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Ways to Experience Alcatraz Island
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Traveller rating
41,645
11,329
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282
266
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Reviewed 18 August 2021 via mobile

Is an amazing experience!! You should do it on your visit to SF. The price is worth it. In the island they give you an audio guide to explain better the jail. And you can walk around the island and they show you the cruise time to get back to San Francisco. Is so much to see in that island. 100% recommended.

Date of experience: August 2021
Thank Raquel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 17 August 2021

My whole family enjoyed our trip here. The audio tour really enhanced our learning about the happenings and my kids were fascinated.

Date of experience: August 2021
Thank TravelerMary2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 17 August 2021

Alcatraz is a very popular tourist destination, so I think it's worth it to visit once to see it in person and learn about the history. I was a bit disappointed to see just how much was blocked off, but I also understand safety concerns from crumbling structures, bird protection, and the extreme wind. The ferry ride was nice although no social distancing is enforced (masks are luckily), and the self-guided tour through the prison was also nice. It was definitely cool to see once, but I think that's about all you need. With all that's blocked off, you can definitely get through the entire island in 1 trip.

Date of experience: August 2021
1  Thank abrown102
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 16 August 2021

The prisoners who were once on Alcatraz were doing hard time and the worst of the worst. Now, you can see and learn about what life was like for those men and the men who guarded them. Surprisingly, the wardens had an actual mansion on the island and the guards lived in apartments on the island with their families!

The ferry boat ride over and back is definitely a big part of the experience as you approach and leave the island and can see the bay and San Francisco also. Once on Alcatraz, the Park Service ranger gives you an overview and then you can tour the main prison building (cellhouse) and other limited areas. I definitely recommend the included audio tour, where you hear the voices of some actual prisoners and guards describing what life was like.

They also explain and there is a current exhibit about the American Indian occupation that took place after the prison closed. It too was an important piece of American history to know about.

We booked through the authorized (by the Park Service) provider, Alcatraz CityCruises via their web site. Reservations in advance are recommended and they leave out of Pier 33 in the Fisherman's Wharf area. They recommend arriving 30 minutes or more early. We did and were actually able to get on a boat that was just getting ready to leave (otherwise we would have had to stand in line for 30 minutes for our scheduled departure).

Date of experience: August 2021
Thank TravelSouthGA
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 11 August 2021 via mobile

This was an excellent trip. The history, the views, and the boat ride was amazing. Be sure to take a water along. It is alot of walking so war good shoes.

Date of experience: August 2021
Thank Freedom47836224987
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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