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Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Explore one of America's largest wildlife habitats' bay waters, mudflats and salt marshes.

Nearly 700,000 people visit the refuge each year, but thanks to the 48 kilometres of walking tracks spread over a 12,140-hectare site, the refuge never feels crowded. More than 200 species of local and migratory birds call the area home, including protected species such as the California clapper rail bird and the California brown pelican.

Located in south San Francisco Bay, the island consists primarily of tidal marshland, salt ponds, mud flats and seasonal wetlands. The gravelled tracks that criss-cross the refuge allow visitors to study the birds in peace, and there are many benches and shaded areas where you can base yourself. For the best sightings, it's of course advisable to bring binoculars and telephoto lenses.

Aside from the birds that call the refuge home, in winter, waterfowl make extensive use of the area, with around 45,000-75,000 visiting each winter. Apart from the birds, also look out for animals such as the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse, lizards and harbour seals.

The refuge also includes Dumbarton Fishing Pier which is a popular fishing spot for rays, leopards sharks, bass, sturgeon and leopard sharks. Keen anglers can have a go, but do check with local fishing regulations before taking anything home.

The visitor centre in nearby Fremont contains exhibits on the wildlife and history of the refuge. Visitors can also find information booklets and a book shop at the centre which is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is open daily and admission is free. There is very limited public transport so it's easiest to drive (it takes around 20 minutes from San Jose) and parking is easy and reasonably priced.


Guide to Exploring Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge


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See all 489 properties near Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Aloft Silicon Valley NZ$207
Aloft Silicon Valley

Aloft Silicon Valley

8200 Gateway Blvd, Newark, CA
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in the suburbs, this hotel is within 12 mi (20 km) of Facebook Campus, Tesla Motors, and Southland Mall. Stanford University and Googleplex are also within 16 mi (25 km).

    Courtyard by Marriott Newark Silicon Valley NZ$181
    Courtyard by Marriott Newark Silicon Valley

    Courtyard by Marriott Newark Silicon Valley

    34905 Newark Blvd, Newark, CA
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in the business district, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.4 km) from Ardenwood Historic Farm and within 3 mi (5 km) of Alameda Creek Regional Trail and Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Coyote Hills Regional Park is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.

      Residence Inn by Marriott Newark Silicon Valley
      Residence Inn by Marriott Newark Silicon Valley

      Residence Inn by Marriott Newark Silicon Valley

      35466 Dumbarton Ct, Newark, CA
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in the business district, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Ardenwood Historic Farm and within 3 mi (5 km) of Alameda Creek Regional Trail and Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Coyote Hills Regional Park is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) away.

        Motel 6 Fremont North NZ$129
        Motel 6 Fremont North

        Motel 6 Fremont North

        34047 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA
           
          2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Fremont, this motel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Alameda Creek Regional Trail and within 3 mi (5 km) of Ardenwood Historic Farm and Union Landing. Coyote Hills Regional Park and Fremont Hub Shopping Center are also within 6 mi (10 km).

          Chase Suite Hotel Newark NZ$298
          Chase Suite Hotel Newark

          Chase Suite Hotel Newark

          39150 Cedar Blvd, Newark, CA
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Newark, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Newpark Mall and Olhone College. Fremont Hub Shopping Center and Washington Hospital are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Extended Stay America - Fremont - Newark NZ$160
            Extended Stay America - Fremont - Newark

            Extended Stay America - Fremont - Newark

            5375 Farwell Pl, Fremont, CA
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Fremont, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Newpark Mall, Fremont Hub Shopping Center, and Olhone College. Washington Hospital is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) away.

              E-Z 8 Motel Newark NZ$110
              E-Z 8 Motel Newark

              E-Z 8 Motel Newark

              5555 Cedar Court, Newark, CA
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Newark, this motel is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from Newpark Mall and within 3 mi (5 km) of Olhone College and Fremont Hub Shopping Center. Washington Hospital and Ardenwood Historic Farm are also within 6 mi (10 km).

                Crowne Plaza Silicon Valley N - Union City NZ$152
                Crowne Plaza Silicon Valley N - Union City

                Crowne Plaza Silicon Valley N - Union City

                32083 Alvarado Niles Rd, Union City, CA
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Union City, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Alameda Creek Regional Trail and Union Landing. Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum and Niles Canyon Railway are also within 6 mi (10 km).