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Thread: Alcatraz

  1. Default Alcatraz

    Hi everyone,

    I'm visiting from the UK in August and I can't wait, one of the things I definetely want to do is to visit Alcatraz.
    Am I best pre-booking over the internet for this, just want to do this and not the combined Alcatraz and City Tour/Muir Woods tours you see about. Or will I just be able to go down the day before and book for the next day once I'm in San Francisco.
    Any advice would be much appreciated, plus if I am to pre-book over the internet can people recommend which site's are best.

    Thanks Again


  2. #2


    I pre-booked on the recommendation of someone who lives in San Fran and says it's impossible to get over if you don't. I booked online with, I think, Blue and Gold Fleet or something like that and picked up my tickets from a machine on the street alongside the pier where the boats depart. When we got there, lots of people were buying on the day, but I was glad I'd still booked in advance as I'd come a long way to miss out if it had been a busy day!

    The thing that disappointed me about the place was the sheer number of people on the island, something that I should have expected, I guess. What I would suggest is that you try to book as early in the morning (or late in the evening) as you can as the number of people will hopefully be reduced then?

    When you're in that area, be sure to eat at Fishermans Wharf, some fantastic places to eat there. And, if you have a car, be sure to do a couple of laps of Lombard Street. It really is very amusing!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Never been on my list, but

    Quote Originally Posted by DavB93 View Post
    I'm visiting from the UK in August and I can't wait
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! One thing you should be sure to pack is warm clothing. San Francisco in August is downright chilly! The heat is on in the central valley and on the east side of the bay and when the hot air from the inland areas of the state hits the cold bay water, it creates thick, dense, bone-chilling cold in San Francisco. It is still a wonderful time to visit -- but you might wish to go explore some of the surrounding area if you are seeking heat and warmth.

    One of the places that is is must-see is the Marin Headlands county park -- one of the very best views of the Golden Gate Bridge and city. There is a very steep, but awesome drive just beyond the northern edge of the Gate (you will need to access it from the southbound side of the freeway).

    Here is a view looking north (away from the city) taken by Pashnit.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 03-27-2007 at 08:54 AM. Reason: typo

  4. #4


    Good advice. Whilst we in the UK are well used to the cold and fog, the way it rolls into San Fran, almost unannounced, is quite amazing.

  5. Default Prebook if you have a preferred time..

    I'd recommend you pre-book (you can reserve on line, I believe) for the boat to Alcatraz. That's the most limited availability and probably the most popular tour that leaves from near Fisherman's Wharf.

    Last time I was in SF, I stayed near the Cable Car terminal on Market St (?) and for a day's trip did the SF Musuem of Natural History (which was temporarily located right near the cable car terminal, away from its permanent home in Golden Gate Park), then rode the Cable car to China Town and had lunch there and wandered around. Then rode the cable car the rest of the way to Fisherman's Wharf.

    Instead of the Alcatraz tour (just didn't appeal to me -- personal foilble I guess), we did the boat tour out around the island to the Golden Gate and back, which was pretty nice. Then did dinner at Alito's on Fisherman's Wharf (there are several very good sea food restaurants), and then rode the cable car back to the hotel. A nice day.. not too stressful.

  6. #6

    Default Alcatraz Cruises

    Here's the website (from National Park webpage) for Alcatraz

    I know in the Blue and Gold Fleet used to go to Alcatraz but I believe
    that the NPS now used Alcatraz Cruises as their concessioner.

    I took the evening tour last year and enjoyed it, but wish I could have
    spent more time on the island.

    I also enjoyed the audio tour.

    Another SF historical site is Fort Point, located right under the
    Golden Gate Bridge. There's a nice concentration of sights
    in the area. Presidio, Fort Point, Palace of Fine Arts, Marina
    Green, and Crissy Field.

    A nice hike is the Coastal Trail in San Francisco that runs from
    the Cliff House to the Golden Gate Bridge. You can get information
    about the trail from the Presidio Visitor Center.

  7. Default

    Thanks for all the advice guys and galls, I'm going to pre-book but it won't let me pre-book for August yet so will just have to keep going on the site and checking.

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