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From iconic shorelines to the home of John Steinbeck, from world-renowned vineyards to the Pacific Coast Highway and Big Sur, come see all that’s amazing in historic Monterey.
Rating (2)
Program No. 1208RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,299
California

Magical Monterey

From iconic shorelines to the home of John Steinbeck, from world-renowned vineyards to the Pacific Coast Highway and Big Sur, come see all that’s amazing in historic Monterey.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,299
Program No. 1208 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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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.

Sep 12 - Sep 17, 2021
SOLD OUT
On Campus Private Bath 1,299
On Campus Upgraded 1,599
Nov 14 - Nov 19, 2021
On Campus Private Bath 1,299
On Campus Upgraded 1,599
Jan 23 - Jan 28, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,359
On Campus Upgraded 1,659
Feb 13 - Feb 18, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,359
On Campus Upgraded 1,659
Mar 21 - Mar 26, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,359
On Campus Upgraded 1,659
Itinerary Note

This departure starts on a Monday.

Apr 10 - Apr 15, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,359
On Campus Upgraded 1,659
May 8 - May 13, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,359
On Campus Upgraded 1,659
Aug 21 - Aug 26, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,359
On Campus Upgraded 1,659
Sep 11 - Sep 16, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,359
On Campus Upgraded 1,659
Nov 13 - Nov 18, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,359
On Campus Upgraded 1,659
Nov 27 - Dec 2, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,359
On Campus Upgraded 1,659

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.

Sep 12 - Sep 17, 2021
On Campus Private Bath 1,599
On Campus Upgraded 1,899
Nov 14 - Nov 19, 2021
On Campus Private Bath 1,599
On Campus Upgraded 1,899
Jan 23 - Jan 28, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,659
On Campus Upgraded 1,959
Feb 13 - Feb 18, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,659
On Campus Upgraded 1,959
Mar 21 - Mar 26, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,659
On Campus Upgraded 1,959
Itinerary Note

This departure starts on a Monday.

Apr 10 - Apr 15, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,659
On Campus Upgraded 1,959
May 8 - May 13, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,659
On Campus Upgraded 1,959
Aug 21 - Aug 26, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,659
On Campus Upgraded 1,959
Sep 11 - Sep 16, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,659
On Campus Upgraded 1,959
Nov 13 - Nov 18, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,659
On Campus Upgraded 1,959
Nov 27 - Dec 2, 2022
On Campus Private Bath 1,659
On Campus Upgraded 1,959

At a Glance

Called the most beautiful meeting of land and water on the face of the earth, Monterey Bay, the legendary Big Sur 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 Big Sur 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 natural history 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 10 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 winemaker or vineyardist.
  • Experience the drama and beauty of Big Sur on a scenic ride along the Pacific Coast Highway.

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 Marta Kraftzeck
Marta Kraftzeck View biography
Born and raised in Monterey, Marta Kraftzeck discovered her passion for winemaking while traveling through Europe. A winemaker for more than 20 years, she has worked at a number of vineyards and realized the industrial creativity involved in the process of growing grapes and making wine. Marta earned a bachelor’s in botany from the University of California, Santa Cruz and, later, a master’s in viniculture and enology from the University of California, Davis.
Profile Image of Rick Yramategui
Rick Yramategui 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
Gael Gallagher 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.
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.
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
The Red Pony
by John Steinbeck
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 1BR 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Carmel Valley, CA
D
Waddell Center

Activity note: Check-in 2:00-5:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. When you arrive at Hidden Valley’s campus, come over to the main office next to the parking lot to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. At 5:00 p.m., we’ll meet our fellow participants for a wine and cheese reception in the Fireside Room. We’ll enjoy some California wines and/or juices and savor cheese and crackers before dinner.

