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A San Diego Exploration from the Heart of the Gaslamp District

Program Number: 20521RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/14/2014 - 9/19/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: San Diego, California
Price starting at: $995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Independent City Discoveries
Meals: 10; 5 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

San Diego’s sun, sand and surf are known worldwide, but the beach and the climate form only a small part of its allure. Founded as the first California mission, today San Diego is home to nearly 1.5 million residents in an eclectic mix of interesting neighborhoods and an energetic, revitalized Victorian quarter. Enjoy rich history and culture in an idyllic climate as you see for yourself what makes San Diego special.


• Stay in the heart of the downtown Gaslamp District in historic four-star splendor at the US Grant with easy access to restaurants and entertainment.
• Join expert led field trips utilizing public transportation through Old Town; Coronado Island; Little Italy and the Gaslamp or “new town” where every building tells a story.
• Choose a museum to visit in fascinating Balboa Park and gain insight into the Chicano identity through the murals of Barrio Logan.

Activity Particulars

Walking two miles, stairs, some hills; standing indoors and out; getting on/off a motor coach.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

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.

Luxury-collection hotel accommodations in the historic and vibrant downtown Gaslamp Quarter.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
  San Diego, California 5 nights
 Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
Type: Resort
  Description: Impeccable service from a welcoming staff. Luxuriate in eco-friendly, full-service spa, stroll on the beach, paddle-board on the bay, ride the Mission Bay Trail or relax in a deck chair at the award-winning hotel pool and watch the boats in the marina. You’ll find the best of California coastal chic at this luxury hotel in San Diego. After a day of exploring all that San Diego has to offer, enjoy stylish cuisine in a classic California setting and then sink into a plush Hyatt Grand Board™ in your well-appointed hotel room or suite.
  Contact info: 1441 Quivira Rd
San Diego, CA 92109 USA
phone: 619-224-1234
  Room amenities: Standard Room Amenities: •Enhanced work desk lighting •Hairdryer •Iron/ironing board •Room service during regular hours •32 inch LCD flat-screen television •Cable/satellite TV channels •Video on demand •iHome clock radio •Dual line phones •Voicemail •High-speed Internet access ($9.95/24hrs) •Dataport •Analog phone line •Individual heat control •Individual air conditioning control •In room safe •Concierge during regular hours •Video checkout •Rollaways upon request ($20 charge per night) •Maximum guests per room: 3 •Coffee maker •335 square feet guestroom Accessible Hotel Amenities on Request •Audio/visual smoke detectors •Connecting rooms •Braille symbols in elevators •Bathtub bench and grab rails •Wheelchair accessible exterior doors •Wheelchair accessible climate controls •Four rooms have wheelchair accessible bathrooms
  Facility amenities: •429 Newly-Redesigned Guestrooms •Hyatt Grand Bed™ •Balconies with Views of Pacific Ocean, Mission Bay or Gardens (not standard rooms) •Fast Board™ •PDA check-in •Valet, Self-Parking and Rental Car Options •Red Marlin Restaurant Bar and Terrace •SWIM lounge and pool bar - Bay Views, a Five-Foot, 360-degree Aquarium and Imaginative Cocktails •Einstein Bros. Bagels and Coffee in the Mission bay boardwalk •Eco-friendly Blue Marble Spa •Water Playground with Multiple Pools and Water Slides •New Waterfront 24-Hour StayFit Gym™ •Private Marina •Kayaks / Jet Skis / Sport Fishing / Sailboats / Whale Tours •30,000 sq ft of Indoor and Outdoor Flexible Function Space •Self-Parking $24 a day (minus Road Scholar 25% discount)
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Please Call Additional Nights available on request subject to rate availability
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Please Call Additional Nights available on request subject to rate availability
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
San Diego. The program will start at 5:00 PM. Check the TV monitor at the hotel's lobby for the gathering place. You will be staying at Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina that night.
  End of Program:
San Diego. The program will end approximately at 10:00 AM in the hotel. You will be staying at Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Road Scholar participants have 50% off of the regular parking rate. -Self parking: $29 per day -Valet parking: $34 per day
To Start of Program
  Location:  San Diego, California
  Nearest airport:  San Diego Airport (SAN).
  From End of Program
  Location: San Diego, California
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

To Hyatt Regency Mission Bay


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Super Shuttle
phone: 800-258-3826
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$10.00 approximately
Prices are subject to change.




10 minutes approximately


Private shuttles or taxi cabs are the best means of transportation. Please call one day in advance to schedule your pick up from the airport, the bus or train stations, or SAN parking lot.


