Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.
Afternoon: After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. 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. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program. Transportation for program-related activities will be via public transportation unless otherwise specified. Please be sure to bring a face covering and a refillable water bottle on each field trip throughout the program. Periods in the 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.
Dinner: In the hotel, we will enjoy a plated dinner plus complimentary coffee, tea, soda, and water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation and motorcoach; traveling 2 miles via public transportation. Walking and standing for 1 hour in City Hall; consider bringing a cane with a folding seat if standing for several minutes is difficult. 4-hour exploration of San Francisco via motorcoach; stops for bathroom breaks and photo ops. Bring refillable water bottle.
Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, the breakfast buffet offers a selection of eggs, breakfast meats, breakfast potatoes, Belgian waffles, cold cuts, cold and hot cereals and milks, fresh fruit, yogurts, bagels, muffins, Danish, toast, and a variety of juices, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: In the hotel, a local expert will show us San Francisco's colorful history through a slide-illustrated lecture peppered with fascinating anecdotes about the characters that made San Francisco the city that it is. We will learn about the tumultuous beginnings of "Baghdad by the Bay." After class, we will take a public bus to San Francisco's majestic City Hall for a docent-led visit. The dome is the fifth largest in the world, taller than the U.S. Capitol by 42 feet.
Lunch: In a restaurant near City Hall, we’ll enjoy a plated lunch plus complimentary coffee, tea, soda, and water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: We’ll continue getting to know San Francisco via motorcoach. We will be joined by a local expert on our motorcoach for a local's look at San Francisco. We will explore the highlights including Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace of Fine Arts in the Presidio, Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park and a view from Twin Peaks.
Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Traveling 4 miles each way for about 30 minutes via motorcoach. Docent-led visit through the Fisk House involves three sets of staircases (outside stairs do not have handrails) and 45 minutes of standing/walking.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We will start our day with a lecture at the hotel on Victorian Architecture in San Francisco from a local expert. We will board our motorcoach for a visit to the Fiske House. We will have a docent-led visit of the Fisk House. You will have the very unique opportunity to see one of San Francisco's beautiful old homes which is privately owned and not open to the public. Learn the history of the house from the current owners.
Lunch: This meal had been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like.
Afternoon: Free time. Take this time to explore at your own pace.
Dinner: This meal had been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. .
Evening: We will enjoy a performance at a local venue. Club Fugazi has been a community venue for over 100 years starting as a gathering place for Italian immigrants to being the backdrop for Thelonious Monk's 1959 album. The venue continues to be a place for the community to enjoy artistic performances.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling 4 miles. 20-minute ferry ride to Alcatraz. The distance from the dock to the penitentiary at the top of the hill is 1/4 mile with an elevation change of 130 feet, which is equivalent to climbing a 13-story building although over 1/4 mile. Bring refillable water bottle. Food and beverages other than water are not permitted on Alcatraz. Alcatraz is always cold and windy and often foggy; dress accordingly.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We will board our motorcoach for a visit to the De Young Museum. The museum sits in the middle of Golden Gate park and has a long history in the city of San Francisco. We meet a museum docent for a guided exploration of the museum exhibits. You will have time to explore the exhibits after our guided visit. After the museum, we will board our private motorcoach for Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 33.
Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.
Afternoon: We will walk to the dock to board the ferry to Alcatraz. Alcatraz has been a bird sanctuary, a Civil War fortress, and home of the West Coast’s first lighthouse. Early native people never settled there permanently because they considered it cursed, but in 1969, Native American activists occupied it in protest to demand recognition of Indian rights. They held out for 19 months. Contemporary American Indians return each year for commemorative ceremonies. Upon arrival at the Alcatraz dock for our field trip, we will be greeted by a National Park Service ranger who will give a brief orientation including information on any special activities available that day. We’ll learn about the colorful history, infamous criminal inhabitants, and legendary escape attempts from “The Rock”. The remainder of this field trip will be a self-led exploration. Park Service staff offer free presentations to visitors throughout the day on topics such as escapes, military history, American Indian occupation, natural history, and more. There are numerous exhibits including a cell house audio covering the penitentiary era. We will then cross back to San Francisco
Dinner: On your own to enjoy local fare.
Evening: In the hotel, we will watch and discuss a documentary about the 1906 earthquake and its aftermath. After the viewing, the filmmaker will lead the class in a discussion about the earthquake and San Francisco's continued vulnerability to earthquake activity.
Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation and motorcoach; traveling 2 miles to/from Chinatown; traveling 3 miles to/from performance venue. Walking 1 hour through Chinatown involves some streets with inclines/declines. Bring refillable water bottle.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We will start our day in Chinatown where a local expert will lead us on a narrated walking exploration through Chinatown, the oldest Chinese settlement in North America and one of the largest outside Asia. As we stroll crowded streets, our senses will be enlivened by the mix of residents, tourists, sights, sounds, and scents—an experience we’ll never forget!
Lunch: At a local Chinatown restaurant.
Afternoon: We will walk to the Nob Hill neighborhood for a tour with a local expert. People were attract to this area in the late 19th century because of the scenic view and its central position. The area became a magnet for the rich and wealthy of San Francisco. After our tour of Nob Hill, we will visit Grace Cathedral. We will have a docent-led tour of the church which was rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake. The current structure opened in 1927 and the church continues to welcome the local community. We will learn about the unique architecture and furnishings from our docent.
Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy our farewell dinner.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 p.m.
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 another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!