16955
California
Signature City San Diego: America’s Finest City
Walk Torrey Pines State Reserve, explore the San Diego Zoo, savor the cuisine of Little Italy and sail San Diego’s harbor as you explore the best this seaside city has to offer.
Rating (4.94)
Program No. 16955RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,449
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6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 2 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
San Diego
D
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:00-5:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table outside the meeting room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In our private meeting and dining room at the hotel, the dinner buffet offers a rotating menu each evening of salad, entrée, rolls/butter, dessert, and coffee, tea (iced/hot), and water; other beverages available for purchase.

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. Travel and transfers will be via private motorcoach unless noted otherwise. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” 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. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Get to know your fellow participants in a session we call Crossing Points and discover what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning. Then settle in and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
U.S. Military Talk, Harbor Cruise, Little Italy Walk
San Diego
B,L,D
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; getting on/off a 150-foot vessel with stairs accessing 3 decks; cruising approximately 2 hours; walking up to 1 mile, approximately 2 hours, opportunities to sit; paved sidewalks.

Breakfast: In our private meeting and dining room, the daily breakfast buffet offers a variety of choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meat, hot/cold cereals, sliced and whole fruit, baked goods and sliced breads, milk, juices, coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, and water.

Morning: We’ll be joined by a local historian for a presentation on the military's influence in transforming San Diego into a city with the largest Navy and Marine Corps complex in the U.S. We’ll learn how the city grew from a sleepy resort town into a community on the cutting edge of American defenses. We will then depart the hotel via private motorcoach for San Diego Bay. At the waterfront, we’ll board a boat for a 2-hour narrated cruise of North and South Bay. Find a seat of your choice, indoors or out, and enjoy the view of the San Diego skyline as we cover 13 miles on the Bay. We'll pass landmarks such as Harbor and Shelter Islands, Cabrillo National Monument, and cruise under the Coronado Bridge. We’ll learn about bait barges and observe sea lions living on them Point Loma. We’ll also get a sense for the significance of the military presence in San Diego as we pass by the North Island Naval Air Station, the Nuclear Submarine Base, Naval destroyers, and the U.S.S. “Midway” aircraft carrier.

Lunch: At Seaport Village, a 14-acre waterfront complex with many restaurants.

