5 Things You Didn't Know About Alcatraz

April 20, 2018

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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    Muir Woods and Sausalito Half-Day Tour

    On our Muir Woods and Sausalito tour, you’ll wander through the ancient groves of coastal redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument and walk along the quaint sidewalks of Downtown Sausalito. Muir Woods is an example of an old-growth redwood forest located only about 30 minutes from downtown San Francisco. You will have an hour and a half to roam through this ‘living museum’ where you can get a glimpse of the towering trees that used to dominate the west coast from Santa Barbara to Washington. After exploring Muir Woods you will get a 15-20 minute narrated tour through the beautiful seaside Mediterranean-style town of Sausalito and a chance to explore (approx 45 minutes total) before returning to the city across the Golden Gate Bridge. To complete your San Francisco Bay experience, perhaps you’d like to hop off the vehicle in this lovely town and add on a picturesque ferry ride (must be booked in advance) back to San Francisco!
    Muir Woods and Sausalito Half-Day Tour

    2095 Jerrold Ave., San Francisco

    • Golden Gate Bridge Viewpoints
    • Experience the Muir Woods Giant Redwoods
    • See the beautiful bay views from Sausalito
    • Add an optional ferry ride across the bay!
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    Original Native Tour

    Trying to get to know San Francisco like a local? Leave the guidebooks behind and hit the streets with a native guide during this 3.5-hour walking tour! You'll cover the major neighborhoods of the city, discussing its history and culture along the way. Visit both popular landmarks and hidden secrets, interacting with the community as you go. Tour sizes are kept small, allowing for more personal attention, and a more informal and authentic experience. In addition to covering a half-dozen neighborhoods, you'll also enjoy tastings to help introduce you to the city's diverse food culture. After this tour, you're sure to leave your heart in San Francisco!
    Original Native Tour

    600 Montgomery St, San Francisco

    • Get to know the heart of San Francisco during a 3.5-hour walking tour
    • Visit six different neighborhoods and stop by popular landmarks
    • Enjoy samples of various SF treats as you walk
    • Enjoy a small tour-group size led by a professional guide
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    Daring Divas of the Past Tour

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    From social activists to actresses to literary legends, San Francisco has been home to world-changing women. You'll walk in the footsteps of 10 ladies who left their legacy on the landscape, like Isadora Duncan, Maya Angelou, and Lillie Coit. Starting with the brave pioneer women who worked just as hard as the men, but in corsets, you'll meet the Madonna of the 1800's, learn the difference between SF's working girls and working women, and visit the street where three major divas' lives intersected. On this tour, you'll span both centuries and neighborhoods. Then, work your way through the theater district, Maiden Lane, Chinatown, and North Beach. 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. Learn about San Francisco's amazing history and the tough, talented woman who made it that way.
    Daring Divas of the Past Tour

    Union Square, San Francisco

    • Follow in the footsteps of 10 of San Francisco's most influential women on this entertaining walking tour
    • Discover the amazing histories of local and national legends, like Phyllis Diller, Lillie Coit, and Maya Angelou
    • Tour through four different neighborhoods and play fun games and answer trivia questions
    • An exciting, extensive lesson in San Francisco's past and present
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    9 positive reviews
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    Full Exposure: Complete History of North Beach

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    Discover the complete history of this iconic neighborhood, from its relationship to the Barbary Coast to the birth of the Beatniks, all the way to its current position as a world-famous Little Italy. You'll visit famous sites like "perfect" Washington Square Park, The Condor, home of both topless and bottomless dancing, The Hippodrome, a dance hall from the Barbary Coast era, among many other interesting sites. You will be wowed by the architectural beauty of the only downtown district to survive the Fire of 1906. 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. Learn about firemen fanatics, swindlers, drinkers, poets, gamblers, whiskey, and why it's called North Beach in the first place, since there isn't any beach.
    Full Exposure: Complete History of North Beach

    Union Square, San Francisco

    • Discover the full history of North Beach on an entertaining walking tour
    • Learn the neighborhood's history, from the Barbary Coast era through the Beatniks, as you visit iconic dance halls, bars, and parks
    • Play fun games and answer trivia questions as you go
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    9 positive reviews
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    Original Tour

    Hungry for the real San Francisco? Get to know this eclectic city alongside a local guide and enjoy a bit of its famous cuisine while you're at it! You'll cover several of the city's most vital neighborhoods over the course of 2.5 hours, including the Financial District, North Beach, Chinatown, and Union Square. Laugh and learn with your guide as you hear historical facts, anecdotes, and a unique peek at the city's famously flavorful culture. Stop in at popular local eateries for tasty bites that might include artisanal cheeses and breads, pastries, cured meats, olives, dim sum, and fortune cookies! Some tours just taste better than others.
    Original Tour

    600 Montgomery St, San Francisco

    • Get to know San Francisco during a 2.5-hour guided exploration
    • Visit popular neighborhoods such as North Beach, Chinatown, and Union Square
    • Fuel up with food samples at local artisanal shops and restaurants
    • Learn what makes San Francisco unique with insights into its history and culture
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    Where's the Beach in North Beach?

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    There used to be a beach in North Beach, then a fraudulent financier formed a fantastic, F-shaped fabrication to facilitate fleets and ferries. On this tour, you'll celebrate the pier that became Fisherman's Wharf, and discover the culture and secrets of Little Italy through all things "f": foreigners, film, fiction, and fashion, to name a few. You will travel from Telegraph Hill, where you can see Lombard Street and Alcatraz, to the heart of North Beach, where you'll wander through the home of the Beatniks and world-famous Italian restaurants, seeing beautiful parks, hearing the stories of famous firefighters, and nibbling free fudge. 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. This is a one-of-a-kind way to get an inside look at San Francisco's fun and fascinating history.
    Where's the Beach in North Beach?

