Alcatraz: Visit San Francisco’s Iconic Island
Alcatraz, a former prison, is now a national park and one of the city's most popular attractions. Learn all about visiting "The Rock."
Alcatraz was the site of the first lighthouse in the Western United States but became a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963, housing famous convicts such as Al Capone and George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Now, this once infamous prison island is part of the Bay Area’s 80,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Located one-and-a-half miles from Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz is one of the city's most popular attractions. A visit to the island includes a tour of the cell house where visitors can see how the prisoners lived. Although the last inmates were transferred off the island in 1963, the main prison block—with its steel bars, claustrophobic (9 x 5-foot) cells, mess hall, library and "dark holes," is still structurally intact.
For additional information, contact the National Park Service at www.nps.gov/alcatraz.