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

Program Number: 20120RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/15/2015 - 8/25/2015; 9/26/2015 - 10/6/2015; 10/24/2015 - 11/3/2015;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: San Diego, California
Price starting at: $2,899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: On the Road
Meals: 24; 10 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Salt; Low Fat; 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
   Holiday Inn Golden Gateway
  San Francisco, California 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 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. INTERNET ACCESS: Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in all guest rooms.
  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. Airport shuttle available for guests. INTERNET ACCESS: Complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access is available in guest rooms and public areas. PARKING: Complimentary on-site parking for guests.
  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. 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.
  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. INTERNET SERVICE: 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. PARKING: $17.00/night for self parking and $20.00/night for valet.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Bath tubs are curved with higher sides. Please be sure your tub has a bath mat in it before entering. Please contact the front desk if there are any issues.
  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. WIRELESS INTERNET SERVICE: 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 in-room refrigerators and coffee makers, 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, honor bars, and free local calls. Each guest room is furnished with a 42 inch high-definition TV. INTERNET ACCESS: Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in guest rooms.
  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. INTERNET ACCESS: Free high-speed wireless Internet access is available in guest rooms and throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Holiday Inn Golden Gateway
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The 26-story Holiday Inn San Francisco Golden Gateway Hotel, just steps away from the historic California Cable Car turnaround, offers fantastic city views. The newly-renovated guest rooms begin on the 6th floor. Located in the lower Nob Hill / Pacific Heights neighborhood, the hotel is near all major attractions: the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, Chinatown, North Beach and Union Square. The hotel has a gym and rooftop outdoor heated pool.
  Contact info: 1500 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94109 USA
phone: 415-441-4000
  Room amenities: The standard guestrooms are configured with two double beds, one queen, or one king bed. Enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi access and a 37-inch flat-screen television with pay-per-view and premium cable channels as well as an in-room refrigerator and coffeemaker. Other amenities include an iron/ironing board, hair dryer, private in-suite bathrooms, premium cable TV channels, pay-per-view movies, in-room Wii video gaming, blackout drapes, clock radio, spacious desk, and complimentary newspaper. All rooms are smoke-free.
  Facility amenities: Guests of the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway hotel enjoy a number of advantages including comfortable, spacious hotel rooms, two onsite restaurants, and an outdoor, heated swimming pool boasting views of the city. The hotel provides fitness and business centers that are open 24 hours-a-day. Other amenities include: car rental desk, tour desk in the gift shop, ATM, concierge services, newsstand, bellman, dry cleaning/laundry service, room service, and a safety deposit box at the front desk. All guest rooms are non-smoking; however, smoking is allowed in the pool area. PARKING: A large, indoor, self-park garage is available at the hotel for a fee of $20 per day, tax included. WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: The hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi Internet service in all guest rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Call for current rates. Road Scholar rate is a discount on the best available rate.
  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 Holiday Inn Golden Gateway 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, California
  Nearest city or town:  Oakland, California
  Nearest highway: US Hwy 101
  Nearest airport:  San Francisco International
Travel Details

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).


From Holiday Inn Golden Gateway to SFO and OAK Airports


To Airport




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


Per Person/One Way:


$17.00 per person one way to SFO/$27.00 per person one way to OAK
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Approx. 20-25 minutes depending on traffic to SFO/Approx. 30-45 minutes depending on traffic to OAK 




13 miles to SFO/20 miles to OAK


SuperShuttle offers shared van service to San Francisco and Oakland Airport from the hotel. Advance reservations are recommended. Call 800-258-3826 or visit for online reservations and rates.

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: Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
(Saturday, August 15)

Note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

 Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have.

Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. All transportation will be via private motor coach unless specified otherwise. Thank you for your understanding.

Lunch at the Getty Center on Day 4 is on your own. If you wish to eat at the Getty Restaurant, reservations are recommended. Make reservations for the restaurant by calling (310) 440-6810.

We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.
 Dinner: At the hotel we’ll have a plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea.
 Evening: 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 Excursion, Pacific Coast Highway Learning Session
(Sunday, August 16)

Note: Getting on and off the motor coach; walking up to 1/4 mile on mostly even terrain.

 Breakfast: At the hotel we’ll have a hot buffet plus water, coffee, tea, and assorted juices.
 Morning: We’ll begin with an all day bus journey, with commentary from a local expert, exploring San Diego's history, different communities, and attractions including Coronado Island, Balboa Park, Old Town and Cabrillo National Monument.

Featuring beautiful views, palm-lined avenues, and the historic Hotel Del, Coronado Island combines the beauty and lavishness of Southern California. View the Hotel Del, the lavish wooden Victorian hotel often considered an American fairytale castle, and some of California’s most beautiful beaches lined with palm trees.

Built in 1915 Balboa is America’s largest urban cultural park with exotic vegetation, 15 museums, 8 gardens, theaters, art centers, exquisite Moorish architecture and a world famous zoo that make up its 1.200 acres.

