Program Registration: 3:00-4:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table (either in the lobby or the Compass 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.
You will also have an opportunity to select choices for several meals later in the program. As a special treat, there will be a complimentary wine reception each evening from 5:30-6:00 p.m.
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: In the hotel’s Saha Restaurant on the main floor. Menus are designed to offer balanced, healthy choices. This evening, enjoy a plated, 3-course dinner plus complimentary coffee, tea, soda; other beverages available for purchase.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: Hotel CarltonMeals Included: Dinner
Your exploration of the area concludes at the Wells Fargo Museum where you will be given a docent-led visit. Located in Wells Fargo's world headquarters, the museum brings San Francisco in the 1800s to life. You will experience an authentic Concord Stagecoach used by Wells Fargo in the 1860s, a working telegraph where you can send a message to another Wells Fargo museum, works of art by noted Western artists, and real gold from California gold country region.
From stagecoach to cable car: The trip back to the hotel will be via one of San Francisco's iconic cable cars, which have rumbled through the city streets since 1873.
Dinner: In the hotel’s Saha Restaurant. Enjoy a plated, 3-course dinner plus complimentary coffee, tea, soda; other beverages available for purchase.Evening: Engage in San Francisco's colorful history through a slide-illustrated lecture peppered with fascinating anecdotes about the characters that made San Francisco the city that it is. Learn about the tumultuous beginnings of "Baghdad-by-the-Bay."Lodging: Hotel CarltonMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Nob Hill was settled in the late 19th century. Because of the views and its central position, the hill became a magnet for the rich and wealthy. Leland Stanford, Collis Potter Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker—the Big Four of the Central Pacific Railroad—all had mansions on Nob Hill which were all destroyed during the 1906 earthquake and fire. After the earthquake, many wealthy families moved to Pacific Heights. The only remaining mansion was James Flood’s house which is now the Pacific-Union Club, a men’s social club.
The Fairmont Hotel was newly built when the earthquake hit in 1906. It survived the earthquake relatively unscathed but succumbed to the fire. When it came time to rebuild, Julia Morgan, the first woman to graduate from the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, was chosen as the architect.
The Cable Car Museum is located in a historic cable car barn and powerhouse. The museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables. Downstairs is a viewing area of the large sheaves and cable line entering the building through the channel under the street. On display are cable cars from the 1870s, various mechanical devices, and historic photographs.
Opened in 1898, the Ferry Building became the transportation hub for anyone arriving by train from the East, as well as suburban residents who worked in the city. Today, there are offices on the upper level while the main level houses a bustling marketplace.Lunch: Independent lunch at the Ferry Building. There are many tempting restaurants and vendors to choose from.Afternoon: Alcatraz – “The Rock” -- has been a Civil War fortress, federal prison, bird sanctuary, first lighthouse on the West Coast, and birthplace of the American Indian Red Power movement, as well as the most infamous Federal penitentiary. Upon arrival at the Alcatraz dock for our field trip, we will be greeted by a National Park Service ranger who will give a brief orientation including information on any special activities available that day. The remainder of this field trip will be a self guided exploration you can follow according to your own interests, at your own pace. Park Service staff offer free programs to visitors throughout the day on topics such as escapes, military history, American Indian occupation, natural history, and more. There are numerous exhibits to see as well as a cell house audio tour covering the penitentiary era (1934-1963).
We will rendezvous with the group leader at an appointed time at the dock to take the ferry back to San Francisco. We will make our way to dinner along the historic Fisherman's Wharf, a cornucopia of shops, restaurants, a fishing fleet, steaming crab stalls, and street performers.Dinner: At a colorful restaurant in historic Fisherman's Wharf, enjoy a plated 3-course meal plus complimentary coffee and tea; other beverages available for purchase.Evening: The Damndest Finest Ruins is a documentary about the 1906 earthquake and its aftermath. Discussion will follow viewing of film. Much of the film focuses on Nob Hill where you spent the morning.Lodging: Hotel CarltonMeals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
We will tiptoe through Tree Fern Dell on our way to the Conservatory of Flowers. As we make our way through the dell, you will feel we have stopped back in time. Giant fern leaves dot the path.
The Conservatory of Flowers is a Victorian wood-and-glass greenhouse in Golden Gate Park, filled with exotic tropical plants and flowers.Dinner: We will eat out at a popular diner near the hotel. You may order your meal and a non-alcoholic drink of your choice from the restaurant menu; other beverages available for purchase.Evening: Learn from a local expert about San Francisco’s famed Victorian architecture.Lodging: Hotel CarltonMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fisk Mansion. You will have the very unique opportunity to see one of San Francisco's beautiful old mansions and learn the history of the house from the current owners followed by a tea service in the ballroom. This is truly a behind-the-scenes occasion.Lunch: Independent lunch. Suggestions will be provided.Afternoon: Independent exploration of "Everybody's Favorite City." Suggested activity: take a docent-led visit of San Francisco's majestic City Hall.Dinner: Group dinner at one of San Francisco's signature restaurants in North Beach, the Italian section of town.Evening: Beach Blanket Babylon, the longest running revue in musical theater history, is a true San Francisco treat. Get ready to laugh, sing, tap your toes and clap your hands to the zaniest show around!Lodging: Hotel CarltonMeals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Our program will conclude by 11:00AM. On this final day, you will truly appreciate why Tony Bennett and millions of other visitors leave their hearts in San Francisco.Meals Included: Breakfast