I’ll admit, this place did not make it to my list of places to check out in San Francisco up until a few weeks before the trip. The thought of visiting a prison didn’t interest me let alone the history but after people kept recommending us to check it out, we changed our mind and don’t regret it one bit.
We pre-purchased the tickets online a week or so before the trip, we wanted to make sure weather was good that day. We arrived at the wharf earlier than we thought and as a result we got to go on the ferry before the one we booked for, score!
There are free walking tours included in the admission and we arrived just in time for the first one of the day. There were about 3-4 tours each day, each with a different topic. The one we made it to was a walk through on the history of Alcatraz dating back to mid 1800s when it was built for military purposes.
We started our free audio tour that walked us through the more recent history of Alcatraz and learning about what life was like here for inmates. Never thought I’d see what a prison was like, so that was an eye opener.
We’ve never watched the movie ‘Escape from Alcatraz’, so did not know what to expect from the place. It was definitely interesting learning about how the 3 men planned their escape while seeing what they had to work with. In short, they created fake dummy heads to look like they were sleeping, and escaped through the hole which they’ve been digging at for months. That brings us to the most asked question without an answer, “Did they survive?”. No one really knows.
We spent a good 2 hours wandering around the island, learning about the history and taking in the good views of San Francisco from afar. It is definitely a place I recommend checking out, you might be like me thinking it won’t be interesting but was pleasantly surprised.
NEXT: Exploring Downtown San Francisco!