Old Town San Diego is the site of the original fort San Diego Presidio and Mission San Diego de Alacala founded in 1769. Though the Mission moved up river in 1774, the population grew at the base of the fort until Mexico granted San Diego the status of pueblo or chartered town. Old Town San Diego remained the heart of the city until the 1860’s when Alonzo Horton promoted development closer to the shore, the location that became the current downtown.

The Cabrillo National Monument is located on the dramatic tip of the Point Loma peninsula. Named in honor of the famed explorer Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, he landed on this point in 1592. The Point Loma Lighthouse is one of the original eight lighthouses on the West Coast, restored and refurnished to reflect what life was like in the 1800’s.
 Lunch: In the old town, 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 fresh tortillas.
 Afternoon: We’ll continue our all day bus journey through the heart of San Diego.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: A local expert will share the history and insight of the Pacific Coast Highway.
Accommodations: Courtyard San Diego Airport/Liberty Station
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Surf Museum, Laguna Beach Art Colony, J. Paul Getty Class
(Monday, August 17)

Note: Docent-led walk of Queen Mary is 1 1/2 hours.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We’ll depart from the hotel for our trip north on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), often considered one of the most beautiful road trips in the world.

We'll stop first at Oceanside to visit the California Surf Museum. Founded in 1986, the California Surf Museum serves as a resource center for surfing by preserving the history, heritage, art, and culture of the sport.
 Lunch: At a favorite local restaurant in Laguna Beach, we’ll have a plated meal with water, tea, and soda.

During lunch, listen to a brief history of the Laguna Beach Art Colony by a local expert. As Laguna Beach grew in size, a large portion of its 300 residents included artists, photographers, writers, and filmmakers. This community pushed to preserve the atmosphere of the Art Colony once the PCH was completed in 1926 because they expected a population boom due to the town being more accessible.
 Afternoon: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to explore downtown Laguna Beach, where you’ll find a casual walking environment, before boarding the motor coach and continuing north to Long Beach and checking in to the Queen Mary.

After checking into your stateroom, join our Behind-the-Scenes Docent-Led 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: Enjoy the view from the Promenade Cafe onboard the Queen Mary offering American favorites in a plated meal with water, coffee, and tea.
 Evening: Our local expert will introduce 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. Jean Paul Getty was an American industrialist, who was named the richest living American and the world’s richest private citizen by the Guinness Book of World Records. An avid collector of art and antiquities, he established the J. Paul Getty Trust, which remains the worlds wealthiest art institution.
Accommodations: The Queen Mary Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Getty Center, Transfer to Santa Barbara
(Tuesday, August 18)

Note: Ride is approximately 2 hours.

 Breakfast: In the Promenade Cafe onboard the Queen Mary we’ll have a buffet plus water, coffee, tea, and assorted juices.
 Morning: From the hotel, we’ll ride to the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center to view the artwork discussed the night before. The Museum is accessed from the parking structure by a 3/4 mile hovertrain. The Getty Center is one of the most visited art museums in the United States and 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. This stunning collection features works by Titian, Rembrandt, Manet, and Monet.

Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration of the Getty Center.
 Lunch: On your own at Getty Center.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring the Getty Center before departing for the Harbor View Inn.

After checking into the hotel in the late afternoon, take this time to relax and freshen up before dinner, or walk along the Santa Barbara beach or Stearns Wharf, located across the street from hotel.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant in Santa Barbara we’ll have a plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Harbor View Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Santa Barbara Mission & Courthouse, Free Afternoon
(Wednesday, August 19)

Note: Walking on uneven terrain at the Santa Barbara Mission.

 Breakfast: At a local restaurant we’ll enjoy a plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea.
 Morning: We will depart the hotel for the Santa Barbara Mission, were we will enjoy a docent-led visit. Founded in 1786, Mission Santa Barbara was the 10th of the missions to be built. It is called the "Queen of the Missions" for its beautiful hilltop setting and majestic views.

Our morning continues with a docent-led visit of the Santa Barbara Courthouse. The Courthouse is the jewel in Santa Barbara's architectural crown, on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark. The current Courthouse, completed just four months before the US stock market crash of 1929, looks as if it belongs in southern Spain with its Spanish-Moorish architecture and surrounding sunken garden. The top of the 85-foot clock tower offers panoramic views of the surrounding city and the mountains.
 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the flavors of Santa Barbara. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
 Afternoon: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant in Santa Barbara.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Harbor View Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Wine Making, Local Farm, Hearst Castle Video
(Thursday, August 20)

Note: Walking on uneven terrain during our stops in Santa Ynez.

 Breakfast: At a local restaurant we’ll enjoy a plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea.
 Morning: As we depart the hotel, our local wine expert will step-on the motorcoach and will enlighten our group with knowledge of the wine-making process as well as share information about the growing Santa Barbara wine region..

