Road Scholar : Home
Academic Adventures on San Francisco Bay

Program Number: 15551RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/21/2013 - 2/26/2013; 12/30/2015 - 1/4/2016; 2/11/2016 - 2/16/2016; 5/5/2016 - 5/10/2016; 5/19/2016 - 5/24/2016; 7/28/2016 - 8/2/2016; 8/11/2016 - 8/16/2016; 10/13/2016 - 10/18/2016; 10/27/2016 - 11/1/2016; 12/29/2016 - 1/3/2017;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Burlingame, California
Price starting at: $899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Topic; History & Culture; Music Appreciation
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

Spend five days immersed in five courses covering a broad range of topics. From the serious to the sublime, you will leave this program enlightened and enriched. See date-specific notes for course topics.


• Join acclaimed Road Scholar instructors for five days of captivating lectures and presentations.
• Take an excursion by bus to learn about notable landmarks and locations around the Bay Area.
• Enjoy live entertainment on the closing night.

Activity Particulars

Minimal standing and walking.

Date Specific Information


20th-Century Presidents Who Made a Difference. The Great Religions of the World. The Story of Architecture: From the Pyramids to Frank Lloyd Wright. Legendary Pianists: Paderewski, Rachmaninoff & More. San Francisco History & Neighborhoods.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


New Year's Eve: "Rothmann: Great First Ladies." "Music of Mozart." "French Impressionism." "Men, Women & Comedy." "Flop Hits: Great Songs from Broadway Bombs!"


"20th Century Presidents." "Piano Music of the Romantic Era." "World's Most Important Archaeological Sites." "Post Impressionism." "Rise and Demise of Italian and Jewish Gangsters in America."


"Middle East Conflict." "Five-Ringed Circus: The Modern Olympic Movement." "Music of Mozart." "Taking the Waters: A Journey through Europe’s Grand Spas." "Art of Paris and Northern France."


"2016 Campaign: Challenges of Political Leadership." "Music of Beethoven and Bach." "U.S. Constitution." "Italian Art." "Archaeology of Religion."


"Broken Treaties of the 20th Century." "Concertos of the Baroque and Classcial Eras." "Art of Eternal Rome." "Presidential Campaigns and Elections." "Jack London Centennial."


"The President and Foreign Policy." "Piano Music of the Romantic Era." "Great American Free Speech Cases." "Great Moments in Photojournalism." "Post Impressionism."


"Middle East Conflict." "World's Most Important Archaeological Sites." "French Impressionism." "U.S. Supreme Court." "Swing/Big Band Jazz."


"2016 Campaign: Challenges of Political Leadership." "Music of Beethoven and Bach." "Art of Paris/N. France." "Origins of Humanity & Civilization." "Huddled Masses: Immigration at Turn of 20th Century."

Coordinated by Road Scholar.


A bustling suburb set between San Francisco Bay and the foothills of the Pacific Coast Range, Burlingame affords great views of San Francisco to the north from the walking paths along the bay.

Hotel overlooking San Francisco Bay. Indoor pool, gym, walking path, free airport shuttle and City of Burlingame shuttle to charming downtown Burlingame.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Michael Graham

A professor of political science at San Francisco State University, Dr. Michael Graham has taught at numerous educational institutions including Oklahoma State University, U.C. Santa Barbara, Northwestern University and Loyola University of Chicago. His major research and teaching interests are in the fields of public law and American political institutions. Dr. Graham holds a Ph.D. in political science from U.S. Santa Barbara.
Richard Aldag

Richard Aldag is an active composer whose works have been commissioned and performed by numerous symphonies, including the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the Shanghai Symphony. He served as executive director of the Napa Valley Symphony from 2006-2012, and prior to this, served as executive director of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. As an educator, Richard has served on the faculties of several schools, including Fordham University and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.
Mark Levy

Mark Levy has performed and taught around the country for 30 years at synagogues, Jewish community centers, Lehrhaus Judaica, Workmen's Circle and other Jewish groups. He has appeared throughout the country and abroad as a singer and lecturer who specializes in traditional Judaic folk music, Jewish humor, and Klezmer history and theory. “Nu, You Think That's Funny?” was developed in a Catskill hotel one summer and includes jokes, film and audio clips that chronicle 100 years of Jewish jokesters.
John Rothmann

