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Visiting California's Ellis Island

You soon may be hearing more about Angel Island, the historic "Ellis Island of the West" in San Francisco Bay. Recently, the House of Representatives approved $15 million to refurbish the immigration station where tens of thousands of newcomers to America, most of them Chinese, first set foot on U.S. soil. The bill requires Senate approval.

Meanwhile, visitors can tour the immigration station as well as enjoy hiking, picnicking, kayaking and tram tours of the island.

A new 5 1/2-hour Island Hop Tour ($42 general, $39.25 seniors, $27.75 children) includes ferry transportation from Pier 41 in San Francisco to Angel Island, a narrated tram tour, a box lunch, a ferry to Alcatraz, a cell-house audio tour and a ferry back to Fisherman's Wharf. Tickets at www.blueandgoldfleet.com or (415) 705-5555.

Angel Island also can be reached by ferry from Tiburon in Marin County; round-trip fare is $10 general, $7.50 children, $1 extra for bikes. Information: www.angelislandferry.com.

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