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The first surprise came when the ferry which is an adventure for some kids pulled into Ayala Cove, on the north side of the island few of us East Bay people ever get to see. Suddenly, there's plenty going on over there dozens of docked boats, a cafe featuring live music and families having picnics, playing ball, riding bikes and either starting or finishing hikes into the woods.

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invaders coming through the Golden Gate).

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As you'll find out during the tour, the military took over the island in 1863, establishing Camp Reynolds during the Civil War. The island later became Fort McDowell and went from a training and processing station for troops to an immigrant processing center. During World War II, it served as an embarkation site for troops. The Army briefly left Angel Island in 1946, only to return in 1954 to turn part of the island into a Nike missile site (which was abandoned in 1962). The island became a state park the following year.

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What's great about Angel Island for children is that it's a learning experience draped in recreation. Immigration Station. Unlike Ellis Island, much of the immigrant processing on the West Coast was done on arriving ships. Anyone possibly needing quarantine, or not possessing proper paperwork (or for an abundance of other reasons that could be decided on the spot) could be quartered at Angel Island Louis Vuitton Belt Mens Uk

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Parents need to know: The ferry ride can be bumpy and chilly. Even if the forecast is good, it's an island on the bay, therefore it's windy. Jackets are encouraged, as are good walking shoes. And don't let the breeze fool you bring sunscreen.

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We climbed around some of the old missile sites (sorry, no more missiles to play with) and went down to the shoreline of the old Camp Reynolds, where an interpreter put my kids through the experience of being a cannon crew (with a real cannon firing blanks toward imaginary Louis Vuitton Belt Ladies

It's not San Francisco Bay's sexiest island, the one where Al Capone and the Birdman lived and about which Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery and Burt Lancaster made movies.

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Not only does Angel Island possess some of the most beautiful scenery in the Bay Area as well as some of the best views but it's also one of its most history rich.

The walls of the formerly overcrowded barracks still possess carvings of residents' emotional poetry, which my kids couldn't get enough of especially since two of them have Chinese ancestors. We also discovered that the facility, after the immigration station closed in 1940, housed more than 700 World War II POWs, including the first one, who was plucked from a midget submarine during the Pearl Harbor attack.

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The recreation part of Angel Island is more obvious. After a bit of a climb, there's a mostly flat, five mile road circling the island (which sports a species called the Angel Island mole that can be only found you guessed it). Deer and raccoons make up the majority of the island's mammal population, if one doesn't include the 30 or so workers living there, and the folks at the islands' four camp sites. There are plenty of hiking trails around the island, including some leading up 788 foot high Mount Livermore, where the panoramic views of the bay are incredible.

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It may not look so big, but Angel Island is an all day experience. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group Archives)

Nearby eats: There's just one, but it's better than expected. Well, two technically. The Angel Island Cafe features a wide variety of tasty food, including made to order sandwiches (try the "Way Down South" barbecued pork), soups, salads, Mens Louis Vuitton Belt nachos and hot dogs. It also serves beer, wine and mimosas by the glass or pitcher. Not far away is the affiliated Angel Island Cantina, which offers a Latin American style menu featuring tacos, ceviche and a Cantina Burger with guacamole, cojita cheese, pickled onions and a special sauce on ciabatta. on weekends.

Nor is it the one that was created during the 1930s specifically for the spectacular Golden Gate International Exposition. It's certainly not the busiest one, through which thousands of cars travel daily between Oakland and San Francisco.

It may be impossible to leave Angel Island any way but by boat, but what's really inescapable is the island's history. It's everywhere, from the visitors center that greets newcomers departing the ferry in Ayala Cove that was built in the '30s to serve as officers' quarters, to the various concrete bunkers around the island that once served as gun batteries during the Spanish American War and, later, World War II.

sometimes for days, sometimes for months. Most were of Chinese, Japanese or Korean descent. Hermes Belt Amazon

´╗┐Angel Island a great mix of nature

I knew it was once known as the Ellis Island of the West Coast for its immigration processing station in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and that it had lots of hiking and biking trails. But there's more to it, especially for families with kids looking for a local all day adventure.

The kids were stunned to hear the United States had something called "The Chinese Exclusion Act."

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