Regarded as a scholar of modern Republicanism, John Rothmann is a political and foreign policy consultant who specializes in issues of the U.S., Middle East and former Soviet Union. Among his many roles, he has served as director of the Nixon Collection at Whittier College, as chief of staff to Senator Milton Marks and as field representative to Senator Quentin Kopp. John has spoken at numerous campuses in the U.S., Canada and Israel, and taught at the University of San Francisco. He is the co-author of the books “Harold E. Stassen: The Life and Perennial Candidacy of the Progressive Republican” and “Icon Of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam.”
Sara Felder

Sara Felder is a solo theater artist, playwright, humorist, juggler and teacher. She ran away with San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus, was a featured act in Joel Grey’s Borscht Capades, toured Cuba with Jugglers for Peace, opened for Joan Rivers, has lectured on humor all over the country and has taught juggling in California prisons and halfway houses. She continues to teach comedy and humor at San Francisco State University and Road Scholar, as well as in her popular class on solo performance at the Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre. Sara believes in the power of laughter to help talk about the most difficult subjects. For example, her solo plays have included the themes of same-sex marriage, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, mental illness and grief – and they are all comedies. Sara has earned fellowships, commissions and residencies from many agencies including the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the California Arts Council and many other organizations.
Sue Lombardi

Susanna Lombardi is an art historian and educator whose career in college teaching spanned over 25 years. In addition to her role as a faculty member at Dominican College, she served as the associate director of the graduate humanities program. She completed her graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, and is the author of the book, "Behold!"
James Dalessandro

James Dalessandro has written more than 20 feature film and television scripts, including the movie adaptation of his best selling novel, “1906,” for Warner Brothers, and the Hallmark movie, “Citizen Jane,” based on his true crime book. He is the writer and director of the award- winning documentary film, “The Damnedest Finest Ruins,” and the writer and executive producer of, “Petrosino,” an upcoming 10-hour mini series based on his Playboy article and upcoming book. He is the principal Road Scholar lecturer in his adopted home of San Francisco where he screens, “The Damnedest Finest Ruins,” and lectures on subjects ranging from the founding of San Francisco the Transcontinental Railroad, Old Chinatown, the Golden Gate Bridge to the history of its artists: Mark Twain, Jack London, Isadora Duncan and the Beat Generation.
Darwin Patnode

Darwin Patnode earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of Minnesota. He taught at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls and Santa Clara University. Darwin also worked at Foothill College in Los Altos as a teacher and as an administrator. He retired from Cal State Hayward and now speaks at senior complexes. Darwin is a member of Mensa.
Marty Carcieri

Marty Carcieri is a tenured associate professor of political science, specializing in constitutional law and political theory. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Cal State Los Angeles, a J.D. from UC Hastings, and a Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara. He taught previously at the University of North Florida and the University of Tennessee. Marty teaches undergraduate courses in American political theory, legal issues, constitutional law, and jurisprudence, as well as graduate seminars on the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the judicial process, the U.S. drug war, and John Rawls. His work has been cited in four state appellate court decisions and in amicus curiae briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in four landmark cases.
David Large

Having earned his Ph.D. in history from UC Berkeley in 1974, David Clay Large has taught at Berkeley, Smith College, Montana State University, and Yale University, where he was also college dean. Presently he is a visiting scholar at the Institute of European Studies at Berkeley. A specialist in the history of modern Germany, he is the author of a dozen books, including "Where Ghosts Walked: Munich’s Road to the Third Reich," "Berlin," "Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936," and "Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph at the Olympic Games." His current project is a narrative history of the great spa-towns of Central Europe.
Brian Taylor

A professor of photography at California State University in San Jose, Brian Taylor is known for his innovative explorations of alternative photographic processes including historic 19th Century printing techniques, mixed media, and hand made books. His work has been exhibited nationally and abroad in numerous solo and group shows and is included in the permanent collections of the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and several others. His photographs have been published in many magazines inlucding American Photographer and Photo Asia, and he has taught photography workshops for over 20 years at institutions including Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon. He received his B.A. Degree in Visual Arts from the University of California at San Diego, an M.A. from Stanford University, and his M.F.A. from the University of New Mexico.
Doug Bailey

