Alcatraz is located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California. Often referred to as “The Rock,” the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. In 1972 Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
Today, the island’s facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; it is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco .
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