Going to Alcatraz (and Angel Island as part of the same tour) was the most touristy thing I did when I was in San Francisco. And I definitely do not regret it. I think Alcatraz is a must see and I’ve always wanted to go there, so I was very happy when I got the tickets at the last minute. Because Alcatraz is so popular, especially during the summer tourist season, tickets are sold insanely fast and you need to buy them 3-4 weeks in advance.
We were free to walk around Alcatraz and explore it, unless the area was closed off. Some buildings were like that and they didn’t look safe to walk in anyway, so I wasn’t upset by that. Rok and I visited right in the middle of the seagulls mating season, so that was quite entertaining, haha. I was really fascinated actually, there were so many of them on the island, and they were loud! Of course I took a million pics of them, and looking back now I can’t help but feel a little silly for photographing one and the same seagull a bazillion times. I felt bad for them though, as it was extremely windy and some of them had trouble flying.
The views from the island were really great, and the island itself is pretty. They have beautiful flower gardens there.
If you ever get the chance to visit, I strongly suggest you purchase your tickets from the official sellers – Alcatraz Cruises And if you want to know more about the gardens, you can read about them here. They also have a great blog, documenting their work.