Doug Bailey earned his Ph.D. in archaeology from Cambridge University, following a degree in classical archaeology at Dartmouth College. Doug has taught in the UK and the U.S., including a decade at Cardiff University in Wales where he held a personal chair in European prehistory. His primary fieldwork includes excavations of 8000-year old villages of Neolithic Romania, for which the Romanian Ministry of Culture awarded their 2002 Adrian Radulescu Prize for outstanding contribution to Romanian archaeology. Doug has written key works on prehistoric archaeology including “Prehistoric Figurines: Representation and Corporeality,” “Balkan Prehistory,” and “Living Well Together: Sedentism and Mobility.” Doug is a professor of anthropology at San Francisco State University and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Doug has lectured in Europe, America and Asia on topics ranging from his fieldwork to the origins of art and representation.
Ken Blady

Ken Blady is an educator, public speaker, writer and Yiddish translator. Born in Paris, France, he grew up in Brooklyn. He has a bachelor’s in history from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s in clinical counseling from California State University, East Bay. Ken is the author of "Jewish Communities in Exotic Places" and "The Jewish Boxers' Hall of Fame," as well as a translator of five works from Yiddish.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront
  Burlingame 5 nights
 Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront hotel is ideally located just three miles from San Francisco Airport in the contemporary neighborhood of Burlingame, CA. Located just minutes from Burlingame's charming downtown shopping and dining district, there are plenty of options for exploration and entertainment in the area. Guests may enjoy a stroll along the scenic walking path overlooking San Francisco Bay or take a trip to downtown San Francisco, which is just 30 minutes away.
  Contact info: 600 Airport Blvd.
Burlingame, CA 94010 USA
phone: 650-340-8500
  Room amenities: Guest rooms are spacious with a decor of all-white linen with honey sycamore wood accents. The bathrooms are over-sized with dark wood elevated vanities and ample counter and storage space featuring premium bath amenities. Along with windows that open and comfortable, pillow-top mattresses, all rooms are equipped with flat screen 42-inch HDTV with premium channels, high-speed internet access, laptop safe, coffee maker with complimentary regular and decaffeinated coffee and tea. All guest rooms are completely smoke free.
  Facility amenities: The hotel features a California culinary-inspired restaurant, Windows on the Bay with sweeping views overlooking San Francisco Bay. Guests may enjoy a swim in the indoor heated pool or work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center. Other amenities include an ATM, gift shop, laundry service, newsstand, business center and a cocktail bar. The hotel is 100% smoke-free and pet-friendly. WI-FI INTERNET ACCESS: The hotel provides Road Scholar guests with complimentary in-room high-speed wireless and wired Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: As quoted by hotel Call the hotel at (650) 340-8500 for the best available rate at the time of the program.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: As quoted by hotel Call the hotel at (650) 340-8500 for the best available rate at the time of the program.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The hotel check-in time is 3pm. The Road Scholar registration begins also begins at 3pm. You will be staying at Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends at 1pm after lunch. You will be staying at Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. On the enclosed Participant Information Form, please indicate to us the name of your roommate/traveling companion. Photo ID
  Parking availability:
Parking is complimentary.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Burlingame
  Nearest city or town:  Burlingame
  Nearest highway: Highway 101
  Nearest airport:  San Francisco International
  From End of Program
  Location: Burlingame
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

San Francisco International Airport


From Airport




Hotel Shuttle
Look for "Hilton/Embassy Suites" on the side of the shuttle.
phone: 650-340-8500

