Alcatraz Day/Night tour? Or not at all.

(23 Posts)
rubyrubyruby Fri 22-Feb-13 09:14:46

We have finally finished booking our trip so I'm now researching 'things to do'.

Is this trip worth doing? Or is it expensive for what it is?

Thanks

newpup Fri 22-Feb-13 09:28:15

We are off to San Fran in July. I am looking into booking things too! My Dh went to SF on a business trip and went to Alcatraz on his last day, he loved it. We will definately go as he raved about it. Will be interested to hear what others say too. What else have you planned?

rubyrubyruby Fri 22-Feb-13 09:50:35

Hi newpup.
My DH has been a few times but never done Alcatraz.
He went out to Sonoma instead and tasted wine as I would have done grin
We are there in July too!

Hopefully someone will be along to advise us.

specialsubject Fri 22-Feb-13 10:53:52

day for great views, and definitely go. Very interesting and atmospheric, and you'll learn a lot.

rubyrubyruby Fri 22-Feb-13 12:09:50

Ok - 1 yes then.

We are cycling across the GGB to Sausalito and getting the ferry back anyway so that why I was wondering if doing thE night tour may be better.

bluesky Fri 22-Feb-13 18:17:52

Yes definitely go, book the first ferry out in the morning though, that's my best tip, then you are first on the island, no crowds there.

You get a headset, and it's really interesting, not dull at all, my two listened to it, didn't skip any. The stories are amazing, and you can go inside some of the cells. You can then step outside and see San Fran across the water, and if you're lucky and have no fog, you can get some great photos.

There is a shop, there was also a photography exhibition when we were there in the summer, my brain can't remember if there was a coffee shop, prob not.

I'm really pleased we went. It was something we all enjoyed.

Only get tickets from the actual website, lots of scams about. Think they open up bookings 3months in advance, they sell very quickly, be warned especially for summer hols.

The cycle over the bridge was good, but it's longer than you think! Think it's a mile with the cars blasting past you. I was freaked when a guy on a unicycle whizzed past me, it was really gusty too, one gust and a pebble under his tyre and he'd have been over the edge!!

Sausalito lovely, nice places to stop for a drink etc, really easy to get the ferry back, bikes in the bottom of the ferry and then you go on top to take yet more photos.

The cycle from SF to the bridge was good too, it was a Sunday, and everyone around was just being so active, jogging, swimming, sailing, cycling! It had a really nice feel.

Came on to say definitely worth a visit but also to suggest first trip of the day.

homework Sat 23-Feb-13 11:33:46

We did the first night tour and loved it , very interesting , the fog rolled in , made for some interesting photo , as this was happening , gave you a feel of how damp and dismissal the place was . Expensive yes but a very interesting experiences as give detail of various things it was used for over the years not just a prison. Go don't think you'll be disappointed. No cafe but there is a shop .

Alibobster Mon 25-Feb-13 21:13:23

Definitely go its a fantastic trip. I went during the day, would have been shit scared to do the night visit! Agree with bluesky about booking beforehand and going on first ferry. We had coffee and pretzels on the boat on the way over and a beeron the way back smile been to SF three times and absolutely love it. Have a great trip

GettingObsessive Mon 25-Feb-13 21:18:55

Another one recommending booking in advance ad an early ferry here. We loved Alcatraz and had wonderful weather but imagine it would be good in all weathers.

I'm so jealous - we loved SF!

clam Mon 25-Feb-13 21:20:05

Definitely worth a trip. We went last August - take warm clothing! It's chuffin' freezing when the wind gets up or if the fog's rolled in.

BOOK IN ADVANCE online well ahead. I happened to do so just under 3 weeks beforehand and got the last available trip. They might keep more back for people who turn up in person to buy at the booths, but when we arrived for our trip, a billboard stated that no more tickets were available for 8 days. Tourist information websites will advise you to book in advance, but only by a couple of days. Get ahead of the game.

CocoNutter Mon 25-Feb-13 21:25:19

What bluesky said smile I've been twice - once in sunshine, once in freezing cold fog - and it's one of the most interesting places I've been. Even my goldfish attention spanned DH loved it wink

Eat clam chowder. Go to the Cheesecake Factory at Macy's (busy but fun sitting on the balcony!). Visit Sonoma. And if you can manage it, go to Yosemite for a couple of days because it is breathtakingly beautiful!

Gooseysgirl Mon 25-Feb-13 21:28:29

Definitely wouldn't miss it (I've been twice!), but like others have said make sure you book in advance... You can always spot the tourists in San Fran... They're the ones wearing the San Fran fleeces because its bloody cold when the sun goes in!!

rubyrubyruby Mon 25-Feb-13 22:19:10

Thanks all - I just need to convince DH now.

I have been advised about the layers of clothing and need to convince DH of that too as he has only been in May and September.

Not doing Sonoma as we are heading South but have a couple of days in Yosemite first.

RedNats5 Tue 26-Feb-13 09:19:09

Glad toy got it all finalised. So what itinerary did you decide on in the end?

We really want to go to Alcatraz but think out kids are too young. We may all get the ferry over and dh and son can take the tour.

RedNats5 Tue 26-Feb-13 09:20:03

Sorry dam auto correct meant glad you got it finalised

rubyrubyruby Tue 26-Feb-13 12:57:59

Hi Rednatz

Yes! All finalised, booked and most of it paid for smile

New York
San Francisco
Yosemite
Big Sur
Pismo Beach
Santa Barbara
Palm Springs
Las Vegas

Just planning our days now.

Yours is all done too isn't it?

RedNats5 Tue 26-Feb-13 13:25:10

Wow what a plan. Sounds awesome.
Yes we are
San Fran
Yosemite
Monterey
Pismo beach
Santa Monica
Anaheim
Huntington Beach

Did you sort Yosemite accommodation in the end?

rubyrubyruby Tue 26-Feb-13 13:33:33

Yes - I booked (but can cancel up until the day) the Beet Western Yosemite Gareway Inn at Oakhurst. Its cheap, has good reviews and large family rooms.

Our Big Sur accommodation is between Monterey and Big Sur so we can back track to Monterey/Carmel too.

rubyrubyruby Tue 26-Feb-13 13:34:44

I may see you around wink grin

We might need an MN sign in California in July! Or a meet up! We are going too.

Itinerary:

Fly into Las Vegas - stay one night
Two nights death valley
One night sequoia
One night Yosemite
3 days in SF
One night Monterey
Next few days still in planning stage
Then weekend in Simi Valley in LA with relatives
Few days still in planning - poss San Diego
Then Grand Canyon
back to Vegas for two nights before flying home.

Will be booking Alcatraz. Thanks for tips about advance booking and booking first trip. Useful to know!

rubyrubyruby Tue 26-Feb-13 14:24:58

grin
there does seem to be lots of us going!

bluesky Wed 27-Feb-13 11:44:51

Ciderwithbuda, a death valley tip, when its dark drive out to zabriskies point, and just look at the stars, they are amazing, there is no light pollution so they are so sparkly. Where are you staing in death valley? We loved dv, amazing place, it was like being on another planet or dr who set, but it was mega hot in august, you could hardly touch the windscreen inside the car, it was so hot!

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