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San Francisco in a Nutshell – Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge & More!

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from US$ 124.50 per person pp

Key Highlights

  • Discover hidden sights not included in other San Francisco city tours or guide books!
  • Make sure of your visit to Alcatraz, San Francisco′s top attraction, which often sells out weeks in advance
  • City sightseeing can be tailored to the wishes of the group
  • Comfortable vehicle with plenty of leg-room
  • Small tour allows more personal attention from your guide
  • Book with confidence! Our local partners are highly rated by users of Trip Advisor
  • Overview

    Combine a visit to historic Alcatraz with an exclusive city tour of San Francisco.

    Spend the morning getting the low-down on Alcatraz Island, former lighthouse, fortress and infamous state prison. Discover its grim and gritty history and get an insider’s view of the prison years from an excellent audio tour.

    In the afternoon, let a knowledgeable city guide reveal the soul of San Francisco on an trip that gets to places other tours don’t reach. Discover the rich history of the ‘City by the Bay’ from 1849 Gold Rush, to the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake to 1960s ‘Flower Power’. See key landmarks like Coit Tower, Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks and Lombard Street. Hear the stories that surround them and admire the magnificent views.

    This luxury excursion feels like a private tour because the size of the group is small and, along with other guests, you can make suggestions about the places you’d like to see.

  • Activity Schedule & Itinerary

    Activity Schedule

    When does it run?

    This tour is not available to book Aug to Sep 2017.


    7 hours 30 minutes

    Start time


    Meeting Point

    Alcatraz Tickets must be collected at the Pier 33-Embarcadero Street
    Please arrive at the collection point 30 minutes before the 9.30am sailing time.
    The meeting point for the guided tour of San Francisco is Hotel Zephyr, 250 Beach Street. (This hotel is 10min walk from Alcatraz and located directly behind the Pier 39 parking lot).

    Ending Point

    Your hotel in San Francisco Downtown, Fisherman's Wharf area (or local attraction if preferred. Discuss with your driver)


    The San Francisco in a Nutshell Tour starts with a trip to Alcatraz. Alcatraz has a checkered history, which makes it fascinating to visit. At various times it has served as a lighthouse, a fortress and an infamous prison. It is now part of a National Park.

    The grim reputation of the island comes from its 29 years as a federal penitentiary. Isolated by cold and dangerous currents, it was pretty much escape-proof, although many prisoners tried. Notorious inmates included Al Capone and Robert Franklin Stroud, the ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’.

    The ferry ride from San Francisco to Alcatraz takes approximately 10-15 minutes. There are no formal guided tours of Alcatraz as such – visiting the island is primarily a self-guided experience which you can do at your own pace. Once you arrive on the island, a brief presentation of the island's history and advice on touring the prison are given. You will enjoy a gripping audio presentation, ‘Doing Time: The Alcatraz Cell house Tour’, featuring recordings of former inmates, prison guards and prison wardens.

    It takes roughly 2 to 2 ½ hours to do the full tour of Alcatraz (including the audio tour). Apart from the prison, other features of interest on Alcatraz include the historic lighthouse, early fortifications and visible reminders of the American Indian occupation that began after the prison closed. You will also see stupendous panoramas of the coastline.

    When you have thoroughly explored Alcatraz you can catch a ferry back to Pier 33. Ferries leave around every 30 minutes.

    Back on the mainland you can catch a bite to eat and get ready for your city sightseeing excursion in the afternoon.

    At 1:40pm, you will be picked up in a mini-bus or mini-van from the Radisson Hotel at 250 Beach Street by your driver/guide and taken for an urban adventure in the ‘City by the Bay’. You will be shown a wide variety of places of interest, including some that only insiders know about.

    Your guide will take you to a wide range of key sights, and you can also ask to visit places you especially want to see. Depending on the wishes of the group, the tour might include some or all of the following:

    Golden Gate Bridge: Painted in glowing International Orange, this is one of the world’s most famous bridges. When completed in 1937 it was the longest single span bridge in the world.

