California

Signature City San Francisco

Program No. 21052RJ
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.

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At a Glance

From global cuisine to Alcatraz — experience the best of the “City by the Bay.” Walk through Chinatown’s 150-year-old food market for a sensory journey past fresh produce, steaming poultry and buckets of swimming fish. Enjoy a private coach excursion, see the highlights of the city, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking 2 miles a day which will involve steep inclines and declines (grades of 10 - 20%) on city streets, stairs and standing on uneven sidewalks. Some use of public transportation.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Discover Alcatraz Island, most famous for the federal penitentiary and home to the first lighthouse on the West Coast, a military garrison and a Native American occupation.
  • Join a local historian for a look into San Francisco’s devastating fire of 1906 and learn how the city was rebuilt.
  • Learn about San Francisco's unique neighborhoods and explore Chinatown and Nob Hill from a local expert.

General Notes

Use of public transportation with some transfers. San Francisco is famous for being built on hills which can be very steep, up to a grade of 20%. Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
James Dalessandro
James is a writer and filmmaker best known for his novel '1906,' a retelling of that year's earthquake in San Francisco. He has more than 20 feature film and television scripts to his credit. He wrote and directed 'The Damnedest Finest Ruins,' a documentary on the earthquake. In his adopted hometown of San Francisco, James lectures on the Transcontinental Railroad, Old Chinatown, and the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the history of its artists: Mark Twain, Jack London, Isadora Duncan and the Beat Generation.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of James Dalessandro
James Dalessandro View biography
James is a writer and filmmaker best known for his novel '1906,' a retelling of that year's earthquake in San Francisco. He has more than 20 feature film and television scripts to his credit. He wrote and directed 'The Damnedest Finest Ruins,' a documentary on the earthquake. In his adopted hometown of San Francisco, James lectures on the Transcontinental Railroad, Old Chinatown, and the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the history of its artists: Mark Twain, Jack London, Isadora Duncan and the Beat Generation.
Profile Image of Kenn Sparks
Kenn Sparks View biography
Kenn Sparks is an award-winning journalist, foreign correspondent, and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. His life has taken him from the once-closed cities of Siberia to debating business economics with Barack Obama. Kenn’s Road Scholar groups explore the mysteries of old Chinatown, hear tales of treacherous sea voyages to Gold Rush California while aboard a famous 19th-century Square Rigger, experience the mostly unknown legacy of the wives of the Big 4 Robber Barons, and wonder at centuries of Medieval and Renaissance art and relics at Grace Cathedral.
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