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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    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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    2-Hour Sunset Wine Cruise

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    Set a course for relaxation on a luxurious evening cruise of the San Francisco Bay. Leaving from the picturesque Pier 1.5, you'll pass under the stunning, imposing frame of the Golden Gate Bridge. Out on the open water, you'll watch the fiery ball of the setting sun sink into the Pacific while the lights of the bridge and the city twinkle into life. If it's a full moon, you'll be delighted with the special experience of the moon rising over the land while the sun sets over the water. Here, you'll sit back and relax as you toast to the beauty of the Bay Area at night.
    2-Hour Sunset Wine Cruise

    Pier 1.5 The Embarcadero, San Francisco

    • Sail the waters of the scenic San Francisco Bay at sunset
    • Sip a glass of your favorite wine as you watch the sun sink into the Pacific
    • A unique and relaxing way to experience the beauty of the Bay Area
    • Personalize your tour with specific sites you want to visit
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    9 positive reviews
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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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    Beers and Bikes Tour

    Bikes and beers were born to go together, like peanut butter and jelly, or handlebar mustaches and irony. Explore some of San Francisco's newest and hippest neighborhoods as you pedal to and from three of the area's best craft breweries and beer gardens, where you can cool off with frosty pints of local brews. Past tours have included stops like 21st Amendment Brewery, Magnolia Brew Pub, Barrel Head Brewhouse, and Triple Voo Doo Brewery. Besides, no need to feel guilty about spending the day drinking, you'll just work it off on your way to the next spot.
    Beers and Bikes Tour

    49 Lusk St, San Francisco

    • Tour San Francisco by bike as you visit the area's best breweries and beer gardens
    • Stop at off the beaten path locations and enjoy delicious local brews
    • Embrace a perfect combination of exercise and recreation
    • Participate in a cool and unique way to explore the city
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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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    Bridge to Bridge Cruise

    Go under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge on this scenic cruise along picturesque San Francisco Bay. Pass Alcatraz, Treasure Island and AT&T Park, and enjoy views of the city skyline dotted by Coit Tower, the Ferry Building, the Transamerica Pyramid, the Palace of Fine Arts and more. Fascinating audio commentary lets you learn about the construction of these famous bridges, as well as San Francisco’s unique architecture, history, geology and culture.
    Head to Fisherman's Wharf in the afternoon to board your cruise. Then, sit back and relax as your expert captain takes you along picturesque San Francisco Bay.

    Pass Alcatraz Island and soak up views of San Francisco’s stunning skyline, dotted with famous landmarks and attractions including Coit Tower, the Ferry Building, the iconic Transamerica Pyramid and the domed Palace of Fine Arts.

    Have your camera ready as you cruise under the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, where the Pacific spills into San Francisco Bay. You'll get unparalleled views from right underneath the bridge!

    You'll also travel under the colossal Bay Bridge, linking San Francisco with Oakland and the rest of the East Bay. Admire Treasure Island and snap photos of AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.

    Throughout your cruise, audio commentary – available in 16 languages – teaches you interesting facts about how these bridges were built. You'll also learn about San Francisco’s unique architecture, history, geology and culture.

    Your vessel features restrooms and indoor and outdoor seating. You’re free to bring your own lunch on board to enjoy while you take in the sights, and there is also a full bar and snacks available for purchase.
    Bridge to Bridge Cruise

    Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco

    • Travel under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge on a scenic cruise of San Francisco Bay
    • Hear fascinating audio commentary about the construction of these famous and historic bridges
    • Take in spectacular views of Alcatraz, Treasure Island, AT&T Park, and the city skyline
    • Learn about San Francisco’s unique architecture, history, geology and culture
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    Golden Gate Park Segway Tours

    Warning: After this tour, gliding around on a Segway might become your favorite form of transportation. You will have a blast as you glide through the seven beautiful miles of Golden Gate Park’s landscaped trails and roads. Visit hidden sites that include the Lily Pond, Shakespeare Garden and Fern Grotto. The tour explores the east end, including the National Aids Memorial, Music Concourse, Pioneer Grove, and Stow Lake. Listen along to your tour guides as they share tidbits and trivia about the park’s stewards over the years, the impact of WWII on the Japanese Tea Garden, and the story of the park’s historical transformation from bleak sand dunes to today’s lush vista. This is a fully narrated 2.5 hour tour where you will be supplied with radio earbuds so you will not miss a word. Walking is overrated, so come glide along and take in all the sights and sounds the Golden Gate Park has to offer.
    Golden Gate Park Segway Tours

    82 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco

    • Glide through the iconic Golden Gate Park on a Segway
    • Hear stories from your tour guide and experience seven miles of the Golden Gate Park
    • Partake in a brief Segway training and then see The Music Concourse and Temple of Music
    • Ride on your Segway and enjoy not having to walk
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    Napa Valley Wine Train with Gourmet Lunch

    On the morning of your tour, head to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Depending on the day you select, you'll take the ferry (Mon-Fri) or a bus (Sat-Sun) from here to Vallejo, where you'll then board a shuttle and head north to beautiful Napa Valley wine country.

