Road Scholar : Home
On the Road: The Romance and Beauty of California’s Pacific Coast Highway

Program Number: 20120RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/17/2013 - 8/27/2013; 4/9/2016 - 4/19/2016; 9/17/2016 - 9/27/2016; 10/22/2016 - 11/1/2016;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: San Diego, California
Price starting at: $2,499.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: On the Road
Meals: 25; 10 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Journey along one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines as you follow the Pacific Coast Highway to some of California’s most idyllic places. Begin with an immersion into San Diego’s rich history before traveling north to Laguna Beach, a center of plein air painting. Delve into the Queen Mary’s expansive past, then explore J. Paul Getty’s art collection at the Getty Center.


Reflect at Santa Barbara’s Mission, savor Santa Ynez wines and marvel at the palatial Hearst Castle.
Behold Big Sur’s rugged coastline and encounter the wonders of the ocean at Monterey Bay Aquarium.
A final stop in San Francisco offers a local’s look at the city including a visit to Alcatraz Island.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to 1.5 miles; inclines up to 130 feet in quarter mile walk. Participants must be able to get on/off coach and transport their own bags.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival San Diego, 2 nights; Long Beach, 1 night; Santa Barbara, 2 nights; San Simeon, 1 night; Monterey, 2 nights; San Francisco, 2 nights; departure.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.

San Diego

The oldest city in California, San Diego possesses a rich history in a gorgeous, light-filled setting. Cabrillo National Monument, historic Old Town and the city’s Spanish Mission help to tell the story of San Diego’s past. The city is blessed with a Mediterranean climate, beautiful beaches and cross-cultural feel.

Long Beach (California)

This busy port city is in the sunny heart of Southern California. The Long Beach Aquarium and Queen Mary cruise ship — docked in Long Beach since 1967 — are highlights.

Santa Barbara

The “American Riviera” — so-called for its mild, Mediterranean climate — lies along a south-facing stretch of scenic coast between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains and was home for millennia to the ancestral Chumash people. Today Santa Barbara is a leading center for education adorned with the trappings of the Spanish Mission period.

San Simeon

San Simeon is a historic California town once frequented by the business magnate and newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, who built opulent Hearst Castle there. The dramatic coastline along Highway 1 nearby has a reputation as one of the most scenic drives in the world. Keep an eye out for the many elephant seals that call the area home.

Pacific Grove

Pacific Grove is located on the very tip of the scenic Monterey Peninsula on the picturesque Central Coast of California. It boasts many stunning Victorian houses and the Point Pinos Light, the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast. Each autumn it is the destination of a spectacular Monarch Butterfly migration.

San Francisco

A stunning city with a colorful past and vibrant present, San Francisco offers legendary landmarks — the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, cable cars and elegant Victorian homes — along with spectacular cityscapes and views of bay and bridges.

Comfortable and conveniently located accommodations in six different destinations, including waterfront hotels, resort-style lodging and the Queen Mary. No hotel parking offered in San Diego.

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

A Canadian by birth, Joy Podger has lived in Santa Barbara since 1934, and is one of its most enduring and popular interpreters and lay historians. Joy has filled her life with volunteer activities since retiring from a long career in education during which she taught at both the elementary and high school levels. She is a docent at the Santa Barbara Courthouse, Presidio and Santa Barbara Mission, and has been described in the local media as a “Santa Barbara treasure.”
Bob Dickey

Bob Dickey immerses himself in wine in every way, except literally. He has studied winemaking, wine growing and wine business at Hancock College and UC, Davis and attended wine conferences throughout the state. From pruning to pouring Bob has participated in every aspect of winemaking. He has co-hosted a radio wine show and leads excursions through the Santa Barbara Wine Country. He photographs the local wine country for local and national publications and major wine events.
Gael Gallagher

Gael Gallagher has a passion for the Monterey Bay area and pursues ongoing coursework in local history, ecology, architecture and the natural sciences. Gael serves as a docent at the Point Lobos State Reserve and is an instructor and trainer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She is also a docent at the National Steinbeck Center and is an instructor for the National Wildlife Federation's Conservation Summit.
E’Louise Ondash