To Hyatt Regency Mission Bay


From Airport






Per Person/One Way:


$15.00 approximately
Prices are subject to change.




10 minutes approximately


Taxi cabs may be found right outside the airport terminal. It is the easiest transfer method. Same information is applicable for train or bus stations arrivals.

Driving Directions
  From San Diego International Airport (SAN): San Diego International Airport is located at: 3225 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101 To Hyatt Regency Mission Bay: Take the Pt. Loma exit and turn right on Nimitz Blvd. towards Mission Bay Park. Follow Ingraham Street north to West Mission Bay Drive/Mission Beach. Follow West Mission Bay Drive to the right. Turn left at the light, on to Quivira Road. Make an immediate right at Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina.
  From the East (Arizona): To Hyatt Regency Mission Bay: Follow Interstate 8 west to West Mission Bay Drive. Exit West Mission Bay Drive. Turn right on to West Mission Bay Drive. Go over the bridge and follow the second exit to West Mission Bay Drive/Mission Beach. Stay in the left lane and make a left turn at the first intersection on to Quivira Road. Make an immediate right. Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina will be on the left.
  From the North (Los Angeles): To Hyatt Regency Mission Bay: Follow Interstate 5 South to SeaWorld Drive Exit and go Right. Pass SeaWorld and stay to the right following signs for West Mission Bay Drive. Turn left at Quivira Road, then make an immediate right. The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina 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

(Sunday, September 14)
 Afternoon: This program is designed to give everyone a chance to discover the best of San Diego and spend time outdoors enjoying the best climate in the U.S. We combine expert led visits to some must-see sights and attractions with the opportunity to spend active time independently on the shores of Mission Bay. The idea is to combine the best of group travel with some added free time and flexibility for individual pursuits. In this way we can help you create a custom San Diego experience; for some more active, for others more relaxing, a chance to fit in your favorite museum or a special restaurant meal. To start the program we gather in the lush Southern California sub-tropical garden of the hotel and meet your group leader, a local San Diegan who will review both the structured and flex aspects of the program to prepare you for the days ahead.
 Dinner: We’re on the waterfront! Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel’s restaurant overlooking the yacht marina.
 Evening: Stroll along the boardwalk in front of the hotel and enjoy the cool ocean breeze.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
Meals Included: Dinner

(Monday, September 15)

Note: The hotel is ideally based to take advantage of outdoor activities available on Mission Bay. Kayaks, paddle boards and bikes can be rented on the bay front adjacent to the hotel and we have negotiated a special discount. Our local guide will help set you off in the right direction to explore on the water or along the bike path.

 Breakfast: There is a great buffet selection at the hotel’s waterfront restaurant and the choice of indoor or outdoor seating.
 Morning: Known as California’s birthplace, San Diego pledged allegiance to Spain and Mexico, becoming part of the USA only in 1850. Today it is one of America’s favorite cities. Its enviable climate described as the “most ideal in America,” the Pacific Ocean as its natural aquatic playground, and the scenic beauty of its location attract visitors as well as new settlers. It is one of the nation’s most important business cities, with growing high-tech, biotech and communications industries. Despite the large population, it still boasts a small town mentality with a high quality of life. A lecture by a local historian presents an overview of the city’s development. We will set out to explore the sites where the city was founded. Old Town State Park, the birthplace of California with over 30 historical sites, is our first destination. On the way, we’ll drive past the Italian neighborhood settled by Italian fishermen who began a thriving tuna fishing industry. A second detour is to the top of Presidio Hill adjacent to Old Town, to see the open view and the site of San Diego de Alcalá Mission founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1769. In Old Town stroll through the main plaza, established by Spanish soldiers from the Presidio. Join your leader for a guided walk to visit some of the most important historical buildings depicting the life of a frontier town in the 1830’s.
 Lunch: In Old Town, lunch is a taste of Cal-Mex cuisine in a lively restaurant, Mexican food with a touch of California sophistication.
 Afternoon: Continue to downtown. Join an expert led walk to become acquainted with the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego’s downtown since 1850, declared a National Historic District. Diverse architectural styles are uncovered along the walk and amusing tales of ghosts and adventures bring each building to life. The visit includes the The Gaslamp Quarter Museum located in one of the area's first houses, the Victorian era Davis House, and the adjacent historical Horton Grand Hotel. Gaslamp Quarter is now filled with restaurants, night clubs, theaters, galleries and gaslamps! The walk ends at the waterfront facing the Convention Center, an architectural success reminiscent of a ship at full mast sailing on waves crashing on the beach. A pedestrian promenade along the bayside of the center leads to Seaport Village, a pleasant restaurant shopping area with a scenic park surrounded by water on three sides. Continue to explore with your leader or at your own pace. You may decide to explore other destinations, enter the Midway Aircraft carrier or the Maritime Museum also located on the waterfront. For the remainder of the afternoon, the hotel offers the option of relaxing by the pool, the SPA, strolling along the marina. For an active option, rent a bicycle, a kayak, or a paddleboard taking advantage of the discount offered to Road Scholars. The leader will be glad to assist you with suggestions and logistics.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own but you may choose to join the group leader for a savory Italian meal in the heart of the Gaslamp. San Diego offers a wide range of dining options from worldwide cuisines, pairing quality restaurants with spectacular views from sophisticated to casual California ambiance. Choose among the Gaslamp Quarter which boasts a wide array of restaurant options and nightlife abounds, the bay front, or any one of the many trendy eclectic neighborhoods for your dinner and evening destination. The group leader will provide a list of options for your convenience. In case an evening at the hotel is your preference, there are some casual eating options nearby in addition to the hotel restaurant.
 Evening: Continue to enjoy the nightlife in the district chosen for your dinner. The program leader will provide information on theater performances and special events. Balboa Park offers open air theaters including the Globe, downtown has several opera and playhouses, Sygnet theater performances run regularly in Old Town.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

