thank bstcal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2011

We visited Angel Island in late Feb 2011, and had a great time. It was a special holiday, so the ferry was running. The weather was a bit cold in late Feb, but luckily the sun came out, which helped a lot. There were not that many people on the ferry (and the island), but was very peaceful. I figured that it should be a mountain biker's heaven as it's great to bike on the island. The view is great, but there were not much going on here. We might come back with our own bikes next time.

2  Thank whchuang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2010

When all of the Alcatraz tours were booked up except for the combo tour with Angel Island we decided to bite the bullet and do it. There are beautiful views of the bay and the city from AI and the island has an interesting past (especially if you are a military buff). The thing to be aware of is that the tram ride is very, very bumpy and the seats are very narrow. Also, no matter what the weather is supposed to be like, take a jacket. If you are cold-natured, add gloves, scarf and hat. It was in the low 50s with strong winds on the day we toured: July 25. JULY!!!
I think AI would be a better trip to do on its own instead of as a combo ticket. Ferries take you there we saw lots of hikers, cyclists and picnickers. There are plenty of trails to explore and a few secluded beaches to relax on, though I imagine swimming would be out of the question --- Brr!

9  Thank georgiagirl120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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