Alcatraz Island Tour in San Francisco
Alcatraz Island, also known as The Rock, is located in the San Francisco bay. Taking the tour of Alcatraz was one of my favorite experiences during my trip to San Francisco last fall. (You can view my San Francisco blog post here to read about my entire trip.) Alcatraz is formerly known for being a federal penitentiary, which is all I knew about it, and it is now part of the National Park Services.
The MOST important thing to know about touring Alcatraz Island is that you need a ticket. There are approximately one million visitors every year, so it’s best to buy your ticket as early as possible, especially if you want to take a night tour. I booked my ticket using AlcatrazCruises.com.
The tour starts at Pier 33, Alcatraz Landing, where a boat takes you to the island. The ride is fairly quick and offers nice skyline views of San Francisco.
A Park Ranger gave a quick history of The Island upon arrival. There are guided tours and audio tours but I opted to do my own thing. I’d suggest at least getting an audio tour in the main prison area.
Strolled along The Agave Trail first.
View of the main prison from The Agave Trail.
A bunch of cells in the main prison area.
Breakfast menu from 1963 – the year the prison closed.
Visiting Alcatraz means that you will be doing a good amount of walking. It was also pretty windy and a little colder than the city. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket if needed.
I’d suggest allowing as much time as possible to visit Alcatraz. The boats run on a schedule, so you may have to wait to go to and from The Island. Also, it takes a while to walk around and see everything while you are there.
The Alcatraz Island tour in San Francisco is a unique and memorable experience. I’d recommend it to anyone visiting the area for the first time.
Visit the Alcatraz Island Website for more information.