loading spinner
California

Magical Monterey

Program No. 1208RJ
From iconic shorelines to the homeland of John Steinbeck, from world-renowned aquarium to the “crown jewel” of California state parks, come see all that’s amazing in historic Monterey.
Length
6 days
Rating (4.75)
Activity Level
Starts at
1,449

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

On Campus Private Bath On Campus Upgraded
Accommodation Details

Clean, comfortable, dormitory lodgings with access to a private bathroom.

Accommodation Details

Upgraded on-campus faculty housing. Accommodations are newly constructed and feature a large room, queen beds and a private bath.

Feb 12 - Feb 17, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,449
On Campus Upgraded 1,799
Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,449
On Campus Upgraded 1,799
Apr 16 - Apr 21, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,449
On Campus Upgraded 1,799
May 7 - May 12, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,449
On Campus Upgraded 1,799
Sep 10 - Sep 15, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,449
On Campus Upgraded 1,799
Nov 26 - Dec 1, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,449
On Campus Upgraded 1,799
Feb 11 - Feb 16, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,549
On Campus Upgraded 1,899
Mar 17 - Mar 22, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,549
On Campus Upgraded 1,899
Apr 21 - Apr 26, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,549
On Campus Upgraded 1,899
May 6 - May 11, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,549
On Campus Upgraded 1,899
Itinerary Note

This departure starts on a Monday.

Sep 8 - Sep 13, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,549
On Campus Upgraded 1,899
Nov 10 - Nov 15, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,549
On Campus Upgraded 1,899
Dec 1 - Dec 6, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,549
On Campus Upgraded 1,899

DATES & PRICES

On Campus Private Bath On Campus Upgraded
Accommodation Details

Clean, comfortable, dormitory lodgings with access to a private bathroom.

Accommodation Details

Upgraded on-campus faculty housing. Accommodations are newly constructed and feature a large room, queen beds and a private bath.

Feb 12 - Feb 17, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,769
On Campus Upgraded 2,119
Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,769
On Campus Upgraded 2,119
Apr 16 - Apr 21, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,769
On Campus Upgraded 2,119
May 7 - May 12, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,769
On Campus Upgraded 2,119
Sep 10 - Sep 15, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,769
On Campus Upgraded 2,119
Nov 26 - Dec 1, 2023
On Campus Private Bath 1,769
On Campus Upgraded 2,119
Feb 11 - Feb 16, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,869
On Campus Upgraded 2,219
Mar 17 - Mar 22, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,869
On Campus Upgraded 2,219
Apr 21 - Apr 26, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,869
On Campus Upgraded 2,219
May 6 - May 11, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,869
On Campus Upgraded 2,219
Itinerary Note

This departure starts on a Monday.

Sep 8 - Sep 13, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,869
On Campus Upgraded 2,219
Nov 10 - Nov 15, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,869
On Campus Upgraded 2,219
Dec 1 - Dec 6, 2024
On Campus Private Bath 1,869
On Campus Upgraded 2,219

