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Old 07-02-2012, 02:10 PM   #1
Tonyspad
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Alcatraz

We are headed back to the west coast and will be stopping in SF for two nights before heading to DL. I want to take everyone to Alcatraz and was wondering what the procedure is to visit the island.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:16 PM   #2
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Your best bet is to buy tickets in advance, as they can quickly sell out.

http://www.alcatrazcruises.com/

The tours leave from Pier 33.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:26 AM   #3
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Definitely purchase online in advance.

Just a note, I highly recommend not eating in the immediate area of that Pier. Walk up to the Ferry Building on Pier 1 for fantastic food. (There's no food on The Rock.)
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:35 AM   #4
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How much time would you allow? Our boys are 15.5 & 12.

We'll be arriving at SFO late the night before and our airport hotel (Embassy Suites) offers a free trolley to pier 39. Is it walkable from there? I'm considering holding off renting a car until we head off to Yosemite.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:34 AM   #5
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It takes a couple hours to complete the tour. They provide you with a headset and you listen to a pre-recorded tour as you walk through. Some points you may want to pause and take pictures or look further.

It is a bit of a walk from Pier 39 but certainly doable. Just plan extra time for your walk. Perhaps about 15 minutes.

Please make sure to bring warm clothing. It is rarely warm on The Rock, although my last two visits were quite pleasant. I had warned my guests about the weather only to have it be sunshiny and warm. that's what I love about San Francisco. It's predictably unpredictable.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:13 AM   #6
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Thank you! We'll be going mid Sept so how warmly should we dress? Long pants & sweatshirts? hats & gloves?
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:02 PM   #7
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we definately enjoyed the night tour of Alcatraz . . . an added element of eerines and a great view of the city lights. Definately wait until you are ready to leave the city to pick up your rental car - parking is a beast.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:00 PM   #8
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Our hotel offers parking but it's $17/nt. I don't mind paying it if we were really using our car but why pay for a rental + parking fees to have it sit in the lot for 2 days?

Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:49 PM   #9
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Oh, great timing! September is a wonderful month to visit.

I would bring sweatshirts with hoods, just in case. You are coming at the best time so hopefully the weather will be beautiful.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by tiffjoy View Post
Oh, great timing! September is a wonderful month to visit.

I would bring sweatshirts with hoods, just in case. You are coming at the best time so hopefully the weather will be beautiful.
Thanks!
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:40 AM   #11
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Just make sure that you do bring warm clothes with you. The weather even in September can get downright cold though it should be nice. But it can vary depending in where you are in the city as well.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:32 AM   #12
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I remember the tour taking about 3 hours. You can do it however you want since it's at your own pace but definitely get the audio tour.

September is one of our nicest months, but it is true, very unpredictable. Dress in layers. Almost no one wears shorts. Ever. It would be a rare day that it;s warm enough, but even then I would be afraid it would turn cold quickly!! And it is always chilly on the water.

I would leave plenty of time to get there on their shuttle....

Enjoy!!
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPT Tripss View Post
we definately enjoyed the night tour of Alcatraz . . . an added element of eerines and a great view of the city lights. Definately wait until you are ready to leave the city to pick up your rental car - parking is a beast.
That sounds pretty cool!
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2 View Post
How much time would you allow? Our boys are 15.5 & 12.

We'll be arriving at SFO late the night before and our airport hotel (Embassy Suites) offers a free trolley to pier 39. Is it walkable from there? I'm considering holding off renting a car until we head off to Yosemite.
Very walkable from Pier 39. Get a morning tour and have lunch back in SF. We liked the Buena Vista which is not too far a walk from the pier you come back to on the ferry. We have never needed a car on our trips to SF. Between Public Transit, On/Off Tour buses and Cabs we have gotten where we needed to go.
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