Special Activity 1
Alcatraz: “The Rock”
Date: Sunday, 25 June 2017; 11:45 am – 4:15 pm
Cost: $85 (includes transportation between Westin and dock, ferry ticket, narration by professional uniformed guide, Alcatraz admission ticket, and self-guided cellblock audio tour). Limited to 50 persons.
On this tour, you will be “sentenced” to a “short term” on the notorious Alcatraz Island federal penitentiary. From the San Francisco waterfront, you will take a short ferry ride across the chilly waters of the Bay to “the Rock.” Here you will visit the cells once occupied by some of the nation’s most infamous criminals. On this austere wind and fog‑ridden island, it is easy to see why few attempts were made to escape into the treacherous bay with its undertows and turbulent waters. An expertly created audio tour contains interviews with former prisoners and guards from “the Rock,” providing fascinating insight into prison life in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. After your “release” from Alcatraz, the motorcoach will be standing by to return you to the Westin.
Special Activity 2
Magical Marin: Majestic Muir Woods & Sparkling Sausalito
Date: Monday, 26 June 2017; 9:00 am – 1:45 pm
Cost: $80 (includes transportation between Westin and park, narration by professional uniformed guide, admission ticket to Muir Woods, and time to shop and browse in Sausalito). Limited to 27 persons.
Today you will cross the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge into fabled Marin County, with its astonishingly varied land and seascapes. Driving along the slopes of Mount Tamalpais, a deluxe mini-coach will thread its way down the winding mountain road to Muir Woods National Monument.
One of the first parks ever set aside for the coastal redwoods, this national park was named for the renowned conservationist, John Muir. The redwoods located here have a biological ancestry dating back well over a million years. Fossils of virtually identical trees appear in the record from some 160 to 170 million years ago, preceding the Jurassic Age of dinosaurs. These fossils are found across the Northern Hemisphere, in Manchuria, France, Alaska, Greenland, and even on Arctic islands. Redwoods have no aging mechanisms, are extremely resistant to disease, and have few natural enemies. Thus, individual redwoods can live to be thousands of years old. You will have time to wander among these ancient trees and come away with a sense of the immense grandeur and spans of time encompassed by this noble forest.
You will then visit sparkling Sausalito, a Riviera‑like bayside village with its winding wooded streets, eclectic houseboats, unique boutiques and art galleries. There will be ample time to explore the shops and galleries, or simply stroll along the waterfront and view the San Francisco skyline and Bay.
Special Activity 3
Major League Baseball: San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies
Date: Monday, 26 June 2017; 6:15 pm – 11:45 pm
Cost: $110 (includes transportation between Westin and AT&T Park, guaranteed ball park tickets). Limited to 25 persons.
Tonight you will experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat as you watch the Giants play the Rockies at AT&T Park. Watching America’s favorite pastime played in “America’s most beautiful ballpark” will ensure an exciting evening regardless of the winning team! The deluxe motorcoach will convey your guests to San Francisco’s Embarcadero, where the intimate brick stadium rises at the water’s edge. For tonight’s game, seats have been reserved for you in the Bleachers Section. At the end of the game, the motorcoach will be standing by to return your guests to their hotel.
Special Activity 4
San Francisco Highlights
Date: Tuesday, 27 June 2017; 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Cost: $60 (includes transportation and tour guide). Limited to 25 persons.
The forty-nine square miles of San Francisco are a colorful tapestry of steep hills, picturesque houses, clanging cable cars, fishing boats, summer fog, Chinese pagodas, cosmopolitan cafés and breathtaking views. Five continents and three centuries blend together on forty-three hills, waiting to be discovered. On this tour, you will see some of the legendary landmarks of “Everybody’s Favorite City.”
Your highlights tour may include many of the following:
- The majestic Golden Gate Bridge spanning the entrance to the San Francisco Bay
- “Painted Ladies” vividly restored Victorian homes
- Cafés and boutiques of San Francisco’s most prestigious neighborhoods
- The lush acres of Golden Gate Park
- Bohemian Italian North Beach
- Panoramic views from Twin Peaks
- The awe-inspiring Pacific Ocean and the Cliff House perched high above the waves
- Landmark skyscrapers of the Financial District such as the TransAmerica Pyramid and Bank of America’s former World Headquarters
- Bustling Fisherman’s Wharf with its steaming crab cauldrons, colorful fishing boats, and seafood restaurants overlooking the Bay
Special Activity 5
Discover a World of Adventure: The New California Academy of Sciences and the de Young
Date: Wednesday, 28 June 2017; 9:00 am – 2:30 pm
Cost: $140 (includes transportation to and from the Westin, professional uniformed supervision, admission to the California Academy of Sciences, admission to the deYoung Fine Arts Museum, private docent tour of the deYoung Museum). Limited to 25 persons.
