Alcatraz N.P., San Francisco

21 Reviews

In the middle of San Fracisco Bay

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  • Alamo Square, oh the contrast!
    Alamo Square, oh the contrast!
    by Axholmemiller
  • At least we could leave at the end of the day!
    At least we could leave at the end of...
    by Axholmemiller
  • Not just the wine is worth seeing in the Napa!
    Not just the wine is worth seeing in the...
    by Axholmemiller
  • spgood301's Profile Photo

    Alcatraz-"the Hole"

    by spgood301 Written Jan 18, 2005

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    Favorite thing: The hardest of prisoners at Alcatraz (and that's saying something!) were sent into solitary confinement. This block of cells was called "the Hole". A "prison within the prison", these cells are unusually cold, dark places. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in one of these cells-on second thought, I'd rather not.

    Alcatraz-the Hole
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    A typical cell at Alcatraz

    by spgood301 Updated May 6, 2005

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    Favorite thing: This is a cell at Alcatraz. You can look inside them, even enter a few. Not a pleasant place to be-at least not by choice. Next year: free HBO!

    By the way, in New York City an apartment this size usually sells for at least $500,000-maybe even a million, if it's in the right neighborhood!

    Alcatraz Cell
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    ALCATRAZ

    by shivan Written Sep 17, 2004

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    Favorite thing: New trip, new camera, new picture.
    The quality of my zoom allowed to take this better picture.
    Alcatraz, also called "The Rock", has been opened in 1933, and it's been operational until 1963.
    It is also famous because its keepers were sure that no one could ever escape from it. Somebody tried, it is documented, but nobody ever reached the shore, because of currents, cold and possibly Sharks!
    Now it is a museum

    Alcatraz

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    One more thing about Alcatraz

    by spgood301 Written Jan 18, 2005

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: In addition to its more famous use, Alcatraz (specifically, the island) is also something of a nature sanctuary. Birds flock here, and check out some of the flora too. I'm not sure what kind of plant this is-maybe you know

    Alcatraz Flora
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    Pre Book Alcatraz

    by PavlH Written Jan 20, 2003

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    Favorite thing: If you want to tour Alcatraz, make sure that you pre book on the web - http://www.nps.gov/alcatraz/ - there are long queues and you may not make it if you don't pre-book.

    Fondest memory: Seafood and the walk along the fort area.

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  • bobuk's Profile Photo

    Visit Alcatraz. And don't...

    by bobuk Written Sep 12, 2002

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    Favorite thing: Visit Alcatraz. And don't scimp on the tour or the earphones and cassette...just do it. It is quite an experience and you really can feel how it must have been for the 'Birdman' and 'Al Capone'. It is quite horrowing to think you could hear the celebrations from the mainland whilst your stuck rotting away in Jail.

    Fondest memory: Being able to escape from Alcatraz.

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  • uffmann's Profile Photo

    Go to Alcatraz. Sitting in the...

    by uffmann Written Sep 12, 2002

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    Favorite thing: Go to Alcatraz. Sitting in the wind outside on that island after your round trip through this jail, you realize that it is better to work for money than get it on a easier way, because freedom ...you cannot buy!

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  • carstenj's Profile Photo

    There is one thing you MUST do...

    by carstenj Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Favorite thing: There is one thing you MUST do in San Francisco. Alcatraz, now a National Park, previously a (in)famous prison and prior to that a military fortress. It is an amazing experience to walk the prison blocks while listening to the tour audio tape. I was most impressed witht he experience.
    The picture shows the prisoner exercise yard.

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  • luigilong's Profile Photo

    go to Alcatraz! Anyone who has...

    by luigilong Updated Aug 24, 2002

    Favorite thing: go to Alcatraz! Anyone who has seen any of the five films about this place, will want to know and touch the real thing. Last time I was in S.F., the last in-plane movie had Sean Connery as an ex- British Secret Service agent who is allowed out of prison to help Nicholas Cage prevent a group of renegage U.S. soldiers firing rockets with nerve gas at the city.

    Fondest memory: Doing the tourist things, visiting Pier 39, the shops, visiting the places I'd seen as a child in films like Dirty Harry and Magnum force, The Presidium and of course, The Streets of San Francisco starring Karl Malden and a young Michael Douglas.

