Chit Chat

City Sights: Alcatraz at Night

Alcatraz has been on my To-See list ever since we moved here. I’ve always heard that the Night Tour is the best experience, but every time I tried to buy tickets they were sold out weeks in advance.  We wanted to go around Halloween for the spook factor, but even in September the earliest available was for this past weekend.  So my advice: Buy in advance!  But also, even though we enjoyed the Night Tour, I think the cheaper day tours would be just as good.

Source

We had a busy Sunday (Errand to run!  And we’ve started going to a church!  And joined a small group!) so we were too rushed to walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf.  We got a cab but failed to notice that the Alcatraz tour leaves from a separate dock at Pier 33, which is about a ten-minute walk from the pier that most other tour boats use.  So we spent a few harried minutes speed walking to the correct pier, but we still made it just in time.  All in a day’s work for my laid-back hubby, but I HATE being late so I was a little frazzled.  Running late is still one of my least favorite things, but I’m working on it, people!

Anchors away across the bay, with gorgeous sunset views of the city and the Golden Gate bridge in the distance.  And the island, of course.  I’m no photographer, but the “golden hour” really was spectacular.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tour was well organized, and although there were a lot of people on board, I never felt herded or too cramped.  Once we were on the island a tour guide led us up the path to the prison, with some entertaining history along the way.

 

 

Once you’ve entered the prison, an audio tour has you looping in and out of the different cells, inside and outside.  The narrators are former inmates and prison guards, combined with the signs and pictures posted throughout the prison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of interesting stories, and even an art exhibit at the end of it all. The audio tour lasts about 90 minutes, and afterwards there are a few rooms in the hospital ward to explore on your own.  These are definitely more “spooky” at night, with low lighting and the aging walls creating quite the haunting atmosphere.

 

 

There are additional presentations after the audio tour.  We listened to one presentation about famous escape attempts (conveniently located in the gift shop) and another about a specific inmate’s history that led us down from the prison to the docking area.  All in all, very entertaining and well worth the money!

More city sights coming soon as we continue to explore San Francisco!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “City Sights: Alcatraz at Night

  1. I love that you & Sam are exploring some of the more “touristy” aspects of San Francisco! Charles and I have been talking about going on tours and boat rides and such here in New Orleans for 3.5 years now, yet we somehow never do it. You inspire me! Maybe while he’s off for the holidays, we’ll soak in some of the wonder of New Orleans that draws so many visitors here each year… 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply to Mrs. Bridges Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.