Dinner: In the dining room, like all meals at Hidden Valley, dinner will be a buffet. Dinners will feature local selections from the “salad bowl of the universe,” as well as tastefully prepared entrées. All baked goods are also prepared on campus. Beverage choices include juices, coffee, tea, water, and California wines.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Retreats program. Our programming at Retreat locations includes opportunities for light morning exercise, interaction with members of the local community, locally sourced meals, and evening entertainment. Every day before breakfast, there will be a very popular class of long, slow stretching and breathing in the dance studio. Toast and juice will be available in the dining room before class. This is not an aerobics class and there is no need for special clothing or shoes and no need for a shower afterwards. All meals will be dining room buffets. Dinners will feature local selections from the "salad bowl of the universe," and tastefully prepared entrées. All baked goods are also prepared on campus. Beverage choices include juices, coffee, tea, water, and California wines. Breakfast includes baked goods warm from the oven, oatmeal, eggs, grits, fruit, etc. with coffee, tea, juice and water. Lunch will include soups and sandwich makings, all prepared in our kitchen and served by the staff that’s been with us for over 20 years. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Public bus service will be available across from the campus driveway. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Chat with John Steinbeck, Natural History of Monterey, Wines
Carmel Valley, CA
B,L,D
Waddell Center

Activity note: Pre-breakfast class of long, slow stretching and breathing in the Dance Studio. Toast and juice will be available in the dining room before class. Minimal walking, flat terrain.

Breakfast: In the Dining Room, the breakfast buffet is prepared fresh each day in the campus kitchen. Baked goods, warm from the oven, will accompany offerings such as oatmeal, eggs, grits, fruit, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: John Steinbeck will be in fine fettle as he joins us in class for a talk about his life, work, and his beloved Monterey — never mind that he passed away many years ago!

Lunch: In the Dining Room, we’ll have soups and sandwich makings, all prepared in our kitchen, with beverage choices of coffee, tea (hot/iced), water.

Afternoon: A coastal biologist will join us in our Theater to introduce and explain some of the fascinating natural history of this extraordinary area. His presentation will be accompanied by a wealth of gorgeous slides.

Dinner: Dining room buffet.

Evening: A local winemaker or vineyardist will join us in the dining room for an introductory class to learn about new wines, the process that goes into producing them, and ultimately experience them through a tasting. Carmel Valley is perhaps the most distinct of the seven appellations comprising Monterey County’s diverse wineries; of these, Carmel Valley is perhaps the most distinct. Nestled in the Santa Lucia foothills, our summers yield exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other red varietals.

DAY
3
Monterey Peninsula Overview, Free Time, Performance
Carmel Valley, CA
B,L,D
Waddell Center

Activity note: Before breakfast, there will be a very popular stretching and breathing class in the dance studio. Getting on/off a bus, driving about 50 miles, approximately 3 hours with stops. Walking less than 1 mile; those who prefer not to walk may remain with the bus and still view the area. Dress in layers for the weather.

Breakfast: Dining Room buffet.

Morning: On a field trip by bus with our instructor, Gael Gallagher, a local expert on Monterey, we will understand why Robert Louis Stevenson called this the "most beautiful meeting of land and water on the face of the earth." From fabulous coastal scenes to famous homes on Pebble Beach's 17-mile drive, to historic Monterey Adobes that served as the capital of California under Spanish rule, this area is a never-to-be-forgotten treasure of beauty and interest. On this scenic drive, we’ll learn about the Monterey peninsula’s dynamic history, ecology, culture, and beauty. Pausing at scenic stops to stretch our legs and breathe the fresh ocean air, we’ll experience how all of these unique components fit together to make up Monterey.

Lunch: We’ll pick up sack lunches, prepared fresh in Hidden Valley’s kitchen, with local greens, a protein, fruit, and water. You are welcome to eat on campus or take your lunch with you if you go out.

Afternoon: Free time. 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. Public bus service is available across from the campus driveway.

Dinner: Dining Room buffet.

Evening: At Hidden Valley, we’ll enjoy a performance by one of our talented instructors. It may be anything from a musical performance or a show by a local magician. Monterey is full of magical surprises.

