Program Registration: 3:30-4:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table (located inside the Road Scholar meeting room) and pick up your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule, and other important information we will review during Orientation, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.
Orientation: 4:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.
During free time, the Group Leader will be available to guide informal excursions, activities, or meals not included in the program. You are welcome to join if you wish, with any associated costs (if any) on your own, or explore independently.
Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.Dinner: Dinner in hotel
Menus are contracted for the program and are designed to offer balanced, healthy meals for the participants. This program offers two choices for meals: standard and vegetarian. We are unable to customize menus for individuals. However, we have found that by requesting sauces and dressing to be served on the side, we are able to accommodate various food intolerances and allergies. Vegetarian meals must be requested in advance on your Participant Information Form. Unfortunately, there are no other special meal options. Participants with special dietary needs should be prepared to avoid certain foods or supplement the regular meal plan as needed.
This evening, enjoy a plated 3-course dinner and complimentary beverage.Evening: Take the rest of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning. Get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.Lodging: Holiday Inn Fisherman's WharfMeals Included: Dinner
Everything you ever wanted to know about Alcatraz and would never get merely by visiting the island. In pictures and stories, your instructor conveys the colorful history, infamous criminal inhabitants, and legendary escape attempts. Prison has never been this much fun.
Lunch: Vouchers will be provided for lunch on Pier 39. There are several restaurants that you can choose from on the pier.Afternoon: Alcatraz
The history of Alcatraz--The Rock--includes a Civil War fortress, federal prison, bird sanctuary, first lighthouse on the West Coast, and the birthplace of the American Indian Red Power movement. Visiting Alcatraz is a self-guided experience which you can do at your own pace. Park Service staff offer free programs throughout the day on a variety of topics: escapes, military history, American Indian occupation, natural history, etc. There are numerous videos and exhibits on the island, as well as a complimentary cell house audio tour which covers the penitentiary era (1934 - 1963).
On arriving at the Alcatraz dock, you will be greeted by a park ranger who will give you a brief orientation including information on any special activities available that day. The weather on Alcatraz can be some what unpredictable and can change quickly - it may be warm and sunny in the city and very windy and cool on the island. Summer days can sometimes be as cool as winter due to thick fog and strong winds. We recommend dressing in layers.
There is no food service available on the island - only water is available on site. Eating, drinking and smoking are only allowed at the dock level. (Alcatraz Island information courtesy of the National Park Service)Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local colorful restaurant. You will choose your meal from the menu.Evening: San Francisco City Hall
After dinner, the group will go to Civic Center Plaza to explore City Hall, a Beaux-Arts monument, re-openend in 1915 after being damaged in the 1906 earthquake. The magnificent dome is the fifth largest dome in the world, surpassing the dome on the U.S. Capitol. Inside and out, San Francisco's City Hall is breathtakingly beautiful.Lodging: Holiday Inn Fisherman's WharfMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The Academy is the only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a four-story rainforest all under one roof. It’s a stunning architectural achievement with hundreds of unique exhibits and nearly 40,000 live animals. Admission to the California Academy of Sciences includes access to all museum and aquarium exhibits, including the rainforest, planetarium, and living roof. Admission to this popular Bay Area attraction includes a wide range of daily programs and activities, including dive shows, penguin feedings, swamp talks and more. We have arranged a behind-the-scenes journey through the Academy where you will have a chance to explore from an insider's perspective, learning more about the institution's 161-year history and how its scientists are tackling critical questions about life on Earth. Visit the research collections and a working laboratory and see breathtaking geology specimens in the vault. Our behind-the-scenes access includes express entry into the most popular areas of the Academy: the planetarium, rainforest, living roof and earthquake simulator. In your registration packet, you will receive a schedule of the activities on the day we visit so you can plan your time accordingly.Lunch: Lunch at the Academy Cafe. Vouchers will be provided.Afternoon: Golden Gate Bridge and Muir Woods
Built in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge hosts thousands of people and cars daily. A chartered bus will pick you up at the museum and take you to the bridge where you will spend about an hour. You will be dropped off on the San Francisco side where you can peruse the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion which has many interesting facts about the building of the bridge such as, what the Halfway-to-Hell Club is. The bridge is 1.7 miles in length and takes an average of 30 minutes to walk across. The bridge walk is optional. You can cross the bridge on the bus rather than walk. Once on the other side, you will be picked up by our bus and continue on to the majesty of Muir Woods, a preservation of towering redwood trees, the tallest trees on earth and unique to the northern California area. You can choose to walk a 30 or 60 minute loop. The trails in Muir Woods are asphalted or board walked and over flat territory. There is a gift shop and cafe on site. Food is not permitted on the trails. There will be a local expert on the bus to give interesting background info on both the bridge and Muir Woods.Dinner: At a restaurant in Fisherman's Wharf, enjoy a 3-course plated meal. The kids' meals include a complimentary beverage of milk, iced tea or soda. The adult meals include complimentary coffee or tea.Evening: Independent evening to explore San Francsico. This is a good evening to explore Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39--a cornocopia of shops, restaurants, fun activities, and barking sea lions--along the Embarcadero. Your registration packet will have a list of the activities available at Pier 39.