    Bay Bridge: (Also known as the Oakland Bay Bridge) A series of bridges, which together have the longest span in the world.

    Golden Gate Park: An immense public space, this is San Francisco’s answer to New York’s Central Park. It was carved out of sand and shore dunes in the 1860s.

    Ocean Beach: A fine beach adjacent to Golden Gate Park. The strong currents and fierce waves here make it popular among serious surfers.

    Lombard Street: An east-west street in San Francisco famous for having a steep, one-block section that consists of tight hairpin turns.

    Coit Tower: A splendid art deco tower built with a bequest from benefactress Lillian Coit, one of the San Francisco’s more eccentric characters.

    Twin Peaks: Named for its two virtually identical summits, Twin Peaks stands at an elevation of about 922 feet, the second highest hill in San Francisco.

    Fisherman’s Wharf: In the early days, this was where dock workers unloaded cargo and fishermen sold their catch. Today, it’s a lively place with lots of entertainment.

    Candlestick Park: Original home of the San Francisco Giants Baseball Team. (The team have now relocated to AT&T Park.)The legendary Beatles played their last live commercial concert at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966.

    Your sightseeing tour lasts 4 to 5 hours. At the end (around 6:30pm - 7:00pm) you will be dropped off at the Golden Gate Bridge where you can take their time strolling over the bridge, take pictures as you enjoy the views and then make your own way back to hotel.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions


    • Ferry and tickets to Alcatraz (worth $26)
    • Alcatraz Cellhouse Audio Tour (English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch and Mandarin)
    • English-speaking driver/guide
    • Transportation in an air-conditioned mini-bus or mini-van
    • Taxes and permit fees


    • Hotel pick-up & Drop off
    • Food and drink
  • Please note

    Please call the activity operator at least 48 hours prior to start of the tour to confirm the tour details.

    For children's safety tour guests must bring a car safety seat for all children under 8 years who are 4' 9" or taller or weighing less than 60 pounds. Failure to provide a seat for your child will result in forfeiture of seats on the tour without refund.

    Customers have to make their own way to Alcatraz Landing on the morning of the tour.

    Alcatraz Tickets must be collected at the Alcatraz Landing Prepaid Ticket Window, Pier 33-Embarcadero Street, 30 minutes prior to departure. Photo ID is required to collect tickets.

    Alcatraz tickets are non-refundable. Changes are subject to a 10% or US$25 fee, whichever is greater.

    Should you miss the scheduled sailing to Alcatraz please contact the activity operator. An alternative pick up location may be arranged, subject to availability. Any guest who misses their tour entirely will forfeit their seat on the tour and no refunds will be issued.

    There is no guarantee that the sailing time will be 9.30am for every booking. Places on the boats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Fuel surcharges may apply.

    Please bring a government-issued photo ID on the day of your tour.

    Additional info

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.The tour will be conducted in a 15-passenger van or mini-bus.Gratuities are not included in the tour price. The tour operator recommends a gratuity of 15 percent if you are happy with the services received.No food service is available on Alcatraz, however there is a picnic area located at the dock. Food, drinks and smoking are only allowed on the dock. (An exception is bottled water, which is available in the bookstore on the dock on Alcatraz.)
  • Customer Reviews
    • Everything we wanted in a Nutshell

      After finally getting our dates sorted out to incorporate Alcatraz we were more than happy with our tour.The bus tour around San fran was great which we enjoyed in the comfort of...

      G D K GIBSON, New Zealand, 26/Jun/2015
    • Really says what it does on the tin! Brilliant day spent discovering The City by the Bay!

      Alcatraz is a must see if you visit San Francisco! Booking through Isango made it easy as I picked up my ticket from the dedicated pre-paid line. The tour of the city in the...

      Miss J L Frizell, United Kingdom, 26/Mar/2014
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