Angel Island and San Jose

Onto the next part of our trip! After seeing the city part of San Francisco quite a bit the first full day, we decided to head out the second day to visit Angel Island. This island is actually a national park, and is known as being the “Ellis Island of the West”. You can find more historical information about the island here.

We took the earliest ferry that morning, and I am so glad we did. You could easily spend 12+ hours hiking and exploring, and we made a pact that if we ever take an assignment in San Francisco, we will head back for an overnight camping trip on the island. Also, make sure and bring a jacket because the wind off the water made it COLD on the ferry and in the harbor while we were waiting to get picked up after our hike.

As it was, we made it all the way up the trail to the top of the mountain on the island. It was a such a neat view, a total 360 around San Francisco Bay. We could see Alcatraz, the city, Sausalito, and Tiberon all from the top.

After hiking back down, we had about an hour to kill before the ferry left, which wasn’t really enough time to walk to the old miltary garrison and back, so we decided to get a snack from the cafe on the island. We were a little skeptical of the island cafe, but the nachos we got were actually really good!


*Side note on Alcatraz: if you are planning a trip to San Francisco know that tours book 2 months or so in advance. Alas, we did not realize that and waited too long to book our tickets!

After getting back to mainland, we headed for a real lunch: In N Out. This was our first experience, and Keaton had no idea how insanely popular this place is. Not gonna lie, it was a bit stressful due to having to pull out some serious big-city-don’t-care-bout-nobody aggression just to get a table. Some mom with her two kids swiped a table right under my nose and I felt this weird intensity rise up before I was like C’MON ALEX IT’S JUST A TABLE. Nah but for real, there was a line out the door and people hovered waiting for your table as you ate, it was comical and over all just an experience for sure.


So picturesque

Anyway, we both got double burgers and I asked for mine protein style and the fries animal style (Keaton didn’t believe me that there was a real secret menu). And all in all it was good fast food, but maybe not worth the hassle?

Next we headed…to get Keaton’s blood work for his new job. Womp womp womp. Jk, we were super thankful he landed a job offer that could start him the same week as me, so it was small inconvenience that has already paid off.

We hit a happy hour after that, and then got some more drinks at a dive bar type place with $3 wells. After all the walking and drinking we did, we were ready for dinner. We decided to hit up Scoma’s at the recommendation of a table mate on Amtrak. We honestly had the best service while we were at the bar, but the food once we were seated did not disappoint. I had crab thermador for the first time ever, and it was. so. good.

Pier 39 was all lit up on our way home, so we stopped by and enjoyed how pretty it looked at night, then headed back to our hotel.


Giant Alligator made of sourdough at Boudin.

Saturday morning we got up and worked some more on Keaton’s credentialling for work. He had a couple of tests he had to take, and wanted to get it all out of the way before our anniversary. We grabbed a late breakfast at Pat’s Cafe, which was a fantastic choice for some good, basic breakfast food after eating so much fried, rich food for the few days before.

Then, we took the BART to go pick up our Turo. I found Turo while looking for a rental car. Turns out, it’s basically like AirBNB for cars, and incredibly cheap compared to regular rental companies. We paid $150 for a 5 day rental, with insurance. San Francisco has a Turo valet, so we just stopped in, picked up the car, and dropped it there before we flew out. It was easy and cheap, and the car was simple but just what we needed.

We were headed to a soccer game that night in San Jose, so we took a scenic drive down Highway 1 to see the coast. It was kind of foggy (go figure), but the coast was really beautiful. I wish it had been a little warmer because there were beaches everywhere up and down the coast, and cute little towns to stop in.


After getting into San Jose, we were pretty hungry (yes, again). So we Google searched somewhere local to try. Our first choice was closed until 5, so we literally just walked two doors down and into a Mexican restaurant on a whim. Great. Decision.

At Taquieria Corona I took one look at the menu and I saw the phrase “homemade tortillas”. Easy enough to choose the tacos then 😉 I got chicken, pastor, and beef tacos and they were all so good. Keaton got a burrito which was also delicious. Not a bad random choice!


The soccer game was San Jose Earthquakes vs Columbus Crew (Keaton’s hometown team). Avaya stadium was super nice as it’s only a couple of years old, and had a really neat vibe, with all sorts of local food trucks and vendors pulled into the stadium before the game. We were sorely outnumbered by Earthquakes fans, of course, but did run into several other Columbus fans. Although Keaton was bummed Columbus lost, it was still cool to see a different team’s stadium.


The drive back to San Francisco took about an hour, and we were pretty tired at that point, so we decided to rest up and get ready for our trip up to Sonoma the next day!

With love, hiking, and soccer,

❤ Alex

Our San Francisco Trip Series:

The Train Ride

San Francisco



2 thoughts on “Angel Island and San Jose

  1. Pingback: Sonoma

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