Tourists find Alcatraz fascinating, riveted by its grim, stony, penal dramas. When the prison was active, many of its inhabitants softened the misery by creating gardens there, gardens that have been restored and available to visit on tours Friday and Saturday mornings. The horticulture is surprising lush. Over 230 species have been cultivated here, especially vivid in Officers Row and  Rose Terrace. Plan early. There is no fee but boat tickets to the island are $40 and garden tours are currently booked through mid August.

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