Driving Directions
  From the north Take Highway 101 south. Take the Broadway exit, EXIT 419B. Keep left to take the ramp toward Airport Blvd/Old Bayshore Hwy. Keep right to turn right on Rollins Rd. Make sharp right on Broadway and go over the freeway. Turn right onto Old Bayshore Hwy/Bayshore Hwy. Turn left onto Airport Blvd. Go through intersection of Airport and Anza Blvds. Hilton Hotel is on the left at 600 Airport Blvd.
  From the south and east Take Highway 101 north. Take the Peninsula Ave exit, EXIT 417B. Turn left onto Airport Blvd. Turn slightly right to stay on Airport Blvd. Hilton Hotel is on the right at 600 Airport Blvd.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals and Introductions
(Thursday, February 21)
 Afternoon: 3pm: Hotel check-in time. Program registration is from 3:00 to 4:30pm followed immediately by an orientation session at 4:30pm.
 Dinner: 5:30pm
 Evening: 7pm: Social time and introductions
Accommodations: Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Legendary Pianists/ The Great Religions of the World
(Friday, February 22)
 Breakfast: 6-9am buffet
 Morning: 9:30-11:30am: Legendary Pianists: Paderewski, Rachmaninoff & More

What makes these legendary pianists so great? William Wellborn provides fascinating historical background about these great artists and details about their careers, along with many delightful anecdotes. The major focus is on some truly legendary recordings by these important musicians, who were among the most prominent figures of their day and remain unforgotten by modern audiences.

 Lunch: Noon
 Afternoon: 1-3pm: Legendary Pianists: Paderewski, Rachmaninoff & More
 Dinner: 5:30pm
 Evening: 7-9pm: The Great Religions of the World

This program offers the participant an opportunity to learn about some of the important aspects of the great religions of today’s world. Each program will include a discussion of the nature of religious thought, practice and tradition, and then an overview/ history of that particular tradition’s worldview, practices and engagement with the larger world community. Possible traditions include Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. A discussion of some of the major sects of each tradition will be included.

Accommodations: Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field trip to Hanna House, Stanford University, Palo Alto
(Saturday, February 23)

Note: The visit at Hanna House lasts about 90 minutes, with easy strolling from room to room.

 Breakfast: 6-9:30am buffet
 Morning: 10am-2pm: Field Trip to Stanford University in Palo Alto for Docent-led Visit of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hanna House

The Hanna House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1936 for Stanford Professor Paul Hanna and his wife, Jean, who were specialists in childhood education. Wright had become interested in designing elegant and affordable homes for the American middle class to create a more harmonious, enlightened society.

The long-term collaboration between the Hannas and Wright resulted in an unprecedented design: a house based on hexagonal geometry, with no right angles in the floor plan. This radical experimentation allowed Wright to explore open spatial planning. Hanna House was a turning point in his career, leading to ideas later evidenced in the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The Hannas lived in the house until giving it to Stanford in 1975. It housed four university provosts until suffering severe damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. It underwent complex restoration, made complicated by its unique design, and reopened to the public in 1999. (Courtesy of the Hanna House)

 Lunch: 2:15-3:15
 Afternoon: Free Time
 Dinner: 5:30pm
 Evening: 7-9pm: Great Religions of the West
Accommodations: Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: The Story of Architecture: From the Pyramids to Frank Lloyd Wright/San Francisco History and Neighborhoods
(Sunday, February 24)
 Breakfast: 6-9am buffet
 Morning: 9:30-11:30am: The Story of Architecture: From the Pyramids to Frank Lloyd Wright

Architectural styles are determined by the philosophy and culture in which they were made. We will consider Egyptian pyramids; Classical structures; Romanesque and Gothic religious styles; Renaissance palaces and churches; Baroque and Rococo buildings; Neo-classical and Beaux Arts revival; and finally, modern styles with a focus on Frank Lloyd Wright.

 Lunch: Noon
 Afternoon: 1:30-3:30pm: San Francisco History and Neighborhoods

Americans have two hometowns: their own and San Francisco. Enjoy an engaging look at the City by the Bay starting with its founding in 1776 through the Gold Rush, 1906 earthquake, and 1967 Summer of Love while discovering its charming neighborhoods.

