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Alcatraz ... day or night?

by schl301 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 6:39 AM

Again, opinions please. I keep reading that Alcatraz is better at night but yet personally I would think the ride over would be more fun during the day. What makes this so special at night? Thanks!

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  • xymmot's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by xymmot Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 6:43 AM

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by riorich55 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    I finally got to see Alcatraz on our last trip. We went on the night (actually leaves before sunset and arrives back in SF after dark) tour.

    We took it because you will get more individualized mini-tours once you are on the island, a demonstration of locking the cell gates and the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge in particular made it a great memory for us. Plus seeing the city with all its lights on after dark was also cool.

    By the way buy tickets in advance. We bought our a month ahead this time, as I've been shut out before even trying to buy ahead of time. You will stand in line and have your picture taken in front of a fake Alcatraz background before you board the ship. You don't have to do this. They want to sell you these pictures for $22 after your trip. I suggest giving your camera to a fellow ship mate and have them take your picture before the "real thing."

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  • xymmot's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by xymmot Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    what is wrong with this site. I answer three times alreaDY and it picked up my writing only once, my picture only....I am tired of losing all my writing on this topic.....so I will stop in detail....

    cheers tommy x

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  • xymmot's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by xymmot Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 6:56 AM

    It is crazy, but people go at night as a sunset over the bay. The prison is a tourist trap no doubt and you see cell blocks and toilet. I did post a few, but my work keeps on disappearing on this forum.

    cheers tommy x picture must be enlarge to read...that man is one of the last men to leave Alcatraz prison.

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  • Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by schl301 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 6:59 AM

    oh boy, well thanks for trying

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by riorich55 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 7:02 AM

    I will disagree with Tommy on this one. We really enjoyed the tour. Yes the inside is very old and musty, but you will also get to listen to an audio put together by former prison guards and inmates that will help the tour come alive for you. And also those additional Park Ranger talks will give you a little bit more background.

    Here is my review with some pictures.

    "Finally Got to Go" - Alcatraz Tip by riorich55

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  • Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by schl301 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    hmmm, the sunset may help me make my decision as to going at night. Ya, I don't doubt that it is a tourist trap but what isn't when on vacation. thanks!

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by riorich55 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    schl301 wrote:
    hmmm, the sunset may help me make my decision as to going at night. Ya, I don't doubt that it is a tourist trap but what isn't when on vacation. thanks!

    Just don't buy those pictures they will try and sell you in front of the Alcatraz background! 

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  • xymmot's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by xymmot Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Alcatraz is a National Park now, and you get to go on a island that is self sustain. I will try to up load pictures that you will see

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  • by schl301 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    I'm debating on buying tickets to Muir woods and Alcatraz from that website you sent. We are going to Monterey for 3 days and Napa for 1 then heading to San Fran . We will turn our car in when we get to San Fran but will have it until the evening that we arrive so I cant decide if we should go from Napa to Muir woods before we turn the car in or if we should just buy the bus ticket. What do you think?

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  • Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by schl301 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    nooo, I won't buy the pictures. I will just have someone use my own camera.

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  • Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by schl301 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    xymmot wrote:
    Alcatraz is a National Park now, and you get to go on a island that is self sustain. I will try to up load pictures that you will see      Great, please do!

     

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by riorich55 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    schl301 wrote:
    I'm debating on buying tickets to Muir woods and Alcatraz from that website you sent. We are going to Monterey for 3 days and Napa for 1 then heading to San Fran . We will turn our car in when we get to San Fran but will have it until the evening that we arrive so I cant decide if we should go from Napa to Muir woods before we turn the car in or if we should just buy the bus ticket. What do you think?

