Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Golden Gate National Recreation Area- Alcatraz and Muir Woods

We arrived in San Francisco in the late afternoon, just in time for a cocktail hour at our hotel TheArgonaut.  What a great location for San Francisco" tourist" style. We took the cable car to Chinatown for a great meal setting us up for a day at Alcatraz.

We didn't have tickets...word to the wise if you know you are going... get tickets in advance online. We did get tickets but we were in line at 8am! And all of your party needs to be in line with you or no tickets for them.
We managed to get seats for the 10:30 boat- not bad and took the quick ride(15 minutes) to the island.  The Ranger talk on the history of the island was worth the delay in getting to the "prison"... we found out things we never knew which I won't spoil here. The audio tour that is included is great, even the kids payed attention! We spent about 4 hours and didn't see the movie. The view of San Francisco alone is worth the trip, but a few hours on Alcatraz will give a great perspective of prison life.
Also part of the Golden Gate Rec Area is Muir Woods.About one hour north of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge past Sausalito. Be sure to stop just over the bridge in the rest/viewing area for great views of the bridge.
Muir Woods is a beautiful respit full of Redwoods. Even having seen the Great Sequoia's, this is a lovely park. One of our favorite spots, maybe because it was after spending time in busy San Fran? The park has a few different walks amongst the Redwoods we opted for the shorter 1 mile trek.

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