Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:30 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration & Orientation: After you have your room assignment, head to the conference room at 5:00 p.m. to register with the Road Scholar program staff, which is also where our Orientation session will take place. You’ll receive a welcome packet with your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, and other important information. If you will arrive later than 8:00 p.m., please ask for your packet when you check in. 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. On the Road programs are journeys that take participants to multiple study sites in a region with a number of overnight stays. Lectures, talks, discussions, field trips, and on-board commentary amplify the program theme. Some journeys involve great distances and may take hours, others are much shorter. Long or short, On the Road journeys are learning experiences that make the most of our time together. 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.
Dinner: In the hotel conference room, we'll enjoy a tasty plated dinner with dessert, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Our Group Leader will then give a short overview of Seattle as we continue getting to know our fellow Road Scholars. Afterwards, settle in and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; approximately 15 miles total; about 1/2 hour between stops. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; periods of standing for about 1 hour at field trip locations; mostly paved paths.
Breakfast: In the hotel restaurant, we’ll use vouchers to choose from a selection of plated dishes featuring eggs, breakfast meats and potatoes, pancakes and waffles, hot and cold cereals, yogurt, fruit, toast and pastries, milk, juice, coffee, tea and water.
Morning: We’ll begin our morning by traveling via motorcoach to the Hiram Chittenden Locks for a docent-led field trip. Known locally as the Ballard Locks after the neighborhood to their north, they are a complex of locks that sit in the middle of Salmon Bay, part of Seattle's Lake Washington Ship Canal. The locks and associated facilities serve three purposes: to maintain the water level of the fresh water Lake Washington and Lake Union; to prevent the mixing of sea water from Puget Sound with the fresh water of the lakes (saltwater intrusion); to move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget Sound, and vice versa.
Lunch: At a local restaurant on the Seattle waterfront, we’ll enjoy a special plated seafood lunch with soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: Aboard the motorcoach with our group leader, our city exploration will continue to points of historical and cultural interest, including the Museum of History and Industry. MOHAI has grown to become the largest private heritage organization in the State of Washington. Its engaging exhibits and programs, collection of nearly 4 million historic artifacts, archives and photographs, and its award-winning educational programs have aimed to enhance an appreciation for the Northwest's diverse cultural, social and economic history. In 2013, MOHAI reopened in its new location on Lake Union, in the heart of Seattle. MOHAI is accredited by The Alliance of American Museums and is a Smithsonian Affiliate.
Dinner: At a nearby local Mediterranean-inspired restaurant approx. 1 block from the hotel, our meal served family-style will feature delicious entrees, sides, vegetables and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At the restaurant, an expert on Seattle’s history will give a presentation on an interesting aspect of Pacific Northwest history. We’ll then return to the hotel.
Activity note: Walking approx. 2 miles throughout the day; mostly sidewalks and paved pathways; periods of standing up to 2 hours. Getting on/off Seattle Monorail; ride is about 2 minutes.
Breakfast: Hotel plated meal.
Morning: Gathering in the hotel conference room with our Group Leader, we’ll settle in for a presentation on the history of Pike Place Market. Following, we’ll enjoy an expert-led walking field trip to experience and explore the market, including “seldom seen spots” along the way, as we take in the aromas, sights, culture, creativity, and of course, the “flying fish” that have made Pike Place one of the nation’s most popular market sites. We'll then board the Monorail and travel to Seattle Center.
Lunch: At the Seattle Center Armory before heading off to explore, we'll enjoy a plated lunch together, with soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: Next, everyone will receive tickets for the nearby Space Needle, Chihuly Garden & Glass, and a return Monorail ticket. The afternoon is yours to explore these iconic spots at your own pace. Additional nearby activities to explore on your own during free time include the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop), Gates Visitor’s Center, and the Century 21 Exhibit.
Dinner: This meal has 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.
Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Early start to check out, pack our breakfasts, and transfer to dock via bus to board ferry. Ferry ride is approximately 115 miles; about 3 hours. Walking approx. 2 miles throughout the day; sidewalks, paved streets, paths; periods of standing at museum.
Breakfast: Aboard the Victoria Clipper, we’ll have sack breakfasts that we packed to go; coffee, tea, water included.
Morning: On our way to Victoria, BC, aboard the Victoria Clipper passenger ferry, we’ll enjoy ample opportunity for wonderful water vistas. Upon arrival, we’ll walk the short distance to the hotel.
Lunch: At the hotel restaurant, we’ll have a buffet meal with soup, salads with house dressing, sandwiches and sides, plus coffee, tea, water.
