Alcatraz was so neat! I am not a huge history buff or even one for enjoying overly touristy things, but this was COOL! It was as touristy and history filled as you wanted it to be, which I appreciated. We took a boat out to the tiny island and upon getting off the boat we could do whatever we wanted. We had four hours of time on the island, of which we could take a boat back at any time. Time on the island could be spent following a tour guide, doing an audio tour only in the prison, following a pamphlet walking tour, or just wandering around on your own.
Andy and I decided to skip the tour guide and do our own thing. We were pretty excited to see the inside of the prison so we went straight up to the top of the island where the prison sat. There, we did an audio tour which guided us through the prison telling us stories and bits of history. It was VERY interesting, I loved it! I wish I could remember all the cool facts that were given, but alas I cannot. You will just have to experience the audio tour for yourself.
(Inside an Alcatraz cell)
(This picture is an interesting contrast of beautiful gardens and the prison in the background.)
(Not sure exactly what this was, but it doesn't look like fun.)
(Checking out prison cells on the audio tour.)
(The outdoor area where prisoners could exercise and/or play games. It looks sunny, but was windy and freezing cold!!)
(Solitary confinement. They shut us in there for 5-minutes, it was blackout with no sound. Kind of crazy.)
(A view of San Francisco from Alcatraz.)
(Beautiful gardens with exotic birds roaming them.)
(Unfortunately Alcatraz is falling apart. Most of the island is in ruins.)
*If you decide to check out Alcatraz for yourself dress WARM. It was windy and freezing cold on the island. We were warm enough, but left early due to having the chills.*