ORIENTATION: Begins before dinner. We'll have an overview of the program ahead and review the up-to-date schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, any other administrative issues, and answer your questions. Please be aware that local circumstances may require adjusting program elements. In the event of changes, we will notify you as quickly as possible. We appreciate your understanding.Dinner: Dinner in hotel
Menus are contracted for the program and are designed to offer balanced, healthy meals for the participants. In addition to the regular Road Scholar meal plan, this hotel offers a vegetarian meal option. 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.
Evening: INTRODUCTIONS: Participants introduce themselves to the rest of the group.
Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.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: Lunch on Pier 39. Vouchers will be provided with list of restaurants where they can be used.Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: 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.
Once on the island you can stay as long or as short as you wish - there is a ferry departing about every half hour and you can return to San Francisco on any ferry. The group leader will let you know which ferry she will be taking back. 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: Group dinner enjoyed at a local restaurant.Evening: EXCURSION: San Francisco City Hall
After dinner, the group will take a public bus to Civic Center Plaza for exploration of 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: FIELD TRIP: Golden Gate Bridge and Muir Woods
It's a requirement: if you visit San Francisco, you must walk across the Golden Gate Bridge! Built in 1937, the bridge hosts thousands of people and cars daily. We will spend about an hour at the bridge. 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. 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 guide on the bus to give interesting background info on both the bridge and Muir Woods.Dinner: Group dinner in San FranciscoEvening: Independent evening to explore San Francsico; suggestions will be provided.Lodging: Holiday Inn Fisherman's WharfMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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) Once the Nike Missile Site visit is concluded, the bus will take the group to the secret jewel of the Bay Area, 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.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 afternoon is a good time to explore Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 or the Exploratorium at Pier 15 along the Embarcadero. Your registration packet will have a list of the many venues to visit in the Fisherman's Wharf area.Dinner: Farewell dinner in 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.Meals Included: Breakfast