Union Square is ideal for people who love to shop!

There are still some spaces available on all the tours shown below so conference attendees may now sign up for these events by revisiting their registration page:

Here is the link where companions can register for the conference and the tours that are shown below:


Please note: I (the webmaster) just spoke to a San Francisco resident who told me that the Alcatraz tours are booked solid. If you have any desire to visit any of San Francisco's hottest tourist destinations at a reasonable price, you would be wise to register for our PPPS2013 tours right now. Don't say we didn't warn you! See you soon!

Monday, June 17th:
Alcatraz Tour with boxed lunch

Alcatraz and San Francisco history go hand in hand.  “The Rock” operated as a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963 housing some of the country’s moAlcatrazst notorious criminals.  See the cells where Al “Scarface” Capone and the Birdman of Alcatraz served their time.  You will also learn about the more recent historical events that took place on the island such as the Native American Occupation and how Alcatraz became the gem of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Our group will meet in front of our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, and take the short walk to the Alcatraz tour dock.  There we’ll board the Alcatraz Cruise vessel for a trip across the bay to the island.  A tour guide will lead our group for the 1.5-hour tour around the island.  At the conclusion of our tour, we will pick up box lunches at the Alcatraz Landing Café to enjoy either inside or out, weather permitting.  Then it’s back on the ferry for our return to San Francisco.

The approximate time for beginning our adventure will be 10:00 with an 11:00 ferry departure.  The return trip will be around 2:30 – 3:00. 

Cost: Adult $20; Child (ages 5–11) $15

Tuesday, June 18th:
Redwoods and Wine Country Escape Tour

What a combo!  See the soaring redwoods of Marin County in the morning, then relax in beautiful Sonoma wine country in the afternoon.  And you don’t Wine Country!even have to rent your own car ---plush 35-passenger mini buses will carry us in comfort.

This day’s experience will begin when our bus picks us up at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero around 9:00 am.  We’ll drive across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County.  Our guide will tell us about the giant redwoods on the way to Muir Woods.  Once there, we’ll spend an hour walking among these 250-foot tall majestic trees surrounded by giant ferns, Bay Laurels and moss lined creeks. 

Boarding the bus once more, we’ll head north to the charming town of Sonoma.  We’ll get dropped off in the lovely central Plaza with our guide providing a list of restaurants and wine shops so that we can enjoy lunch on our own.

Back on the bus around 2:30 pm to visit 2 different wineries where we’ll learn about the history of wine in California and sip some samples.  Our trip back to San Francisco will begin at 4:15 pm and we should be back at the hotel by 5:15 pm.

Cost:  $50 per person
This does not include lunch in Sonoma, but covers all other expenses including wine room fees.

Wednesday, June 19:
Classic San Francisco Food Tour

On this trip, we’ll visit 2 of San Francisco’s most iconic neighborhoods:  Chinatown and North Beach.  In addition to tasting foods at “off the tourist track” restaurants, we’ll learn about the rich history of both neighborhoods and how they came to posses the unique qualities we see today.

We’ll start around 11 am from the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero and travel by foot all day.  We’ll only cover about 1.5 miles, and we’ll keep the terrain as level as possible, so it should be an easy stroll for everybody. 

The group will first visit the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and be immersed in local dishes while discovering life within the vibrant neighborhood.  Since its establishment in 1848, San Francisco’s Chinatown has been highly important and influential to the history and culture of ethnic Chinese immigrants in North America.  Chinatown is an enclave that continues to retain its own customs, languages, places of worship, social clubs and identity.

The Food Tour will focus initially on traditional Taishan and Shaxi cuisine, a region in northern China from which many immigrants came to San Francisco in the beginning of the 19th century.  The food styles will progress to match the culinary traditions of more recent immigrants, many coming from southern China and beyond. 

Our group will be broken into small teams lead by guides through the narrow streets of Chinatown, wandering in and out of markets, bakeries and other traditional Chinese shops.  Foods will include:  Dim sum, Taishan clay pot, Hong Kong noodles, Cantonese BBQ, Szechuan dishes, traditional baked goods, a fortune cookie factory and a tea house.

Onto North Beach . . .best known as San Francisco’s Little Italy, home of the Beat movement and the old haunts of Kerouac and Ginsberg.  However, North Beach is no relic, and it has much to offer beyond pasta and poetry.  This vital neighborhood is home to some of the liveliest nightclubs and bars in town.

We’ll experience indigenous San Francisco dishes in historic venues.  The small groups will rejoin in order to enjoy the area at two restaurants.  We’ll taste cioppino, local seafood, traditional Italian dishes and classic cocktails. 

Cost:  $40 per person
Does not include alcoholic beverages if desired.

       See you in San Francisco in 2013!

Karen ( kacogswell@gmail.com )