One of the largest attractions in San Francisco has got to be Alcratraz Island. Once a high-security prison that held the most infamous of criminals like Al Capone.
Although many prisoners have tried to escape “The Rock”, none were successful. Due to it’s increasingly eroded state, the prison was eventually closed down in 1963.
The tour itself leaves every half an hour from San Francisco’s Embarcadero, with early bird and night tour options.
When you arrive in Alcatraz, you make your way up the hill to the prison (it’s not that bad of a walk, just make sure you bring comfortable shoes). You are then lined up as if you’re being checked into the prison itself! At the start, you are offered the Cellhouse Audio Tour which plays in several different languages.
It’s an interesting audio tour and you definitely can get immersed in it – but for myself, I like exploring in my own way.
There is a lot of history about the island which was once a war prison before it became a high-security prison. It also housed Native American activists during the Occupation of Alcatraz.
One of my favourite parts of our tour was checking out @Large: Ai WeiWei on Alcatraz’s art installation. Unfortunately it was over in April 2015, but perhaps there will be more art displayed on the island.
For more information on Alcatraz tours, check out their site here. http://www.alcatrazcruises.com/
What I love about San Francisco is the passion that goes into different businesses – big and small. And when our dear friends Sylvie and Lucy enrolled us for a tour at Dandelion Chocolate, I was so thrilled! Not only am I huge fan of chocolate, I always love seeing how items are created behind the scenes.
Dandelion Chocolate is located in the Mission District and work from farm to point of sales at their factory. Here they roast, prepare and temper small batches of beans and sell them right there, all hand packaged.
Dandelion Chocolate visits cacao farms and get to know how farmers work. Once the beans are received, they begin taste testing and do small roasts making small changes until they find a flavour profile they like.
Each bag of beans is hand sorted then roast the beans five kilos at a time slowly to retain flavour.
Eventually the chocolate goes through grinding (to remove gritty and harsh flavours) and they block the chocolate until they create bars (tempering).
Dandelion produces one of the best chocolates I’ve ever tasted, I just had to bring some home for my chocoholic friends!
For more info on Dandelion Chocolate, check out their website here.
Join me for the next installation of my San Francisco series: Exploratorium and Embarcadero
Read my previous San Francisco Posts:
Part 1: Dias De Los Muertos and the Mission District
Part 2: Cruising, Museums and Sight Seeing
Part 3: San Francisco Tours: Golden Gate, Sausalito, Monterey and Carmel
Part 4: Alcatraz and Dandelion Chocolate
Part 5: Exploratorium and Embarcadero, Pier 39
Part 6: Tech City: Google, Facebook, Tesla, Stanford