Located in the middle of San Francisco Bay lies the infamous Alcatraz Island. What was once home to a maximum-security prison that housed some of the most dangerous criminals in US history, is now one of the most interesting attractions in San Francisco.
Hop on a ferry at Fisherman’s Wharf and head across to Alcatraz to soak up the history of this fascinating place. The Alcatraz East Crime Museum will give you the low-down on everything from the prison’s most well-renowned inmates, such as Al Capone, to the history of crime in the US. Interactive and engrossing, this museum will have you entertained for hours. While on the island, make sure you walk around the island for some stunning views of the city across the water. You’ll also get one of the most iconic views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the island, so don’t forget to snap a selfie.
While the island itself is the main attraction, there are heaps of things you can cram into a day at Alcatraz. Before or after your return trip to Alcatraz, spend some time checking out Fisherman’s Wharf. This is the spot in San Francisco to chow down on a lobster roll or a serve of clam chowder. If you’re a fan of animals, check out the sea lions that have made their home on the docks of Pier 39, or visit the nearby Aquarium of the Bay.
After a long day exploring the Island, relax in the extensive grounds of Golden Gate Park. This huge park complex isn’t just a great place for a picnic, but to learn about the history of the Bay Area. Home to the San Francisco Botanic Gardens and the Japanese Tea Garden, as well as the de Young Museum, spend the rest of your day wandering the halls of these awesome institutions.
With so many things to do in Alcatraz San Francisco, let Contiki be your guide to one of the West Coast’s best attractions.
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While Fisherman’s Wharf has been an icon for decades, the late 80s brought a new reason to get down to the docks; the hordes of sea lions that now call the wharf home. Shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake hit San Francisco in October 1989, these cute creatures started migrating en mass to the Bay area. After much research and debate, the experts from the Marine Mammal Center recommended that the sea lions stay in their new home. Now boasting numbers of over 1700, come say hi to the some of the friendliest locals on the wharf. We recommend going to see the sea lions between 11am-4pm daily, when Naturalists from the Aquarium of the Bay are around to answer some of your questions.