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The Oceanic Society sponsors great cruises to those rocky islets 27 miles off the coast of the city. The Farallon Islands are a nature preserve, home to sea lions, tufted puffins and the improbably monikered rhinoceros auklets, among others. The surrounding ocean contains dolphins and whales. Biologists serve as tour guides on the cruises and discuss the history, ecology and biology of the islands and the region.
A mere 1.25 miles (2.01 km) off the coast of San Francisco, Alcatraz Island boasts a fascinating history that extends far beyond its stint as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963; it is also the site of the West Coast's oldest operating lighthouse, the remains of a historic military fortress, and a bird sanctuary. Although within sight of the city, Alcatraz is isolated from the outside world, surrounded by the frigid waters of the bay, the perilous currents making escape virtually impossible. This very fact made Alcatraz an apt choice for a prison meant to house some of the country's most notorious criminals, including the likes of Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud and Alvin Karpis. The year 1969 marked the beginning of another intriguing chapter in the history of Alcatraz when a group of Native American activists occupied the island for 19 months, signs of which are still visible to this day. Amid this turbulent narrative thrives a vibrant habitat for native flora and fauna, creating a miniature world of startling contrasts where the haunting remains of the prison stand amid a striking landscape of rock pools, rugged coasts and lush flora. The isle is now a tourist attraction, one of San Francisco's most popular, with self-guided and guided tours that delve into the past of the island as a whole and the prison in particular.
Getting on board Freda B is akin to being mesmerized by the charming waters of San Francisco Bay and the beautiful Sausalito, which is a storehouse of historic landmarks. Complete with TVs, guest cabins, salons and a delightful buffet table, this luxury schooner is everything you would want it to be.It traverses iconic places like the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Fisherman's Wharf, Crissy Field, Fort Mason and the teeming Marine Headlands among others. You can also sail through the sparkling waters and witness the marvel which are the Bay Bridge Lights which gleam endlessly come night. Freeda B also doubles as a wonderful venue for private parties, events and weddings.
The USS Potomac is a world famous yacht used by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Built in 1934, this historic sea beast now draws a huge number of visitors and takes them on historic cruises. The Potomac can also be leased for events, and has been host to several big events in the past. Just walking around the ship one can almost sense its historical importance. Definitely a great place to visit in the city.