This article was published on May 27th, 2018
Just as experiencing the Golden Gate Bridge, historic cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Castro, a visit to Alcatraz is a quintessential part of visiting San Francisco. Alcatraz Cruises is the only way to see and experience Alcatraz. It’s only a twenty-minute boat ride to the Rock, as Alcatraz is nicknamed, and venturing to this island is a one-of-a-kind trip that you can only do in the City by the Bay. Come conquer the Rock and explore Alcatraz with Alcatraz Cruises.
The island Alcatraz sits on has a rich and deep history with the American Indians, as a military garrison before and after the Civil War and Industrial eras, as a POW prison during the Civil War, and as a federal prison from 1934 until 1963. Today, the island is a national historic site, open to the public via Alcatraz Cruises for tours. Originally named La Isla de los Alcatraces (the island of the Pelicans) by Spanish conquistadors in the 1800s, the island’s name was eventually shorted and nicknamed Alcatraz over time.
On the island there are self-guided audio tours that allow you to get up close and personal at Alcatraz. Visitors can see the prison cells, go inside and see recreations of what it was like being a prisoner, view the remains of the Warden’s house, the inmate outdoor area, and all the infrastructure needed to run the self-sustaining island.
The grounds also have lovely gardens filled with a variety of flowers – adding beauty and life to place with dark history. Large colonies of birds, including its namesake Pelican can be found all over the island.
Alcatraz has the oldest light house on the Western Coast of the United States, built by prisoners. Over the years, Alcatraz became almost as famous in pop culture for its reported prison escapes as it was for being a prison. At night, you can hear the sounds of the bustling city of San Francisco across the bay—which is said to have driven the inmates crazy, knowing freedom was just across the water, with no way to get there.
The Rock has been featured in television and film, such as TV’s Alcatraz, the films Catch Me if you Can, X-Men, The Rock, The Book of Eli, Murder in the First, The Enforcer, and more.
Visiting Alcatraz is a historical experience like no other. Alcatraz Cruises provides the opportunity to visit the historic national site, learn about its history, and have an memorable experience. Make your reservation today to conquer the Rock on Alcatraz Cruises (book early because cruises fill up early – especially in the summer season).
While it is always changing, it is forever San Francisco. Re-experience and rediscover the epicentre of the modern gay rights movement. Plan your visit to San Francisco today with www.SFtravel.com.