Family Vacations in California

Family Vacations in California: Alcatraz Island

Isolation and solitude come to mind when you first see Alcatraz Island. This prison was designated for criminals who were the worst of the worst.

Atop Alcatraz Island sits the infamous prison that Al Capone once called home. Kids will love their visit to the country's most noted lockup. Audio tours discuss some of the various escape attempts that have become a part of the island's history. Even though Alcatraz is only about one mile off San Francisco's shore, most would-be escapees were swept out to sea by the treacherous currents of the San Francisco Bay or died of exposure in the icy Pacific Ocean.

The boat trip to Alcatraz Island is just part of the entertainment. You'll find tour boats docked between Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. This area offers a hodgepodge of tourist delights, and your kids will love browsing the souvenir shops and watching the street performers as you wait to board your boat. As you travel across the bay you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Alcatraz Island Information

Address: In Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Alcatraz, CA

Telephone: 415/561-4900

Our next museum is a hands-on experience like no other. On the next page, read about San Francisco's Exploratorium.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Los Angeles City Guide: Explore the City of Angels -- Los Angeles is brimming with restaurants, shops, attractions, and the occasional celebrity hotspot.
  • California State Guide: From north to south, California encompasses mountains, deserts, beaches, and vineyards. Learn about it all in our guide to California.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.