Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

4.7
#1 of 6,244 in Nature in United States
Tour the infamous former maximum-security penitentiary on Alcatraz Island. Nicknamed The Rock, this small island in the San Francisco Bay is now a national park. After taking a ferry to the island, follow the audio guide, available in ten languages. You'll go through the inside of the old prison's facilities, which include a lighthouse, military fortifications, and cellblocks. Though long considered escape-proof, the prison suffered an irreparable blow to its reputation in 1962, when three inmates mysteriously disappeared using a makeshift raft. Explore the protected recreation area with a park ranger, who can enhance your visit with little-known information about the island's current inhabitants: the black-crested night herons and western gulls. Using our custom trip planner, San Francisco attractions like Alcatraz Island can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Alcatraz Island Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
55,076 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Alcatraz Island is San Francisco Bay,. You take a ferry to get to this notorious former high-security prison.. The prison has a fascinating history. As far as is known, no inmates ever escaped...  more »
  • A great way to look into the history of the rock and really get a feel for what it was like. The audio tour covers great history. Don’t miss walking through the garner areas. Be prepared for a long.....  more »
  • A boat to the "Rock" and you're back in the 50's. Birdman, Al Capone, Machine Kelly, Mickey Cohen, 4 of the most famous tenants. Use the personal tape player to learn history. Not to mention the...  more »
Google
  • Brilliant! The volunteers are knowledgeable and friendly and the island itself is such an interesting place to visit. I didn't think I was going to like an old jail - but it is so much more. Top 3 things to know 1) It is steep. If you have difficulty walking up steep hills, take a ride from the bottom (where you get off the ferry). 2) The audio tour is incredible - but you don't need to rush to get it. We stopped half way and watched a movie so, when we did get to the audio tour, the crowds had dispersed and it didn't take that long to pick up our headsets and get going. There is a lift available for people who can't access the stairs. 3) The atmosphere is hard to describe. I really felt like I was walking in the footsteps of the inmates. The history is brought alive through some great narration by both past inmates and guards. More There is a large gift store here and you get some stunning views of the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and the city skyline. Definitely worth a visit!
  • It really is an amazing part of our history tour. Can spend a half hour, or hours here. So much fun. Have been 4 time's. I know I'll go back. It's a great tourist destination to take visiting company!
  • What can I say? It's Alcatraz!!! A breathtaking piece of American history. The boat ride in and out was great. Staff on the island was attentive and entertaining. A must have experience at least once in your life.
  • I have been fortunate to visit Alcatraz Island twice (and hope additional visits in the future). Each visit was similar but unique. The ferry ride to the island is nice and provided great views of the city and bay. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The first visit included hearing a former prisoner speak about his life and his stay on the island. The second visit included an author who lived on the island when she was a kid. Her father was a guard. Once on the island, take your time and explore. There are great views and many areas of the island to see. The foliage is beautiful. The free audio tour, which is available in many languages, provided a lot of information. The audio tour is educations and gives many insights into the prisoner’s time at the facility as well as the guards life on the island. The National Park Service strongly recommends making advanced ticket reservations. We purchased our tickets approximately 90 days in advance. This eliminated the need to wait in line to purchase tickets and allowed us to schedule the specific day and time we wanted to visit during our trip. The ticket price includes the ferry transportation (provided by Alcatraz Cruises) and your time on the island.
  • One of the most interesting tours we've taken. Reasonable price. Nice boat to ferry us out and back. Knowledgeable and fun tour guides. Also an audio tour that really did a great job. Life on the Rock was tough for the inmates!
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14 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM CANADA August, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in San Francisco Bay Area BY A USER FROM BRAZIL April, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 32 days in California BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA May, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 1 day in San Francisco BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular sights PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 24 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in Santa Barbara & San Francisco BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in San Francisco, Yosemite National Park & Oregon BY A USER FROM IRELAND July, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in San Francisco BY A USER FROM BELGIUM September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 29 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 14 days in California BY A USER FROM ITALY July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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