    Union Square, San Francisco

    • Explore the amazing neighborhood of North Beach on an entertaining walking tour
    • Learn about the shapely pier that made North Beach what it is today, and visit beautiful parks, world-class Italian restaurants, and birthplace of the Beatniks
    • Play fun games and answer trivia questions as you go
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    9 positive reviews
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    Earn Your Wings (SF)

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    Have you always wanted to feel the thrill of free falling without having to... well, jump out of an airplane?! What if you could feel the adrenaline rush of skydiving MINUS your totally understandable fear of heights? Well, here's your chance! iFLY is an indoor skydiving facility that creates true free fall conditions. You'll float inside iFLY's 1,000 hp vertical wind tunnel -- with absolutely NOTHING attaching you to planet earth. And with the Earn Your Wings package, you'll get the ultimate beginner-level package for a great introduction to indoor skydiving: 2 unforgettable one-minute flights, plus hands-on assistance and a comprehensive training session from your personal flight instructor. You'll even get to take home a personalized flight certificate to show off to your friends. This is one indoor aerial experience you don't want to miss! Note: The total duration of the activity is 2 hours, which includes 1 hour of training. Includes use of all the flight gear. If you have had a prior shoulder dislocation, back, or neck problems or if you are pregnant, you should not fly. Those less than 6 feet tall must weigh less than 230 pounds, and those over 6 feet must weigh less than 250 pounds. Flyers can be as young as 3 years of age; there is no upper age limit. Participants under 18 years must have parent or legal guardian present to sign Release of Liability.
    Earn Your Wings (SF)

    31310 Alvarado-Niles Rd, Union City

    • Experience the adrenaline rush of skydiving without having to jump out of an airplane
    • Benefit from the ultimate beginner's package, with everything you need to have a great first flight
    • Feel safe and prepared with hands-on assistance from your personal flight instructor
    • Channel your inner super hero as you float in iFLY San Francisco's 1,000 hp vertical wind tunnel
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    8 positive reviews
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    Total Yosemite Experience from San Jose

    Explore more! The Yosemite National Park tour from San Jose is an experience that will leave a memorable impression for people of all ages. Join vasty knowledgeable Expedition Leaders on a day-long trip through the Yosemite Valley, where you will be learn about the geology, history, and wildlife that make this National Park one of North America’s most awesome sights to behold. You will even get to touch a living fossil! The Giant Sequoias of Tuolumne Grove have inhabited the park for millions of years, along with many other colossal granite cliffs. This day tour will leave from the Fairmont Hotel San Jose and depart east through California’s lush Central Valley, into the precipitous Sierra Nevada mountain range. Grab your camera and hop on board for this unforgettable Yosemite experience! During your tour, you will also be able to enjoy free wifi available on your bus or van!
    Total Yosemite Experience from San Jose

    928 Harrison Street , San Francisco

    • Explore the breathtaking beauty of Yosemite National Park
    • Experience the serenity of Tuolumne Grove’s giant sequoias
    • Join Expedition Leaders as they inform you of the rich geology, history, and wildlife that make Yosemite unique
    • Embark on a memorable and exciting journey for people of all ages!
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    Teas, Temples, and Beatniks

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    Experience San Francisco's diversity firsthand as you explore two very different but equally exciting neighborhoods. You'll experience a true fusion of East and West, where one of the largest and oldest Chinese communities outside of Asia butts right up against the birthplace of the beret-loving Beat Generation. Starting in Chinatown, you will learn about the Chinese community's role in the Gold Rush and train building boom, and stop for a bite of traditional mooncake pastries. From there, it's off to the oldest Chinese temple in America, where you can have your fortune read, and then on to a sampling of fresh fortune cookies and an in-depth tea tasting. Just a few steps north, you'll enter North Beach, home of Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg's favorite hangouts. You will check out the City Lights Bookstore, which still publishes San Francisco's great local poets. You'll wander through picturesque side streets as you explore Little Italy, past adorable shops and cafes. Embrace a deliciously fascinating transcontinental experience, without ever leaving the city.
    Teas, Temples, and Beatniks

    Grant Ave & Bush St, San Francisco

    • Explore the adjacent but wildly different neighborhoods of Chinatown and North Beach
    • Learn the history of SF's Chinese community as you visit the country's oldest temple, and see the areas Kerouac and Ginsberg once roamed
    • Savor traditional Chinese pastries and teas
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    3 positive reviews
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    Bridge and the Beach

    (5)
    Experience the stunning beauty of San Francisco, where awe-inspiring architecture and natural wonders combine. On this tour, you'll start at the majestic, iconic Golden Gate Bridge. From there, you will take a leisurely stroll up the coastline, past sandy beaches and the ruins of the Santro baths. Check out fancy neighborhoods, discover cliffs and secret hiking trails, and snap photos of the diverse sea animals and plant life that make San Francisco so unique. And just in case things weren't gorgeous enough for you already, you'll wrap up the tour by watching the sun set over the Pacific.
    Bridge and the Beach

    Merchant Rd At Vista Acc, San Francisco

    • Take a walking tour of San Francisco's stunning mix of architecture and nature
    • Stroll from the Golden Gate Bridge up past cliffs, beaches, and the Santro Baths
    • Learn about San Francisco's history and its stunningly unique flora and fauna
    • Snap photos of everything from upscale neighborhoods to hidden hiking trails
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    5 positive reviews

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