The History. The Attraction. The Experience.
Alcatraz Tours are a wonderful tourist attraction. It attracts many tourists and locals because of its remarkable history.
I have lived in the Bay Area for roughly 15 years, yet I have not once stepped foot on Alcatraz. I've always heard of stories, seen pictures, and read its history. But, I never pushed myself to go!
Because I thought to myself, “Man, what's so special about this place? Another historical landmark that'll teach me about its history? Well, I can read about it or watch its documentaries!”
Boy, was I wrong. You will never really get to experience Alcatraz unless you really experience it yourself.
I was so delighted when I found out that my boyfriend had bought me tickets to Alcatraz Tours!
I would finally be able to experience this infamous place, and provide myself with my own thoughts and opinions about it!
We purchased tickets to the day tour as that was the only tour available that week (should have reserved some tickets to the night tour!).
We hopped on the ferry, and landed on the island within 15 minutes!
The tour began with a short introduction on the island, safety precautions, history, map guide, etc...
...Then the tour guide leaves us to explore the place on our own!
It wasn't really so difficult finding our way since there were signs and plenty of people to follow.
We headed towards the prison and discovered some pretty neat architecture...
Then we walked a couple more along the oh-so-steep pathway (they have a shuttle for those with disabilities) and entered the prison!
We were then given a headset that provides us with a self controlled audio tour. You can pause the narration and control it at your own pace, depending on how long you'd like to stay at a specific area of the prison.
The cells were quite amazing...We were actually able to ENTER the jail cells itself:
I swear it was haunted, haha.
Anyway, we discovered many facts about the prison and learned the history behind it.
But what really fascinated me was seeing the cells in which the 4 criminals escaped from...
...Imagine creating a dummy of yourself, fooling the guards, then scraping your way through a hole on the wall made by...
Now, learning about their escape from Alcatraz was pretty amazing to me. I think that was the highlight of the tour. There's also a souvenir shop there for your shopping pleasures, hehe. Oh, and by the way, there's also other things on the island besides the prison. I believe there was a residential apartment area thing there that some guards stayed in, some displays of a few artifacts, and a small garden. Overall, it was a fun experience, and quite a tour to remember!
See you around,
Your friendly, local SF travel guide ;).
I give this attraction about 4/5 stars because if you're not quite into historical landmarks and experiencing history yourself, and blahdiblahdiblah, then this may just seem like “just an empty, deserted prison” for you... ...But trust me, it's worth experiencing the Alcatraz tours yourself!
Created by a life-long bay area chick for fun-loving travelers (or locals) like you! .