    When you arrive in Napa, hop aboard the famous Napa Valley Wine Train! You'll be directed to your seat and welcomed with a taste of wine. Then, simply sit back and soak in impeccable views of Napa’s stunning vineyards as you travel north to the quaint village of St Helena, passing the towns of Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford along the way.

    When your eyes aren't pasted to the large viewing windows, you’re encouraged to explore this unique train during your journey – you may even visit the kitchen car to watch the chefs prepare your gourmet meal.

    You'll sit in your choice of the first or second seating section, depending on when you’d like to enjoy your lunch (see Schedule & Pricing for details). Choose from a fresh, seasonal menu, and enjoy a delicious meal prepared to your specifications (see Itinerary below for a sample menu). This highly acclaimed restaurant prides itself in using fresh ingredients and sustainable produce, as well as humanely raised meats and line-caught or farmed fish.

    Before or after your meal, head to the lounge car to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine from the bar (own expense) and lounge on the loveseats. Your Napa Valley Wine Train experience will end in the early evening, when you'll board the shuttle for your return trip to Vallejo. You'll then hop on the 5:15pm ferry to return to San Francisco.

    Napa Valley Wine Train with Gourmet Lunch

    1 Sausalito - San Francisco Ferry Bldg, San Francisco

    • Hop aboard the famous Napa Valley Wine Train for an unforgettable dining experience
    • Soak in impeccable views of Napa’s stunning vineyards as you experience its elusive glow
    • Pass through Oakville, Rutherford and Yountville as you travel north to St. Helena
    • Savor a gourmet lunch on the train and see sights of San Francisco from the train’s large viewing windows
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    Napa Valley Wine Country Semi-Private Limo Tour

    Join this semi-private limousine tour of Napa Valley and experience VIP service at an affordable price! Tour wine country in a luxury stretch limousine, enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch (if option selected) from a renowned local restaurant and experience a full day of wine tasting in one of the world’s most famous wine regions. Visits to four boutique wineries are included on this semi-private tour, which operates with a group size of less than 10 people, ensuring personal and intimate service throughout the day. After you’ve visited your first two Napa Valley wineries, your limousine tour continues with a wine country lunch in a hidden-gem location, which may be among vineyards, garden terraces or in a wine cellar, depending on the weather. The delicious and hearty lunches are served family style, allowing everyone to pick and choose from a delicious variety of sandwiches, side salads and desserts. Don't forget to wash down lunch with a glass of Napa Valley wine!

    After lunch, visit two more hand-picked wineries in Napa Valley. This tour is great for first-timers, but is also ideal for the repeat Napa visitor, as it is customizable to your group, and the itinerary changes daily based on your group’s unique dynamic and previous tasting experiences.

    Throughout the tour, you will learn about the local history and geography that makes Napa famous among wine lovers and foodies worldwide. As you travel from winery to winery, take pictures of the valley’s idyllic scenery, unique artwork, beautiful landscaping and charming architecture. If you're staying in San Francisco, this tour offers pickup and drop-off from the Vallejo Ferry Terminal. Ferries depart from San Francisco’s Ferry Building at 8:30am, with a travel time of approximately 1 hour.
    Napa Valley Wine Country Semi-Private Limo Tour

    Napa hotels or Vallejo Ferry Terminal, Napa & Sonoma

    • Tour Napa Valley in a luxury stretch limousine
    • Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch and a full day of wine tasting
    • Discover the Valley’s idyllic scenery, unique artwork, and charming architecture
    • Learn about local history and geography that makes Napa famous among wine lovers worldwide
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    Come Out to the Castro Tour

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    In the late 1960’s, The Castro suddenly became an epicenter of Gay Culture. How? Why? On this tour, you'll learn why! Gain insight from a knowledgeable guide as you delve in the history of the neighborhood and about gay culture in San Francisco, from the Gold Rush to the present. As you wand your way through the streets, you'll visit iconic locations like Josie’s Cabaret, The AIDS Memorial Quilt, The Castro Theater, one of the world’s largest gay flags, and Pink Triangle Park. This isn’t one of those tours where you follow along, eyes glazing over as you try to absorb dry facts and figures. Interactive fun is at the heart of the tour. You'll answer questions, play games, and laugh along the way.
    Come Out to the Castro Tour

    Union Square, San Francisco

    • Explore The Castro, a national hotbed of gay history and culture on an entertaining walking tour
    • Visit iconic sites like Josie’s Bar, The Castro Theater, and The AIDS Memorial Quilt
    • Learn about San Francisco’s gay community from the Gold Rush to today
    • Play fun games and answer trivia questions as you go
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    9 positive reviews

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