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Reflection Pool, Berkeley by Landis Bennett.

Field Trips

Campus Tours

On your own.

The Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, and Sausalito

Estimated cost - $40 (chartered van)
Leader: Scott Highton

We will be picked up in a chartered van at 1:00 pm and driven across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco, then through the city to the observation area at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge. Most people will want to walk across the bridge to the viewpoint on the north shore, taking a pano or two on the way. It will also be possible to drop down under the south end of the bridge and shoot at Fort Point, then catch the van across the bridge.

The van will collect the Fort Pointers, drive across the bridge and get the rest, then traverse across the Marin Headlands, stopping for photography at Battery Spencer and again at Hawk Hill. Next stop will be Sausalito, with an hour to wander around. The drive back will complete a circle of three bridges, passing San Quentin Prison and crossing east to Richmond. An option will be to take the ferry from Sausalito to San Francisco for dinner, then public transit back to Berkeley.

Important Note: This will be limited to a total of 20 passengers due to the size of the chartered van. It will be first come-first served (registered conference participants and one guest each) so sign up now.

By Train, Trolley, and Ferry to Alcatraz

Estimated cost - $32 (BART, MUNI, Ferry)
Leader: Landis Bennett

The group will follow its leader to the Berkeley BART station for a rapid transit ride under the bay to San Francisco. Emerging at the foot of Market Street they will cross to the historic Ferry Building, and catch a vintage streetcar north along the Embarcadero to Fishermans Wharf.

From there it is a short ferry ride to Alcatraz, the famous prison island, with great views of the bay and city. Two hours on the island, then back by ferry. At that point individuals can continue back to Berkeley, or pursue various entertainments in San Francisco.

An article on the new tour at Alcatraz.

Important Note: Due to the complexity of arranging an official tour you must purchase your tickets independently. It would be best to do this soon. Alcatraz is one of the leading tourist attractions in the country, and sells out every day in summer, often two weeks or more in advance.

To get your personal tickets for the Alcatraz ferry, go to their web site and use a credit card. Go to the Alcatraz Cruises website. Select June 18 from the calendar and the number of tickets you need (up to eight). It will show you what is available. Select the Day Tour PM at 3:20 pm. (If that is full, you can make the 2:50 pm by hustling ahead of the group, or the 3:55 pm.)

Walking Tour of San Francisco

Cost - $6.25 (just BART fare)
Leader: Don Bain

After riding BART to Powell Street in San Francisco we will loop through the South of Market (SOMA) district, then proceed down Market Street. A loop through the Financial District and Embarcadero Center brings us to the Ferry Building. From there we follow the bay shore to Levi Plaza and up the Filbert Steps to the top of Telegraph Hill (watch for the parrots).

We continue down the other side into North Beach, City Lights Bookstore, and a stop at my favorite brew-pub for an Emperor Norton Ale. Then through the old Barbary Coast area, and Chinatown, both the main tourist street and back alleys. Another steep climb up Nob Hill, a descent to Union Square, and back to BART. Individuals can choose to return to Berkeley, or stay in the city for dinner.

I will be describing the buildings and history continuously as we walk, but we won't be stopping long enough for panography. I will provide a map of our route and anyone who wants to loiter and take pictures can drop behind then attempt to catch up.

Maps and a list of major points of interest along the route are available: Don Bain's Walking Tour of San Francisco.

Yosemite National Park (after the conference)

We were unable to arrange our own tour to Yosemite, but have located a commercial tour that fits the conference schedule. Visit their web site and register as soon as possible, the seats are filling fast.

Incredible Adventures of San Francisco offers a two-day one-night tour to Yosemite -- but as of May 1 they had filled all seats. Contact them if you want to be notified in case a cancellation opens a place.

Incredible Adventures also offers a three day camping trip to Yosemite, leaving one day later, June 21. They provide all camping equipment, give you a guided tour with some hiking, and travel in biodiesel-fueled vans. The tours usually start from San Francisco very early in the morning. If we have enough participants a morning pickup in Berkeley can be arranged. Be sure to tell them you are with the VR Conference.

The price is $240 per person, or $220 student or child. There is currently a special promotion - $20 off (look for the promotional code on their site).