Historical Attractions

Alcatraz Island San Francisco

Where is it at?

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Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
B201 Fort Mason
San Francisco
CA
94123
Tel: 415 981-7625

Where are we going today?

Welcome to....The Rock! Alcatraz Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations within San Francisco, and was once home to those sentenced to a life behind bars.

It's a day out of history for families, giving you an incredible once in a lifetime experience within one of the most famous federal penitentiaries in the entire USA.

Alcatraz Island actually features the first lighthouse and US fort ever to be built on the US West Coast. Long off limits to the public, it opened it's door to allow families just like to you explore it's secrets and stories.

The journey to Alcatraz Island is adventure in itself, with the ferry being the only way you can cross over.  Once on the island, you can explore at your own pace, which is perfect for kids!

The National Park Service has a number of free programs that you can join throughout the day, that cover topics such as natural history, the American Indian occupation, the military history, and of course those infamous escapes.

The ferry departs about every half hour, so you can head back when you like! Don't miss the cellhouse audio tour, where kids can hear stories of those who once called The Rock home, and the history of the people, and the island itself.

In addition to the prison itself, there is actually a beautiful and natural side to the island, with gardens, bird colonies, tide pools and incredible bay views. 

An amazing day out in one of the most iconic places to visit in the USA! 

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How much does it cost?

  • AdultsFrom $35.50
  • ChildrenFrom $21.75
  • Free Under: 4 years
LAST UPDATED 2016

When can we go?

Departure times vary so check the site for details

Year round. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and Jan 1

I'm Hungry!

There is food service on the ferry - there isn't anything on the island itself.

Healthy Eating!

If you want to take a picnic, it's only permitted at the designated space at the dock.

Any Top Tips?

Read up about some of the history before you go, it will make your experience so much more fascinating!.

Need a little extra help?

Alcatraz Landing at Pier 33 is fully accessible. Speak to staff when you book to double check your situation and if you might need assistance..

More information

The family ticket discount is only available at the booth or by phone, not online.

What people are saying?

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    Alcatraz Island is a fascinating place historically. Recently it has gotten even better. Even for a local such as myself, it was really interesting to visit again to view the Al Wei Wei art exhibit that is currently on through May of 2015. There are newly opened buildings where the exhibition is being housed, such as the industries building and the prison hospital. The art exhibit was thought provoking and moving. A must see/experience. I can recommend a visit or re-visit to Alcatraz.

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    Had a great time checking out Alcatraz Penitentiary. I have always been interested of the living conditions many hard core felons had to endure at the Rock. The audio tour is a great way to put everything in prospective. While you walk around the prison, you are handed headphones and can listen to testimonies from people who worked or spent time on the island.

    I would totally recommend visiting the island. Also, the views of San Francisco from the Island are amazing.

    They have night tours, for anyone brave enough.

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    Alcatraz was awesome. There is so much history. The lighthouse, the docks , the prison, and the tour guides were awesome. I was overwhelmed, the whole tour. Alcatraz was a military base , a prison, an unforgettable experience. Five star definitely.

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    Our last day at SF my Boyfriend purchased these tickets because he loved copying Sean Connery's "WELCOME TO THE ROCK"

    We took a Ferry close to Fisherman's Wharf to the Island. The ride was at least 10 minutes long and it was pretty scenic so if you have a fear of Sea sickness - fear not as my boyfriend typically can never take any sort of Boat ride and he was just fine.

    Upon arrival we got a quick introduction of what to do and what not to do.
    The Audio headsets really made the experience.
    It gave you step by step directions and it was easy...Read More

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    Disclaimer: I took the earliest boat out to Alcatraz on a Sunday morning.

    I had a great time at Alcatraz, and I did the audio tour which is immensely helpful. I think the boat ride out to Alcatraz, as well as the boat ride back, can be really windy and cold so be sure to bring a jacket.

    Once you're there, you should feel free to explore and wander around with headphones on. It will tell you all the juicy details about each of the stalls, and let you imagine what it was like back in the day.

    I've heard the night tour is excellent so that's when...Read More

Submit a review

by Re becca

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Our last day at SF my Boyfriend purchased these tickets because he loved copying Sean Connery's "WELCOME TO THE ROCK"

We took a Ferry close to Fisherman's Wharf to the Island. The ride was at least 10 minutes long and it was pretty scenic so if you have a fear of Sea sickness - fear not as my boyfriend typically can never take any sort of Boat ride and he was just fine.

Upon arrival we got a quick introduction of what to do and what not to do.
The Audio headsets really made the experience.
It gave you step by step directions and it was easy to follow. This really gave you the sense like you were part of history!

by Sally Zhao

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Disclaimer: I took the earliest boat out to Alcatraz on a Sunday morning.

I had a great time at Alcatraz, and I did the audio tour which is immensely helpful. I think the boat ride out to Alcatraz, as well as the boat ride back, can be really windy and cold so be sure to bring a jacket.

Once you're there, you should feel free to explore and wander around with headphones on. It will tell you all the juicy details about each of the stalls, and let you imagine what it was like back in the day.

I've heard the night tour is excellent so that's when I would go again! However, you should book way in advance as tickets sell out fast.

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