E’Louise Ondash took her first cross-country trip at age four, and has been hooked on traveling ever since. She has visited 41 states, Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean, and organizes an annual women’s hiking adventure in various parts of the U.S. and Canada. E’Louise currently writes two weekly newspaper columns — one on consumer health and one on traveling — and freelances for several publications.
Simon Kenrick

Simon Kenrick has worn many hats throughout his career. A former city planner, he has also worked as a graphic designer, political journalist, neighborhood artist and kindergarten teacher. He taught art history at universities and art schools in California, England and Morocco. Today, Simon teaches at CSU Long Beach and Antioch University in Los Angeles, and is a 15-year veteran of Road Scholar learning adventures. He was trained in European and North American art of the 18th through 20th centuries, and specializes in relations between Islamic cultures and the West. Simon received his B.A. in art history from Cambridge University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA. He also has a graduate diploma in city planning from the Architectural Association in London.
Meals and Lodgings
   Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station
  San Diego, CA 2 nights
   The Queen Mary Hotel
  Long Beach, CA 1 night
   Harbor View Inn
  Santa Barbara, CA 2 nights
   Best Western Plus Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
  San Simeon, CA 1 night
   Best Western Victorian Inn Hotel
  Monterey 2 nights
   Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf
  San Francisco, CA 2 nights
 Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The waterfront Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Airport hotel at Liberty Station is nestled along the water and located just minutes from SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, and the historic Gaslamp district. The hotel is nestled along the waterfront in the heart of Liberty Station, an urban re-development of the historic Naval Training Center. Surrounded by restaurants, shops, spa facilities and museums, the hotel is also adjacent to a beautiful 46-acre waterfront park that offers bike & kayak rentals. The hotel features an on-site restaurant, bar and delicatessen. There are 5,000 sq ft of meeting space and 200 guest rooms.
  Contact info: 2592 Laning Road
San Diego, CA 92106 USA
phone: 619-221-1900
  Room amenities: Guest rooms are luxuriously appointed and include free high-speed Internet access (wired and wireless); cotton-rich linens; iHome docking stations and 32" HDTVs. In addition to the general amenities, guest rooms are also furnished with a hair dryer, iron/ironing board, mini-fridge, and coffee maker.
  Facility amenities: This four-story hotel provides stunning waterfront views of downtown San Diego; complimentary on-site parking and airport shuttle service for its guests; an on-site Fitness Center; a Business Center; coffee in the Lobby; outdoor swimming pool with a waterside deli and fire pit; and safe deposit boxes. Guests may relax at one of the hotel's stylish on-site restaurants, bars or waterside deli, and choose between indoor or outdoor seating. Wi-Fi INTERNET ACCESS: Free high-speed wireless Internet access is available in guest rooms and public areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Based upon availability Call the hotel directly for early arrival availability and rates, which will be based upon room availability. The Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station hotel is the starting point for this On The Road moving program.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM

