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21052
California

Signature City San Francisco

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 (5)
Program No. 21052RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,879
California

Signature City San Francisco

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.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,879
Program No. 21052 RJ

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To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 21 - Apr 26, 2022
Starting at
1,879
Jun 16 - Jun 21, 2022
Starting at
1,879
Aug 4 - Aug 9, 2022
Starting at
1,879
Oct 27 - Nov 1, 2022
Starting at
1,879
Nov 20 - Nov 25, 2022
Starting at
1,979
Itinerary Note

Victorian house will be replaced with a Thanksgiving meal on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Max of 32 participants.

Apr 6 - Apr 11, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Jun 15 - Jun 20, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Aug 3 - Aug 8, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Oct 26 - Oct 31, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Nov 19 - Nov 24, 2023
Starting at
2,099
Itinerary Note

Victorian house will be replaced with a Thanksgiving meal on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Max of 32 participants.

DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 21 - Apr 26, 2022
Starting at
2,449
Jun 16 - Jun 21, 2022
Starting at
2,449
Aug 4 - Aug 9, 2022
Starting at
2,449
Oct 27 - Nov 1, 2022
Starting at
2,449
Nov 20 - Nov 25, 2022
Starting at
2,549
Itinerary Note

Victorian house will be replaced with a Thanksgiving meal on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Max of 32 participants.

Apr 6 - Apr 11, 2023
Starting at
2,549
Jun 15 - Jun 20, 2023
Starting at
2,549
Aug 3 - Aug 8, 2023
Starting at
2,579
Oct 26 - Oct 31, 2023
Starting at
2,579
Nov 19 - Nov 24, 2023
Starting at
2,709
Itinerary Note

Victorian house will be replaced with a Thanksgiving meal on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Max of 32 participants.

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 1 mile a day. The program is designed to minimize walking up San Francisco's many hills. However, walks may still involve inclines and declines, stairs and standing on sidewalks that may not always be even. 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.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • 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 architecture from a local expert followed by a docent-led visit to a Victorian home.

General Notes

Use of public transportation with some transfers.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Marie Thomas McNaughton
Marie Thomas McNaughton has been a writer, photographer, speaker, and business communications professional since 1980, when she received her B.A. in English from the University of San Francisco. She received her M.A. in humanities from San Francisco State University in 2006, and enjoys studying the "long nineteenth century" in England, France, and the United States. Marie has published her work in numerous magazines and newspapers, and she enjoys leading public lectures and writing workshops.

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

Profile Image of Marie McNaughton
Marie Thomas McNaughton View biography
Marie Thomas McNaughton has been a writer, photographer, speaker, and business communications professional since 1980, when she received her B.A. in English from the University of San Francisco. She received her M.A. in humanities from San Francisco State University in 2006, and enjoys studying the "long nineteenth century" in England, France, and the United States. Marie has published her work in numerous magazines and newspapers, and she enjoys leading public lectures and writing workshops.
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.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Golden Gate, The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge
by Kevin Starr
Starr covers the history and meaning of this beloved icon and great American feats of engineering in this slim portrait.
Bret Harte's Gold Rush, Outcasts of Poker Flat, The Luck of Roaring Camp, Tennessee's Partner and Other Favorites
by Bret Harte, Reuben H. Margolin (Editor)
In the 1860s and 70s, a former stagecoach messenger named Bret Harte dazzled the literary world with his tales of Gold Rush-era California. These 15 rough-and-tumble stories include some of the best he ever wrote.
San Francisco Map
by Berndtson & Berndtson
A laminated, folded map of the city center of San Francisco at a nice scale of 1:13,000.
111 Places in San Francisco That You Must Not Miss
by Floriana Peterson
This "111 Places" guide to San Francisco profiles so many strange and original places that it will surprise even loyal residents. Each hidden gem reveals the history and unique flavor of the Californian city.
California, A History
by Kevin Starr
A lively short history in the excellent Modern Library Chronicles series, written by a renowned historian.
Travelers' Tales San Francisco
by James O'Reilly (Editor), Larry Habegger (Editor), Sean O'Reilly (Editor)
Experience San Francisco from the inside out with this engaging, insightful and entertaining selection of mostly contemporary eyewitness reports -- a terrific literary profile of a dynamic city.
A Crack in the Edge of the World, America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906
by Simon Winchester
Geologist, master storyteller, traveler and journalist, Simon Winchester succeeds again in this fast-paced, utterly fascinating account of the great 1906 earthquake that devastated San Francisco.
Escape from Alcatraz
by J. Campbell Bruce
First published in 1963, this true crime classic is now out in a special edition. Bruce recounts the Rock’s transition from a Spanish fort to the infamous penitentiary, temporary home of legendary criminals like Al Capone and the Birdman of Alcatraz (Robert Stroud). He also includes descriptions of Frank Morris’ escape attempt alongside archival photos.
Cool Gray City of Love, 49 Views of San Francisco
by Gary Kamiya
A kaleidoscopic love letter to one of the world's great cities, San Francisco, by a lifelong Bay Area resident and co-founder of Salon.
Fifth Chinese Daughter
by Jade Snow Wong
First published in 1945, Jade Snow Wong's memoir is a simply told, moving story of family life in pre-WWII San Francisco Chinatown.
San Francisco, A Cultural History
by Mick Sinclair
Organized more thematically than chronologically, this easy-to-read introduction to the city and its neighborhoods will appeal both to first time visitors and those who know and love the city.
Infinite City, A San Francisco Atlas
by Rebecca Solnit
Solnit's quirky collection of maps documents the cultural riches and diversity of San Francisco.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
by Joan Didion
A classic collection of essays on the1960s cultural climate, first published in 1968. In the acclaimed title essay, Didion vividly describes the landscape, mood and culture of '60s San Francisco.
The Lucky Ones, One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America
by Mae Ngai
Ngai, a professor of history at Columbia University, uncovers the story of the Tape family in post-Gold Rush, racially explosive San Francisco.
Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love
by David Talbot
A cultural history of San Francisco that covers the years from 1967 to 1982 and tells the gripping story of how the city by the bay overcame tragedy and strife to become the beloved city it is today. Starring a cast of notable figures, including Harvey Milk, Janis Joplin and Jim Jones.
Tales of the City
by Armistead Maupin
What began as a newspaper serial then transformed into a classic novel, this is the first of nine novels about the citizens of an apartment house at 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco.
You Can't Win
by Jack Black
A true classic, this fascinating memoir -- first published in 1926 -- lifts the lid on Black’s life as a safecracker, thief, gambler, opium addict and hobo riding the rails of the American West. With an introduction by William Burroughs.
San Francisco: A Food Biography
by Erica J. Peters
At the ideal intersection of rich farmlands and the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco is a reputable food destination. Peters delves into the city’s culinary history, from early Spanish missions and ongoing immigrant influences to current fixation on local ingredients.
Gold Fever, One Man's Adventures on the Trail of the Gold Rush
by Steve Boggan
Rich in history and economics, Boggan's travelogue follows the trails of the original 49ers -- to San Francisco and beyond -- where Americans still risk life and limb for lucrative gold strikes.





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If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.