Alcatraz Island lies in the middle of San Francisco Bay, just a short distance off the coast from San Francisco, California. The island was built with facilities for an army fortification, lighthouse, a navy prison, a federal prison, and a quarantine from 1933 until 21 September 1963. It is famous for being the home of the infamous Alcatraz bank which was established in 1931 and its current name is in reference to the place where the notorious prisoners of Alcatraz were housed. The island was taken over by the US government after the World War II and during the height of the Cold War, with the hopes of using it as a testing ground for biological weapons and weaponry. However, after this period, the facility was turned over to the ownership of San Fransisco and is now a popular tourist destination.
There are many things you can do on Alcatraz Island during your visit. One of the most popular attractions is the Statue of Liberty. The statue is facing towards the harbor and has four marble columns surrounding it which were made in America in June 1874 by immigrants that came to Ellis Island, New York from Germany. This is one of the oldest American monuments and is the perfect place to take photographs of the San Fransisco skyline, while getting a panoramic view of the entire city.
Another attraction is the Alcatraz Hotel. You will be staying on the second floor with its own terrace. This offers a great view of the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Presidio Park area.
When you are done with your tour, you have some other options to choose from. You may want to just walk around the island. You will find beautiful brown and gold moss covered stone paths all over the island. Alcatraz’s harbor is very well protected with life guards on duty seven days a week. However, if you have not been to the island before, you may want to hire a boat from the tour boats to take you around.
You may also want to go on the island shopping. Many local merchants have shops on Alcatraz. The most popular are the Oriental Trading Post and the Oriental Food & Wine Market. These shops offer antiques, clothing and souvenirs. If you do not want to shop, there are many cafes, restaurants and pubs on the island.
Alcatraz Island is a great destination for any kind of vacation. It does not matter if you want to spend three days relaxing by the pool or enjoying an adventurous tour around the island. With the right planning, you can make your trip a memorable one.