31 San Francisco Pier 33 - Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA 94124, USA
If you’ve never been to Alcatraz, the notorious prison in operation from 1934 to 1963 that housed infamous criminals like Al Capone and “Machine-Gun” Kelley, now is a good time to go. A multi-million renovation includes a new entrance that allows visitors to enter the same way convicts once did and to visit the gardens that inmates and guards once tended, their cell houses and showers, and a new museum store. The audio tour narrated by former inmates and prison guards will give you an eerie perspective on life in this grim high-security prison. To steer clear of crowds, take the first tour of the day or opt for an early-evening tour (great views of the city skyline and sunset are a bonus). If you think the place is spooky by day, wait till you see it after dark. Reserve one week in advance during peak season, from April through October.
Written by Noelle Salmi