(Tuesday, September 16)
 Breakfast: Great people watching over the hotel’s bountiful buffet breakfast overlooking the marina.
 Morning: No wake up call for this morning! Pursue your personal activity. If desired, meet the tour leader in the hotel garden to confirm the logistics for your individual visit or activity. Perhaps you would like to join a Harbor Boat Excursion to either the North Bay or South Bay for spectacular views of the city skyline from the water in addition to sailing next to the Naval Shipyards and the Naval Air and Submarine Stations. A boating alternative is a cruise in Mission Bay on a Mississippi- style sternwheeler. You may decide to join your leader on a bicycle track partially encircling Mission Bay, the 4,600 acre aquatic park filled with paths, waterways, islets and inlets. Kayaks and paddleboards may be rented at the hotel, join a half day fishing trip, or simply relax by the pool or at the SPA.
 Lunch: On your own, most likely at the hotel or a quick bite along the shore of the bay to be ready for the early afternoon group activity.
 Afternoon: As a gateway to Mexico, San Diego expresses a true cross-cultural feel reflected in its communities, its architecture, cuisine, culture, and arts, particularly in Barrio Logan, the Hispanic Quarter. Chicano Park, located under the San Diego-Coronado bridge, is home to the largest collection of outdoor murals in the United States all painted by local artists. Tour the tall, colorful murals which reflect Mexican-American culture, such as a dark-skinned Virgin of Guadalupe, César Chavez’s social struggle, Mexico’s conquest and independence and much more! Continue across a slender curved bridge that unites San Diego with charming Coronado semi-island. Characterized by fabulous views, palm-lined avenues and a fine wide beach, the highlight of Coronado is the Hotel Del, an American fairytale castle. Boasting a history filled with famous celebrities, the lavish wooden Victorian hotel is the last of its kind still standing on the West Coast. Together with the leader or at your own pace, walk along the historic corridors frequented by Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis during the filming of the famed film “Some Like It Hot”, through the gardens and out to one of the most beautiful of California’s beaches. We’ll return to downtown by ferry to view the skyline and harbor from mid-bay. Landing on the Embarcadero, walk by the Maritime Museum to view the imposing Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship. Continue to the Bayside restaurant for dinner.
 Dinner: The fish and seafood restaurant on the bay is a San Diego landmark. A non-sea platter may be chosen.
 Evening: The restaurant is near the vibrant downtown offering an ample selection of nightlife. For a quieter option, return to the secluded hotel.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