At a Glance

Called the most beautiful meeting of land and water on the face of the earth, Monterey Bay, the legendary Pacific coast and sun-drenched Carmel Valley mark a convergence of currents, cultures and creators that make the area one of the country’s most fascinating places. Together we’ll visit the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, view stunning Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and travel the internationally heralded 17 Mile Drive. With lodgings and classes at the famed Hidden Valley, a small performing arts institute nestled amongst oak covered hills, lecturers will include at least one historical character, a coastal biologist, a winemaker and performers teaching or studying at Hidden Valley. Join us for an immersion in the history, the ecology, the arts, the wine and the “magic” of Monterey.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking at museums and on outdoor field trips, getting on and off a coach, and sitting during presentations.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Meet John Steinbeck and visit iconic Cannery Row and the Steinbeck Museum as well as the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • Learn about the region’s famous wines from a local wine maker or vineyardist.
  • Experience the drama and beauty of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve on a scenic day walking along the Pacific Coast.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, and a live performance or event.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Taelen Thomas
Taelen Thomas, local Carmel Bay bard and master of the oral tradition, is known for his golden, resonant voice and powerful stage presence. He creates and performs biological dramas in which he "brings to life" literary personalities including Dylan Thomas, Robert Burns, John Steinbeck, Jack London, and Mark Twain, often performing with musicians. The most recent edition of Taelen's poetry is entitled "Inside of a Galloping Buffalo." He has recorded a powerful CD of the poetry of Robinson Jeffers, commissioned by the Tor House Foundation.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Taelen Thomas
Taelen Thomas View biography
Taelen Thomas, local Carmel Bay bard and master of the oral tradition, is known for his golden, resonant voice and powerful stage presence. He creates and performs biological dramas in which he "brings to life" literary personalities including Dylan Thomas, Robert Burns, John Steinbeck, Jack London, and Mark Twain, often performing with musicians. The most recent edition of Taelen's poetry is entitled "Inside of a Galloping Buffalo." He has recorded a powerful CD of the poetry of Robinson Jeffers, commissioned by the Tor House Foundation.
Profile Image of Rick Yramategui (Scott Joplin)
Rick Yramategui (Scott Joplin) View biography
Rick Yramategui first performed a Joplin rag at Shakey's Pizza Parlor in Los Alamitos, California while in high school in the 70s. He received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Whitworth College. He serves as pastor of Carmel Valley Community Chapel, performs with the Carmel Piano Trio, and was the pianist for a revival of George Gershwin's musical, “Oh, Kay!” He is passionate about the connection between music and spirituality.
Profile Image of Gael Gallagher (Monterey peninsula overview)
Gael Gallagher (Monterey peninsula overview) View biography
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 a the Point Lobos State Reserve and is a guide/trainer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She is also docent at the National Steinbeck Center and is an instructor for the National Wildlife Federation's Conservation Summit.
Profile Image of Deanna Ross (morning e-stretch)
Deanna Ross (morning e-stretch) View biography
Deanna Ross is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Born in California, she began her studies at age seven at the Redwood Empire Ballet in Santa Rosa, then spent 12 years at the San Francisco, Pennsylvania, and Milwaukee Ballet Schools, the HARID Conservatory, and the North Carolina School of the Arts. Deanna lives in Monterey, Ca., where she has choreographed numerous works, and has served as Bay Area guest artist. She also teaches ballet, modern dance, dance improvisation, E-STRETCH, slow breathing and stretching.
Profile Image of Rene Kimzey
Rene Kimzey View biography
Rene Kimzey is a Hoosier at heart, transplanted to California a decade ago. She and her rescue dog, Peg, reside in a historic home in lovely Old Town Monterey which they embrace for its beauty and cultural richness. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s of education from George Mason University. After a career in healthcare, she delved into special events work, volunteering her time at many local organizations. Rene enjoys being a Group Leader for Hidden Valley, sharing her passion for Monterey, and helping others.
Profile Image of Matthew Shea (vineyardist, local wines)
Matthew Shea (vineyardist, local wines) View biography
Matthew Shea’s roots in the Carmel Valley go back two generations. The son of a master gardener, Matthew grew up with an inherent understanding of the valley, its horticulture, and ecology. After graduating from Oregon State University and successfully managing 1000’s of acres of vineyards in Oregon, he returned to focus on the Estate Vineyards of Bernardus Winery in Carmel Valley. Using his background in organic, sustainable agriculture, Matt has brought a balance to the vineyard through increasing diversity, composting, and water and soil management.
Profile Image of Peter Meckel
Peter Meckel View biography
Peter Meckel is the founder and General Director of Hidden Valley Music Seminars. Born and raised in the Midwest, he attended university at Rockford University in Illinois, and Occidental College in California. His leadership of Hidden Valley has resulted in one of the most respected opera training centers in America and a major contributor of arts education programs for vocalists, instrumentalists, and dancers. Students from throughout the world come to study with master teachers from many of America’s most prestigious orchestras and opera companies.
Profile Image of Diane Salmon (Point Lobos)
Diane Salmon (Point Lobos) View biography
Diane Salmon grew up in San Diego, California, but fell in love with Monterey, where she moved after finishing her degree in microbiology and internship for Clinical Laboratory Scientist. While working at the local hospital, she hiked trails amid the area’s the breathtaking natural beauty. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area for several years and became board certified in infection control. After returning to Monterey and working at the local hospital, Diane is now a docent at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
Profile Image of Jim Covel (natural history)
Jim Covel (natural history) View biography
Jim Covel recently retired as Director of Training & Interpretation for the Monterey Bay Aquarium where he trained and managed hundreds of volunteers. He has worked as a park ranger and interpreter, leading environmental education programs for the Southgate Recreation and Park District in Sacramento and the East Bay Regional Park District in the SF Bay Area. Jim has also served as a visiting lecturer at UC Davis, CSU Sacramento and CSU Monterey Bay, teaching courses from resource management to outdoor recreation and ecotourism.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Red Pony
by John Steinbeck
East of Eden
by John Steinbeck
The Pastures of Heaven
by John Steinbeck
Monterey Bay Shoreline Guide: With Special Notes on the Monterey National Marine Sanctuary
by Jerry Emory
Cannery Row
by John Steinbeck





Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.