When it gets dark, make sure to check out the Bay Lights on the Bay Bridge. Pick any spot along the Embarcadero to the west of the Bay Bridge to watch the lights sparkle and dance. This light show extraordinaire, by artist Leo Villareal, comes down in March 2015 so this is a limited treat--and only in San Francisco!Lodging: Holiday Inn Fisherman's WharfMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Our first stop: Lombard Street, the "crookedest" street in the world. Only cars can drive down the crooked part but you can walk down the Lombard Street stairs and take pictures of the curvy street as the bottom of the street is the spot to get the best view.
After a ten minute walk, you will have a short visit at the Maritime Visitor's Center across from Hyde Street Pier, a pier once used to ferry cars across the bay and now home to many historic vessels. The group will then have a ranger-led visit of the Balclutha, a three-masted, steel-hulled, square-rigged ship built to carry a variety of cargo all over the world.
After the Balclutha has been thoroughly explored, the group will either take a cable car or public bus to lunch in Chinatown. In the summer, the cable cars can be very crowded and the lines to board them very long. The group leader may suggest taking a bus instead of the cable car at this one point so you do not miss any of the activities planned for this day.Lunch: Enjoy lunch in a delicious Chinese restaurant with several tasty items.Afternoon: After lunch, an expert on San Francisco history will meet the group for a walking exploration of the largest Chinese community outside of Asia followed by a docent-led visit at the Wells Fargo Museum where you will learn about San Francisco's birth with the Gold Rush of 1849 and get to sit in a stagecoach!
Then it's back on the cable car for a stop at the Cable Car Museum, which has a collection of historic cable cars, photographs, and mechanical displays. You can see an actual cable in action, moving a cable car through the streets of San Francisco.Dinner: Independent dinnner, suggestions will be provided. The Cable Car Museum is centrally located near the cable car lines. One line takes you to North Beach--the Italian section of the city filled with delicious restaurants--and on to Fisherman's Wharf. Another line takes you to the iconic Ferry Building, built in 1898. Once at the Ferry Building, you can choose to eat in one of the many restaurants there or you can take a ferry to either Sausalito or Tiburon for dinner. Since the Cable Car Museum is right next to Chinatown, this would a good time to do any planned shopping in the area before moving on to dinner.Evening: Independent evening for exploring San Francisco. Suggestions will be provided.Lodging: Holiday Inn Fisherman's WharfMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
The secret jewel of the Bay Area is Point Bonita Lighthouse which is still active. Built in 1855, it is the only American lighthouse to be reached via a suspension bridge. A park ranger will lead the group on an exploration of the lighthouse and the surrounding area. Followiong the lighthouse, the bus will then take the group to Nike Missile Site SF-88. During the tense years from 1953 to 1979, the United States Army built and operated close to 300 Nike missile firing batteries in the United States. These missile sites were emplaced as the last line of defense against Soviet bombers. Today, a dedicated group of volunteers works in partnership with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area on the continuous task of restoration at site SF-88, which has been turned into a museum. This valuable historical resource is the only restored Nike missile site in the entire country. It's a great chance for you to see the tools of the Cold War up close. (Courtesy of the National Park Service)Lunch: Boxed lunches will be provided as the group picnics at Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands. Group, meet the Pacific Ocean, up close and personal!Afternoon: After some quality time on the beach, the bus will take the group back to San Francisco. This is a good afternoon to visit the Exploratorium--a hands-on museum--at Pier 15, or other points of interest at Pier 45 along the Embarcadero. Your registration packet will have a complete list of appealing venues to visit.Dinner: Enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel.Lodging: Holiday Inn Fisherman's WharfMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This film brings to life America's worst natural disaster, the 1906 earthquake. Through photos and exhaustive research, learn about the politics, lies, coverup and a subject rarely included in the conversation - the aftermath of trying to rebuild America's wildest and wickedest city. Program concludes after class. You may leave San Francisco; your heart will remain here forever.
We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!Meals Included: Breakfast