In Los Olivos, we’ll visit Clairmont Lavender Farm. In a setting surrounded by the Santa Ynez mountains and three hundred year old oak trees, five acres of entirely organic Grosso lavender are harvested by hand. We will meet one of the family members who run the farm and learn about the many uses of this fragrant herb and employ our senses of sight, smell and touch at this unique family owned farm.
 Lunch: As we eat our gourmet box lunch featuring a sandwich, cookie, and bottled water, we will enjoy a complimentary wine tasting.
 Afternoon: While traveling to San Simeon, view "Hearst Castle - Building the Dream", a 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.

In preparation for our visit to Hearst Castle in the morning, we’ll stop at the Visitors Center, where exhibits offer guests an insightful look into the Castle, its architect Julia Morgan, and its owner W.R. Hearst.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant in San Simeon enjoy a plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Best Western Plus Cavalier Oceanfront Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Hearst Castle, Transfer to Monterey
(Friday, August 21)

Note: Walking approximated 2/3 of a mile with approximately 100 stairs; Standing for the duration of the 45 minute docent-led visit with limited seating available.

 Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant we’ll have a choice of three plated entrees plus water, coffee, and juice.
 Morning: We’ll depart the hotel for Hearst Castle, where we will have a docent-led visit. 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 docent-led portion, stroll on your own through the gardens and wander at your leisure 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: At a local restaurant with a coastal ambiance enjoy a plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea.
 Afternoon: We’ll continue driving north on the 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: At a local restaurant in along Canery Row, we’ll enjoy a plated meal plus water, coffee, and tea.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Best Western Victorian Inn Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Monterey Aquarium, Lecture on Monterey Peninsula
(Saturday, August 22)
 Breakfast: At the Victorian Inn, we’ll have a hot buffet plus water, coffee, tea, and assorted juices.
 Morning: From the hotel we’ll take a field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, 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: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own at the casual Monterey Bay Aquarium Café. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
 Afternoon: We’ll be joined by a 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: On your own to enjoy what you like.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Best Western Victorian Inn Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9: Transfer to San Francisco, City Excursion
(Sunday, August 23)

Note: Ride is approximately 2 1/2 hours.

 Breakfast: At the Victorian Inn.
 Morning: We’ll depart Monterey for San Francisco.
 Lunch: While on the trip, we'll stop and enjoy a picnic style box lunch including a sandwich, chips, cookie, and water in a comfortable spot within Golden Gate State Park.
 Afternoon: Once we arrive in San Francisco, our San Francisco local expert will introduce us to the city and the city highlights while we drive through the city.
 Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

San Francisco is a city known for its culinary delights. As a walkable city, a wide variety of foods await you just a short distance from our hotel. From southeast Asia to northern Italy, delectable selections of flavors from all walks of life await your arrival. High-end, white-tablecloth restaurants to small hole-in-the-wall bistros all offer a unique experience.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Golden Gateway
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Alcatraz Island, Free Afternoon, Farewell Dinner
(Monday, August 24)

Note: We’ll be taking a short ferry ride from the San Francisco to Alcatraz Island. Walking distances up to 1/4 mile on steep and uneven terrain on much of Alcatraz.

 Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a hot buffet plus water, coffee, tea, and assorted juices.
 Morning: The history of Alcatraz is much more fascinating and complex than the name it gave to America’s infamous Federal penitentiary. Early native people never settled there because they considered it cursed. Native American activists who occupied it in November 1969 held out for 19 months. Today, it is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and hosts vast numbers of seabirds as well as multitudes of visitors who want to see the former prison that opened to the public in 1973. Contemporary American Indians return each November for commemorative ceremonies.

Upon arrival at the Alcatraz dock for our field trip, we will be greeted by a National Park Service ranger who will give a brief orientation including information on any special activities available that day. The remainder of this field trip will be a self guided exploration you can follow according to your own interests, at your own pace. Park Service staff offer free programs to visitors throughout the day on topics such as escapes, military history, American Indian occupation, natural history, and more. There are numerous exhibits including a cell house audio tour covering the penitentiary era.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant in San Francisco, we’ll have a plated meal with ice water; other beverages available for purchase.
 Afternoon: On your own to see and do what interests you the most.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant in San Francisco, enjoy our farewell dinner featuring a plated meal plus water, coffee, tea, and wine while enjoying the comradery you’ve gained.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Golden Gateway
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Program Concludes
(Tuesday, August 25)

Note: : Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

 Breakfast: At the hotel, enjoy a buffet plus water, coffee, tea, and assorted juices. This concludes our program.

We hope you have enjoyed all your Road Scholar learning adventures and we look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at 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 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

  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 Francisco, California General Overview
In San Francisco there are limitless opportunities for sight-seeing. Our program will keep participants busy, but there will be a few hours of free time for personal exploration.
  Visitor's Guide
San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau 201 3rd St. San Francisco, CA 94107 415-974-6900 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

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2015 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768