loading spinner
14491
California

The Best of California: The Reagan Library to the Channel Islands

Experience it all on this comprehensive exploration of California. Savor great cuisine, explore National Parks, visit renowned museums and enjoy insightful lectures along the way!
Rating (5)
Program No. 14491RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,299
California

The Best of California: The Reagan Library to the Channel Islands

Experience it all on this comprehensive exploration of California. Savor great cuisine, explore National Parks, visit renowned museums and enjoy insightful lectures along the way!
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,299
Program No. 14491 RJ
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 & starting prices
PRICES
Aug 29 - Sep 3, 2021
Starting at
1,299
Sep 19 - Sep 24, 2021
Starting at
1,299
Dec 28 - Jan 2, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Itinerary Note

12/28/2021 UPDATE TO: Full-day field trip to Rose Parade, with reserved bleacher seats on Colorado Boulevard and post-parade float viewing in place of Getty Center.

Feb 27 - Mar 4, 2022
Starting at
1,299
May 1 - May 6, 2022
Starting at
1,299
Aug 28 - Sep 2, 2022
Starting at
1,299
Sep 18 - Sep 23, 2022
Starting at
1,299
Dec 29 - Jan 3, 2023
Starting at
2,099
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Aug 29 - Sep 3, 2021
Starting at
1,629
Sep 19 - Sep 24, 2021
Starting at
1,629
Dec 28 - Jan 2, 2022
Starting at
2,369
Itinerary Note

12/28/2021 UPDATE TO: Full-day field trip to Rose Parade, with reserved bleacher seats on Colorado Boulevard and post-parade float viewing in place of Getty Center.

Feb 27 - Mar 4, 2022
Starting at
1,649
May 1 - May 6, 2022
Starting at
1,649
Aug 28 - Sep 2, 2022
Starting at
1,649
Sep 18 - Sep 23, 2022
Starting at
1,649
Dec 29 - Jan 3, 2023
Starting at
2,499

At a Glance

Experience California’s diverse cultural and natural wonders. View J. Paul Getty’s extensive art collection at the J. Paul Getty Museum, go hiking on the Channel Islands and sit in the peaceful courtyards at the historic missions of Santa Barbara and Ventura. Insights gained through lectures and visits will give you a full picture of California culture.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walk up to one mile on mostly flat, hard-packed terrain; stand for two hours.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Learn about the history of the Santa Barbara and Ventura missions during docent-led explorations of these landmarks.
  • Board Air Force One at the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.
  • Enjoy a leisurely hike on one of the islands that is part of the Channel Islands National Park.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Susan Morris
Susan Morris has been conducting historical research involving the Channel Islands since 1987. With a bachelor’s in journalism and a certificate in archaeology, she has participated in field studies on seven of the eight Channel Islands. She was the principal investigator of a cave-associated archaeology survey on Santa Rosa Island. Passionate about solving historical mysteries, her focus of the past eight years has been historical research for the Island of the Blue Dolphins website hosted by Channel Islands National Park.

