Alcatraz was once a federal prison that was used to hold the most notorious criminals such as George Kelly and Al Capone. Today, it has become a significant national landmark and one of the most sought-after San Francisco attractions. Alcatraz Island still has the remains of the federal prison among other landmarks such as the warden’s house ruins and parade grounds. Since 1972, Alcatraz is now part of the national recreational area. In 1986, it became designated as a National Historic Landmark.


Alcatraz can only be accessed by a tour. Tickets for the tours often sell out within a few days or weeks in advance. If you are planning to visit Alcatraz, you need to book a city tour which is inclusive of admission to the popular penitentiary. This allows you to enjoy sightseeing either using a Segway, boat, bus, or bike. City tours usually cover attractions such as North Beach, Coit Tower, Ferry Building, and Chinatown. Other tour services combine Alcatraz visit with a Sausalito bay cruise, cable car ride, or a tour to Muir Woods. Alcatraz Island has a self-guided cell house that allows visitors to explore the island at their own pace. In addition, there are video presentations, park exhibits, and ranger-guided tours around the park, a full prison experience at Alcatraz will take you about two and a half hours.



Cruises to Alcatraz depart San Francisco every thirty minutes between 9 am and 4 pm. The early bird tour leaves the city at a quarter to nine in the morning. The limited night tour gives the visitors an opportunity to stay up to 9.30 pm. this night tour includes both a guided walk to the prison from the dock and a boat narration. Most visitors prefer visiting in summer and spring which makes tickets harder to get during those seasons.


Tips before visiting

Tickets to Alcatraz include a round trip ferry trip. This means you can choose any ferry back to the city since they are available every thirty minutes. The ferry rides, though beautiful, are very chilly which necessitates carrying a jacket. From the ferry dock, the walk to the prison is hilly and steep. To aid accessibility, an electric shuttle was installed. It departs from the ferry dock after every half an hour for any visitors who need assistance to get up. Another important tip to note is that there are no wheelchairs provided at the prison. However, there are elevators at the cell house to aid movement.

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For more information about Golden gate park, we have a read for you. There are so many things to see and participate in, such as Botanical Gardens, near Inner Sunset San Francisco. You could spend a whole week just in this park with museums, wild animals, nature and more.

If you want to know more about neighborhoods in the city, such as College Hill San Francisco read our blog. It discusses some of the classic neighborhoods as well as others.



A look at classic neighborhoods in San Francisco

neighborhoods in San Francisco
neighborhoods in San Francisco

Over the years, the shape and look of San Francisco have changed. It was once described as the most European city in America but has now transformed into a technological capital. Huge numbers of tech workers have replaced the artists and hippies that formerly characterized it. The evolution of the city has happened to suit the current lifestyle and activities. Despite the changes especially in the central regions, old San Francisco has maintained its charm. Let us explore the different districts.


Western neighborhood

Many residents in San Francisco don’t know that the city has a surf culture. The fog that covers the city most parts of the year makes many forget that the city has a beautiful beach. Although it may not seem much, it is one of the most dangerous and challenging surf spots. The people who surf at the shore make up a small sub-culture of the city. The stretch only runs about 3.5 miles but the neighborhood bordering it feels separated from the rest of the city.


In the neighborhood, there is a famous small trouble coffee institution. It serves toast, coconuts, and coffee. The blaring heavy metal music that comes from the shop could portray a culture that is not health conscious. On the contrary, the shop carries the 1990’s childhood mainly characterized by healthy feeding. Besides, the institution does not allow phones into the shop. Down the street, you will head to the beach where surfers would be enjoying the sport if the waves are decent. Real food can then be found at the Hook Fish company. It is a restaurant and fish market for fish tacos and pokes burrito popular with surfers.


Northern neighborhood

The greatest holdout spot in San Francisco is the North beach. It appears to be resistant to change since it has always looked the same. The neighborhood has a reputation for being a popular tourist attraction, it has gone back to its old appeal. The locals have re-embraced as a place to go when you want to take a break from the tech crowds. At night, the neon lights from the clubs on Broadway gives it a nostalgic allure. This is characteristic of the traditional Italian-American restaurants.



Northwest neighborhood

In spite of the Ocean Beach being a great place to watch surfers, it is not suitable for swimming. That is because it experiences strong currents that have claimed several lives. The north-western tip is best suitable for swimming at the Marshall’s beach. To access the beach, one will however to endure some hike. From the beach, you will marvel at the Golden Gate Bridge in town. The beach has remained a classic all this while. Do you travel a lot? Please check the 10 best neighborhoods in San Francisco for 2020 to visit.