5 Things You Didn't Know About Alcatraz

April 20, 2016

Located on a small island surrounded by choppy waters, just off the coast of San Fran, lies a prison that has held the country’s most dangerous criminals...

Alcatraz -- like something out of a comic book, it’s no wonder it’s the most notorious incarceration facility in the country. Home to likes of Al Capone, George “Machine-Gun” Kelly, and Arthur “Doc” Barker, the high security federal building operated from 1934 to 1963, containing the murderous gangsters of the 1920s and 30s. In its 29 years of operation, the prison managed to rack up quite a colorful -- and sometimes violent -- history.

Here’s a quick look at some intriguing Alcatraz facts you may not know. If you don't get your fix here, read on to check out the activities we offer that will take you there to see it for yourself!

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    Monterey, Carmel & a 17-Mile Drive Day Trip

    Cruise along California's spectacular coastline on a relaxing day trip from San Francisco. You'll follow Highway 1 to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula home of the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium and Steinbeck's Cannery Row. Explore Monterey's charming shops or choose to add aquarium admission. See the stunning estates of 17-Mile Drive. Finish your day with a stop at the coastal town of Carmel by the Sea, before returning to San Francisco via famous Silicon Valley.

    Escape the big city on this scenic day-trip to Monterey and Carmel. Drive along the Highway 1 with breathtaking views of the Pacific Coast seascapes and narration as you may your way down to the Bay. You'll have time to shop and have lunch in Monterey, with the option of visiting the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, and enjoy plenty of photo stops on this scenic day trip from San Francisco. No trip to California is complete with a drive along the famous 17-Mile Drive, home to the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Course, the Lone Cypress, magnificent mansions, playful wildlife along the coastline and breathtaking natural beauty.

    Then, you'll head to the enchanting Carmel-by-the-Sea, with a charming downtown shopping district, beautiful beaches and historic mission. On this last stop of the tour, you will have time to visit the many boutiques and art galleries.

    Highlights of this day trip include:

    • Pacific Ocean drive
    • Cannery Row
    • Lone Cypress
    • Pebble Beach Lodge and golf course
    • Carmel Mission
    • Monterey Bay
    • 17-Mile Drive
    • Seal Rock
    • Carmel by the Sea
    Monterey, Carmel & a 17-Mile Drive Day Trip

    2627 Taylor Street, San Francisco

    • Cruise along California's famous 17-Mile Drive on a relaxing day trip from San Francisco
    • Follow Highway 1 to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula to explore shops or visit the aquarium
    • Discover the enchanting Carmel-by-the-Sea’s downtown shopping district and beautiful beaches
    • Enjoy plenty of stops and fantastic photo opportunities along the way
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    Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure (San Francisco)

    Price is for a group of 2-5 people Looking for a way to turn San Francisco into a giant game board? Urban Adventure Quest has created an interactive scavenger hunt that combines the fun of the amazing race with a three-hour sightseeing tour of SF highlights! Guided from any smartphone, you’ll make your way among well-known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. Answer questions to uncover the next, secret location. Your adventure takes you through the Union Square area, which houses some of the city’s finest designer shopping and cafes, through the bustling Chinatown and other historical neighborhoods as you make your way down through the famous Wharf District. Traverse its contoured landscape both on foot and by Cable Car, as you gain an entirely new perspective ol San Francisco and learn to see the city by the Bay in a whole new way!
    Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure (San Francisco)

    Yerba Buena Park, San Francisco

    • Embark on a tour that allows you to experience San Francisco as if it were a scavenger hunt
    • Answer fun trivia questions to uncover the next secret location and advance in your journey
    • Explore the most iconic SF neighborhoods, such as Union Square, Chinatown, and the Wharf District
    • Snap breathtaking photos of the city from above as you ride through the sky in a cable car
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    Tiburon Food and Wine Tour