 The Queen Mary Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Come aboard the legendary Queen Mary, the historic ocean liner and World War II troopship. A floating city awash in elegance, the Queen Mary in Long Beach, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, remains one of the most famous ships in history. The Queen Mary features 365 hotel staterooms, award-winning onboard restaurants and dining, a wedding chapel, 16 Art Deco reception salons for private celebrations, and exciting tours.
  Contact info: 1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802 USA
phone: 562-435-3511
  Room amenities: The 314 original First-Class Staterooms and nine Suites are situated on three decks and all are above sea level. No two rooms are alike! Many of these Staterooms feature the original artwork found on the ship during her heyday as well as authentic Art Deco built-ins for additional storage. All staterooms are air-conditioned and larger than the average cruise ship cabin. Each room is equipped with a telephone, iPod docking station and alarm clock; 32? LCD flat screen TV with satellite and Pay-Per-View movies; hair dryer; iron/ironing board; Pillow Top Perfect Sleeper Serta Mattress; and Crabtree Evelyn bath products. Room service is available. Bed Configuration: The variety of bed configurations includes 1 king, 1 queen, 1 full or 2 twins.
  Facility amenities: Whether it?s the authentic polished wood paneling, the original 1930s artwork, the Art Deco style or the operable portholes, there?s no question that the Queen Mary Hotel is unlike any other Southern California hotel. Each stateroom is unique with its own personality and offers a real glimpse into what transatlantic travel was like during the 30's, 40?s and 50?s. From historic shipwalk tours and an onboard Art Gallery to paranormal attractions, shops, spa and fitness room, and various events, there is a wide variety of things to do and see while aboard the ship. The Queen Mary is a 100% non-smoking hotel. Wi-Fi and Internet Access: Wi-Fi is available on board the Queen Mary in all rooms for a fee per computer of $5.99 for 60 minutes, or $9.99 for 24 hours. You can set up your WiFi access at the hotel front desk. A credit card is required.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Harbor View Inn
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: The Harbor View Inn is a family friendly, resort-style hotel that provides an ideal location for those wishing to experience the best that Santa Barbara has to offer---from the beautiful Pacific coastline (the Inn sits right across the street from the ocean and a white sandy beach) to the charming shops and restaurants along State Street.
  Contact info: 28 W. Cabrillo Blvd
Santa Barbara, CA 93101 USA
phone: 800-755-0222
  Room amenities: All guest rooms feature the same amenities and are as follows: All rooms include a private patio or balcony and added amenities like terry cloth robes, coffeemaker, CD player, personal safe, iron and board, hair dryer, mini-bar, safe and a daily newspaper delivered to your door. Your remote-control flat screen TV has cable service with free HBO and pay per-view movies and games.
  Facility amenities: This boutique resort hotel include 102 spacious, well-appointed guest rooms and many amenities. The Harbor View Inn's ocean-view pool is a spectacular place to relax amid blooming colors and tropical palm trees. Or you can soak in the jacuzzi and watch the sunset. The adults-only fitness center features treadmill, elliptical trainers, stationary bike, universal gym and free weights. The gift shop serves as a convenient place to purchase toiletries and other swim/sun essentials. The business center offers 24-hour access to the internet through a desktop computer as well as printer and copier access. Wi-Fi INTERNET ACCESS: Free high-speed wireless Internet access is available in all guest rooms and public areas. Road Scholar guests should request the password when they check in.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Best Western Plus Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: The BEST WESTERN PLUS Cavalier Oceanfront Resort is located just three miles south of Hearst Castle. It is Cambria and San Simeon's only oceanfront accommodation and affords the traveler spectacular natural beauty, comfortable lodging and gracious hospitality. Situated on California's scenic Highway 1, one of the world's most beautiful roadways, this property is a gateway to viewing migrating Gray Whales (in season), California sea otters and sea lions, and some of California's finest vineyards and wineries.
  Contact info: 9415 Hearst Drive
San Simeon, CA 93452-9724 USA
phone: 805-927-4688
  Room amenities: Guest rooms are tastefully appointed and have one king or two queen-size beds. Amenities include cable satellite television with HBO, AM/FM alarm clock, coffee/tea maker, refrigerator, hairdryer and iron/board. Handicapped-accessible rooms are available with 1 king or 2 queen bed configurations. Bathrooms have grab bars and some have roll-in showers. Ground floor rooms are available.
  Facility amenities: The BEST WESTERN PLUS Cavalier Oceanfront Resort features an on-site restaurant, outdoor heated pool, spa and exercise facility (open from 9:00AM to 9:00PM), gift shop, and concierge services. It is a 100% smoke free hotel. WIRELESS INTERNET SERVICE: Free Wi-Fi high-speed internet access is available in all guest rooms and throughout the hotel. Guest rooms are also hard-wired with Ethernet cables.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Best Western Victorian Inn Hotel
Type: Inn
  Description: The Best Western Victorian Inn Hotel offers its guests the pleasures of a seaside vacation and close proximity to the major attractions of the Monterey Bay area such as the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium and the unique shops and restaurants along Cannery Row. There's a nearby recreation trail, which is great for scenic runs, walks or bike rides.
  Contact info: 487 Foam Street
Monterey, CA 93940 USA
phone: 831-373-8000
  Room amenities: Each guest room features a marble gas fireplace, spacious bathroom, armoire and either a private balcony, patio or window seat from which to soak up the sea air. Additional amenities include dual sinks, in-room refrigerators and coffee makers, honor bars, free local calls, and complimentary Wi-Fi access. Each guest room is furnished with a 42 inch high-definition TV.
  Facility amenities: Distinctive features of this boutique hotel include spacious accommodations, in-room marble fireplaces, private patios, balconies or window seats where guests can soak up ocean breezes, and an evening wine and cheese reception featuring award-winning Ventana Vineyards wines. Guests may also enjoy the outdoor hot tub on the property. There are no laundry facilities on the premises, although the front desk staff will facilitate guests in locating a nearby laundromat. Wi-Fi INTERNET ACCESS: Free high-speed wireless Internet access is available in guest rooms and throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Radisson Fisherman's Wharf Hotel is located on beautiful Fisherman's Wharf overlooking breathtaking San Francisco Bay. You'll find popular San Francisco attractions just steps from the front door, including Pier 39, Alcatraz Island, Ghirardelli Square and the world famous San Francisco cable cars.
  Contact info: 250 Beach St
San Francisco, CA 94133 USA
phone: 415-392-6700
  Room amenities: Guest rooms include a 25" TV with pay-per-view movies; clock radio; high-speed, wireless Internet (complimentary); in-room coffee maker; In-room safe; iron/ironing board; the Radisson's Sleep Number bed; executive work desk; and a two-line phone with voicemail.
  Facility amenities: The hotel provides its guests with a concierge desk located in the lobby; Fitness Center (open 24 hours); outdoor heated pool open year-round; same-day laundry/dry cleaning service (six days a week); self-service parking ($37 plus tax per night); and a Business Center with desktop, high-speed Internet, fax and copier services (available for nominal fee). Wi-Fi INTERNET ACCESS: Free high-speed wireless Internet access is available in guest rooms and public areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: See Additional Nights Comments Participants who wish to extend their stay at the Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf, for up to 2 days after the program ends, may get a preferred rate based upon room availability. Please make your reservation directly with the hotel by calling (415) 392-6700. It is important to identify yourself as part of the Road Scholar "Coastal California" group.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration is in the hotel foyer from 3:30-5:00 PM. Orientation begins at 5:30PM, dinner at 6:00PM, and introductions after dinner. You will be staying at Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast on Day 11. Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation to the airport or next destination. You will be staying at Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf 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. Also let us know if you are traveling with other individuals and wish to be assigned a room near them. When completing your Participant Information Form, please note if you have any difficulty in climbing stairs as there is no elevator at the hotel in San Simeon. Photo ID
  Parking availability:
If you are driving a vehicle to the hotel in San Diego, you will need to make arrangements for your car for the duration of the program. The hotel does not recommend leaving the vehicle on the property since they do not manage the parking lot.
To Start of Program
  Location:  San Diego, CA
  Nearest city or town:  Chula Vista
  Nearest highway: Interstate 5
  Nearest airport:  San Diego International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location:  San Francisco, CA
  Nearest city or town:  Oakland, California
  Nearest highway: US Hwy 101
  Nearest airport:  San Francisco International
Travel Details

From Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf to Airport (SFO and OAK)


To Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Airport Express
phone: 415-775-5121
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$17 from hotel to SFO; $65 to OAK
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30-45 minutes or more, depending upon traffic and time of day 




16 miles to SFO; 20 miles to OAK


The Radisson recommends Airport Express for reliable service to both SFO and OAK airports. Advanced reservations can be made by visiting, or calling the Airport Express office at (415) 775-5121, or booking the shuttle through the hotel concierge desk. The shuttle leaves the hotel at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour with the first departure at 4:15AM and the last departure at 9:45PM. (Discounted shuttle rates are available if booked online.)


From San Diego Airport (SAN) to Courtyard San Diego Hotel


From Airport




Hotel Shuttle
Courtyard Hotel Shuttle
phone: 619-221-1900


Per Person/One Way:


No charge ~ Complimentary hotel shuttle service
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


5 minutes 




One mile


A courtesy phone is available at the airport, or call the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Airport/Liberty Station directly at 619-221-1900 for complimentary hotel shuttle van service. Taxi service is also available from the airport to the hotel. The estimated one-way taxi fare is $8.00/ride.


From Amtrak Station/San Diego to Courtyard San Diego Hotel


From Train Station




Yellow Cab
phone: 800-829-4222


Per Person/One Way:


Approx. $15 per ride one-way
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


About 10 minutes 




About 3.6 miles from Amtrak Station to Courtyard/San Diego Airport


The nearest Amtrak station is Santa Fe Depot, 1050 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101, located 3.6 miles south of hotel. The "Pacific Surfliner" makes multiple stops daily. For info and reservations, call Amtrak at 800-872-7245) or visit From the Amtrak station, take a taxi to the hotel (around $15 one-way).

