Best Tourist Attractions in California (II)
Best Tourists Attractions in California: Alcatraz – Spend a day on The Rock
Gangsters like Al Capone, George “Machine Gun Kelly” and Robert Stroud were among the infamous residents at this San Francisco prison, which operated between 1934 and 1962.
Several ferries depart from Fisherman's Wharf daily to Alcatraz Island. Alcatraz Cruises (the official ticket source) leaves from Pier 33. After a 10-minute ride, you'll arrive on the island, where you can pick up their highly regarded cell house audio tour and begin exploring.
Plan on at least 3 hours for touring the island and cell house, which averaged roughly 275 prisoners at a time. During its operation, 36 men attempted to escape from Alcatraz. The most famous escape was in 1962 when John and Clarence Anglin, along with Frank Morris, created plaster dummies and fake vent coverings to fool the guards.
Best Tourists Attractions in California: Alcatraz – Tips
If you want to avoid the crowds, book the Early Bird Tour, which departs Pier 33 at 9 a.m. The spooky night tour leaves at 4:20 p.m. Be sure to buy your tickets at least two weeks and up to 90 days in advance. They are rarely available the same day. For discounted fares, consider buying a San Francisco CityPass. Blue and Gold Fleet offers an "Escape from the Rock" tour which circles the island.
Best Tourist Attractions in California: Angels Flight – Shortest railway in the world
Dating back to 1901, these black-and-orange funicular railway cars were the darlings of LA's stylish Bunker Hill. Closed in 1969, the Beaux-Arts style cars were relocated and opened again in 1996, connecting Hill Street to the California Plaza Watercourt. Today, you can ride all 298 feet for just a quarter.