Walking up to 5 miles, climbing stairways; forested trails and hills at Presidio Park.
At the hotel
To begin today’s field trip, we will first explore Fisherman’s Wharf where you will see active fishing boats in their docks surrounded by restaurants and shops which attract visitors from all over the world. Fisherman’s Wharf was established by Italian immigrants shortly after the Gold Rush as they fished the waters of San Francisco Bay. The group leader will focus on the history of the wharf, showing us a floating national park, fishing vessels, and the Fishermen’s and Seamen’s Memorial Chapel. Then we will take public transportation to Pacific Heights with magnificent views of Billionaires Row, the Palace of the Fine Arts, and the Marina District. We’ll continue walking to the Presidio, where both the oldest and the newest parts of San Francisco exist side-by-side. For many years this wonderful urban park area was the center of military activity in the city. Now open to the public for all to enjoy, the group leader will take you through noted artist Andy Goldworthy’s “Wood Line,” a trail of eucalyptus trunks lining the trail of a eucalyptus grove. You will also see a newly reforested area of Monterey cypress trees.
At El Polin Spring, we'll have boxed lunches with a sandwich, salad, fruit, and fruit drink. This was the first populated portion of the Presidio where civilians lived, making it the first neighborhood in San Francisco.
The Presidio’s chief archaeologist and chief biologist will give a presentation on the excavation findings at El Polin Spring and the effort to bring the area back to its original state. Next, the group leader will take us to to see another Andy Goldsworthy work of art, “Spire.” Be inspired by this sculpture of 37 Monterey cypress tree trunks. Then, overlooking the San Francisco National Cemetery take in breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands. We continue our walk to the Palace of Fine Arts and into the Marina District, a neighborhood bordering San Francisco Bay. After the 1906 earthquake, San Francisco hosted the 1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition. Many temporary buildings were constructed for the expo, including the Palace of Fine Arts. When the fair was over, all the buildings came down except the palace. Today, residents along the main street have enviable views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island, sailboats, and cargo ships. Via public transportation, we’ll arrive to and explore Fort Mason and Ghiradelli Square with the group leader. In 1894, the Ghiradelli family converted a woolen mill into a chocolate factory. In the 1960s, the factory moved and the square was slated to be torn down and replaced with an apartment building. A private citizen bought the square and converted the space to a restaurant and retail complex, the first of its kind in the country.
At a Fisherman's Wharf restaurant popular with locals, our plated 3-course meal includes a choice of soup or salad, choice of entrée, and dessert. Beverage choices include coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Following dinner, we will walk a few blocks back to the hotel. The remainder of the evening is at leisure.