    Start your 3-hour tour by meeting your guide at Pier 41 at San Francisco's Embarcadero. Hop on a ferry or water taxi for the 20-minute boat ride across San Francisco Bay. The afternoon excursion passes by Angel Island State Park before landing at the waterfront in Tiburon, a former railroad town turned upscale enclave. On arrival, walk with your guide to a number of popular eateries and learn a bit of history along the way. Pair white wine with Asian cuisine at Lily Kai and comfort food at the Tiburon Tavern. Set out for Sam’s Anchor Cafe featuring seafood and rosé. Sip a red varietal with Italian dishes at Luna Blu, and sample dessert with coffee at Cafe Renzo on historic Ark Row, where storefronts and eateries are actually restored boats. Conclude your food-and-wine tour of Tiburon with the return boat ride to the city.
    Tiburon Food and Wine Tour

    Pier 41, San Francisco

    • Enjoy a selection of seafood, Sicilian cuisine, and dessert during a memorable afternoon.
    • Get inside tips from a local guide while exploring the city’s streets
    • Perfect introduction for first-time visitors or couples
    • Cross San Francisco Bay by round-trip ferry, passing Angel Island en route to Marin
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    City Morning Small Bus Tour

    Board your sightseeing coach upon hotel pickup and set off to explore its hilly streets with commentary by your guide. Hear insights about the culture and history of the City by the Bay while you stop at major landmarks and other highlights, with plenty of photo ops along the way. Pass through the old Italian district of North Beach and see neighboring Chinatown. Visit the shopping area of Cow Hollow, then marvel at the mansions of the Marina District and take in the Art Deco architectural features of the Palace of Fine Arts. Wind through the Presidio, Fisherman's Wharf, and Pier 39; snap postcard images of the Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Point and the Victorian 'painted ladies' of Alamo Square; admire the views from winding Lombard Street and Twin Peaks (weather permitting); travel back to the Summer of Love at Haight-Ashbury; and visit Union Square and Golden Gate Park (access restricted on Sundays).
    City Morning Small Bus Tour

    Downtown , San Francisco

    • Get a comprehensive look at San Francisco and learn a bit of city history along the way
    • This 3-hour sightseeing tour travels by smaller bus / van through multiple neighborhoods, many with outstanding views
    • Your guide will shed light on Lombard Street, Haight-Ashbury, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, North Beach, and more
    • Enjoy this family friendly tour with an informative, friendly and professional guide
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    Dinner Dance Cruise

    What better way to conclude a day in San Francisco than watching the sun set over the beautiful San Francisco Bay on a memorable dinner dance cruise? Enjoy a four-course dinner of local ingredients freshly prepared onboard by an expert team of chefs, then let your hair down and dance to the live band or simply relax and watch the city skyline drift by from the outdoor decks. The perfect combination of fine dining, scenic views and lively entertainment that will appeal to all!
    Dinner Dance Cruise

    Pier 3, San Francisco

    • Enjoy a night of fine dining, lively dancing, and spectacular views on a dinner cruise
    • Treat yourself to a gourmet 4-course dinner made with local ingredients
    • Dance the night away to foot-tapping tunes from live band
    • Watch the cityline drift by from your window seat or the boat’s outdoor decks
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    Semi-Customizable City Insider Tour

    Your guide will show you must-see attractions such as Union Square, Chinatown, Haight-Ashbury, Twin Peaks and North Beach, and will also take you to off the beaten path places, offering you a unique experience of the city from a local’s perspective. Your tour is semi-customizable, so you can request places you’d like to see. Simply let your guide know which attractions you'd like to stop at to enjoy photo opportunities.
    Semi-Customizable City Insider Tour

    Downtown , San Francisco

    • Tour the city of San Francisco and snap photos of places such as Chinatown, Coit Tower, Haight-Ashbury, and Twin Peaks
    • Take advantage of the opportunity to request additional sites on this flexible tour
    • Enjoy a fully narrated tour from an informative, friendly and professional guide
    • Get a great overview and orientation of the city.
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    Mirror Maze