DAY
4
Steinbeck Museum, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Performance
Carmel Valley, CA
B,L,D
Waddell Center

Activity note: Before breakfast, there will be a very popular stretching and breathing class in the dance studio. Getting on/off bus. Walking up to 1 mile; even sidewalks and pathways; standing at aquarium. Aquarium is handicapped accessible with elevators as well as stairs; wheelchairs available on-site; benches throughout the aquarium.

Breakfast: Dining Room buffet.

Morning: This morning we will board the bus for a field trip to the National Steinbeck Museum in historic Oldtown Salinas. En route, we will drive along California scenic highways through oak chaparral and lush agricultural land. At the museum, we’ll delve more deeply into Steinbeck’s life through self-directed exploration as we view art galleries inspired by his work, artifacts, and a rich local history. Docents will be available at the museum to answer questions, provide insight, and further enhance our experience.

Lunch: At the Steinbeck Center, we’ll have sack lunches prepared by Hidden Valley’s kitchen with fresh greens, a protein, fruit, and water.

Afternoon: We’ll then ride to the fascinating Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row. On the drive, we’ll see more scenic countryside and go through historic Cannery Row where Steinbeck’s best friend, Doc Ricketts, had his marine lab. This was the site of the canning industry that defined Monterey for years. The beautifully constructed Monterey Bay Aquarium cares for more than 35,000 creatures representing over 550 species that fill 34 major galleries. With nearly 200 exhibits in all, the Aquarium is a window to the wonders of the ocean. During our self-directed exploration, knowledgeable docents will be stationed at each exhibit to provide commentary and answer questions. We'll return to Hidden Valley after our field trip.

Dinner: Dining Room buffet.

Evening: A talented pianist, teaching from the keyboard, will perform music of Scott Joplin and others. You may recognize some of the hit tunes from the turn into the 20th century that are still ingrained in the music world.

DAY
5
Coastal Big Sur, Art Gallery
Carmel Valley, CA
B,L,D
Waddell Center

Activity note: Before breakfast, there will be a very popular stretching and breathing class in the dance studio. Getting on/off a bus; driving about 65 miles, approximately 2 hours total on bus. Walking up to 1 mile; generally even pathways.

Breakfast: Dining Room buffet.

Morning: Our coastal biologist will continue the natural history discussion, focusing on stories about the Big Sur region that give us a background to what makes this area so fascinating. We’ll then board the bus for a field trip to Big Sur led by our biologist. Upon arrival, we will enjoy the breath-taking beauty of the famous Big Sur coast and hear stories connecting us with the nature of the area. Our biologist will also lead nature walks as we enjoy the ocean panorama.

Lunch: At a California state park in Big Sur, we’ll enjoy a tablecloth picnic lunch among the towering redwoods.

Afternoon: Continuing our field trip by bus through Big Sur’s isolated and staggering beauty, we will see why it has been and continues to be an inspiration to writers, artists, and musicians. Thirty percent of Big Sur’s residents are artists and we will visit a local art gallery to end our afternoon. Artists-in-residence and gallery representatives will be available to discuss the art.

Dinner: Dining Room buffet.

Evening: We will show a film adaptation of one of Steinbeck’s novels. You may also enjoy the company of new Road Scholar friends with informal activities such as board games, cards, puzzles, or sharing your favorite experiences of the day over coffee or tea in the Fireside Room. Prepare for check-out and departure following brunch in the morning.

DAY
6
Jack London’s Experience, Program Concludes
Carmel Valley, CA
B,BR

Activity note: There will be a very popular stretching and breathing class in the dance studio. Check-out 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: In the dining room before the last stretching class, we will have a light breakfast buffet of baked goods, toast, cereal, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Jack London, once a frequent visitor to our area, will stop by Hidden Valley to share his recollections of "the old days" and talk about his works — a fitting farewell to our program in magical Monterey.

Brunch: In the dining room, we’ll have a farewell brunch buffet to commemorate the great program we have enjoyed with new Road Scholar friends. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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