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

Profile Image of Margery Spielman
Margery Spielman View biography
Margery Spielman is an accomplished environmental artist, lecturer, naturalist and professional diver. As a scuba instructor and stunt diver, she worked underwater on numerous television productions and for many years, worked on freelance assignments for The Cousteau Society, doing research, logistics, diving, speaking and illustrating. Described as a visionary realist, she’s exhibited her artwork in major Marine Art Expos from Hawaii to Paris. For over 25 years, Margery’s been the leading Naturalist in Road Scholar’s Channel Islands programs.
Profile Image of Donna Granata
Donna Granata View biography
Donna Granata is the founder and executive director of Focus on the Masters (FOTM), a highly respected nonprofit archive and educational program documenting contemporary artists. An accomplished artist in her own right, Granata is an internationally published portrait photographer. Her photographs have been displayed across the United States. Selected works from her FOTM portrait series are housed in the Smithsonian's Archive of American Artists; in the photographic collection of the George Eastman Museum and other public institutions housing the personal archives of the artists documented.
Profile Image of Walt Agajanian
Walt Agajanian View biography
Born and raised in Southern California, Walt Agajanian left California to see other parts of the country and ended up in college at the University of Wyoming, intended to be a high school science teacher. Returning to California, Walt changed his plans and went into business. Having had a passion for history as well as science, he eventually decided to enroll at California State University, Northridge for a second bachelor’s and a master’s degree in history. He now teaches history at Ventura College.
Profile Image of Susan Morris
Susan Morris View biography
Susan Morris has been conducting historical research involving the Channel Islands since 1987. With a bachelor’s in journalism and a certificate in archaeology, she has participated in field studies on seven of the eight Channel Islands. She was the principal investigator of a cave-associated archaeology survey on Santa Rosa Island. Passionate about solving historical mysteries, her focus of the past eight years has been historical research for the Island of the Blue Dolphins website hosted by Channel Islands National Park.
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.
Life in a California Mission
by Jean Francois de la Perouse, Malcolm Margolin (Introduction)
A remarkable essay about the natural life and native customs of 18th-century California, written by a French explorer while his ships lay at anchor in Monterey Bay.
Images of America: Ventura
by Glenda Jackson
Local historian Jackson covers the history of Ventura, California, from the dedication of Mission San Buenaventura to its present status as the Gateway to the Channel Islands and home to more than 100,000. Includes archival photos.
The Santa Barbara County Courthouse
by Patricia Gebhard, Kathryn Masson
An architectural study of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.
Moon Handbooks Santa Barbara & The Central Coast
by Michael Cervin
A practical guide in the Moon series, packed not only with travel necessities (hotels, restaurants, sights), but also with a good overview of history and destinations throughout central California.
Santa Cruz Island: A History of Conflict and Diversity
by John Gherini
In this thorough history of the largest Channel Island, Gherini introduces the Chumash Indians who lived on the island in pre-Columbian times and details early European explorers and the Spanish-Mexican period, when the island became a haven for smugglers.
California Missions
by East View Press
This gorgeously tinted hand-drawn map displays California Missions in excellent detail.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to California
by Peter Alden
A compact, easy-to-use guide to 1,000 California trees, wildflowers, mammals, insects, birds and other flora and fauna.
The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collection
by Timothy Potts
Prepared by the museum, this illustrated handbook to the J. Paul Getty Museum provides a comprehensive overview of the collection as well as a history of both the museum and its founder.
Reagan: The Life
by H. W. Brands
The most recent biography of Ronald Reagan collects his story in detail in more than 800 pages. Brands argues that Reagan is one of the two great presidents of the 20th century, alongside FDR.
Justinian Caire and Santa Cruz Island: The Rise and Fall of a California Dynasty
by Frederic Claire Chiles
This history of one of California’s Channel Islands covers everything from the island’s original Chumash population to its acquisition by the Nature Conservancy. Special attention is paid to the 50 years when the island was owned by Justinian Caire and family. The author, a descendant of the Caire family, uses family archives to flesh out his tale.
President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime
by Robert Kimzey, Lou Cannon
Noted as a "superlative study of a president and his presidency" by the New Yorker, this definitive biography runs 920 pages and reveals the man behind the make-up. Written by a former White House correspondent for the Washington Post.
Natural State, A Literary Anthology of California Nature Writing
by Steven Gilbar (Editor)
Divided by ecological region, this book is a literary tour of California's unrivaled natural diversity, featuring essays and excerpts by such great writers as Barry Lopez, Gretel Ehrlich and John McPhee. Gary Snyder provided the afterword.
Building the Getty
by Richard Meier
An account of the construction of the Getty Center, written by its architect.
California the Beautiful
by Galen Rowell (Photographer)
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's Channel Islands: A History
by Scott O'Dell
The Channel Islands, a string of eight islands off the coast of Southern California, are home to stunning landscapes and remarkable biodiversity. This scholarly work covers ecology as well as natural and human history.
Natural History of the Islands of California
by Allan A. Schoenherr, C. Robert Feldmeth, Michael J. Emerson (Illustrator), David Mooney (Illustrator)
A survey of the ecology, geology and human history of California's coastal islands.
The Getty Center: Richard Meier & Partners
by Richard Meier, Michael Brawn
A photographic tour of the Getty Center.
Images of America: The California Channel Islands
by Marla Daily
This Images of America installment introduces all eight of the Channel Islands, located off the coast of Southern California. Features archival photographs.
The Golden Shore, California's Love Affair With the Sea
by David Helvarg
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.
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 3 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Dinner
Ventura, CA
D
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 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 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. Orientation: 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. 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. Reservations should be made between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that 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. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy dinner plus water, coffee, and tea; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.

DAY
2
Field Trip to Santa Barbara, Channel Islands Lecture
Ventura, CA
B,L,D
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

Activity note: Depending on traffic, drive to Santa Barbara is approximately 45 minutes and 25 miles; Getting on/off motorcoach; Walking on even terrain and standing for long periods of time; Participants can climb the 85-foot clock tower of the Santa Barbara Courthouse.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we'll enjoy a buffet featuring an assortment of hot and cold breakfast items plus water, coffee, tea, and assorted juices.

Morning: This morning, we’ll be joined by a local expert who will trace the history of the mission system from its Spanish beginnings to the successes of the missions in Latin America, and examine why they were used in California. Hear about Father Junipero Serra and what life was like at the California Missions. Discuss why the missions failed, the pros and cons of the missions, and how they are viewed today. Our private motorcoach will depart the hotel for the Santa Barbara Mission, where 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 U.S. 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: At a favorite local restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara featuring a sandwich, side salad, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, or soda.