Afternoon: Next, we'll ride to Little Italy for an introduction to San Diego's rich Genoese and Sicilian history during an exclusive, expert-led walking field trip. There are many “Little Italy” communities throughout the country and San Diego’s is one of the most active. Like other ethnic enclaves, it became the home of immigrants who worked to support their families and contribute to their new environment. Many of these Italian Americans who were employed in the local fishing industry helped make San Diego the tuna capital of the world. The decline of fishing and events such as the construction of an interstate highway right through town hit hard and led to decline, but local residents got together in the 1990s to create their own community management corporation and turned everything around. Little Italy today is symbolized by the exciting new Piazza della Famiglia development. We will see and learn about noteworthy aspects of local history, culture, and cuisine, concluding with wine tasting and antipasto at an Italian restaurant. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Old Town San Diego SHP, Hotel Del Coronado, Wine Tasting
San Diego
B,D
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; walking approximately 1/2 mile; paved and dirt paths, periodic stops for commentary; stairs at historic Hotel Del Coronado.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll be joined by a local expert for a presentation on the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. We’ll learn about the evolution of the area from its native peoples — the Kumeyaay — to Spanish settlement, the Mexican and American periods, and on through its restoration and becoming a State Park in 1968. We’ll set out on our private motorcoach and ride to Old Town San Diego SHP. Our exclusive narrated walking field trip in Old Town will start in the Plaza and take us into several restored original buildings that illuminate life in the Mexican and American periods of 1821 to 1872. After the walk, we’ll have time for self-directed exploration of other historic buildings, museums and shops in the state park.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Old Town. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll travel to Hotel del Coronado, one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. With a docent from the Coronado Historical Association, we’ll go on a walking exploration and learn the history of “The Del” as it is affectionately known. Construction began in 1887 and the hotel was completed in only 11 months at a cost of $1 million (equivalent to nearly $25 million today). Labor was provided largely by Chinese immigrants from San Francisco and Oakland. The hotel was built as a premier resort for the wealthy and has quite a famous guest list, including Thomas Edison, L. Frank Baum, Charlie Chaplin, Babe Ruth, Charles Lindbergh and Edward VIII, who met his future wife, Coronado resident Wallis Simpson, during his stay. One of the oldest and largest all-wooden buildings in California, this Queen Anne Style hotel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Returning to the hotel, we’ll gather in our meeting room and meet a husband and wife team who own Shadow Mountain Vineyards & Winery for a fun discussion on the science of growing grapes and producing wines in a completely sustainable way. They will bring samples of their vintages so we can taste the fruit of their vines.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Free Time
San Diego
B,D
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; moving sidewalks at zoo; walking at Zoo and Balboa Park based on personal interest.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll be joined by a local expert on the San Diego Zoo who will give us a background talk to set the stage for our field trip to Balboa Park, the nation’s largest urban cultural park, where the San Diego Zoo is located. The architecture and landscaping in Balboa Park are the legacy of two Expositions: the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition commemorating the opening of the Panama Canal and the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition that was held to boost the local economy during the Great Depression. A small menagerie left from the Panama-California International Exposition of 1915-16 was taken over by Dr. Harry Wegeforth and developed into what is now one of the world’s rarest wild animal collections. The Zoo has grown to 100 acres in size and is home to more than 4,000 animals representing 900 species from around the world. We’ll board our motorcoach and ride through Balboa Park to become acquainted with the different areas. We’ll then set out on an expert-led, Road Scholar exclusive field trip. The Zoo exhibits animals in the most natural way possible and around a particular habitat. The same exhibit features many different animals that can be found side-by-side in the wild, along with their native horticulture. Exhibits range from Africa Rocks that reveals animal and plant inhabitants of six iconic African habitats to the Panda Trek that highlights the giant pandas and other animals that share their bamboo forest habitat. In addition to the extensive collection of birds, reptiles, and mammals, the zoo maintains its grounds as an arboretum with a rare plant collection. As part of its gardening effort, it raises some rare animal foods such as 40 varieties of bamboo for the pandas and 18 varieties of eucalyptus trees for its koalas. The Zoo is active in conservation and species-preservation efforts.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in the Zoo or in Balboa Park. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free Time. You are welcome to continue exploring in the Zoo or walk to another part of Balboa Park and visit one of the 15 major museums showcasing art treasures, San Diego history, photography, anthropology, sports, automotive history, and the story of flight. Or, walk through the lush landscaping and beautiful gardens at the Botanical Building, Rose Garden, Japanese Friendship Garden, or any of the other gardens. We will regroup at an announced place at 3:30 p.m., board our bus, and return to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Torrey Pines State Reserve, La Jolla, Birch Aquarium
San Diego
B,L,D
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; walking up to 1.3 miles; dirt trails, some uneven terrain, 100-foot elevation gain; elective 2.8 mile walk available with 429-foot elevation gain; walking in La Jolla based on personal interest; paved sidewalks.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll board the motorcoach and ride to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve where we’ll meet a member of the Torrey Pines Docent Society. This majestic wilderness within San Diego city limits is home to one of the world’s rarest pine trees, Pinus torreyana. Believed to be remnants of ancient woodlands that once flourished along the Southern California coast, the trees now grow naturally only on this small strip of coastline and on Santa Rosa Island. We’ll learn about the human and natural history of the Reserve as we walk on a selected trail. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Ranger Station/Visitor Center and look at the displays before heading out to La Jolla.

Lunch: At the Village of La Jolla

Afternoon: Next, we’ll ride to the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on the La Jolla bluffs. On a self-guided visit, encounter a dazzling variety of marine life from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical seas of Mexico and beyond. We’ll view exhibits highlighting the latest research from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a department of the University of California San Diego. We’ll also have an opportunity to get up close to marine organisms such as hermit crabs, lobsters, sea anemones, sea cucumbers, sea stars, and others in the outdoor tide-pool plaza. The views of the Pacific Ocean are some of the best in La Jolla. We’ll return to the hotel after our field trip.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: We’ll be treated to a performance of musical selections by an artist from the Department of Music and Dance at San Diego State University. Then prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
San Diego
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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