In fact, Devil Island used to be a prison, but now it has become a tourist attraction. The main experience is to take a headphone guide (with Mandarin Chinese) and follow the voice prompt to visit the whole prison. It's like listening to a radio play and experiencing the prison story and escaping from prison in a real situation. It's a great experience. In addition, the island can also see the Golden Gate Bridge, and is a good photo shooting site. In addition, you can feel San Francisco Bay.
If you're even considering a visit to the Rock, you should go; you might even learn something. This island is steeped in history. The views from the island are amazing on a clear day. We were lucky to go when it was clear and not rainy nor foggy. The prison is certainly a monument to days past. The desolation is evident here. There is no food for sale on the island as they don't really allow eating there. If you have a snack, you can sneak a bite but don't litter. There are over 300 bathrooms on Alcatraz but only 2 actually work. Haha! The facilities are clean. If you know which date you want to go, book in advance. There are multiple times available through Alcatraz Cruises. The audio tour is an award winning one, so definitely do that. They give you a headset and you have visual markers of where to go. The audio tour is well worth it when you visit, as are the outdoor areas you can explore. There are plenty of boats returning to the mainland if you go early.
Having been to "The City" a number of times, I finally took the plunge and headed to Alcatraz with a few friends in tow. The ferry over was a quick trip, but it still managed to provide some beautiful views of the bay. Once we got to the island, we deviated from the group and begun exploring. Eventually, we made it to the video room, sat back, and relaxed a bit while we watched an interesting documentary on the island. Shortly there after, we picked up our self-guided tour headsets and off we went! Chocked full of interesting information tidbits and trivia nuggets, the tour offers more than one might think--with access to the rec yard, cell blocks and offices--everyone can enjoy. Be careful though, Alcatraz is still home to hundreds of nesting sea birds, so there are a few spots where "quiet" is required, and don't be surprised if you get bombed by some white stuff! Often windy and a bit chilly, even if the day is warm, bring a sweater for the island... Enjoy!
Alcatraz is absolutely a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. It's surprising how many locals haven't been because they think it's just a tourist trap, but honestly, it's really cool! There's so much history here as it's been a military fortress and military prison, the site of a Native American occupation, most famously, a federal penitentiary, and now a tourist attraction.The boat ride is super fun with great view of the SF skyline, and then you get a headset on the island that leads you throughout the prison. You'll get to walk into a real cell, listen to the sound of the jail cells slamming shut, see the kitchen and mess hall, and learn all about the fascinating tales of island, who lived here, and perhaps most interestingly, who escaped.Definitely make this a priority if you're visiting SF, and if you're local, stop putting it off or making excuses, and take your friend visiting from out of town.
Unquestionably historic. Infinitely humbling. Needing thesaurus.Alcatraz is quite possibly the most underrated tourist trap in SF. It's like Rainforest Cafe, in that you have to spend about $30 per person for a little escape. Unlike the restaurant, there are no robotic gorillas, and you don't feel violated when you leave since it's a defunct prison. The well-designed audio tour really transports you back to the era in which Alcatraz was still active. The use of narration, sound effects, and wall images really help to illustrate what Alcatraz must have been like. What stuck with me was the picture of Al Capone. There's something eerie about that picture.I opted to be locked in an isolation room in Cell Block D. I was reminded of the scene in Shawshank where Tim Robbins was locked in the dark for days. When they closed the door, all light escaped, save the one from my digital camera.
I didn't really have that much interest in going here when it was suggested to me -- but I was 100% wrong. I could have spent even more time here than I did! I have now been twice, and I would still be willing to go again to absorb more information. There is so much interesting history here, and they have done a great job of walking you through the whole building on the self-guided audio tour. They also have great optional other quick talks with guest speakers -- everything from a former inmate to a former guard to historians knowledgeable on the subject.I definitely recommend this to locals and visitors alike! You might want to make a reservation in advance, it can be very booked up at peak times of the year. Reserve at least a few hours -- your boat time is set, but then it's up to you when you want to catch a ferry back.
Often known in popular culture as "the rock", Alcatraz island was prison to the countries most dangerous and wanted offenders including Al Capone. I've always had an interest in prison history (thought not many friends know this ) and taking the boat to the island and experiencing the walking audio tour was outstanding. I became emotional listening to former inmates and wardens explaining life on the rock. A highlight was learning about the big escape that took place in 1962. I've posted the few photos I took as I was so Enthralled by the tour I forgot to snap! ❤️
A couple years ago a group of friends were all chatting and we suddenly realized that we were all locals that had never been to Alcatraz, even though our non-local friends had all been there. Thus we planned our local day out at Alcatraz, and it was a blast. We barted up because no one really wants to deal with driving or parking in SF, and we're all south bayers. Then we got the headset tour, which I think is way the value. You just don't get that kind of experience from walking around yourself. And then of course we went around taking pictures like crazy and pretending we were a tourist group, rather than native Bay Area folk. Plus on the beautiful day we went, there were all sorts of colors abundant with the foliage which made for awesome pictures outside.
I have been to Alcatraz two times and both times it was an awesome experience. Enter through Fisherman's Wharf, pier 33 to delve deep into history. The place oozes history and interesting stories. If you want to get a view of the USA during the 1935 - 1965, it provides that through the eyes of the criminal element. It tells very interesting tales of the prisoners who were imprisoned at Alcatraz, as well as of the guards who worked there. Be sure to get the audio tour (which is available in Dutch also....yeah!!!), because it enhances the experience a thousandfold. Ans order your tickets on line: cheaper and you're sure to get on the boat :-). Highest recommendations to visit while in San Francisco!
Another one of those San Francisco cliches that really lives up to the hype, a visit to Alcatraz is - like visiting the Statue of Liberty for New Yorkers - something that locals seldom do. Nonetheless, I found myself glad each time someone visited from out of town, because it gave me an excuse to take the boatride out and tour this most infamous of US prisons. The National Park Service (who administer the island) have put together a splendid audio-tour that really makes the history of the place come alive, and there's something deeply surreal about standing in the iron cell that once housed Al Capone. For an added bonus, the views of San Francisco from the island are fantastic.