Driving Directions
  From East/I-8 to Courtyard San Diego From I-8 Fwy, go West towards San Diego. Merge onto CA Hwy 209 South toward Rosecrans St. Go 2.4 miles and turn left onto Laning Rd. The Courtyard by Marriott at 2592 Laning Rd. is on the left.
  From North/John Wayne Airport (SNA) to Courtyard San Diego From John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, go Northeast on Airport Way toward MacArthur Blvd. Turn left onto MacArthur Blvd. Go 7.9 miles and merge onto the I-405 Fwy South toward San Diego. The I-405 South becomes I-5 Fwy South. Go 73.1 miles. Take the I-8 East exit (Exit 20) toward El Centro/South Rosecrans St. Merge onto CA Hwy 209 South toward Rosecrans St. Go 2.4 miles and turn left onto Laning Rd. The Courtyard by Marriott at 2592 Laning Rd. is on the left.
  From North/Los Angeles to Courtyard San Diego From Los Angeles, take either the I-5 Fwy South or the I-405 Fwy South to merge with the I-5 Fwy South to San Diego. Take the I-8 East exit (Exit 20) toward El Centro/South Rosecrans St. Merge onto CA Hwy 209 South toward Rosecrans St. Go 2.4 miles and turn left onto Laning Rd. The Courtyard by Marriott at 2592 Laning Rd. is on the left.
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
(Saturday, August 17)

Note: Participants should be able to get on/off a motorcoach; climb stairs where accommodations do not have elevator access to second floor rooms; and be able to walk up to 1.5 mi/day on scheduled activities. Program is an active, moving adventure in which participants will be 'on the road' every day with access to your rooms at the beginning and end of each day. Porterage is not included so you will be responsible for transferring your luggage to and from the motor coach.

 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Check into the hotel after 3:00PM

PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet which we'll review during our orientation session before dinner.

ORIENTATION: 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 at hotel

NOTE FOR ALL MEALS: Menus are contracted for the program and are designed to offer balanced, healthy meals for the participants.

Since meals are served in a group setting, it is difficult to adjust to individual dietary requests. If you are unable to eat what is on the regular menu, a vegetarian alternative is available, if not already part of the menu. Since alternative meal arrangements have to be made in advance, please indicate your need for a vegetarian entree on the enclosed Participant Information Form. If you have other dietary concerns, you can order (at your own expense) from a different menu.

 Evening: CROSSING POINTS: 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.

Accommodations: Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: San Diego
(Sunday, August 18)

Note: For San Diego tour, one must be able to get on/off the motorcoach and walk short distances. All of the destinations are flat terrain except at Point Loma/Cabrillo Monument. The Visitors Center is flat, but the walk up to the lighthouse is a moderate grade with good sidewalk – takes 5-10 minutes depending on speed.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: All day bus trip, with step-on guide, exploring San Diego's history, different communities, and attractions including Coronado Island, Balboa Park, Old Town and Cabrillo National Monument
 Lunch: Lunch at Casa Guadalajara

Enjoy an award-winning cuisine reflecting dishes of the regional villages of Mexico. Guests are served in a festive indoor dining room or colorful outdoor patio enhanced by enchanting gardens, tile fountains, strolling mariachis and, of course, giant frothy margaritas and handmade tortillas.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
 Evening: CLASS: Pacific Coast Highway-related topic
Accommodations: Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Oceanside/Laguna Beach/Queen Mary
(Monday, August 19)

Note: Amount of walking at Surf Museum and downtown Laguna is based upon interest level. Guided walk of the Queen Mary is 90 minutes.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Motorcoach departs the hotel for our trip north on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)--one of the most beautiful road trips in the world.

We'll stop first at Oceanside to visit the California Surf Museum for a look at the history and culture of surfing in California.

 Lunch: Lunch in Laguna Beach

CLASS: During lunch, listen to a brief history of the Laguna Beach Art Colony.

After lunch, take time to explore downtown Laguna Beach where you'll find a casual walking environment in which you can explore galleries and one-of-a-kind shops along Forest and Ocean Aves.

