Alcatraz is a big prison for the worst of the worst criminals in the US. Alcatraz is of the coast of San Francisco so it's an island. Alcatraz to this present day is closed down. Alcatraz Island offers a close-up look at the site of the first lighthouse and US built fort on the West Coast, the infamous federal penitentiary long off-limits to the public, and the 18 month occupation by Indians of All Tribes which saved the tribes. Rich in history, there is also a natural side to the Rock—gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare.