Road Scholar : Home
America’s Riviera: A Voyage Along the California Coast

Program Number: 20202RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/17/2015 - 5/25/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: United States/Mexico
Price starting at: $3,370.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 22; 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The Golden State’s coast spans 840 miles, encompassing the San Francisco Bay with its playful seals and Golden Gate Bridge, the dramatic cliffs of Southern California and sun-splashed beaches made famous in song and film. Explore the diversity of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Ensenada and San Diego and find the spirit of California in all of them.




Activity Particulars

Programs with Crystal Cruises are designed for the independent traveler. These programs offer a lower activity level and the ability to choose your own shore excursion based on your preferences and physical ability. Road Scholar will provide one exclusive shore excursion and private onboard lectures with our own Group Leader and lecturer.

Select your own independent shore excursions in California ports, walking distances vary by excursion chosen. Walking up to one mile during Road Scholar shore excursion in Ensenada.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Aboard Crystal Symphony, 7 nights.



Day 1:
Arrival Los Angeles, Calif. / embark Crystal Symphony:

Board the ship to settle in and enjoy a welcome dinner.



Day 2:
Santa Barbara:

In the city sometimes called the “American Riviera,” known for its Mediterranean climate, choose to explore the Santa Barbara Zoo, restaurant-lined State Street, Stearns Wharf or the wineries of nearby Santa Ynez Valley.



Days 3-4:
San Francisco:

Sail under the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco and enjoy two days to discover the city by the bay. Stroll through Chinatown, shop at Union Square, explore Fisherman’s Wharf or choose from many other options.



Day 5:
At Sea:

As you sail along the stunning coast, expert presentations delve into the building of the “myth of California” from the Indians to the Spanish to Americans and the effects of environmental changes on the California coast.



Day 6:
Ensenada (Mexico):

Voyage south to Baja California and enjoy an expert-led, exclusive Road Scholar shore excursion in Ensenada. Discover the natural beauty and the authentic cuisine of this Mexican peninsula.



Day 7:
San Diego:

Explore the lovely city of San Diego, home to one of the most pleasant climates in the United States, from the old Gas Lamp Quarter to the Horton Plaza and other historic neighborhoods.



Day 8:
Los Angeles / disembark / departure




Crystal Symphony

This sleek 781-foot ocean liner is one of the most spacious at sea. It accommodates 940 passengers for whom it provides a spa, fitness facility, two pools, Jacuzzis and inspired dining options, including a restaurant, café and outdoor grill. Complimentary fine wines and premium spirits are available to you throughout the voyage.


Meals and Lodgings
   Queen Mary 1
  Los Angeles 1 night
   Crystal Symphony
  At Sea 7 nights
 Queen Mary 1
Type: Cruise Ship
  Ship Information: THE QUEEN MARY Statistics Overall Length: 1,019.5 ft. (310.74 m.) Gross Tonnage: 81,237 gross tons (230,039 cu. m.) Constructed by: John Brown & Co., LTD., Clydebank, Scotland Commissioned by: Cunard Steamship Co., LTD. Keel Laid: December 1, 1930 Date Launched: September 26, 1934 Maiden Voyage: May 27, 1936 Portholes: Over 2,000 Rivets: Over 10 million Hull Plates: 8 ft. (2.44 m) to 30 ft. (9.14 m.) in length; up to 1.25 in. (3.2 cm.) thick Moulded Breadth: 118 ft. (35.97 m.) Height from Keel to Forward Smokestack Top: 181 ft. (55.17 m.) Height from Keel to Promenade Deck: 92.5 ft. (28.19 m.) Height from Keel to Top of Foremast: 237 ft. (72.24 m.) Number of Decks: 12 Height from Keel to Top of Foremast: 237 ft. (72.24 m.) Passenger Capacity: 1,957 Officers and Crew: 1,174 Horsepower: 160,000 Cruising Speed: 28.5 knots (55.17 km./hr.) Rudder: 140 tons Whistles: Three - Steam type. Two on forward funnel, one on middle funnel. Each over 6 ft. (1.83 m.) long, weighing 2,205 LB. (1,002 kg.) Lifeboat Capacity: 145 persons Smokestacks: Three - Elliptical in shape; 36 ft. (10.97 m.) fore and aft, 23.3 ft. (7.1 m.) wide Smokestack Height: Forward: 70.5 ft. (21.49 m.) Middle: 67.5 ft. (20.57 m.) Aft: 62.25 ft. (18.97 m.) Boilers: 27 Fuel Consumption: 13 ft./gal (1 m./l.) Draft: 39 ft. 4-9/16 in. (12.00 m.) Bow Anchors: Two that each weigh 16 tons (16,291 kg.) Anchor Height: 18 ft. (5.48 m.) Length of Promenade Deck: 724 ft. (220.68 m.) Length of Anchor Chain: 990 ft. Weight of Anchor Chain: 45 tons (45.818 kg.) Anchor Chain Link: 2 ft. (61 cm.) long, weighing 224 LB. (101.8 kg.)
  Contact info: 1126 Queens Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802 USA
phone: 562-435-3511
web: www.queenmary.com/Our-Story.aspx
  Room amenities: The hotel features 314 original guest rooms, which include 305 staterooms and 9 full suites. Each stateroom is an original cabin where no two rooms are alike. THE NSIDE STATES ROOM Inside staterooms are perfect if you're looking for a place where you can relax at the heart of the ship. All of these Long Beach hotel rooms contain large Art Deco mirrors instead of portholes. Each room includes either a King size bed or two Twin-sized beds STANDARD STATES ROOM THE QUEEN MARY's quaint staterooms offer a place to sit back and relax after a long day out exploring the ship and seeing the sights of Southern California. All of these Long Beach rooms have portholes to the outside facing either the port or starboard side of the ship. Each room includes 1 Full-size bed. DELUX STATESROOM Experience the ship's more spacious stateroom with this upgraded accommodation. These outside cabins, all with portholes, are the most popular of our Long Beach rooms. Each Deluxe Stateroom includes either 1 King bed or 2 Twin-sized beds. FAMILY STATESROOM This stateroom gives you the space you need when traveling with family or friends. Each room includes the combination of either 1 King bed + 1 Twin bed, or 2 Queen beds. SUITS This unique Long Beach lodging is not your usual hotel, so get ready to step back into time and let your imagination take you back to the heyday of sailing in the 1930s and '40s. Each suite is a deluxe cabin with a separate living room, bedroom, entryway and some include a breakfast nook. Our Long Beach suites feature original built-ins, wood paneling, art deco décor and modern amenities, such as iPod clock radios and flat-panel televisions. View the complete list of amenities. Each of our Long Beach suites include a living room with a pull-out sofa bed, with the option of 1 bedroom with a King bed and adjoining breakfast nook or the option of two bedrooms with 1 King Bed and a second room with 1 Twin bed.
  Facility amenities: Hotel Amenities and Services: Air Conditioned and Non-Smoking Includes a Self-guided tour of ship* Guided Tours and Shows Historic Art Deco Ambiance Charming Boutiques and Shops Signature Restaurants and Bars Room service The Queen Mary Spa Business Center Fitness Room Wireless High Speed Internet (additional cost) $9.95/24 hours - (Wired access available, request modem at front desk) Satellite Television Pay-per-view Movies iPod Docking Clock Radios Crabtree & Evelyn Bath Products Pillow Top Perfect Sleeper Serta Mattresses 32" LCDHD Flat Panel TV's (in most rooms) Refrigerator - upon request (additional cost)
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Prices may vary Contact Program Development

 Crystal Symphony
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: With her sleek silhouette and shimmering elegance, the legendary Crystal Symphony finds a natural home in the world's most glamorous harbors and idyllic ports of call. Generous per-passenger space ratios have become a Crystal trademark, along with forward-facing observation decks, a Palm Court lounge, and a wide teak promenade encircling the ship. A makeover in 2006 refreshed the Bistro Café and shops, reconstructed the casino and Starlite Lounge, and added a new nightclub called Luxe. An even more extensive refurbishment in 2009 transformed the Crystal Penthouses, Lido Café, and Prego Italian restaurant. Accented by a lovely waterfall, the focal point of the central two-deck atrium is a sculpture of two ballet dancers created especially for the space. Crystal Cove, the lobby lounge, is the spot to meet for cocktails as you make your way to the nearby dining room. Throughout the ship, public rooms shine with low-key contemporary style and flow easily from one to the next.
  Ship Information: Ship's Registry: The Bahamas 781 feet long x 99 feet wide 51,044 gross registered tons 20 knots cruising speed 21 knots maximum speed 922 passengers capacity An international crew of 545 with 40 countries represented European-trained hotel and dining staff
  Contact info: 2049 Century Park East, Suite 1400
Los Angeles, CA 1400 USA
phone: 310-785-9300
web: www.crystalcruises.com
  Room amenities: Cabins: There are no inside cabins on Crystal Symphony. Still, relatively small stateroom sizes are cozy and chic with boutique-hotel-style decor. All cabins have ample closet and drawer/shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves. Many have private balconies furnished with chairs and tables. Most suites and penthouses have a walk-in closet. Crystal Penthouse suites have guest powder rooms. Amenities: Rich wood cabinetry, 100% Eygyptian cotton sheets, feather beds and plush duvets, wood and padded hangers, a small refrigerator filled with complimentary bottled water and soft drinks, a personal safe, two hair dryers, a flat-screen TV with a DVD player, and a sitting area with sofa, chair, and table are typical standard features in all cabins. Suite and penthouse extras vary, but all have a DVD/CD player, butler service, personalized stationery, and stocked minibars with wine, beer, and choice of liquor. Bathrooms: Every bathroom has oval glass sinks, granite counters, a full-size tub, Aveda toiletries, plush towels, and bathrobes for use during the cruise. Many suites and penthouses have a whirlpool tub and separate shower.
  Facility amenities: Public spaces have a sophisticated and contemporary feel with fine Italian and French fabrics, Axminster wool carpets, oriental rugs, teak deck furniture and English mohair lap blankets. 8 passenger decks, 2 specialty restaurants, dining room, buffet, ice cream parlor, Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator, minibar (some), DVD, 1 pool, Fitness classes, gym, hair salon, 1 hot tub, sauna, spa, steam room, 5 bars, casino, cinema, dance club, library, dry-cleaning, laundry facilities, laundry service, Internet terminal, library
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins with a program orientation at the hotel in Los Angeles. You will be staying at Queen Mary 1 that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends upon disembarkation in Los Angeles. You will be staying at Crystal Symphony the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **IMPORTANT INFORMATION** All participants MUST register online with Crystal Cruises To register go to checkin.crystalcruises.com to access the Priority Check-in and Planning Center. To log in, you need type in your first/last names as they appear on your passport and your booking number (which appears on your cruise confirmation or can be obtained from Road Scholar). You will need to enter your contact and passport information in order to register. Once registered you will be able to book excursions and on-board activities (such as specialty dining, spa appointments, etc). If you did not recieve a booking number or need assistance with the online registration please call us at 1.866.359.5966. For more information on using the Priority Check-in & Planning Center please see the attachment at the end of this booklet. Proof of citizenship is required for ALL guests.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available at the Port of San Pedro (Los Angeles) and at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Los Angeles
  From End of Program
  Location: Los Angeles
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Los Angeles Harbor

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle

   

Individual transfers will be organized for all participants who purchase their air travel from Road Scholar Travel Services and are arriving and/or departing on the group date. If you are making your own air arrangements, you will be responsible for making your own way to the ship.

 
Driving Directions
  Los Angeles International Airport Driving and parking information can be found online at www.sanpedro.com/spcom/crusshp.htm
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: Arrivals in Los Angeles / Overnight aboard Queen Mary I
(Sunday, May 17)
   
 Arrive To: Los Angeles. Transfer to the Queen Mary hotel.
 Afternoon: THE QUEEN MARY: On May 27, 1936, the Queen Mary departed from Southampton, England embarking on her maiden voyage. She boasted five dining areas and lounges, two cocktail bars and swimming pools, a grand ballroom, a squash court and even a small hospital. The Queen Mary had set a new benchmark in transatlantic travel, which the rich and famous considered as the only civilized way to travel. For three years after her maiden voyage, the Queen Mary was the grandest ocean liner in the world carrying Hollywood celebrities like Bob Hope and Clark Gable, royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and dignitaries like Winston Churchill. During this time she even set a new speed record, which she held for 14 years. But when the Queen Mary docked in New York in September 1939 that would be the last time she would carry civilian passengers for many years. As World War II started, the Queen Mary's transformation into a troopship had begun. She was painted a camouflaged grey color and stripped of her luxurious amenities. Dubbed the "Grey Ghost" because of her stealth and stark color, the Queen Mary was the largest and fastest troopship to sail, capable of transporting as many as 16,000 troops at 30 knots. After the end of WWII, the Queen Mary began a 10-month retrofitting process, which would return the ship to her original glory. On July 21, 1947, the Queen Mary resumed regular passenger service across the Atlantic Ocean, and continued to do so for nearly two more decades. The increasing popularity of air travel helped signal the end of an era for the Queen Mary. On October 31, 1967, the Queen Mary departed on her final cruise, arriving in Long Beach, California, on December 9, 1967. She has called Southern California her home ever since. The Queen Mary is now a floating Hotel, Attraction and Event & Wedding Venue, home to three world-class restaurants and an icon in Southern California.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Queen Mary 1
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Los Angeles, California / Embark Crystal Symphony
(Monday, May 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture - "The History of The Queen Mary I" . During WWII by one of the Ship's Historians. After our presentation on the History of the QM1 Enjoy a unique behind the scene tour of this historic vessel, explore parts of the ship not open to the public.
 Lunch: Enjoy an independent lunch in Long Beach.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the Port of San Pedro to embark the Crystal Symphony for 7 nights.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Santa Barbara, California
(Tuesday, May 19)

Note: Choose your own shore excursion from a variety offered by Crystal Cruises. Excursions may be booked online up to 6 months prior to the departure date. Please visit www.crystalcruises.com for more information about their shore adventures.



   
 Breakfast: At leisure in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Fair Mediterranean-style weather coupled with beautiful Mediterranean-style scenery make Santa Barbara an ideal destination. This jewel of the Pacific, often called the American Riviera, is also a cultural and educational center, with an array of museums and several schools and universities, including University of California, Santa Barbara, and Brooks Institute of Photography drawing students here from around the world. Sunny days can be spent strolling through the Santa Barbara Zoo, exploring boutique- and restaurant-lined State Street, dining on Stearns Wharf or experiencing the wineries of nearby Santa Ynez Valley, producer of world-class vintages and home to photogenic landscapes of golden hills and venerable oak trees.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch.
 Afternoon: Individual independent shore exploration in Santa Barbara continues.
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room with a review of the next days activities.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: San Francisco, California
(Wednesday, May 20)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Join your Study Leader for an exclusive Road Scholar Presentation: "Time Travelers, Shape Shifters and Migrants - Evolution of California Flora" (An overview of the exceptional biotic plant communities we find in California and how they ended up here).
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch.
 Afternoon: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: Sailing under the famed Golden Gate Bridge is an unforgettable experience and is naturally a highlight of your visit to San Francisco. Upon arrival you will discover why this metropolis is one of the most diverse, dynamic and beautiful cities in the world. San Francisco is a melting pot of cultures and an important financial center of the world. Hellenic in its setting and climate, European in its intellectual and cultural scope, American in its vigor and informality and Asian in its tranquility, San Francisco is indeed one of the most exciting cities of the world. Opportunities for discovery abound. Stroll through Chinatown, shop at Union Square or browse through Fisherman's Wharf. Or perhaps, the attractions of North Beach will beckon. Sip cappuccino at a sidewalk café, feast on Italian food or browse through tempting specialty stores. Across the Golden Gate Bridge hide giant redwoods and artistic Sausalito which provide the perfect getaway from the city. Whatever your choice, San Francisco's distinctive charm engenders a special affection in the hearts of all who visit.
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room with a review of the next days activities. You may elect to take advantage of the night in port and enjoy dinner on shore in San Francisco on your own.
 Evening: Crystal Symphony will remain docked in San Francisco overnight.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: San Francisco, California
(Thursday, May 21)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Independent exploration of San Francisco continues. Choose from a variety of field trips available from Crystal Cruises. Selections are available on their website approximately 6 months prior to departure.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch.
 Afternoon: Individual independent shore exploration of San Francisco continues.
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room with a review of the next days activities.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Sailing the California Coast / Road Scholar Presentation
(Friday, May 22)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: Join your Study Leader for an exclusive Road Scholar presentation: "Corvus, Ursus, Cetus and The American Dream" (The intersection of animal life and human culture, and the building of the myth of California from the Indians through the Spanish, Mexicans and Americans)
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill.
 Afternoon: Join your Study Leader for an exclusive Road Scholar presentation: "Stars to Sunflowers - Change Over Time" (The connection between science, philosophy and religion and what science tells us about climate change in California)
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room with a review of the next days activities.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Ensenada, Mexico / Road Scholar Exclusive
(Saturday, May 23)

Note: Today's field trip is included in your program price. Please do not book a Crystal Shore Adventure today.



   
 Breakfast: At leisure in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: ROAD SCHOLAR EXCLUSIVE: Endowed with a Mediterranean microclimate, elevation and soil ideal for wine making Guadalupe Valley houses world recognized wineries adding to over 80% of Mexico’s production. Rows of vineyards and granite boulders set upon rolling hills embellish the landscape and the aroma of grape-laden vines fill the air. A Russian Community Museum stands as a testimony of the short but intense history of a valley that was first settled by Kumiai Indigenous people followed by Spanish missionaries and a Molokai Russian Colony before becoming the home of Mexico’s wine country.
 Lunch: Culinary event: lecture and meal
 Afternoon: The exclusive Road Scholar exploration of Ensenada continues. Journey to the soul of Mexico’s bold, complex and colorful cuisine. Learn the history and importance of some of Mexico’s foremost culinary gifts to the world such as maiz (corn), cacao, vanilla, chiles, tomatoes, and tequila. Discover their multiple uses, including food, beverage, textile material and craft making. Learn secrets of food preparation and presentation and savor some of the rich, culinary complexities
 Dinner: Group dinner in the Crystal Dining Room with a review of the next days activities.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: San Diego, California
(Sunday, May 24)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION: From the old Gas Lamp Quarter to the Horton Plaza, named after the former owner of the present city area, San Diego combines history with progress. Bordered on one side by the graceful Pacific Ocean lapping its shores and the hot desert plains on the other, this magical city is a festive and colorful place to explore. Close by lies graceful La Jolla, Spanish for the jewel, and Solana Beach, a beach community located near charming Del Mar. Whether you venture into Old Town, the original site of this city, or one of its gorgeous parks, you'll come to understand why San Diego has established itself as one of the most popular destinations in the United States.
 Lunch: At leisure on board the ship in the Crystal Dining Room, the Lido Café, or the Trident Grill, or you may choose to eat independently ashore. Some Crystal shore excursions will include lunch.
 Afternoon: Individual independent shore exploration in San Diego continues.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
   
Accommodations: Crystal Symphony
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Los Angeles / Disembarkation & Departure
(Monday, May 25)
   
 Breakfast: At leisure in the Crystal Dining Room (open seating) or the more casual Lido Café. Room Service is also available 24 hours a day.
 Morning: All participants must disembark in the morning. There will be one transfer to the airport. Please avoid scheduling flights prior to 12:00 PM.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
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


A Journey into Steinbeck's California


Author: Susan Shillinglaw


Description: This part art book, part biography, and part travel guide offers insight into how landscapes and townscapes influenced John Steinbeck's creative process and how, in turn, his legacy has influenced modern California.



Assembling California


Author: John McPhee


Description: Another fine book on geology and natural history from John McPhee, this time in the company of scientist Eldridge Moores, on travels throughout California.



California Map


Author: Borch Maps


Description: A laminated, folded map of California, shown at a scale of 1:1,100,000.



