Three Reasons To Take An Alcatraz Tour

Three Reasons To Take An Alcatraz Tour

Listen. Don't you scoff at me. I know you think you're too "cool" to go to Alcatraz, that all that junk is for tourists and people who don't know the names of any streets south of 4th-ish. But hear me out, because let's be real: Alcatraz is awesome. Here's why:

1. Prepare For One's Own Imprisonment--Okay, so you think you're hot stuff because you already know all about one of Alcatraz's most elaborate escape attempts. If you're not in the loop, it happened in 1962 and involved a spoon, a vacuum cleaner, and accordion music. But there's a big difference between watching "Escape from Alcatraz" and actually casing the joint. I'm not saying you're a felon--or that Alcatraz is even open to prisoners anymore. But when our Google overlords take over, you might want to be prepared. Just sayin'.

2. Learn About Some Non-White History For Once--Despite most California textbooks being way enamored with nothing more than the Bay's Missions and Alcatraz's prison history, it's actually served as a site of some pretty relevant occupations. Namely, in 1969, a group of Native Americans, mostly twentysomethings, occupied the island to protest the U.S. Government's refusal to acknowledge the fact that, well, it rightly belonged to them. You might be impressed with the Zuccotti Park kids now, but these guys camped on Alcatraz for two years. Yet the majority of would-be island-goers still have no idea. When you go, check out the giant brand-new multimedia exhibit and get some legitimate culture in while you're there.

3. Everything Is Cooler At Night--Sure, you can go the "I'm in fourth grade and I hate history" route, which involves a lot of foot-dragging and disturbingly few dramatic reenactments. Or you can make your trip approximately a frillion times cooler by going on a nighttime guided boat tour. Just imagine it: the city lit up behind you, the sound of water gently lapping at the boat, and a bunch of angry prisoners' ghosts just waiting to haunt your ass. Super fun!

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