(Wednesday, September 17)
 Breakfast: It’s a very California breakfast: outdoors, on the water, and lot’s of healthy options in the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: This morning we’ll explore Balboa Park. Built to host the 1915 Panama – California Exposition, Balboa Park today is America’s largest urban cultural park. Exotic vegetation, 15 museums, 8 gardens, theaters, art centers, exquisite Moorish architecture and a world famous zoo make up its 1.200 acres. Filled with cultural treasures, architectural grandeur and lush landscapes, the park holds a wealth of stories behind its creation. Together with an expert, walk along El Prado, the heart of the park, and to other crucial landmarks to better appreciate the beauty and importance of the park in the development of the city. If desired, join the leader on a visit of the Botanical garden and a small private collection of art.
 Lunch: Meet for an informal lunch at a restaurant in the park.
 Afternoon: Balboa Park has been referred to as the “Smithsonian of the West”. Museums choices include art, science, natural history, history of man, photography, and more. The afternoon is yours to choose a museum to visit at your pace. Also within the park easily reachable from El Prado is the famed San Diego Zoo. The entrance ticket includes a bus tour, skyfari and a hop-on-hop-off bus facilitating personal exploration. Your leader will assist you with the logistics for your choice of activity either in the park or with other destinations in the city.
 Dinner: If desired, meet your leader at the beautiful El Prado Restaurant for Happy Hour, a San Diego favorite. You may choose to remain in the restaurant for dinner or depart for the nearby Hillcrest trendy neighborhood for a wide choice of ethnic restaurants.
 Evening: There are several theaters within the park. Treat yourself to a performance following dinner at the El Prado restaurant to end a perfect day. If trendy Hillcrest neighborhood was your choice for dinner, enjoy an after dinner drink in a local bar.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

(Thursday, September 18)
 Breakfast: Delight on the ample choice of delicacies served at the buffet breakfast in the same marina-facing restaurant.
 Morning: The top of the morning is open for independent exploration. If desired, meet the tour leader in the hotel garden to confirm the logistics for your individual visit or activity, either in the city or in the hotel. You may decide to join your leader on an excursion to the historic Cabrillo National Monument commemorating Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s landing at San Diego Bay in 1542. Located at the tip of Point Loma, it offers breathtaking views of San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean. A museum on early Spanish explorations and the Point Loma lighthouse are located within the park. 11:30 am Meet in the hotel garden and head out along scenic Pacific Coast north of downtown. Live the quintessential San Diego beach experience at Pacific Beach.
 Lunch: Walk along the boardwalk among surfers, skateboarders, bikers and choose a restaurant for lunch.
 Afternoon: Continue north along a spectacular coastline to reach the sophisticated exclusive La Jolla community, where Mediterranean architecture, boutiques and restaurants line rugged cliffs and sculptured coves. Walk along the shore, view the cliffs and seal beach, and continue at your pace into the town to browse in the boutiques or enjoy a cup of coffee in the historic Hotel Valencia. Meet the leader and continue to the world renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Birch Aquarium which are located within the town. You may visit the aquarium or join the leader on a walk along the more than 1,000 ft. long pier extending into the ocean. Continue the drive to the top of mount Soledad for a panoramic view before returning to the hotel.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner is at the hotel’s bayside restaurant
 Evening: Gather in a garden cove for a review of the joyful week and farewells.
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

(Friday, September 19)
 Breakfast: Gather in a garden cove for a review of the joyful week and farewells.
 Morning: Gather in a garden cove for a review of the joyful week and farewells.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  San Diego, California General Overview
With almost idillyc weather, San Diego offers entertainment for every taste. From numerous museums, nature and beaches, exhibits and events, to a great number of amusement parks, restaurants and night clubs, this city has something for every age. For additional information, visit
  General overview
San Diego offers a vast variety of events year-round for all tastes. To learn what will be happening during your stay, you may review a comprehensive calendar at this San Diego visitor's on-line guide. For additional information, visit
OLD GLOBE THEATER Balboa Park Tel. (619) 234 5023 CYGNET THEATER 4040 Twiggs St. San Diego, CA 92110 Tel. (619) 337-1525 SAN DIEGO CIVIC THEATER 1100 Third Ave Tel. (619) 570 1100 BALBOA THEATER 868 Fourth Ave @ E Street in Gaslamp Tel. (619) 5701100 COPLEY SYMPHONY HALL 750 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101 Tel. (619).235.0804
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

San Diego Then and Now

Author: Nancy Hendrickson

Description: A photographic approach to San Diego history comparing same site, different time period.

San Diego An introduction to the Region

Author: Philip R. Pryde

Description: A historical geography of the natural environments and human development of San Diego County. A tecnical but simple approach.

Walking San Diego

Author: Lonnie Burnstein Hewitt and Barbara Moore

Description: An inviting description of the trails and the wildlife for those who enjoy to explore the parks and the surroundings of the city by foot.

San Diego Legends

Author: Jack Scheffler

Description: Pleasant reading about the events, people and places that made history.


Author: Helen Hunt Jackson

Description: A favorite historic love novel set in Southern California in the 1880’s, Ramona is the story of 3 cultures - Indian, Mexican, and Anglo – and their struggle to co-exist.

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