One of America’s most famous prisons, Alcatraz, also known as 'The Rock', began as a Spanish fort that guarded the entrance to the San Francisco Bay. Later made into a military prison for Civil War soldiers in 1868 and a maximum-security Federal Penitentiary in 1933, its most famous inmates include gangsters of the 1920’s and ‘30s like Al Capone and the “Birdman” Robert Stroud.
Closed as a prison in 1963, the island was later occupied by protesters on behalf of American Indians. The occupation lasted 19 months and directly affected Federal policy.
Today the island, which is clearly visible from Fisherman's Wharf, is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and makes a beautiful and peaceful location to visit. During your stay you can see rare birds and plants, and take an informative guided tour of the historical prison structure itself.
You can get ferry tickets by calling (415) 981-7625. BOOKING IN ADVANCE is recommended. Ferries leave from Pier 33, the Embarcadero.