21052
San Francisco
Signature City San Francisco: City By The Bay
Immerse yourself in the story of San Francisco alongside experts as you explore Alcatraz Island, learn about the fire of 1906, stroll the markets of Chinatown and see iconic landmarks.
Rating (4.78)
Program No. 21052RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,499
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6 days
5 nights
11 meals
5 B 3 L 3 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
San Francisco, CA
D
Holiday Inn Golden Gateway

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00pm.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, 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 including contact numbers for key staff, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate. 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: In the hotel. Menus are designed to offer balanced, healthy choices. This evening, enjoy a plated, 3-course dinner plus complimentary coffee, tea, soda, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
San Francisco History, City Hall, San Francisco Highlights
San Francisco, CA
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Golden Gateway

Activity note: In the morning, public bus to and from City Hall. In the afternoon, narrated exploration of highlights of San Francisco via private coach which is four hours long with stops for bathroom breaks and photo ops.

Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, the tasty 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, engage in 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. 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 the hotel, enjoy a plated, 3-course dinner plus complimentary coffee, tea, soda, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Get to know San Francisco. You will board a private motorcoach and learn about "The City by the Bay" as a local expert narrates.

Dinner: We will eat out at a popular diner near the hotel. You may order your meal and a non-alcoholic drink of your choice from the restaurant menu; other beverages available for purchase. Water is included.

Evening: On your own to do what interests you most.

DAY
3
1906 Film, Chinatown, Wells Fargo Museum
San Francisco, CA
B,L
Holiday Inn Golden Gateway

Activity note: Public bus to Chinatown which requires a transfer. Walking through Chinatown involves some streets with inclines. Public bus back to hotel.

Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel

Morning: In the hotel, we will watch and discuss "The Damnedest Finest Ruins" which is a documentary about the 1906 earthquake and its aftermath. The filmmaker, James Dalessandro, will lead the class. After class, we proceed to Chinatown where a local expert will lead us on a narrated walking exploration through Chinatown which is the oldest Chinese settlement in North America and one of the largest outside Asia. As we stroll crowded streets, your senses will be enlivened by the mix of residents, tourists, sights, sounds, and scents -- an experience you won’t forget!

Lunch: We will have a Dim Sum (several small plates) lunch together in a mouthwatering Chinese restaurant. Hot tea and water are included; other beverages are available for purchase. Sik fan! (Let’s eat!)

Afternoon: After lunch, we wrap our walk through Chinatown before heading to the Wells Fargo Museum. Located in Wells Fargo's world headquarters, the museum brings San Francisco in the 1800s to life. You will experience an authentic Concord Stagecoach used by Wells Fargo in the 1860s, a working telegraph where you can send a message to another Wells Fargo museum, works of art by noted Western artists, and real gold from California gold country.

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: On your own to do what interests you most.

DAY
4
Nob Hill, Grace Cathedral, Cable Car Museum, Ferry, Alcatraz
San Francisco, CA
B
Holiday Inn Golden Gateway

Activity note: We’ll be taking a short ferry ride (approximately 20 minutes) from San Francisco to Alcatraz Island ($36 value). Walking up to 1 mile including steep hill (equaling four stories) from Alcatraz dock to penitentiary; tram available for those who cannot walk up and/or down the hill; uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel

Morning: We arrive atop Nob Hill for a narrated walking exploration beginning with Grace Cathedral which started as Grace Chapel in 1849, the year of the Gold Rush. By 1906, the third Grace Cathedral had been built and then destroyed by the earthquake on April 18. The railroad baron/banker Crocker family gave their ruined Nob Hill property for a diocesan cathedral. Work began on the present structure in 1928. Designed in French Gothic, it was completed in 1964 as the third largest Episcopal cathedral in the nation. Nob Hill was settled in the late 19th century. Because of the views and its central position, the hill became a magnet for the rich and wealthy. Leland Stanford, Collis Potter Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker—the Big Four of the Central Pacific Railroad—all had mansions on Nob Hill which were all destroyed during the 1906 earthquake. After the earthquake, many wealthy families moved to Pacific Heights. The only remaining mansion was James Flood’s house which is now the Pacific-Union Club, a men’s social club. The Fairmont Hotel was newly built when the earthquake hit in 1906. It survived the earthquake relatively unscathed but succumbed to the fire. When it came time to rebuild, Julia Morgan, the first woman to graduate from the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, was chosen as the architect. Board a private motorcoach to the Cable Car Museum which is located in a historic cable car barn and powerhouse. The museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables. Downstairs is a viewing area of the large sheaves and cable line entering the building through the channel under the street. We reboard the bus to for a narrated excursion through the Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street, along the Embarcadero. When it opened in 1898, the Ferry Building became the transportation hub of San Francisco. Today, it is a foodie paradise frequented by tourists and nearby office workers.

Lunch: 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.

Afternoon: Alcatraz – “The Rock” -- has been a Civil War fortress, federal prison, bird sanctuary, first lighthouse on the West Coast, and birthplace of the American Indian Red Power movement, as well as the most infamous Federal penitentiary. 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. The remainder of this field trip will be a self guided exploration you can follow according to your own interests, at your own pace. Park Service staff offer free programs to visitors throughout the day on topics such as escapes, military history, American Indian occupation, natural history, and more. There are numerous exhibits to see as well as a complimentary cell house audio tour covering the penitentiary era (1934-1963).

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: On your own to do what interests you most.

DAY
5
Napa Valley Wine Train Thanksgiving Feast
San Francisco, CA
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Golden Gateway

Activity note: Private coach to/from the town of Napa is 60 to 90 minutes each way, depending on traffic. Train ride is approximately four hours long.

Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel

Morning: After breakfast, we will board a private coach and depart for the town of Napa. Once there, we will board the Napa Valley Wine Train for a Thanksgiving Day feast and celebration. The train runs through the heart of beautiful Napa Valley, As you gaze out of the windows, you will be surrounded by vineyards, bucolic hills, and luscious scenery.

Lunch: We will enjoy a plated 3-course Thanksgiving Day feast upon the Napa Valley Wine Train. Water and one glass of wine are included; other beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: Our train ride continues to the town of St. Helena where the train turns around and heads back to Napa. We will arrive at the station mid-afternoon and board the coach for the return to the hotel.

Dinner: In the hotel. This evening, enjoy a plated, 3-course dinner plus complimentary coffee, tea, soda, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After dinner, the Group Leader will take you by public bus to San Francisco's waterfront for a leisurely stroll. You will see the dancing lights on the Bay Bridge and enjoy the beauty of San Francisco at night.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
San Francisco, CA
B

Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel

Morning: Our program concludes after breakfast. 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! Our program will conclude by 11:00AM. On this final day, you will truly appreciate why Tony Bennett and millions of other visitors leave their hearts in San Francisco. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar 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!