Alcatraz beat out the Golden Gate Bridge, the Lincoln Memorial and the Statue of Liberty to be selected the No. 1 landmark in the U.S. in TripAdvisor's recent Travelers' Choice awards.
Get an inside look at the penitentiaries and reformatories that once held inmates, have become increasingly popular tourist attractions.
Alcatraz derives from the name Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala gave to one of the three islands in San Francisco Bay, “Alcatraces,” probably referring to the “strange birds” or “pelicans” he saw on it. Its strange name (its meaning still debated) is appropriate, given The Rock’s unique history as a federal penitentiary, but as our guide noted, some of the island’s truly unique artifacts are its gardens and the stories behind them.
In what many consider the hottest ticket in the art world, China’s best known dissident, artist Ai Weiwei, has created a series of works on the former prison island of Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay.
Alcatraz is perhaps the world's most famous prison. And Ai Weiwei is arguably China's best known artist. Now they have come together in a viscerally powerful show in the notorious former jail.