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Alcatraz

Type: Historic Sites, Tours and Excursions

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10Best Says

Best Attractions & Activities: Once just an old prison, Alcatraz is enjoying a makeover as a native plant conservatory and historical "must-see." During Alcatraz's 34 years as a prison, most of its inmates were simply high-risk escapees and troublemakers. Still, the prison plays strongly in national memory thanks to infamous residents like Al "Scarface" Capone and Robert "Birdman" Stroud. Tours of the island focus largely on the desolate prison itself, including cell blocks, the cafeteria and the prison yard. If you plan well in advance, you might get a spot on the super popular night tour of Alcatraz. Even if you're not planning on the night tour, get your tickets to this popular tourist destination well ahead of time.

Sightseeing, Family-Friendly Museums, Things to Do with Kids: During Alcatraz's 34 years as a prison, most of its inmates were simply high-risk escapees and troublemakers. Still, the prison plays strongly in national memory thanks to infamous residents like Al "Scarface" Capone and Robert "Birdman" Stroud. An average stay on "The Rock" lasted five years, and although liberties were abbreviated, prisoners were afforded magnificent views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Tours of the island focus largely on the desolate prison itself, including cell blocks, the cafeteria and the prison yard. Spring for the audio version of the tour, and get tickets in advance if at all possible. Booking windows and departure docks can be found at Pier 33.


Address

Bay St and The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA

Map / Directions
415-981-7625


Hours


Admission

Expert Tips by Tom Molanphy

San Francisco Local Expert

Best Attractions & Activities: "If you enjoy the ferry trip to Alcatraz, consider these other ferry rides: Sausalito, Tiberon, and Angel Island."

Sightseeing: "Alcatraz tours book really fast, so plan your trip as early as possible."

Family-Friendly Museums: "Alcatraz offers a fantastic night tours for those up for something a bit more spooky."

Things to Do with Kids: "Alcatraz now has a garden tour which is ranger-docent led and quite fascinating."

Recommended as Best Attractions & Activities Because: Alcatraz is not only an exciting trip but also offers a fascinating history of San Francisco Bay.

Best for Sightseeing Because: Alcatraz, with its long and fascinating history, is almost synonymous with San Francisco Bay.

Best for Family-Friendly Museums Because: Although Alcatraz is usually highlighted as a general tourist destination, it's a living history of San Francisco.

Best for Things to Do with Kids Because: Kids of all ages will love the ferry ride over to Alcatraz - and that's just the beginning of the adventure.

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