Alcatraz: America's Most Notorious Prison

With the exception of the Golden Gate Bridge, no San Francisco landmark is as famous (or infamous) as Alcatraz Island, a name that has become synonymous with maximum security. When the prison on Alcatraz Island opened in 1934, it housed 137 of America’s toughest, most notorious inmates. And with only about a mile of water separating the island prison from freedom’s shore, the men incarcerated there obsessed over the prospect of that short swim. But the chilling waves and bone-breaking currents were too much for even the most athletic of swimmers to endure. Opt for the audio tour on your visit, and you’ll be treated to a fully immersive experience as flatware clinks against the dishes in the mess hall and gunshots herald the ill-fated escape attempts of foolhardy inmates. You’ll also learn about the only prisoners to ever successfully breakout of “the Rock.”

Address: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA 94133

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