It has taken ten years and great vision to unify the Academy’s twelve buildings into one notable structure. Under one Living Roof, the new Academy contains a planetarium, aquarium, and natural history museum. The California Academy of Sciences, the west coast’s oldest scientific institution, is housed in one of the most contemporary “green” buildings in the country and recently became the “greenest” museum in the world. The Academy constructed the new facility using methods that reflect its commitment to the natural world, enabling the institution to lead by example. Sustainable features include solar panels, radiant subfloor heating, water reclamation, a living roof, and more. Designed by Pritzker Prize winner Renzo Piano, the architecture of the Academy responds to its mission, history, and setting in one of the most beautiful urban parks.
Inspired by the natural world, nature becomes part of the building itself. A living roof consisting of 1.7 million plants slopes over interior exhibitions and will appear as “hills” against the natural landscape. The building is an organic extension of the Academy’s mission to understand and protect the natural world around us. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls on the east and west sides suffuse public spaces in natural light and integrate the interior space into the surrounding environment of Golden Gate Park.
With the Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the natural history museum, this is a museum of discovery for all ages, offering visitors a glimpse into many different worlds from the vast gallery of space, to the distant reaches of times long past, to intimate views of local wildlife. You will venture throughout the museum. Docents and Academy staff are placed at the various exhibits throughout the building to ensure you are able to learn more about the exhibits as they flow through the Academy.
As you approach the de Young from across the courtyard, you will be initially struck by the 950,000 pounds of copper that has been hammered and formed into panels covering the exterior. Once inside, you will be intrigued by the varied exhibitions displayed in areas from one story below ground and two above, in quiet sanctuary-like spaces, to see-through glass cases, housing renowned collections of American, Central and South American, Pacific Island and African Art. Not to be missed are the spectacular views from the observation deck of the nine-story tower. A knowledgeable, trained docent will guide you on a private tour, providing artistic insight and answering questions.
Special Activity 6
Bridge Walk: Golden Gate Bridge at Sundown
Date: Wednesday, 28 June 2017; 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm
Cost: $80 (includes transportation between Westin and bridge, narration by professional uniformed guide).
The Golden Gate Bridge is a true engineering wonder. Completed in 1937, the bridge is rightly one of the most famous structures in the world. You will first relish the extraordinary views of the Bay as you cross the bridge to Marin County, prior to beginning your walk heading south back into San Francisco. The many sights that comprise the San Francisco Bay Region are yours to enjoy including Alcatraz and Angel Islands, the Bay Bridge in the distance, Oakland and Berkeley on the east side of the Bay, and, of course, the city’s skyline. Once across the bridge, you can explore the flower gardens, the gift shop, and nearby Fort Point. The mini-coach will be standing by to return you to the hotel.
Special Activity 7
Hot Air Ballooning Over Napa Valley
Date: Thursday, 29 June 2017; 4:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cost: $480 (includes transportation between Westin and balloon site, pre-flight light snacks, safety orientation and briefing, one-hour private hot air balloon flight over the Napa Valley with pilot and crew) Minimum of 12 people required.
Experience the peaceful serenity and pastoral scenery which can only be encountered while floating over California’s bucolic Wine Country in a hot air balloon! Arriving at the lift-off point at dawn, the calmest time of the day, you will experience the excitement of watching the balloon grow from a pile of colored cloth to a majestic, swelling conveyance. You will board the handcrafted wicker gondola for a lift-off so gentle, you may not realize you have left the ground. Launching just after sunrise, the breezes will usher the balloon high above the corridors of grapes and between the mountains of one of the most magnificent valleys on earth. As the balloon slowly ascends, you will observe the vineyards awakening to the songs of birds. The flight will last approximately one hour; the memory, a lifetime. At the conclusion of the adventure, the mini-coach will be standing by to return you to your hotel.