lcatraz Island is located 1.5 miles from Fisherman’s Wharf. It is the site of the first lighthouse in the Western U.S., and was a penitentiary from 1934-1963. It is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and offers tours of the prison and views of the lighthouse. It is a good place to view gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and wonderful views of the bay.
Often referred to as “The Rock,” the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of Native Americans from San Francisco who were part of a national wave of Native American protests through the 1970s. In 1972 Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
Today, the island’s facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; it is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco.
Hornblower Cruises and Events, operating under the name Alcatraz Cruises, is the official ferry provider to and from the island. Hornblower launched the nation’s first hybrid propulsion ferry in 2008, the Hornblower Hybrid, which now serves the island, docking at the Alcatraz Wharf.
Alcatraz Island is home to the abandoned prison, the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the west coast of the United States, early military fortifications, and natural features such as rock pools and a seabird colony (mostly Western Gulls, cormorants, and egrets). Landmarks on the island include the Main Cellhouse, Dining Hall, Library, Lighthouse, the ruins of the Warden’s House and Officers Club, Parade Grounds, Building 64, Water Tower, New Industries Building, Model Industries Building, and the Recreation Yard.
LOCATION: 41 Pier, San Francisco, CA 94133 415-705-5555
Website • 14.8 miles From Hotel