Alcatraz Island was such a great experience. A very well done museum that is great for people of all ages. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was impressed at all the history I learned at this national monument.
I greatly encourage buying your tickets online a couple weeks in advance. They sell out fast. The tours start as early as 8:45 am for the Early Bird Tour and the Day Tours leave at 9:10 and go about every 30 minutes.
Ticket prices are $35.50 for adults, $21.50 for children 5-11, and toddlers 4 and under are FREE. The night tour does costs more at $42.50 for adults and $25.25 for children and is scheduled to leave at 3:50. There are also behind the scenes tours that start at $81.50.
You can take the tour however fast or long you want. We were there about 4 hours. Go see Alcatraz first thing in your day, especially if you have other things you want to do during the day while visiting San Fransisco. Most places don’t open this early and that way you can get a good start on your day.
Your tour time is the time your ferry departs to take you to the island you should be in line waiting to get on 30 minutes before if you are paranoid like me so you don’t miss the boat. Once you make it to the island you can stay as long as you like. Ferry’s arrive to return every 30 minutes.
You start your tour at the docks and have to climb a pretty steep hill to get up to the jail. There you get your headsets and can begin the tour. I loved this about the museum. Since we have small children we usually stay far away from museums. Our children end up ruining the experience for everyone but at Alcatraz we could listen to the audio tour on the headsets and follow all the directions through the jail and around the island while our kids enjoyed exploring close by. We could turn up the volume or pause it if we needed to. A lot of people go just to see the jail but the views of San Fransisco are incredible and there are such beautiful gardens there as well. This is a really great historical place a favorite of mine and one you don’t want to miss while visiting San Fransisco.