California the Beautiful


Author: Galen Rowell (Photographer)


Description: Rowell's exquisite photographs are accompanied by excerpts from Joan Didion, M.F.K. Fisher, Jack London, William Saroyan and many other luminaries in this celebration of the nature and spirit of California.



California, A History


Author: Kevin Starr


Description: A lively short history in the excellent Modern Library Chronicles series, written by a renowned historian.



Cool Gray City of Love, 49 Views of San Francisco


Author: Gary Kamiya


Description: A kaleidoscopic love letter to one of the world's great cities, San Francisco, by a lifelong Bay Area resident and co-founder of Salon.



Eyewitness Guide California


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: A literate, visually rich guide to the Golden State, featuring color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of California's attractions with a particular focus on San Francisco and Los Angeles.



Field Guide to Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast


Author: Sarah G. Allen, Joe Mortenson, Sophie Webb


Description: Sophie Webb, director of Oikinos, contributes the exquisite paintings for this outstanding field guide, the 100th in the California Natural History Guides series, perfect for the Sea of Cortez.



Golden Gate, The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge


Author: Kevin Starr


Description: Starr covers the history and meaning of this beloved icon and great American feats of engineering in this slim portrait.



I Cover the Waterfront: Stories from the San Diego Shore


Author: Max Miller


Description: Special reporter for the San Diego Sun Max Miller set down his impressions of the San Diego water front -- from the departure of the Sardine Fleet to the hunt for elephant seals for the zoo to the sailing of the California fruit liners -- capturing the romantic spirit of the harbor and deep-sea life.



Los Angeles, Portrait of a City


Author: Kevin Starr (Contributor), Jim Heimann (Editor)


Description: Watch Los Angeles transform from desert to a glamorous metropolis through more than 50 photos enhanced by lively quotations and captions. Highlights include the first known picture of the city taken in 1862, a portrait of bikini-clad Jayne Mansfield surrounded by bottles made in her likeness and coverage of Prohibition gangs and the early 90s racial riots.



National Audubon Society Field Guide to California


Author: Peter Alden


Description: A compact, easy-to-use guide to 1,000 California trees, wildflowers, mammals, insects, birds and other flora and fauna.



San Francisco Map


Author: Berndtson & Berndtson


Description: A laminated, folded map of the city center of San Francisco at a nice scale of 1:13,000.



San Francisco, A Cultural History


Author: Mick Sinclair


Description: Organized more thematically than chronologically, this easy-to-read introduction to the city and its neighborhoods will appeal both to first time visitors and those who know and love the city.



Slouching Towards Bethlehem


Author: Joan Didion


Description: A classic collection of essays on the1960s cultural climate, first published in 1968. In the acclaimed title essay, Didion vividly describes the landscape, mood and culture of '60s San Francisco.



The Golden Shore, California's Love Affair With the Sea


Author: David Helvarg


Description: In this eminently readable and well-researched tribute, Helvarg, an environmental journalist and filmmaker, considers the crosscurrents of culture, history, economy and myth that come together on the state’s golden shores.



The Golden West, Hollywood Stories


Author: Daniel Fuchs


Description: This marvelous collection of stories and essays from Sunny California, many originally appearing in The New Yorker and Commentary, capture the spirit (and personalities) of Hollywood in the heyday of the studio era.



The Measure of Her Powers, An M.F.K. Fisher Reader


Author: M. F. K. Fisher


Description: A fat, judicious selection of M.F.K. Fisher's writings, which spanned a lifetime and chronicled adventures (culinary and otherwise) in France, Switzerland and Italy, on shipboard and in her native California.



Travelers' Tales San Francisco


Author: James O'Reilly (Editor), Larry Habegger (Editor), Sean O'Reilly (Editor)


Description: Experience San Francisco from the inside out with this engaging, insightful and entertaining selection of mostly contemporary eyewitness reports -- a terrific literary profile of a dynamic city.



Trees in Paradise, A California History


Author: Jared Farmer


Description: A fascinating account of environmental tumult in California that chronicles the "improvements" attempted by settlers, providing a new perspective on Californian history.





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