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  • Alcatraz island - I know it's...

    by emmie Written Aug 24, 2002

    Favorite thing: Alcatraz island - I know it's a really touristy thing to do, but go on one of the tours. They're very informative if a bit chilling in places!

    Fondest memory: The relaxed atmosphere - it feels like a very safe city. I know this may not be true, but I always felt fine there.

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  • FransM's Profile Photo

    Alcatraz

    by FransM Written Jan 15, 2005

    Favorite thing: Need I say more. There are already plenty of good tips on Alcatraz in VT.
    I just made this tip to show you the sign at the left
    I cannot stress to recommend making reservations if you are traveling in the high season.

    Alcatraz sign
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    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • colbeck100's Profile Photo

    Missed a great excursion but Bridge was wonderful

    by colbeck100 Written May 5, 2005

    Favorite thing: The great view of the Bay with Alcatraz offshore. We really wanted to do the Alcatraz trip but did not book prior to arrival. I expected that we would be able to get on the end of a tour. Not so - the earliest opportunity was a day after we left. We won't make that mistake again.

    Fondest memory: One of the best memories is going to the Golden Gate Bridge. Everything we expected and no fog. The view back to San Francisco was fantastic.

    Golden Gate Bridge

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  • Purdy28's Profile Photo

    My View of SF

    by Purdy28 Written Oct 15, 2006

    Favorite thing: ALCATRAZ ISLAND & STATE PENITENTUARY

    This is the most popular visitor attraction within the city. Once the world renowned and notorious prison known to all as the Rock. Thought to be inescapable – in fact although attempts have been made it is unknown if those actually made it to the free world or drown in the bay.
    To get to Alcatraz l had to pre book tickets – it really is that popular an attraction. To do so go to www.blueandgoldfleet.com – this is the only tour company running scheduled ferries from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Island. Our tour cost $16 each and this included an audio tour of the cell house. I would recommend this great tour. You follow the lines of your feet and listen to former prisoners and wardens talk about “The Rock”.

    Fondest memory: There are also trips out of town – we took a wine country tour – with Tower Towers (www.towertours.com) out to Napa Valley and Sonoma Valleys. We visited 3 wineries – Madonna, Viansam and Cline – none which l had heard off – but l drank and tasted the wines. Lunch was in the town of Sonoma – this is somewhere l would like to visit for longer than an hour – its very picturesque – craft and antique shops, wine shops selling the local produce and lovely restaurants.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • Axholmemiller's Profile Photo

    Book before you go!

    by Axholmemiller Updated Mar 12, 2007

    Favorite thing: Visit the marvellous Alamo Square for a real contrast between old and new. Photo opportunities are brilliant. See main photograph.
    If planning a trip to Alcatraz, and it ought to be a must for everyone, try and book before you go. Hotels aren't allowed to pre-book trips for this wonderful experience and I'd pre-booked on line weeks before arrival. It certainly paid dividends on the day, long queues were avoided and in the hot sun lessened the wait for the ferry to the island.
    If you are staying in Union Square and want to avoid the big queues from Fisherman's Wharf for the cable cars, take the normal bus service, which actually goes in the other direction but is half the price and much quicker.

    Fondest memory: I loved Alamo Square, the contrast between old and new was startling. See the photo below. A tour of the Napa Valley is a must if you have time to get away from the city. Be sure to see the pelicans that hang around Fisherman's Wharf.

    Alamo Square, oh the contrast! At least we could leave at the end of the day! Not just the wine is worth seeing in the Napa!
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    • Architecture
    • Wine Tasting

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  • nlswin1's Profile Photo

    Doing Alcatraz ? ... Book early

    by nlswin1 Written Jan 20, 2004

    Favorite thing: Before we went to SF we booked tickes via the internet so that we were sure to have one when we arrived. and indeed lots of people couldn't go because all the boats were full that day. So when visiting SF just 2 days, make sure to reservate tickets before going.

    PS we booked our tickets together with a tour:
    http://www.allsanfranciscotours.com/Body.asp?Page=TourDetails&tour=SFO-B0002

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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