Chinatown – San Francisco, California

John – 12

Chinatown located in San Francisco is the largest Chinatown in the United States.  It is the oldest Chinatown in America too.  Chinatown is 1 mile long by 1.34 miles wide. Chinatown was founded in 1848.  In 2000 the census said that an average of 100,574 people lived in Chinatown.  Chinatown is a city within a city.  The town has over 300 restaurants and just as many shops.  One of the places we ate at was a dim sum restaurant.  It was called City View Dim Sum.  (We will be doing another blog on City View – so watch for it!)  Chinatown compared to other places is really huge with an area of 24 square blocks.  My family and I tried to walk all around all it, but we didn’t get done in the amount of time we had.  We went into one of the shops located there.  It was three stories tall and had over one thousand trinkets and gizmos.  Chinatown is a fun place to visit and to walk around.



Chinatown in San Fransisco is the biggest Chinatown in the world except China.  In Chinatown the best place to eat is a Dim Sum restaurant.  There are dozens to choose from. When we were there, we walked around in a bunch of stores.  The one we went in is three stories tall with stuff.  You can also buy clothes from China.  They also have a bunch of restaurants that have unique and interesting food.  I recommend going for a long time to see every thing and be prepared to spend a lot because there are a lot of fun things to buy.  Chinatown is definitely worth going to if you are in San Fransisco.

Barnett – 7


Store in Chinatown

Chinatown Cable Car

Chinatown Shops

Alcatraz — San Fancisco


Alcatraz was one of my favorite things to do in California.  Alcatraz is one of the most freakish places in California, too.  You start out taking a boat trip to the island from Pier 33.  We used Alcatraz Cruises for our tickets and ferry ride.  It takes about 15 minutes, and they sell food and water on board the boat.  When you get off the boat you get an introduction about Alcatraz.  Then you can walk up to the top of Alcatraz – the prison section.  You can take the tour of the prison.  The tour is conducted by a headset with a recording that talks all about Alcatraz; the people who talk in it are real people who have worked there and were the prisoners there. The tour takes you through all of Alcatraz prison.  When you’re done on the island, you take one of boats back to San Francisco.  I learned about the prisoner’s daily life.  They had time each day for music, painting, and reading.  They had their own library.  Once you are done you can walk around most of the island.  You can see the ruins for the warden’s house, the housing for guards and their families, the island’s power plant, a water tower, the recreation yard, the lighthouse, and the parade yard.  The tour takes about and hour and is really fun to listen to.  It costs $28.00 for adults (12 and older), $17.00 for children, and is free for children 4 and under.  It does cost more to take a night tour to Alcatraz.  I think it would be fun but scary to take the night tour.  The history behind the prison would be creepy after dark.


Alcartaz was one of the most secure places in the world when it was in business as a prison.  It is not in business now, but it is now a tourist place.  Alcatraz is a big jail that held some of the worst people like Al Capone.  First, when you get to the dock in San Francisco (Pier 33) to get on the boat, you can get your picture taken and buy it when you come back.  The boat ride is good.  You get to see part of the Golden Gate Bridge and have a great view of San Francisco and the Bay.  When you get to the island you will want to get the audio tour which is included in the price; it is a lot better than just walking through the jail.  I learned about their maximum security section, called D Block.  The prisoners there had no light, no sound, no room.  The prisoners there had to work each day.  Some of them gardened, a few did laundry, and some even cooked in the kitchen – with real knives.  I really liked learning about the people who tried to escape.  They still don’t know if a few of them were able to swim across the bay and escape.  Many people do not think anyone could have survived that.  When you are done with the tour then there are some other places you can go around the island.  If I were you I would just get back on the boat and head back to the dock.  I thought the prison was really the main thing that was interesting to see.  The rest of the island was OK to see.  The next time you’re in San Francisco you definitely need to go to Alcatraz.  I think the night tour would be fun but a little scary.  I want to read some books to learn more about Alcatraz.  It is interesting!