Afternoon: Setting out on foot, we’ll go on a field trip led by our Group Leader to the Royal BC Provincial Museum where we will explore the museum's treasures through its unique galleries. The Royal BC Museum was founded in 1886 and features Natural History Galleries, First Peoples Galleries, Modern History Galleries, in addition to a rotating selection of featured exhibitions. The Museum’s collection of millions of objects and artifacts have made a visit to the Royal BC Museum the most recommended activity in Victoria, B.C. Afterwards, we’ll walk back to the hotel and check-in.
Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated meal with salad, an entree, sides, vegetables, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. For those who wish to partake, our Group Leader will provide details for an independent city walk around Inner Victoria Harbour for a great chance to see the area’s beautiful lights at night.
Activity note: Walking approx. 2 miles throughout the day; sidewalks, paved streets, paths; periods of standing up to 2 hours at each location. Be sure to bring a driver’s license or other photo identification with you for admittance to the lunch dining room.
Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant, the breakfast buffet features eggs, breakfast meats and potatoes, fresh fruit, yogurt, mini-muffins, and toast, plus juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: To start our morning in Victoria, we'll learn about Victoria's rich history from an expert historian in the hotel conference room. Then, we'll walk to the Parliament Building for an expert-led exploration of the legislative center of the city. Victoria is the capital city of the province of British Columbia. Similar to the US House of Representatives, the Parliament Building is where the B.C. government’s elected representatives assemble and discuss and pass legislation. Our expert will take us behind the scenes to teach us some of the rich history that this spectacular building holds.
Lunch: In the Legislative Dining Room within the Parliament Building, we’ll be treated to a special plated lunch. Be sure to bring your driver's license or photo identification for admittance to one of Victoria's best-kept dining secrets. Far from being a simple pit stop between debates, the subterranean eatery is a delightful, silver-service restaurant showcasing the best in regional ingredients. Choose from a variety of sandwiches, soups, and salads. Soft drinks, coffee, tea, milk, water included.
Afternoon: After returning to the hotel, we will enjoy an expert-led walking field trip of the inner harbor where we will see the sites and hear the stories behind them including some about the colorful pioneers throughout Victoria’s history.
Dinner: Hotel plated meal.
Evening: At the hotel, we’ll engage in a presentation given by a local expert horticulturist who will give an insider's view of seasonal highlights to come at Butchart Gardens tomorrow.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approx. 15 miles one way; less than 1 hour. Walking approx. 2 miles throughout the day during group activities; more dependent on personal preference; sidewalks, paved streets, paths; periods of standing.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Boarding the motorcoach, we’ll transfer to the world-famous Butchart Gardens, home to 55 acres of beautiful floral displays divided into four main gardens. Upon arrival, take some time on your own to explore the gardens independently.
Lunch: At the restaurant located in Butchart Gardens, we’ll indulge in the traditional midday gathering known as afternoon tea. Over savory tea sandwiches, traditional delicacies such as sausage rolls and quiche, berry trifle, numerous house-made sweets scones, and choice of tea or coffee we’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Private Garden, the Italian Garden and Tod Inlet.
Afternoon: When we return to the hotel, we'll enjoy “a brush with nature” at the Robert C. Bateman Centre. Robert Bateman’s realistic painting style, featuring wildlife in its habitat, encourages the viewer to closely observe the natural world. Afterwards, enjoy the rest of the day as on your own. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Dinner: On own to enjoy what you like from Victoria's rich dining scene.
Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Short walk to/from the dock. Driving about 19 miles to Sidney; approx. 1/2 hour. Getting on/off ferry; ride is approximately 40 miles; about 1.5 hours. Walking approx. 1.5 miles throughout the day; stairs with railing (25 steps) at Whale Museum; standing up to 1 hour.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: After checking out and boarding a motorcoach, we’ll travel to Sidney, BC, and, after clearing customs and immigration, we take the ferry from the dock bound for San Juan Island. Aboard the Washington State Ferry, we’ll enjoy a scenic trip across the Haro Strait into the San Juan Archipelago and arrive in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island.
Lunch: Aboard the Washington State Ferry, we’ll have boxed lunches on as we sail toward Friday Harbor.
