Alcatraz is probably one of the best known prisons across the world, located 1.25 miles within the bay of San Francisco. Those wishing to visit Alcatraz are able to by ferry from pier 33 which is operated by Alcatraz cruises, tickets are best being purchased in advance.
The island which is known as ‘the rock’ was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, military prison as well as a federal prison. It was a federal prison from 1934 to 1964. In 1986 the island received its designation as a national historic landmark. As you are docking at Alcatraz you are reminded of the American Indian occupation from 1969 to 1971.
Alcatraz was home to some of the most notorious criminals in America. Prisoners include Al ‘scarface’ Capone and ‘the birdman’ Robert Stroud.
On the island of Alcatraz the wardens who worked within the prison lived in a house on the island along with their families who were able to get a ferry daily back to main land. Within the prison grounds depending on which way the wind was blowing the prisoners would be able to hear the sounds of everyday life happening back on the main land of San Francisco.
You are able to take a cell house audio tour which takes you around the showers, cells, library, wardens office, dining hall and parade grounds.
Alcatraz Island is somewhere I would recommend for visitors going to San Francisco. I found it to be a very interesting experience as well as educational.