 Dinner: 5:30pm
 Evening: Free Time
Accommodations: Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: 20th Century Presidents Who Made A Difference/The Story of Architecture/live entertainment
(Monday, February 25)
 Breakfast: 6-8:30am buffet
 Morning: 9am-noon: 20th Century Presidents Who Made A Difference

Look back at the American presidents of the 20th century and their effect on history. These include Woodrow Wilson, FDR, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

 Lunch: Noon
 Afternoon: 1:30-3:30pm: The Story of Architecture: From the Pyramids to Frank Lloyd Wright
 Dinner: 5:30pm
 Evening: 7:15-8pm: Live entertainment
Accommodations: Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: 20th Century Presidents Who Made A Difference / Independent Departures
(Tuesday, February 26)
 Breakfast: 6-8:30am buffet
 Morning: 9am-noon: 20th Century Presidents Who Made A Difference
 Lunch: Noon: The program is over after lunch. Hotel checkout is noon.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
  Burlingame Bay Front Trail
Walk along the scenic San Francisco Bay Trail adjacent to the bay and the hotel. You will see sweeping views of the South Bay, the East Bay cities of Oakland and Alameda and the San Francisco skyline. For additional information, visit
  Computer History Museum
The Computer History Museum explores the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society and is home to the largest collection of computing artifacts in the world. Wednesday-Sunday, 10-5; 650-810-1010; 1401 Shoreline Blvd, Mt. View; take 101 south exit Shoreline Blvd, turn left onto Shoreline, cross through intersection, museum on right. For additional information, visit
  Downtown Burlingame
Downtown Burlingame is filled with interesting shops and restaurants. For additional information, visit
Located 30 miles south of San Francisco, Filoli is an historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century. Whether enjoying its beauty or pursuing its educational opportunities, we invite you to explore this cherished community resource. (Courtesy of Take Highway 101 south to 92 west to 280 south. Exit Edgewood Road, Exit 29. Right on Edgewood. Right on Canada. Left at 86 Canada Road. For additional information, visit
  Hiller Aviation Museum
Hiller Aviation Museum is dedicated to the dreams of flight, looking back into aviation’s history while exploring its future. Open 10-5 daily; six miles south of hotel at 601 Skyway Road, San Carlos; 650-654-0200; take Hwy 101 south to Holly Street/Redwood Shores Pkwy exit. Go east onto Redwood Shores Pkwy. Turn right onto Airport Road. Turn right onto Skyway Road. The restoration shop, with its large picture windows, allows the visitor to witness the ongoing restoration process. Museum collection includes aircraft exhibits: vintage and futuristic aircraft, prototypes, photographic displays, and models are on display. Extensive gift shop. Museum is adjacent to San Carlos Airport where you can watch commuter planes take off and land. For additional information, visit
  NASA Ames Exploration Center
Experience NASA technology and missions first hand; open Tuesday-Sunday 12-4, free admission; 650-604-6274 or 650-604-6497; Moffett Field; Take 101 south, Exit Moffett Blvd./NASA Parkway, at the stop light, turn right, as you approach Moffett Field, turn right at the stop sign before the main gate, The center is on the right, proceed behind the dome for parking. For additional information, visit
  San Francisco
Some of the main attractions in America's favorite city include Chinatown, Coit Tower, Telegraph Hill and North Beach, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Ferry Building and downtown Market Street, the Asian Art Museum, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, Golden Gate Park with the Japanese Tea Garden and deYoung Museum, Golden Gate Bridge, Mission Dolores, Nob Hill and Grace Cathedral, the Presidio with the Walt Disney Family Museum, Union Square, Yerba Buena Center with the SF Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Cliff House and the Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum. For additional information, visit
  Stanford University
Stanford University: Located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford University is recognized as one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions. Pick up a self-guided tour map and walk around campus at your leisure, or take a one-hour, student-led Campus Walking Tour at 11am or 3:15pm. Suggested sights to see: Hoover Tower, Memorial Church, Cantor Arts Center and the Hanna Honeycomb House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Go south on 101 to Embarcadero Road. Travel three miles. Embarcadero Road becomes Galvez Street when you cross El Camino Real. Stay in the left lane and continue past the stadium. The entrance to the Visitor Center Lot is on the left just beyond Nelson Road. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog, Updated 3rd Edition

Author: William Allin Storrer

The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity

Author: Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy

Historic San Francisco: A Concise History and Guide

Author: Rand Richards

Historic Walks in San Francisco: 18 Trails Through the City's Past

Author: Rand Richards

Mud, Blood, and Gold: San Francisco in 1849

Author: Rand Richards

Haunted San Francisco: Ghost Stories From the City's Past

Author: Rand Richards

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