A local traveller discovers the Hidden side of the Rock

It is true, locals from the Bay Area are hard to find on the Rock. Usually deterred by the crowds of the summer, some people living in San Francisco have never taken the opportunity to discover what is in their own backyard. Local travel writer, Judy Zimmerman from Sacramento, finally made the trek, a short 10 minute ferry ride from Pier 33 that happens to take in the city skyline and waterfront and views of both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, and found out why Alcatraz continues to be popular with visitors from around the world.

Alcatraz Island with the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by Shelagh Fritz

Check out her blog that captures her visit so well. I often get asked by visitors if I ever encounter ghosts on the island, and while I have not (yet), upon reading Judy’s blog I realize that in the gardens I am truly surrounded by past gardeners: “and the ghosts of Alcatraz amazingly emerged from the tangle of vines: neatly laid out beds and paths, heirloom roses, bulbs and ornamentals.”

A prison staff member's wife tending the gardens, 1961. Photo by Fred Straley

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