Its life as one of the most legendary prisons ever came to an end in 1963, but the ghosts of infamous gangsters like Al Capone and Robert "Birdman" Stroud live on at Alcatraz, one of the city's most-visited attractions. The short ferry ride to the island departs several times throughout the day from Pier 33 in Fisherman's Wharf. For those who don't spook easily, see how you hold up during a night tour. (Reservations are highly recommended for all tours.) The Rock's storied and fascinating history comes to life while listening to the stellar audio tour and roaming the cellblock and cafeteria, seemingly frozen in time. Outside the buildings, colorful gardens provide a bright contrast to the somber prison structure. The grounds have also become home to rare plant-life and sea birds. Although it is little known, Alcatraz's pre-prison history is quite interesting, as well. Just a few tidbits: It was home to the first American lighthouse on the West Coast and served as a major defense fort during Civil War days.
Attractions & Landmarks, Tours