Afternoon: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Explore State Street in Santa Barbara before the motorcoach departs for the return trip to Ventura.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Enjoy an evening session with a local expert learning about Channel Islands National Park in preparation for the next day's visit via boat to Santa Cruz Island. Channel Islands National Park covers five of the eight channel islands off the coast of Southern California. Having endured thousands of years of isolation, these islands are host to a variety of flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. With its pristine beaches and grass covered hills, Santa Cruz is the largest island of the five islands comprising Channel Islands National Park, and is a miniature of what Southern California looked like 100 years ago.

DAY
3
Field Trip to Santa Cruz Island
Ventura, CA
B,L,D
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

Activity note: Weather permitting, travel to Santa Cruz Island is approximately one hour boat ride each way. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven terrain with elevation change of up to 300 feet; Layered clothing, rubber soled shoes, and a good grip are all recommended. Please refer to the attached document "What to expect on your island days!" for more detailed information about the islands you will be visiting.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll take our private motor coach from the hotel, we’ll enjoy an all day outing to Santa Cruz Island via Island Packers boat. Upon arrival at the Island, be prepared to climb a small ladder to the pier where we’ll partake in a naturalist led walk. With its pristine beaches and grass covered hills, Santa Cruz is the largest island of the five islands comprising Channel Island National Park, and is a miniature of what Southern California looked like 100 years ago. With our expert, we’ll embark on an easy, 1 mile round trip walk with good examples of native and endemic plants through Scorpion Cavern. If participants are eager for a more rigorous hike, they can partake in a 2 mile round trip hike to Cavern Point, which climbs 300 ft on the first third of the hike to Cavern Point and then flattens out providing expansive vistas of the Santa Barbara Channel. The trail experts talk about the isolation of the island, animals, plants, restoration projects, ranch history, and the marine environment at stops along the trail.

Lunch: Bag lunch on Santa Cruz Island featuring a sandwich, chips, a cookie. Our lunches are packed so all trash can fit in a pocket to avoid littering. There are limited trash cans on the island. Please remember to bring your reusable water bottle.

Afternoon: Continue our field trip on Santa Cruz Island. The boat operated by Island Packers returns to the mainland around 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
J. Paul Getty Center
Ventura, CA
B,D
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

Activity note: Depending on traffic, drive to Getty Center approximately one hour and 50 miles; Walking between the buildings is on flat, paved surfaces but access to the bottom of the Central Gardens involves a slight incline

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: A 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. From the hotel, we’ll ride to the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center to view the artwork that was discussed earlier. 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 your free day exploring the Getty Center. After the Getty Center, we’ll return to the hotel for dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Field Trip to Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
Ventura, CA
B,L,D
Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

Activity note: Depending on traffic, drive to the Reagan Library is approximately 40 minutes and 35 miles; standing for up to two hours with limited seating available in the museum.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning, our expert led class provides insights about Ronald Reagan in preparation for the field trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. The 40th President of the United States, Reagan moved to Hollywood to fulfill his dream of becoming an actor. After becoming President of the Screen Actors Guild, he became involved in politics as a spokesman for General Electric. After gaining support, he was persuaded to run for Governor of California and eventually became President of the United States. Known for his new economic and political incentives, Reagan grew from a small town icon to one of the most favored Presidents in American history. From the hotel, we’ll take a field trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Opened to the public in 1991, the 100 acre site is perched on a mountaintop with sweeping views of mountains, valleys, and the Pacific Ocean. Follow a young Ronald Reagan on his rise from local hero and college standout to the glamorous world of Hollywood stardom. His campaign trail and inauguration as the 40th President of the United States, the Oval Office, and key events of his two terms are revealed through documents, photographs, and artifacts from eight dynamic years in the White House. In the Air Force One Pavilion, board the aircraft that served as the "Flying White House" for President Reagan.

Lunch: Lunch at Air Force One Pavilion.

Afternoon: Free time to explore the exhibits and grounds on your own before returning to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel, our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
San Buenaventura Mission, Program Concludes
Ventura, CA
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 11:00 a.m. Walking distances up to 3/4 mile; uneven terrain during the visit to the mission.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: From the hotel, we’ll walk to Mission San Buenaventura. Founded in 1782, Mission San Buenaventura was the ninth of California's 21 missions and the last to be established by Father Junipero Serra. Destroyed by fire in the 1790s, the church was rebuilt over a period of a dozen years and rededicated in 1809. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and 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 www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Your Well-Being is Our #1 Priority

We’re committed to making your experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

See Our Safety Roadmap
Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback