Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, CaliforniaVacationers who reserve a spacious guestroom at our downtown San Francisco hotel will have no reservations about our location. We’re within two miles of Alcatraz Island, one of the city’s most popular attractions. The Rock, as it’s informally known, is accessed by ferries that depart daily from Pier 33 at Fisherman’s Wharf. Be sure to book your trip in advance, especially during the warmer months as the tours can sell out. Also, bring a light jacket for the ferry ride to the island.
San Francisco, California Hotel near Alcatraz Island -Delight in first-class lodging at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District. Having recently undergone an extremely luxurious makeover, our full-service downtown hotel awaits your arrival with spacious guestrooms and suites, the ultimate in hospitality, and premium amenities. A top-of-the-line location makes it easy to access top San Francisco attractions such as Alcatraz Island.
History of Alcatraz Island -A tiny island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz originally was the home of the West Coast’s first lighthouse. In time, it turned into a military fortification and then a military prison. Alcatraz functioned as a federal prison until 1963. This historic site, which was designated as a landmark in 1976, is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Tours are available on a daily basis.
Alcatraz Island Attractions -In addition to the prison and lighthouse, Alcatraz is where you’ll discover unique flowers and plants, marine animals, and innumerable sea birds. Civil War-era buildings also abound and provide insight into what the island was like back in the day. Also interesting are the remnants of the American Indian Occupation from 1969, which was a first step in the American Indian rights movement.
Alcatraz Island’s Naming -Juan Manuel de Ayala discovered the island in 1775. He named it "La Isla de los Alcatraces," which translates as "The Island of the Pelicans." Alcatraces is an archaic form of the Spanish word Alcatraz meaning pelican. It originally came from an Arabic word that translates to sea eagle.
Famous Inmates at Alcatraz -Many famous and infamous criminals spent time on Alcatraz. Among them are Robert Stroud (aka the “Birdman of Alcatraz), Al Capone, who managed to continue running his “business” from behind bars after bribing some of the guards, and George “Machine Gun” Kelly who apparently made a name for himself by bragging about murders and robberies that he had nothing to do with.
For more information on Alcatraz Island, visit http://www.nps.gov/alcatraz/