The Angel Island 4th of July Experience offers a unique and memorable way to celebrate the fourth of July without the huge crowds of the city. Your family can enjoy the spectacular fireworks over the San Francisco Bay while relaxing on a white-sand beach.
The fun begins with a 5 pm ferry ride on the Blue and Gold Fleet Ferry or the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry. The charming Angel Island Ferry is operated by the only family-run ferry business in the bay, with deep roots in the community. Upon debarkation in Ayala Cove, guests will enjoy a celebration at the Angel Island Cantina including food and beverages as well as dancing to the music of Vintage Grass, a local bluegrass and acoustic group. A mouth-watering “Way Down South” dinner buffet will also be available on the deck for an additional fee. The extensive barbeque buffet includes ribs, chicken, shrimp etouffe, rice, vegetables, potato salad, ceaser salad, mexican cornbread, cookies and brownies. Tickets must be purchased for the dinner buffet before you reach the island.
After dancing and libations, hop on the tram for a 20 minute ride through the Island from the Cove to Battery Ledyard for a stunning panoramic view of the fireworks from San Francisco, Marin County and the East Bay before returning around 10:45 pm. A small selection of food and beverages will be available at the viewing spot (hot dogs, clam chowder and hot chocolate) and you are welcome to supplement with your own cooler of food and beverages. Be sure to dress warm and pack chairs or blankets to sit on while watching the spectacular show. You can expect to be home by 11:00 if you came from San Francisco and around 11:30 if you came from Tiburon.
Dee Wagner is the General Manager of the Angel Island Company: “This is our fourth year doing the event and even when it’s been a bit foggy folks have completely enjoyed the event. It’s pretty amazing to have the entire island to yourself for such a popular event-we only sell 800 tickets and honestly I don’t know of any place in the bay area where you could watch fireworks with such few people. I’m very happy that the state park continues to allow the event—Probably 80 percent of the folks who attend have never been to the island so it’s a great way to introduce this beautiful place to a whole new demographic.”
A helpful tip to get the most out of the night from Ms. Wagner: “A good portion of the folks who get off the ferry just walk up to the site immediately and sit down-if I could get any message out it would be that there are no bad seats. There is more than enough room for everyone to sit and enjoy the show so take a minute to enjoy the live music and the ambiance in the cove before heading up the hill.”
You can purchase tickets for the event from Blue and Gold Fleet if you are departing San Francisco, or from Angel Island Company if you are departing from Tiburon. The size of the event is part of it’s charm-there are limited amount of seats available for this event and it sells out. There are more event tickets than ferry tickets available-when the ferries sell out, you may still be able to attend the event if you have your own transportation to the island then get your shuttle ticket to the viewing spot at the cafe. Another option is the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry Fourth of July Cruise. This cruise will give you the opportunity to be at the center of the action as you view the fireworks from a ferry in the bay.