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Victorian Fantasies: a Tour Proposal
We'd love to plan a three-day tour of the San Francisco Bay Area's best Victorian neighborhoods, and authentic and spectacular examples of this 19th-century architectural style. You and several other Victorian enthusiasts would reserve rooms (through us) in or near downtown San Francisco, and then…
On our first day, we tour (by van and on foot) some of San Francisco's most illustrative Victorians, many seldom seen by tourists…possibly with a guided tour of an exquisitely detailed private interior. We lunch under a stained-glass ceiling in the baroque splendor of the Garden Court in the Palace Hotel, where we learn about some of the many celebrities who dined there when the discovery of the Comstock Lode and building of the Transcontinental Railroad were still vivid memories.
In the afternoon we are treated to a private tour of the little-known yet absolutely unique Pardee House in Oakland's Victorian Preservation Park. We also have time to view nearby Alameda's grand Victorians and the well-crafted period dioramas at the great Oakland Museum.
On Day Two, we head north to the Wine Country, spending the morning visiting several of central Napa's wonderful Victorians, many of which are now B&Bs. We lunch at the Greystone Restaurant of the Culinary Institute of America, housed in a formidable yet graceful 19th-century stone winery. Following lunch, we are at leisure at the Beringer winery, especially its Rhine House, then the old Inglenook estate, now the Rubicon Estate winery —both of 1880s vintage. In the late afternoon we move to a guided tour of Petaluma's charming "iron-clad" commercial architecture, culminating with dinner in a beautiful Victorian home overlooking its river.
Day Three takes us south, first to San Jose's Kelley Park with its 21 original and fully restored Victorian buildings including a print shop, bank, doctor's office, firehouse, livery, and re-created Chinese temple plus a working trolley line and Fruit Barn—where we learn how our the pioneers lived in this region before it became Silicon Valley. We continue over the Santa Cruz Mountains to Pacific Grove, famous for its ocean-view Victorian B&Bs, lunching at the wonderful 1876 Centrella Inn. Following a slow drive down the panoramic Seventeen-Mile-Drive overlooking Pebble Beach, we conclude the day with free time in quaint Carmel—a 20th-century creation that embraces the spirit of a 18th-century village—pausing to dine in an unforgettable restaurant, before returning to San Francisco.
If a dozen or so people respond, we can realize this Victorian fantasy for about $1,200 per-person?, including lodging for 3 nights, all tour fees, all lunches and group dinners. Let's grow what we know, and have fun! as we go.
Call: 1-800-960-8099Reserve Your Tour