Alcatraz Island, California – Island Talk Tuesday

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I’m back from San Fran! One of the coolest things I thought (and almost forgot about) was seeing Alcatraz Island from the mainland of San Fran. It actually surprised me because I was so caught up walking and taking in the sites. Yet, I thought it was so cool to see it with my own eyes and not in a movie!

Here’s what to know about Alcatraz Island:

About Alcatraz


What we all know is that Alcatraz has been the USA’s first military prison. It turned into a maximum penitentiary and is now a National Park. That story of all those prisoners escaping…so intriguing. I wonder where they all went!

How Do I Get There?


Simple, get to Fishermann’s Wharf within San Francisco. Then there are a few boats you can take to get to the island.  The ferries depart at Pier 33 and reservations in advance of 90 days are recommended. I did not have a reservation or time to take the trip since I was preparing to work a travel event that night unfortunately. Viator leads tours or you can sign up at the pier. Admission is between $26-58 depending on time of year and time of arrival onto the island. Winter hours are shorter.

What is There to Do?

Getting to Alcatraz is only part of the fun as you cruise over the San Francisco Bay area and get shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and surroundings.

During the tour, you get to see the old prison which is mainly what the big hype is all about. You can choose a guided tour or self. Guided is recommended as you learn more about the history and are shown areas of the island you might not find yourself.

Climate and When to Come Visit 

San Francisco has great weather year round but it is known for its’ fog. Spring and early summer might be ideal but you really have a gamble with the foggy weather. I caught 3 straight days of pure sunshine in February. Bring a jacket in the winter as the winds get stronger.