 Afternoon: Continue north by motorcoach to Long Beach and the Queen Mary.

FIELD TRIP: After checking into your stateroom, join our Behind-the-Scenes Guided Walk which offers a deeper look into the ship's history, from her construction and launch to her days as a passenger vessel and troopship.

 Dinner: Dinner in the Promenade Cafe onboard the Queen Mary

The Promenade Cafe offers American favorites in a casual dining experience.

 Evening: CLASS: 'J. Paul Getty and His Collection' introduces the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center in Los Angeles which houses European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European and American photographs.
Accommodations: The Queen Mary Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Getty Center/Santa Barbara
(Tuesday, August 20)

Note: At Getty Center, a computer-operated tram runs from street-level entrance to top of hill. Getty Center art collection is displayed in four buildings, three of which have two floors; the fourth building has three floors. Walking between museum buildings is generally on flat, paved surfaces. Optional guided docent walks of art, architecture or gardens last about an hour. Elevators are available. Amount of walking is determined by interest level. Access to Getty Garden involves a slight incline.

 Breakfast: Breakfast in Promenade Cafe onboard Queen Mary
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Motorcoach departs Queen Mary for Getty Center

The Getty Center presents the Getty's collection of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present against a backdrop of dramatic architecture, tranquil gardens, and breathtaking views. Explore the museum and grounds on your own or join one of the public tours.

 Lunch: Lunch at the Getty Center will be on your own to give you an opportunity to view the art at your leisure.

•The Garden Terrace Café offers coffee, lunch, and snacks in an outdoor setting overlooking the Central Garden in the Exhibitions Pavilion building. •The Café at the Getty Center is a self-service café with an extensive menu which includes include pizza, sandwiches, burgers, soups, pastas and salads. •Reservations are suggested for the Restaurant, a full-service facility with views of the Santa Monica Mountains. Lunch is served Tuesday-Saturday 11:30AM-2:30PM. Make reservations for the restaurant by calling (310) 440-6810.

 Afternoon: After checking into the hotel in the late afternoon, spend time walking along the Santa Barbara beach or Stearns Wharf, located across the street from hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant in Santa Barbara
Accommodations: Harbor View Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Santa Barbara Mission & Courthouse/Free Afternoon
(Wednesday, August 21)

Note: Guided walk at the Santa Barbara Mission involves walking on uneven terrain; no elevators are available.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at local restaurant
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Private guided walks through Santa Barbara Mission and Courthouse.

The "Queen of the Missions" was founded by Spanish Franciscan friars in 1786. The 10th of California's 21 missions, this is the only one to be continuously occupied and used since its founding. Explore eight restored rooms, the cloister gardens, chapel, historic cemetary, and beautiful Moorish fountains and courtyard.

Later we will enjoy a private one hour guided walk of the Santa Barbara Courthouse, the jewel in Santa Barbara's architectural crown. A bonus is the must-see view of Santa Barbara from the top of the 85 foot clock tower.

 Lunch: Lunch on your own--Enjoy an opportunity to savor the flavors of Santa Barbara at the restaurant of your choice.

Explore the sights of Santa Barbara on your own. Ride The Downtown-Waterfront Shuttle which provides frequent service along State Street and the Waterfront area. Shuttle buses and bus stops are marked with blue and black sailboat symbols and the shuttles travel on State Street from Sola Street to Stearns Wharf and along Cabrillo Boulevard.

Suggested sites are the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, Art Museum, Zoo, Presidio State Historic Park, Maritime Museum, Ty Warner Sea Center, and Urban Wine Trail.

 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant in Santa Barbara
Accommodations: Harbor View Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Santa Ynez Wine Country/San Simeon
(Thursday, August 22)

Note: Stops in Santa Ynez wine country may involve walking on uneven terrain in Los Olivos and vineyard. The visit to Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Colony requires walking on a boardwalk. There is no elevator at the hotel in San Simeon.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at local restaurant in Santa Barbara
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Half-day narrated bus tour of Santa Ynez Valley

Our guide is a local wine expert who has participated in every step of the winegrowing/winemaking process from pruning through picking, de-stemming, crushing, pressing, fermenting, maturing, racking, bottling and, of course, drinking.

