How to get there: A 10-minute boat ride takes you to the island from the Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor in Richmond.
Fees and permits: Rooms are anywhere from $295-$375 a night. Day use is about $20 a person, and includes a tour of the light station, plus the boat ride to and from the island.
There are two islands in the Bay called The Brothers, one of which houses an old light station turned bed & breakfast. East Brother Light Station, about 30 minutes from Downtown San Francisco, has been there for 142 years, although people have only been bed & breakfasting there for the last 35 years. It’s pretty exclusive, since the Victorian-style place only has five rooms, one of which is in the old fog signal building (spooky!). It’s not exactly cheap to stay here either, but the price tag includes seasonal, multi-course gourmet meals, and since the light station is a non-profit, all of the proceeds go toward maintaining the historic property.
If you’re not the bed & breakfast type, but still want to visit the light station for a day trip, Saturdays are your in. You still have to make a reservation, but you’ll get a tour of the light station, and if you bring your own permit and poles, you can try your hand at fishing from the island.