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“A fantastic experience”
Review of Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Park rangers conduct tours by recounting the prison's thrilling history along with intriguing anecdotes about Al Capone and other legendary figures that made a "home" here.
San Francisco
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A fantastic experience”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

I'm an SF native and have taken college and family friends here multiple times in the past 5 years. The timeliness, organization, and quality of the self-guided tours and discussions with tour guides has not changed in all these years. I really enjoy seeing my friends and family start to get excited during the ferry ride over (if you don't have time for a bay cruise, this will be a pleasant 15 min ferry ride to and from the island). Each time, they've told me this has been a highlight of their trips.

Once on the island, the exhibits you can walk into on the way to the prison are a nice treat. Once you reach the top, the self-guided tour has a very streamlined process, with minimal lines. While this is my third visit, I didn't get bored. I enjoyed wandering around and getting some great views and pictures of San Francisco and getting a reminder of some very interesting history. If you're lucky, there'll be zero wind and fog.

Bring your walking shoes, a camera, layers, and a water bottle. We purchased food on the ferry ride back to SF since there was no food on Alcatraz itself.

Highlights: walking into prison cells, beautiful views of the bay, overall very well-organized tour, helpful staff, met a former prisoner (he was on the island for the day signing books)

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Kaimuki31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
152 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Good afternoon activity”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

It was super easy to book tickets. The attraction is interesting and the audio tour is quite good. Just be prepared...it's kind of chilly on the boat and the island.

Visited November 2013
Thank dna7575
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sausalito, ca
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Alcatraz a must”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

This is a favorite for all of my out of town guests. Use the earphones and/or take a guide to get the interesting stories. Good for kids as they can move around.

Visited September 2013
Thank raftcommander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“never tire of visiting Alcatraz”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

We live in the Bay Area and when we get out of town visitors we always include Alcatraz on our tour agenda. This National Park historic site is a wonderful and varied place: history (before, during, and after the penitentiary years), stories, views of San Francisco and the surrounding Bay, tidepools, bird watching... Best to make ticket reservations online to get the time of day you prefer. It can be very chilly so even in the middle of summer be sure to have jacket/sweatshirt - and mid day is warmer (still chilly) than early mornings when the fog will still be in. In the summer the fog often is back in around 3 PM. Most importantly: comfortable shoes! Reservations are for times to go to the island. Spend as long as you want on the island and return on any of the scheduled sailings when you are ready to leave. No food available on the island, but water is available. Go to http://www.nps.gov/alca for more info. We have been there with small children, teens, adults only and it has been worthwhile each time.

Visited July 2013
Thank CaMmmtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Unique Experience”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

On a clear sunny day there is nothing like getting on a ferry and hitting the Bay. On the way to Alcatraz you can view the entire City and the Golden Gate from a wonderful perspective that you can't do from land.

When you arrive at Alcatraz you have guides that inform you of the History of the place and you get to view the interior of the prison and the cells. I can only imagine what the prisoners must of felt being trapped on the Island looking out toward the city and knowing that they could see but not experience it.

Going to Alcatraz helps the City Park Organization with your contributions as they are always struggling to maintain with the expensive upkeep of the parks. I wish they could do more and tear down a lot of the old buildings outside of the prison and make a more walking and hiking paradise that the Island could be.

Visited December 2012
Thank fcoya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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