Alcatraz Island & SF Day Trips. There's a lot to see in California beyond the San Francisco city limits — and there are a lot of glories you can experience on day trips from the city. There's so much going on in the area that it's possible (and fun!) to combine a day trip with a visit to the famous prison island of Alcatraz.
Alcatraz Island is so close to the city that inmates of the prison could sometimes hear cocktail party chatter and laughter from the city.
We think of it like this — you're certainly going want to visit Alcatraz and you should really spend at least a day out of the city visiting the wine country or the giant redwoods, so why not kill two birds with one stone? The great thing about these tours is that someone else has done all the work of planning and organizing. You only need to show up and have fun!
It's not often that you have a chance to contrast the austere, even harsh, beauty of Alcatraz with the lush, green splendor of giant redwood forests in the same day! But that's what this day-long activity is — a study in contrasts.
After being picked up at your hotel, you ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, stopping fo r the stunning view of the city from Vista point before heading out to Muir Woods, the stunning natural monument that's home to some of the oldest and tallest trees on Earth.
Later, you spend time in the charming bayside village of Sausalito, admiring the view and peeking into the shops. Towards the end of the day you hop on the ferry to Alcatraz Island for a visit to the former island prison. Everything's included — the ferry ride, admittance, and 45-minute audio guide.
How about this for a perfect, long day in San Francisco? In the morning you're whisked out to Sonoma Wine Country, one of the most beautiful places in California, for a day of taking in the views, marvelling at the vineyards, and…sampling some great wines!
You visit Cline Cellars, begun by one of Sonoma's oldest families, at its picturesque hilltop location where you taste Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese. Later, at the family-run Larson Winery, you're introduced to other varietals like Malbec and Pinot Noir.
Back in the city, at Fisherman's Wharf, you catch the ferry for the extensive tour of Alcatraz.
All Alcatraz Island tours include the scenic ferry ride to the island, admission to the prison, and an informative 45-minute audio guide.
See the Wine Country differently — on a bicycle tour of four wineries. Your expert guide leads you on scenic routes through vineyards and rolling hills. Depending on the day and the weather, you pedal through one of the wold-famous wine regions of California — Napa Valley, Russian River Valley, or Dry Creek Valley, stopping along the way to taste the varietals the region is most famous for.
When you get hungry you stop and eat, a picnic lunch is included. Sample as much wine as you want, you're cycling not driving!
And Alcatraz? You've had a long, rewarding day, so rest the night back in San Francisco and join the Alcatraz portion of the tour the next morning. Tour includes all transportation, bikes, Alcatraz ferry & admission, and picnic lunch.
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