Prisons, especially old and spooky ones, have always held an interest in tourist’s hearts. You get to learn the history and walk through a place most of us will never visit outside of a tour group. Prison tourism is on the rise and here are 12 prisons turned attractions to check out for yourself!
Alcatraz Island – San Francisco, California
We had to start off with one of the most famous prisons of all time. Alcatraz is a small island off the coast of San Francisco, California that held some of the most well-known criminals like Al Capone.
Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Running for over 100 years, Eastern State Penitentiary was extremely controversial, even when it was first opened. The operators supported methods such as solitary confinement and hard labor in order to “rehabilitate” their prisoners.
Fremantle Prison – Fremantle, Australia
This prison is located in Australia but first housed criminals from England! They also held prisoners of war before eventually being a prison for run-of-the-mill criminals. Having opened up in 1855, it eventually became too old and is now solely used for tours.
West Virginia Penitentiary – Moundsville, West Virginia
Built by prisoners in 1866, the prison operated for a little over 100 years, closing its doors in 1995. They were cited for inhumane conditions, which is obvious from the tiny cells and the capital punishment that occurred in the walls of this prison.
Devil’s Island – French Guiana
This French penal colony saw over 80,000 of France’s worst criminals over the years. It isn’t just named for its inhabitants, however. The horrific conditions these people faced were what finally got it closed down. Many died from disease and hunger.
Yuma Territorial Prison – Yuma, Arizona
Built on stone cliffs in Yuma, Arizona, this prison is actually known for having better living conditions than the others on this list. Prisoners commonly made items for the local Sunday markets, and it had one of the first public libraries that allowed them to learn to read and write.
The Clink Prison Museum – London, UK
This is one of the oldest prisons on our list, opening up in 1144! Unfortunately, your tour won’t take you through the original building as it was burned down in 1780 during a riot. The museum in its place, though goes through all 500 years of its history.
Hostel Celica – Ljubljana, Slovenia
Not only can you tour this prison, you can stay the night in it as well! Located in Ljubljana, Slovenia as a former military prison. Local artists have turned some of the rooms into amazing places to stay.
Maitland Gaol – East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia
Maitland Gaol in East Maitland, New South Wales, is another prison in which you can spend the night. Opened in 1848, they used to hold public hangings by the main gate until 1897. They closed in 1998, making them one of the longest-running prisons in NSW.
The Tower of London – London, UK
Not just home to the king’s quarters, the Tower of London also held a prison. Crossing the King specifically could see you end up here. With famous inmates like Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, and Sir Thomas Moore.
Old Idaho Penitentiary – Boise, Idaho
This prison opened up in Idaho before Idaho was even an official territory. It is known as one of the most haunted prisons, having held 13,000 prisoners and seeing many deaths in its time. Make sure to visit Cell House 5, where some of the most violent criminals were kept.
Robben Island – Cape Town, South Africa
Just a few miles from Cape Town, Robben Island was a prison, a hospital, and a military base historically. You probably know of one of their prisoners, Nelson Mandela, who served 18 years in its walls.
Step Into the Past: 10 American Ghost Towns to Explore
America may not have a history as old as other countries, but we do have our share of ghost towns. Around 3,800 of them, according to a recent report by the New York Times. From the largest ghost town in Jerome, Arizona, to quirky ghost towns like Calico, California, here are ten of the most well-known in America.
14 Cities That Must Have Been Named on a Dare
Ever come across a town named Odd or considered a vacation to a place called Why? Fancy a leisurely stroll in Dull or perhaps a detour to Nowhere? As surprising as it may sound, these towns actually exist and their peculiar names are sure to amuse… or perplex. If you’re a fan of humorous quirks and obscure trivia, then you’ll definitely be entertained by some of the globe’s most eccentrically named locations.
Best Gas Stations in America Worth Stopping For
Gas stations are typically nothing more than mere pit stops during long journeys, serving the functional purpose of refueling vehicles. However, there are some exceptional gas stations across America that go beyond the ordinary, offering unique experiences and amenities that make them destinations in their own right!
Best Cities to Vacation in That Don’t Require Renting a Car
When planning a vacation, there’s enough to worry about without stressing over renting a car, where to park it, and whether you can afford the extra insurance. What if you simply choose a location designed for people without cars and skip the rental car altogether? You could plan on walking, rent an e-Bike, or Uber when the occasion calls for it. It will still be cheaper than renting a car. Here are some of the absolute best cities for vacationing without getting behind the wheel.
10 Places You Should Never Use Your Debit Card
Debit cards are a convenient way to pay for things without carrying a lot of cash around and without piling up credit card debt. However, debit cards can place you more at risk of identity theft and fraud. That’s because most debit cards don’t come with the same protections major credit cards do. If someone hacks your debit card, they can drain real money from your personal account, and that money might be gone for good.
Here are some places where it’s safer for you to use a credit card than a debit card.
Featured Image Credit: Eric Broder Van Dyke/Shutterstock
Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.