What better way to immerse yourself in Angel Island’s history than by experiencing it!
Originally home to the Coast Miwok Native Americans, Angel Island eventually got its name from a Spanish explorer in 1775. Nearly 140 years later, it is known as "Ellis Island of the West”, although it functioned very differently from its New York counterpart. While Ellis Island served as a processing center primarily for European immigrants who faced relatively few obstacles when it came to entering the United States, by contrast, many of the immigrants who came through Angel Island during 1910-1940, were from Asian countries, primarily China, and were subjected to lengthy interrogations, months to years long detentions, unsanitary conditions and separation from their spouses and children - due in part to the rising anti-Asian sentiment that originated with the start of the California Gold Rush. Those who were forced to stay in detention often wrote poems of sorrow, anger and hope on the walls, which are still legible today.
Before Angel Island was an immigration station, it was used to quarantine and screen passengers and their baggage prior to landing on U.S. soil. During World War II, Japanese, and German POWs were detained at the Immigration Station before being sent to facilities further inland. With the outbreaks of WWI and WWII, thousands of troops both returning and embarking for conflicts around the world were processed through Angel Island. In the '50s and '60s, it was home to a Nike missile base. It was the military's last occupation of the island and there are still remnants of old military bunkers throughout.
Tram Tour Add On
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the amazing views offered by the open-air tram tour. While you ride around the island, a history-rich audio recording offers fascinating historical and current-day information about various sites on Angel Island. The Angel Island tram stops at Battery Ledyard, one of the best photo opportunities in the bay area. The backdrop is the entire skyline of San Francisco, Alcatraz, and The Golden Gate Bridge.
The last stop on our insightful tour is the Immigration Museum Station, where you can enjoy some time exploring by hopping off the tram at that last stop. You can walk back to the Ayala Cove (mild-medium exertion, approximately one mile walk or shorter with the 140 terraced dirt steps directly to the ferry dock), or hop back on a tram/shuttle passing if there is room.
*Ferry rides are operated by Angel Island Tiburon Ferry. All packages include round trip ferry ride to and from the island.
Educator Package: Includes educational resources, interactive project ideas, trip organization, direct experiential opportunities to help better connect the experience with your students and complimentary chaperone ticket. Does not include student ticket.
Student Package: Includes engaging pre and post educational visit activities, trip organization and student ticket.
Angel Island State Park
Once you submit an order for tickets with your charter school, they will reach out to us with your request. You will be receiving your e-tickets and educational materials in an email within 1-2 days after we receive that request. Please make sure to check your email spam folder if you don't see your tickets in your inbox by that time. Submitting your order at least 7-14 days prior to your trip date is generally best unless you are trying to book a venue that requires more advanced planning.