    We went to Muir Woods on a trip back in 1994, but at that time I had met a business associate and his wife and they had a car.  Muir Woods is not that far out of town, so a bus trip might not be a bad idea, I just haven't gone that route myself.  Another suggestion for you would be to take a boat ride from San Francisco over to Sausalito.  Have lunch or dinner over there and ride back.  I don't know how much time in San Francisco you have, but I did that on my very first trip back in 1985 with another co-worker and enjoyed it.  You do ride past Alcatraz and see the lights of the city if you come back at night. 

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  • by schl301 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    good idea! so much to do in 4 days!!

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  • Andraf's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by Andraf Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    You don't need to buy tickets to Muir Woods in advance, I've been there maybe 20 times, there are never any lines. Alcatraz I would definitely book in advance. I went to Alcatraz on a day tour and found it an interesting tour, but since I haven't been on the night tour as well I can't compare

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by riorich55 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    Andraf wrote:
    You don't need to buy tickets to Muir Woods in advance, I've been there maybe 20 times, there are never any lines. Alcatraz I would definitely book in advance. I went to Alcatraz on a day tour and found it an interesting tour, but since I haven't been on the night tour as well I can't compare

    Tickets and Muir Woods???  I don't remember having to buy any tickets for Muir Woods! 

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  • Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by schl301 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Andraf wrote:
    You don't need to buy tickets to Muir Woods in advance, I've been there maybe 20 times, there are never any lines. Alcatraz I would definitely book in advance. I went to Alcatraz on a day tour and found it an interesting tour, but since I haven't been on the night tour as well I can't compare

     Its a bus ride to Muir and then transportation and admission to Alcatraz.  I don't think in that package the night tour is an option.  I have to check more closely . If we choose to we may just drive to Muir Woods, on our way back from Napa, before we turn the car in.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by Dabs Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    Driving to Muir Woods was so easy, if you can do it before dropping the car I would do that. However, I thought it was really really nice in the morning before people started showing up, I don't know how it is later in the afternoon. We were the only ones in the woods, even saw a whole family of deer. We rented a car just for the day, seemed like it was cheaper and better than the bus trip.

    As for Alcatraz, I don't think it's a tourist trap. We did the 1st evening trip so we got pictures in the daylight on the way over and at night on the way back. The reason I liked the 1st night trip of the day was that all the day trip people were gone so it was less crowded and they had special ranger talks that they don't do during the day because of the crowds.

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  • Andraf's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by Andraf Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Yes, there's a fee to enter Muir woods, it's about $5. Sometimes the entrance booth is closed so maybe you got there when it was closed. It happened to me one time as well but most times I had to pay. If you have a NP pass then you dont't need to pay since Muir Woods is a National Monument.

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  • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by TooTallFinn24 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    I was in Muir Woods a few weeks ago because my wife has a house in nearby in San Anselmo/Ross. The fee to enter is now $ 7 per adult. The bus is also an option from downtown if you don't want to rent a car and have to worry about parking once you return to the City. It is also significantly cheaper to take the bus on weekdays because short term weekday car rentals in SF are very high.
    http://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm

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  • Court94403's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by Court94403 Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    My answer to you is if you're looking for a chance to take nice pics of SF go at sunset
    If you just want the tour go during the day. I like both, but its up to you. Either way, you will enjoy it.
    Have fun

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  • terrilynnmerritts's Profile Photo

    Re: Alcatraz ... day or night?

    by terrilynnmerritts Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    schl301 wrote:
    Again, opinions please. I keep reading that Alcatraz is better at night but yet personally I would think the ride over would be more fun during the day. What makes this so special at night? Thanks!

    Don't miss the night tour! For one thing, the sunset is usually gorgeous. For another, you can only see certain parts of Alcatraz like the very creepy hospital tour and dungeon at night. This is too good to be missed. The ride over is no different on the night tour because it is before sunset so you see everything you would see by day on the ride over . There are special tours and programs at night only and you will regret missing them. For the money you pay, you don't want to lose value. Also, when it is dark and the fog rolls in and they light those lamps, well, the atmosphere alone is worth the price of the night tour!!!

     

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