    “Dude. Duuuuuuuuuuude. Those colors are just...whoooooooa.” Want to get to that point without the health and legal risks? Come to Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze for an experience like no other! During this crazy attraction, you’ll wind your way through a labyrinth of mirrors, set aglow by black lights. You’ll completely lose track of where you are and where you’re trying to go -- but that’s the fun part! This psychedelic experience is completely mindblowing, so just let go and enjoy the ride. Or should we say trip?
    Mirror Maze

    Pier 39, San Francisco

    • Make your way through an intricate labyrinth of mirrors and try your best not to get lost!
    • See black lights, glowing mirrors, and crazy effects
    • Stay and trip out for as long as you want
    • Have the most psychedelic experience one can legally reach in San Francisco!
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    Yosemite Giant Sequoias & Alcatraz Tour

    This tour is so huge it just can’t be contained by city limits! Over the course of this 2-day sightseeing extravaganza, you’ll see some of the most incredible attractions the Bay Area has to offer, even outside of San Francisco. Your first day is nature-focused with a trip into the stunning Yosemite Valley, one of the true treasures of the United States. You’ll see incredible geological formations like El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, Inspiration Point, and more. You’ll also head up into higher altitude to see parts of Yosemite visitors rarely have access to, which may include a short hike into a grove of giant sequoia trees. After a well-deserved sleep back at your hotel, you’ll ride a ferry to Alcatraz Island the next day. You’ll get to tour the infamous prison complex as you listen to audio commentary that will give you the real scoop from former inmates, guards, and wardens. Even though you’ll probably be exhausted after all this sightseeing, you may just find yourself too excited to sleep!
    Yosemite Giant Sequoias & Alcatraz Tour

    928 Harrison St, San Francisco

    • Spend two days seeing some of the most amazing and well-known attractions the Bay Area has to offer on guided tours
    • Travel to the beautiful Yosemite Valley and get a look at Half Dome, El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls and more
    • Get an inside look at Alcatraz Island as you learn about the interesting and intriguing history of this infamous location
    • Make the most of your sightseeing with tours that maximize your time and give you jampacked looks at famous locations
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    Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

    Think you’ve got what it takes to survive the zombie apocalypse? Put your survival skills to the test during this escape room challenge! Escape room games lock you in a room and pit you against the clock, leaving you just one hour to locate a series of clues, unravel an overarching puzzle, and make your escape! You’ll have to work successfully with a small group of fellow players, making this a great team-building challenge. Use your brain … or its zombie chow!
    Trapped in a Room with a Zombie

    660 Bryant St, San Francisco

    • Immerse yourself in an interactive game where you must find a way to escape a locked room
    • Exercise your critical thinking skills to piece together clues in order to solve the mystery
    • Work with a small team to better your odds of completing the task within the allotted time
    • Feel the rush as you race against the clock -- and the zombies!
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    Premium Sake Museum Tour and Tasting

    You love sake, but you can’t travel all the way to Japan for a nice cup, and you only want the highest quality. How lucky, then, that Takara Sake has a place right here in California, with a premium tour and tasting! On this delightful tour, you’ll get a fascinating tour of the Sake museum, featuring sake artifacts and implements, plus the history of sake-making in America. Then, enjoy a tasting of a variety of premium sake, including Sho Chiku Bai Sake and more! And there’s no better place to get the full, authentic sake experience than at Takara’s The Tasting Room, measuring over 2,200 square feet and inspired by Japanese rice paddies. You’ll be satisfying your sake cravings in no time!
    Premium Sake Museum Tour and Tasting

    708 Addison St, Berkeley

    • Taste a variety of premium sakes in an authentic setting
    • Learn about sake production and see sake artifacts and implements collected by Takara
    • Feel like you’re on an exotic and unforgettable journey to Japan
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