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Alcatraz Island - 14 Reviews - Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, CA - Aquariums, Zoos & Botanical Gardens Reviews - Phone (415) 705-5555

Alcatraz Island

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 705-5555
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Alcatraz Island - San Francisco, CA


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Great informative, interesting tour of history! The ferry ride there was so fun, I recommend sitting on the top deck (even though its freezing, its so worth it!) Go during the ""n...


All reviews seem positive

One of the best SF tours 4/12/2008

Great informative, interesting tour of history! The ferry ride there was so fun, I recommend sitting on the top deck (even though its freezing, its so worth it!) Go during the ""night"" tours, they are the most informative and complete tours. I love the audio tour with the actual inmate voices. Is a bit pricey, but who cares? It's really worth it! Pros: all sorts of public transit can take you here, when you get off theres still hundreds of things to do! Cons: parking....but dont drive thats dumb...take the cable car and walk! more

Fascinating piece of San Fran history 12/29/2006

Going to Alcatraz is a fabulous tour through a chapter of San Fran history, as well as the history of correctional facilities in the US. The evening tour (we went in late afternoon and experienced sunset there) will lend a creepier feeling and some excellent sunset photo ops. Audio and guided tour was very interesting and informative. If you're a fan of cable tv prison documentaries like I am, you'll see that Alcatraz is a much smaller size than today's facilities, making it a more manageable size to tour. Arguably our favorite part were the unguided exhibits in the ""theater"" (which is near the bottom) - very fascinating stuff on Alacatraz and the penitentiary system, we stumbled upon this on our way back to the boat w/ only 10 mins left so be sure to leave time for this if you like that kinda stuff. It's a bird sanctuary so beware if you lean over the stone ledge to see the door to the original prison there (I learned that the hard way!). more

the first place required to see when you are there in S.F 9/17/2006

when you get off the boat you feel like your standing in history and your allowed to walk for a moment but hten the park ranger will tell you that if you stay you 'll sleep here until the morning. the person that was there when i went was Darwin Coon who was an inmate in this famous place. they take you on a tour with a cassette player and t makes you walk around the whole cell boxes that are there . the person narrating it will give you information and talk about the escapes that occurred. one famous escape happened with three inmates that put fake face on the bed and did there escape. they were the first to escape the Rock as they call it . if you ever go the place is amazing and you will marvel at the person who was there and how they had to spend there days. Pros: i give it a 10 from 1 being the worse to 10 being awsome!!! Cons: it is depression but historical more

see the movie 8/18/2005

After dodging the piles of seagull poop, you walk up a long grade only to be strapped onto an audio tour headset that about a billion other people have worn. It is cold, damp, and smells like a bait shop. Inspector Callahan's LAWS rocket should've nuked the whole place, not just the guard tower. There is nothing here that you can't experience by seeing the DVD, except maybe to buy an over-priced copy of a key used to make a jail break. Go to Muir Woods instead. Pros: nice view of the city, nobody ever escaped Cons: depressing, cramped, deteriorating rapidly more

The Rock 8/9/2003

definitely a must see. many people who live in S.F. have never been there. buy a book and get it autographed by a former inmate--listen to his story. Pros: historical, panaramic view of, san francisco Cons: indians ruined and, marked the bldgs. more

Fascinating tour of a grim place 3/10/2003

My future fiance and I visited the Bay Area just a month and a half ago. Being her 1st 'real vacation' she found plenty of pictures to take, capturing a memorable business vacation for the 2 of us. Starting with the ferry ride out to 'the Rock', we were escorted by a flock of Hitchcockesque seagulls, flying close enough to where one pooped on me since we sat on the upper deck. Inside was fascinating. The holes dug by the escapees from the famous movie are still intact. Walking around the rec yard and feeling the damp low 50s chill in the air, I find it difficult to imagine how any of the prisoners kept their sanity. Tour headphones guide you step-by-step through this classic prison. Pros: fascinating, can feel the grimness, escapee exhibit Cons: steep climb up hill, dress warm more

Worth the visit 2/1/2003

This was my second trip to Alcatraz. It was just as fascinating as the first trip was in 1997. First-time visitors will want to get the audio tour as others have recommendedit contributes greatly to the cellhouse tour experience. Alcatraz is more than just the cellhouse, howevervisitors should take advantage of the ranger-lead programs which discuss the history of the island from the Civil War days. Hiking around the island, with its great photo opportunities of downtown SF and the GGB, should not be missed. Eat before you gothere are no food facilities on the island. Be sure to reserve your tickets early during popular tourism times to avoid disappointment. Allow at least 3 hours for a complete Alcatraz experience. I consider Alcatraz a SF area must see. Pros: SF views, history, unique Cons: steep hills, no food more

MUST STOP BY! 8/21/2002

Alcatraz was SUCH an informative trip! You can pay to have an audio device (which tells you where to stop and end as you walk through alcatraz) or take the trip of your own. The island is fairly big, so it's quite the fun! You even get to walk in a few of the cells. It can be kind of creepy, but a load of fun! It's not expensive either, so something that's a DEFINETE must in the city of San Francisco! Pros: Fun, Inexpensive more

creepy and fun! 8/15/2002

it was a blast --take the night tour to get the full effect. more

You are a Prisoner! 8/9/2002

The new audio tour lets you walk the yellow line around the prison as sensors pick up your location and describe life on ""The Rock"" in vivid detail Feel the bars and walk inside the tiny cells. Hear the sounds of the prison, the voices of former prisoners. See the wooden head Alvin Carpis ( made to place in his bed to escape. Look at the pipes and the ceiling where he climbed out. Read about the mob men incarcerated in the 1940's. Gaze at the cell where the Birdman of Alcatraz lived, and learn what a sociopathic murderer he was. Enter the dining room where cups banged in mass protests, and food fights broke out. Explore the famous exercise yard, where prisoners could see and hear what was going on across the bay in San Francisco. So close and yet so far... Don't miss it. Pros: Memorable Experience, Very Educational, Well Orchestrated Cons: Strenuous Walk Uphill, Time Consuming, Crowded more

Great Place to Visit 8/9/2002

The first time you go, rent the audio tour. You get a lot of information for the value. The second time you go, take a tour of the island and wonder more freely. Just make sure to order tickets in advance or you may not be able to go on the day you want to. We alwaya take out of town guests here and we still enjoy it as much as we did the first itme. more

The Rock rocks! 7/26/2002

A very unique site with history, intrigue and views! The night tour is quite special with marvelous interpretation and a knock-out sunset. The views of The City are spectacular. The history is fascinating. A real winner. more

Very intesresting 6/24/2002

this place is very interesting and fun if you go to San Francisco and you have a change this is one of the places you must go and see. more

Put this on your list 5/23/2002

The ferry ride out to Alcatraz is fun on its own, but touring the island is amazing. No doubt you've seen a lot already in the movies, but there's nothing like seeing it in person. Many people like to do the audio tour, but I prefer to wander by myself and let my imagination fill in the gaps of history. A word to the wise, though -- get tickets in advance (especially for weekends and all summer long) or you'll be out of luck. Pros: Incredible history Cons: Tough to get tickets more
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  • The Background
    Perhaps the most famous former jail in the world, ""The Rock"" draws thousands of visitors every year to its echoing corridors. Alcatraz--home of the maximum-security...

  • 9/28/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Wed 9:30am-2:15pm Thu-Sun 9:30am-2:15pm, 4:20pm-9:30pm (evening tour hours)
  • Payments:

    Visa, Discover, Cash, American Express, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods:

    North, Marina