Afternoon: Upon docking and making the short way to the hotel on foot or via shuttle, according to personal preference, we’ll gather in the conference room for a brief information session about navigating the hotel and Friday Harbor. Afterwards, a local resident expert will give a presentation highlighting contemporary life in the islands, with emphasis on current issues facing the islands. Next, we’ll walk to the nearby Whale Museum for a docent-led field trip. The first museum in the country dedicated to the representation of whales living in the wild, we’ll learn about the social intelligence of these amazing creatures, what efforts are being made for orca preservation, and also how each whale is unique. We’ll return to the hotel in the late afternoon for check-in.
Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a tasty buffet meal featuring salad, an entrée, sides, and dessert, plus coffee, hot and iced tea, water. You may bring other beverages of your own with you.
Evening: We’ll then join together in the hotel conference room for an insightful presentation on regional exploration and island history as given by a local expert historian and author.
Activity note: Walking approx. 1.5 miles throughout the day; paved and uneven pathways, dirt trails with exposed rocks and tree roots. Getting on/off mini-buses; driving approx. 55 miles total throughout the day; 5 ride segments of about 1/2 hour each.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Joined by a local artist, we’ll enjoy a presentation showcasing the creative and artistic spirits that are abundant in the archipelago. Then, we’ll set out via mini-buses for a field trip with our Group Leader around the south end of San Juan Island to American Camp National Park where we will stop at the Visitor’s Center for an overview of the Pig War, during which both American and British troops occupied the island. Afterwards, we’ll walk to the redoubt area and view the remaining American Camp structures. Next, we’ll head to Pelindaba Lavender Farm where we will hear first-hand from the owner/operator about how this Lavender Farm came to be, why the farm fills an unserved niche, and how it sustains the local community. Additionally, we learn how the lavender is grown, harvested and how it is used in final products. Afterwards, we’ll continue to Limekiln Lighthouse.
Lunch: At the Limekiln Lighthouse, we’ll have sack lunches featuring a sandwich, fruit, chips, a bakery treat, and bottle water.
Afternoon: Our field trip will continue with our Group Leader at Limekiln Point State Park, one of the best places in the world to view whales from land, and home to Orca research outpost and lighthouse. Keeping an eye out for the whales as they search for their main food source, salmon, we’ll make our way with our Group Leader to the lighthouse research center to see the studies being done on Orcas. Continuing, we'll travel to the northern tip of San Juan Island to explore the National Historical Park at English Camp with our Group Leader. While here, we’ll see the parade grounds, formal garden, historical buildings, and the blockhouse, all of which remain from the times of British occupation. As we look around, we’ll take note of contrasts with the American encampment we saw earlier on the south end of the island. At our final destination at the northern tip of the island, where we'll stop for some independent exploration. You may wish to visit either the historic Roche Harbor Village with its lovely marina and English gardens, or visit the Westcott Bay Sculpture Park where one can view hundreds of outdoor sculptures thoughtfully placed amidst acres of quiet forests, wetlands, meadows and rocky outcroppings. We’ll then transfer back to Friday Harbor.
Dinner: On your own to sample the local fare at one of the many quaint restaurants in Friday Harbor.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking approx. 1/2 mile during group activities; paved sidewalks, brick walkways; standing up to 1.5 hours at museum.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: In the hotel conference room with a local expert, we’ll settle in for a presentation on Coast Salish Native History in the Islands.
Lunch: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet meal featuring a soup of the day, salad bar, an entrée, sides, and dessert, topped off with coffee, tea, water. You may bring other beverages of your own with you.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll set out on a walking field trip to the San Juan Historical Museum where we will learn from the executive director of the museum how islanders have adapted to life in the islands over time. The remainder of the afternoon will be free for you to see and do what interests you most.
Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet meal featuring a salad, entrée, sides, and dessert, topped off with coffee, tea, water. You may bring other beverages of your own with you. During dinner, our Group Leader will also review departure details for the conclusion of the program. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.
Evening: Joined by a beloved local musician in the hotel conference room, we’ll be treated to an exclusive musical performance to round out our program. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 7:15 a.m. Ferry transfer to Anacortes, WA, is approx. 20 miles; about 1.5 hours. Driving approx. 100 miles from Anacortes to Seattle; about 2.5 hours. Drop-offs at SeaTac International Airport and the starting hotel will be at approximately 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., respectively. Scheduling outbound flights after 2:30 p.m. is advised.
Breakfast: Early hotel buffet.
Morning: Once checked-out of the hotel, we’ll depart Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, via the Washington State Ferry. Upon docking in Anacortes, we’ll transfer to a chartered motorcoach and ride to Seattle with drop-offs at SeaTac International Airport and the starting hotel. This concludes our program. 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!