Wanderlust: Alcatraz

Cutting back to my time on the west coast – we finally made our way to San Francisco. I have family that lives in the city and I love coming to visit a city that is wholly different from my own town of Philadelphia. When Emily and I visited, we wanted to make sure we saw places she’d never seen before. Well, after forcing her to watch The Rock (which she loved), I told her we had to see Alcatraz.

The Rock is a tourist attraction?!

People who have never visited San Francisco may not be aware that Alcatraz is a National Park. Not only that, but it’s chock full of history beyond being one of the world’s most famous prisons. It was once a battle fort (during the Civil War), then became a military prison, and then a penitentiary, and then once the prison closed it was a site of protest for Native Americans.

And on the cold, wet day Emily and I visited we could tell why none of these ever stuck for long. It’s a lonely, inhospitable island off the coast of San Francisco. But it’s rich with history.

When you go, I highly recommend the free with admission audio tour. It’s a great guide with tales from actual past-prisoners and guards. And don’t just view the prison building, walk around and see the landscape and you’ll quickly remember why this is a National Park.


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Have you ever been to Alcatraz? Tell us your favorite part!

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