on August 15, 2006
If you go to San Francisco, you have got to go to Alcatraz. If you are there in the summer, get your tickets early and go to Alcatraz After Dark. For about $25 per person, you can get a truly unique experience.During the summer months, the Blue and Gold Fleet offer evening tours of Alcatraz. You can buy both day tour and evening tour tickets at www.blueandgoldfleet.com. My group went out on the first evening tour and returned on the last boat of the evening. If you choose to do this activity I would suggest that you do the same. By going on the early evening tour you can listen to your audio tour and then have time to participate in some of the specially scheduled evening activities. These activities are really neat because they are not offered during the day visits and involve small groups. My group and I got to go on the hospital tour. This part of the prison is usually closed during the day hours and only 20 people per evening get to take this tour. The hospital tour was really interesting. You get to see the Birdman of Alcatraz's cell, the operating room, and the hydrotherapy room. You even get to see where some of the movie, The Rock, was filmed. It was also really cool to get to participate in going on such a small, intimate tour.All the guides at Alcatraz were phenomenal. They each were interesting and told us about the history of the island. The audio tour was exceptional as well. It is composed of voices of former prisoners and prison guards. They discuss the escape that occurred along with highlighting locations like "Broadway" and "Time Square" within the prison. On the tour you get to see Al Capone's cell as well as Machinegun Kelly's cell. As you listen to the audio you can't help but imagine what it was like on the island. The other thought you are struck with is how hard it must have been to be behind bars and look out on such beautiful sights. The views from Alcatraz are truly unbelievable, especially around sundown and after dark.If you get the chance to do the Alcatraz After Dark tour, don’t turn it down. It was something that I booked almost a month ahead and I am really glad that I did. The extra cost is nothing compared to what you gain by the experience.
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