7 Things To Know About Alcatraz Night Tour

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Alcatraz Night Tour

Many of us remember watching Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood star in the 1979 movie Escape from Alcatraz or what about the scene from The Rock when a young Nicholas Cage tries to convince Sean Connery to help with a hostage situation taking place on Alcatraz Island? These are the cinematic scenes showing San Francisco and Alcatraz as the island that rises up from the Pacific Ocean. Have you ever taken an Alcatraz night tour? In no particular order, here are 7 things to know about Alcatraz Night Tour in San Francisco.

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The ferry ride is included in the Alcatraz Night Tour & offers fantastic views of San Francisco. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

7 Things to Know About Alcatraz Night Tour

  • Best sunset water view An Alcatraz night tour offers one of the best sunsets over San Francisco Bay with a national park as your focal point.
  • Best San Francisco ferry ride  Other than a San Francisco Bay Cruise, Alcatraz Cruises offers one of the best values for your dollar as a tourist destination.
  • Self guided Cellhouse audio tour in multiple languages The Alcatraz Night Tour is one of the most popular tours in San Francisco. Alcatraz tours sell out months in advance. Buy your Alcatraz Night Tour tickets online, in advance.
  • No one is left behind on the Alcatraz Night Tour It’s nearly impossible to be left behind on Alcatraz Island. Surrounded by the San Francisco Bay, the island is 47 acres, but don’t try and hide. While it is a popular destination for San Francisco locals guests are not allowed to spend the night on The Rock. To that point, the San Francisco Police Department will arrest you for trespassing in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area if you accidentally miss the last ferry back to SF.
  • Docent guided tours and talks Did you know that Alcatraz Island, a former United States Penitentiary, is now a national park? A ranger-led walk up the hill will drop you at the Cellhouse. Some Alcatraz Night Tour talks are adult-themed, while others discuss pre-Civil war history and family life on the rock.
  • Alcatraz is accessible to persons with mobility issues While roads and walkways on Alcatraz are steep, the national park offers Sustainable Easy Access Transport (SEAT)
  • Alcatraz Night Tour VIP experience Only a few hundred visitors are allowed on the Alcatraz Night Tour. The cost of an adult ticket on my visit was $45. Junior, senior and child tickets are less expensive.
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Alcatraz Island Lighthouse and buildings. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Need to know for Alcatraz Night Tour

Wear layers, including a wind breaker and comfortable walking shoes. You’ll be walking, at your own pace, inside and outside of the penitentiary. It’s really cold in the exercise yard, dress appropriately. Your tour will end in the Alcatraz National Park Service gift shop, just like Disneyland. In case you are wondering, I’m not comparing Alcatraz Island to the happiest place on earth, but they do have some cool souvenirs at both tourist attractions.
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Alcatraz Federal Prison photo © Nancy D. Brown

Insider Tip: Did you know that there were 6 solitary confinement cells in D-block? Cell rooms in D-block were slightly larger than the standard 5 feet by 9 feet in B and C block. While more spacious, no one preferred the solitary confinement cells. For additional insider tips follow Northern California Travel Writer @Nancydbrown on Instagram and Twitter.

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Step inside the United States Penitentiary. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

If You Go on an Alcatraz Night Tour
Alcatraz Cruises (415) 981-7625

Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing

San Francisco, California 94111

7 Things to Know About Alcatraz Night Tour review and all photos by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. All opinions are my own.