Surf and Sea San Diego: An Active Adventure With Your Grandchild
Learn to surf, go kayaking, explore Birch Aquarium and enjoy an amphibious Seal Tour as you create lasting memories with your grandchild in historic San Diego.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19586RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
11 meals
5 B 2 L 4 D
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
San Diego, CA
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley

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

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00-5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the hotel lobby 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.

Dinner: In the café at the hotel, the plated dinner offers a salad, entrée, rolls, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, 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. This is a Road Scholar Intergenerational program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Children are never to be left unsupervised. Travel and transfers will be via private motorcoach, unless noted otherwise. For all outdoor activities, wear sunscreen and reapply it several times a day! San Diego is noted for its cloudy mornings, especially May through July, but you can still get a sunburn during this time. The sun doesn't burn through the "marine layer" until early afternoon. 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. Continue getting to know your fellow participants in a session we call Crossing Points and discover what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning. Then we’ll settle in and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

MBAC Boogie Boarding, Amphibious Vehicle Ride, Surf Culture
San Diego, CA
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley

Activity note: Driving approx. 25 miles total; about 1 hour depending on traffic. Swim assessment required at Mission Bay Aquatic Center; 100 yard swim and tread water for 5 minutes; wet suits available for water activities. Walking approx. 1 mile throughout the day; carrying boogie boards over sand and paved terrain. Getting on/off amphibious vehicles requires going up/down approx. 8 steps with railing; about 1.5 hours aboard. All vehicles are safety and comfort approved by the Coast Guard.

Breakfast: In the cafe at the hotel, the daily breakfast buffet offers a variety of choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meat, hot and cold cereals, whole fruit, baked goods and sliced breads, plus milk, juices, coffee, tea, and water.

Morning: We'll travel by motorcoach to the Mission Bay Aquatic Center (MBAC) and enjoy a morning of boogie boarding in the warm waters of the Pacific! This fully equipped aquatic recreational and educational facility will be our playground and classroom as experienced student instructors provide a thorough training session on boogie boarding and surfing later in the week. They will demonstrate the basics of each, go over the steps on how to best enjoy the sport, and be with us for some fun in the sun. At the Center there will be a one-time presentation on safety rules and evaluation of the participants' water adeptness (swim test). Once that is completed, it's time to hit the waves! We’ll return to the hotel to change into dry clothes before going to lunch.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like at Seaport Village, a 14-acre waterfront complex with many restaurants. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll walk to the boarding location for our afternoon experience and get ready to absorb the sights and highlights of San Diego in a way largely unique to this city – via an amphibious vehicle! Our expert captain will provide narration throughout our journey by land and sea, even after we drive straight into the big bay. While aboard, we’ll enjoy lovely views of the skyline and the human component of the area, but we will also likely see sunbathing seals along the way. Once our amphibious exploration concludes, we’ll then return to the hotel via motorcoach.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: We’ll then be joined at the hotel by a veteran surfer who will offer an informative introduction to the culture of surfing in Southern California.

Surfing @ MBAC, Kayaking @ La Jolla Shores
San Diego, CA
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley

Activity note: Driving approx. 24 miles total; about 1 hour depending on traffic. Walking approx. 1 mile total, 1/2 mile while carrying surf board; paved walkways, sandy beach to ocean water. Surfing and kayaking in ocean water; getting in/out of kayaks; paddling distance according to conditions at time of program. Life jackets required.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Returning to Mission Bay Aquatic Center via our motorcoach, we’ll get into our introductory lesson to the iconic sport of surfing. Mornings are the best time to catch the best waves. The trained and enthusiastic instructors at the center will lead the group on a short walk across Mission Boulevard to Pacific Beach for instruction and hands-on experience in how to mount the board, paddle and rise up. Then, it's into the water to "get your feet wet" for a fun morning in the waves!

Lunch: At Mission Bay Aquatic Center, we’ll have boxed lunches with bottled water.

Afternoon: Next, the motorcoach will transport us to La Jolla Shores for an afternoon kayaking field trip led by an expert instructor. In or on the water is the perfect way to explore the spectacular scenery and coastal formations which make La Jolla Shores a favorite of visitors and locals alike. Our certified expert will keep the group together and point out the beauty and fragility of this coastal habitat. While kayaking, harbor seals may make their appearance as they bask in the sun on the rocks or dive into the surf to fish. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. You may want to enjoy the hotel’s heated pool and spa.

Birch Aquarium, Surfing @ MBAC
San Diego, CA
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley

Activity note: Driving approx. 30 miles total; about 1 hour depending on traffic. Walking approx. 1 mile throughout the day; about 1/2 mile while carrying surf board; sandy beach and paved surfaces. Surfing in ocean water.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll set out on our private motorcoach to the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on the La Jolla bluffs. On a self-led visit, we’ll encounter a dazzling variety of marine life from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical seas of Mexico and beyond. After viewing 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.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in the village of La Jolla.

Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll head back to Mission Bay Aquatic Center via motorcoach and change into our bathing suits. The Pacific beckons us back to the beach for more sun, sand, and surf! Again, our instructors will be in the water with us to point out where the surf breaks are and the optimum point in the wave to catch it and ride it to shore. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Surfing @ MBAC, USS Midway Museum, San Diego Zoo
San Diego, CA
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Mission Valley

Activity note: Driving approx. 29 miles total; about 1 hour. Walking approx. 1.5 miles throughout the day during group activities; 1 mile on the USS Midway, climbing stairs and ladders aboard; 1/2 mile while carrying surf board across sandy beach to ocean water; walking at zoo dependent on personal interest, some steep grades, moving sidewalks. Free shuttle bus service operates inside zoo. Surfing in ocean water.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our motorcoach will take us back to the Pacific Ocean for our final morning of surfing instruction with MBAC. Afterwards, we travel via our motorcoach back to the hotel to change into dry clothes before having lunch.

Lunch: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy tasty plated lunches, plus coffee, tea, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Boarding our motorcoach, we’ll transfer to the downtown waterfront for an exclusive docent-led exploration aboard the USS Midway Museum, during which we’ll discover a floating city at sea and relive nearly 50 years of world history aboard the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Aboard, we’ll gain access to the mess deck, berthing spaces, hangar deck, flight deck, island superstructure and various exhibits and displays. Museum docents stationed throughout Midway are eager to share their personal story of life at sea. Afterwards, we’ll head to the San Diego Zoo for a period of independent exploration so you may see and do what interests you most. Impressive and sprawling, the zoo maintains a wide range of habitat-specific exhibits – from tundra to desert and rainforest – and cares for over 4,000 animals including 800 different species. Designers of the zoo take special care to replicate the natural environments of the animals to ensure they are as comfortable as possible. The zoo has also integrated an arboretum throughout its grounds, which features a vast array of plant life, including some special rarities. Some of these plants go right back to the animals as well, such as bamboo to feed the pandas, and eucalyptus for the koalas.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like at the zoo.

Evening: We’ll rendezvous at a predetermined time and place to board the motorcoach and travel back to the hotel. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures tomorrow.

Program Concludes
San Diego, CA

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

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: 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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