Alcatraz is not just the most famous jail ever - it also has a history that includes the Civil War, American Indians and birds. Now a National Park - Alcatraz is a MUST DO when in San Francisco.
If you would like to tour the island you must book in advance and it is best to buy your tickets online.
There is only ONE company that you can buy your Alcatraz tour ticket from:
The tours depart from Pier 33 which is a short walk from Fisherman's Wharf.
Arriving at The Rock:
Once you get off the boat a Park Ranger gives a quick talk - then you head up
the hill to start the tour.
Alcatraz is also a bird sanctuary.
The Cell house Audio Tour start here in the Laundry/Shower area.
The audio tour is fantastic as it is told by real people who lived and
worked at Alcatraz.
The tour explains all the different nick names the inmates had for different areas
of the cell house.
A Memorial to a guard that was killed during an attempted breakout.
The light that came through the cell house was amazing and I am sure very taunting to the
men locked in their cells.
A Park Ranger giving one of the many talks during the day.
The Rec Yard:
The light that came through the windows surely taunted the prisoners, but the
views of San Francisco surely drove them mad!
The Control Room:
A mock up of the most famous break out of Alcatraz as seen in the movie starring Clint Eastwood
The Escape from Alcatraz.
Four inmates spent months digging through the walls in their individual cells.
Once ready to go they place fake dummies in their beds.
The inmates went through the hole in their cell into the wall and climbed up the
plumbing to the roof.
Three escaped and nobody knows what happened to them.
One inmate - the mastermind did not make it out. He later told prison officials
how the came up with the plan and what tools they used.
The Park Rangers and the audio tour go into depth about this and many more escape attempts.
When you finish the tour there is a large gift shop. It does have some tatty souvenirs, but the book section is amazing. You can find any and all books that you could possible want about Alcatraz.
Movie memorabilia on display in the book store.
Leaving The Rock