Our first stop, Los Olivos, is a charming historic town of 1,000 residents, noted for its eclectic art galleries, wine tasting, unique shopping, epicurean restaurant opportunities, and antiques.

HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE: At Global Gardens, proprietess Theo Stephen will educate us on the many nuances of Extra Virgin Olive Oil as we taste a variety of olive oil samples.

 Lunch: HANDS ON EXPERIENCE: Wine tasting and gourmet box lunch during a tour of a local vineyard and winery
 Afternoon: While traveling to San Simeon and Hearst Castle, view "Hearst Castle - Building the Dream", a 40 minute National Geographic Movie which highlights the castle's rich history and surroundings and the inspirations which led William Randolph Hearst to construct his architectural masterpiece.

FIELD TRIP: Hearst Castle Visitor Center

Exhibits located in the Visitor Center offer guests an insightful look into the Castle, its architect Julia Morgan, and its owner W.R. Hearst.

 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant in San Simeon
Accommodations: Best Western Plus Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Hearst Castle/Big Sur
(Friday, August 23)

Note: The Grand Rooms guided walk at Hearst Castle consists of approximately 106 stairs (up and down) and is about 2/3 mile in length. The tour duration is 45 minutes with a considerable amount of standing and no opportunity to sit or rest. At the end of the guided portion, stroll on your own through the gardens and wander at your leisure around the Neptune Pool.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Guided Walk Through Hearst Castle

On the Grand Rooms Tour, travel back in time and experience what it was like to be a guest at The Enchanted Hill, known today as Hearst Castle, one of California's top attractions.

In Casa Grande, the main house, four rooms on the ground floor are shown starting with the Assembly Room, largest of the 14 sitting rooms and once the gathering place for Hearst's guests. Next, you will visit the Refectory, the only dining room on the Enchanted Hill and then the Billiard Room, a game room featuring two 1920s era billiard tables and the Gothic mille fleurs tapestry. The final stop is the Theater, the largest room in Casa Grande.

At the end of the guided porton of your tour, stroll on your own through the gardens and wander at your lesiure around the Neptune Pool, a Greco-Roman style outdoor pool, and the Roman Pool, an indoor pool lined with blue Venetian glass and gold tiles.

 Lunch: Lunch at Ragged Point Restaurant with a coastal ambiance
 Afternoon: After lunch, continue driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) from Big Sur to Monterey on the Monterey Peninsula. This coastal highway winds along some of the most spectacular ocean views in the U.S.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant in Monterey
Accommodations: Best Western Victorian Inn Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Monterey Aquarium/Monterey Peninsula
(Saturday, August 24)

Note: Amount of walking at Monterey Aquarium depends upon one's interest level. Elevator available in the Aquarium.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Victorian Inn
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Monterey Bay Aquarium is located on the bay along Monterey's historic Cannery Row, which was immortalized by John Steinbeck. Regularly named one of the nation's top aquariums, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is home to more than 35,000 plants and animals in 200 different exhibits.

Based on your interests, view the exhibits and attend Aquarium programs. The program schedule is subject to change, so please check with the information desk when you arrive for current show times. Programs are free with Aquarium admission.

 Lunch: Enjoy spectacular views of the bay as you relax for lunch at the casual Monterey Bay Aquarium Cafe.

The Cafe features pizza, pasta, ethnic specialties made to order, and a wide variety of ready-made sandwiches and salad entrees. Vegetarian meals, daily specials, and juicy hamburgers are made at the grill. Beverages, beer, wine and desserts are also served.

 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Gael Gallagher, naturalist and historian, joins us in the afternoon to acquaint us with the Monterey Peninsula, starting with Monterey, the most historic city in California; "New Monterey" or Cannery Row, an area immortalized by John Steinbeck; Pacific Grove, the Butterfly capital of the world; Pebble Beach's famous 17 Mile Drive; and the charming Carmel-by-the-Sea.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own--Enjoy an opportunity to savor the flavors of Monterey at the restaurant of your choice.
Accommodations: Best Western Victorian Inn Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: San Francisco
(Sunday, August 25)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Victorian Inn
 Morning: After breakfast, the motorcoach departs Monterey for San Francisco.
 Lunch: While on the trip, we'll stop and enjoy a picnic lunch.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Once we arrive in San Francisco, our San Francisco guide will introduce us to the city and the city highlights.
 Dinner: In San Francisco, a feast of culinary delights awaits you. The evening is yours to sample one of the more than 3,000 San Francisco restaurants on your own. San Francisco restaurants feature foods from every corner of the world, from southeast Asia to southern Italy, Shanghai, Paris and Provence. They are both high-end and low-end, ranging from little hole-in-the-walls to your upscale, white-tablecloth places with a unique decor selected by the owner, who is oftentimes also the chef. The wonderful thing is that the majority of these restaurants are all within walking distance because San Francisco is, for the most part, a walking city.
Accommodations: Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Alcatraz Island
(Monday, August 26)

