This is "The Rock." Out in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, the island of Alcatraz is a world unto itself. Isolation, one of the constants of island life for any inhabitant—soldier, guard, prisoner, Indian, bird or plant—is a recurrent theme in the unfolding history of Alcatraz.
Alcatraz Island is one of Golden Gate National Recreation Area's most popular destinations, offering a close-up look at a historic and infamous federal prison long off-limits to the public. Visitors to the island cannot only explore the remnants of the prison, but can also learn about the Indian occupation of 1969 - 1971, early military fortifications (the first U.S. fort on the coast), and the West Coast's first (and oldest operating) lighthouse. These structures and the island's many natural features—gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare—are being preserved by the National Park Service, which is working to make it accessible to visitors, preserve its buildings, protect its birds and other wildlife, and interpret its history.
Blue & Gold Fleet ferry: 415.705.5555