Note: One must be able to ride a ferry boat round-trip between the San Francisco pier and Alcatraz. Much of Alcatraz is steep and hilly; the walking distance from the dock to the cell house at the top of the island is about 1/4 mile and the elevation change is 130 feet.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at local restaurant in San Francisco
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island offers a close-up look at the site of the first lighthouse and U.S. built fort on the West Coast, the infamous federal penitentiary long off-limits to the public, and the 18 month occupation by Indians of All Tribes which saved the tribes. Rich in history, there is also a natural side to the Rock - gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare.

Per Golden Gate National Recreation Area policies, the value of this tour is $26 for adults and students over the age of 11. Discounts are provided for children 11 and under and seniors 62 and over. This cost is included in program cost.

 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant in San Francisco

In San Francisco there are limitless opportunities for sight-seeing. Our program will keep you busy, but this afternoon you have a few hours of free time for personal exploration.

 Dinner: Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant in San Francisco
Accommodations: Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Independent Departures
(Tuesday, August 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at local restaurant in San Francisco
 Morning: HOTEL CHECK OUT: This concludes the program. We hope you have enjoyed our Coastal California program and will join us for other rewarding adventures in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Long Beach, CA Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
One World Trade Center, Suite 300

Long Beach, CA 90831

Phone (800) 452-7829 For additional information, visit

  San Francisco, CA San Francisco Visitor's Guide
201 3rd St.

San Francisco, CA 94107

Phone (415) 974-6900 For additional information, visit

  Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Visitors Bureau
1 Garden St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Phone (800) 676-1266 or (805) 965-3021 For additional information, visit

  San Simeon, CA San Luis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau
1037 Mill St.

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Phone (800) 634-1414 or (805) 781-2531 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

Lonely Planet Coastal California (Regional Guide)

Author: Sara Benson, Andrew Bender, Alison Bing and Nate Cavalieri

Description: Experience the best of Coastal California with Lonely Planet. The 3rd edition takes you along every cliff-hugging curve of this stunning shoreline, with stops in the hippie hamlets, redwood groves, fishing villages, state parks, wine countries, sun-soaked beaches and dazzling cities that make the California coast like no other.

R.M.S. Queen Mary: 101 Questions and Answers About the Great Transatlantic Liner

Author: David Ellery

Description: (Also available for purchase in the Queen Mary store, A Deck.) David Ellery paints an enthralling history of the legendary Cunard liner, the RMS Queen Mary whose construction began and was put on hold in the dark times of the Great Depression. Today she is enjoying retirement in the sun in Pier J, Long Beach, California as a floating hotel and events center. Ellery poses the 101 most crucial questions about her, from design, construction and machinery to stories concerning her name, interior design, and retirement, and provides detailed but concise answers to each one. The result is a thoroughly engaging and informative book that provides the essential information to the world's very last remaining 1930s superliner.

Hearst's San Simeon: The Gardens and the Land

Author: Victoria Kastner (author) and Victoria Garagliano (photographer)

Description: This new book explores the luxuriant gardens and pristine coastline surrounding Hearst Castle. Discover how Julia Morgan and William Randolph Hearst designed the landscape and what famous visitors thought about “the ranch" through stunning color photographs, historic photographs, and original drawings. 240 pages. (Hard cover)

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections

Author: Mark Greenberg

Description: This revised and updated J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections includes many major objects that recently have been added to the collections, as well as the more familiar masterpieces frequent visitors have become acquainted with over the years from the antiquities, drawings, manuscripts, paintings, photographs, and sculpture and decorative arts holdings.

Building the Getty

Author: Richard Meier

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