Golden Spike secret society trip to San Francisco

Visit the time & place that turned California golden

Which would you prefer?
April 21-24 
April 28-May 01 
May 19-22

We normally make our trips reservable about a year in advance, but in these strange times, this is the best we can do. Hope you can make it!

Note: San Francisco is a walking town with lots of hills. Walking portions of the trip that are more than 1-minute in duration are listed in purple italics. Travellers are free to take taxis or Ubers instead.


  • 9am-6pm - A full day of train & coach travel from Los Angeles (Union Station) to San Francisco (with Santa Ana leg option)* (We should keep an eye on the train's food service amenities available as the date approaches)
  • Afternoon tea potluck (with a side of history) while we ride the rails
  • 6-7pm - Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) & cable car travel. All of this 1st-day travel will be the toughest part of our sojourn. We'll just have to pretend we're roughing it in the Victorian era! Or if the group prefers, I can pre-arrange for a van to pick us up in Richmond and take us to our hotel. That would be an additional charge based on how many travellers we get 
  • 7:30pm - Check-in at Stanford Court hotel
  • 8pm - Welcome to Nob Hill dinner at the hotel's Mixing Room lounge [click for menu] 
  • Late nighters may want to top off the evening with a fantastic view of the city at the popular Top of the Mark lounge next door
* There is no 'direct' rail service offered by Amtrak, so we'll be traveling up north by both rail and coach. We leave Union Station around 9:30am; Joy will be departing Santa Ana at 8am on the same train 


  • 8:30am - optional BYO (Buy Your Own) Breakfast with Joy at hotel before we start our big day. [click for menu]
  • 9:45am Walk to Grace Cathedral (4 mins, .2 miles). We'll learn about the importance of the area in relation to our Victorian novel as we meander and visit the outdoor areas before the cathedral opens
  • 10am - Grace Cathedral and its famed Labyrinth
  • 10:20-ish - Walk from Grace Cathedral to Cable Car Museum (6 mins, .3 miles)
  • 10:30am - Cable Car Museum
  • 11:15am - Walk to Chinatown (8 mins, .4 miles)
  • 11:30am - Chinatown self-guided walking tour. If we choose to do a formal tour there may be an additional charge. There will be time for shopping and noshing
  • 1:30pm - Walk from Chinatown to the Palace Hotel (11 mins, .5 miles)
  • 2pm - Afternoon tea at the Palace Hotel, meeting place of the secret society. (If we can manage to avoid detection, there is a good chance we may conduct a secret society induction ceremony of our own while there ... but don't tell anyone)
  • 3:30pm - Cable Car ride back up to Nob Hill (or travellers may take a cab/Uber)
  • Leisure time at the hotel
  • 5pm - Walk to San Francisco Magic Theater (13 mins, .6mi); if the group elects, we can arrange for transportation instead (taxi, Uber)
  • 5:30pm - Pre-show entertainment & BYO noshings at the theater bar
  • 6:30pm - Jay Alexander Magic show (show ends at 7:45pm). Back in 1881 we would have attended a vaudeville show 🤹🏻‍♂️
  • 8pm - Cable Car (or taxi/Uber) back to Nob Hill
  • 8:30/9pm - Optional after-hours visit to the always festive tiki-themed Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel (492-feet away from our hotel) 


  • BYO breakfast at leisure - perhaps explore the area a little
  • Joy will be looking for free outdoor Tai Chi. (For decades folks used to practice out in Washington Square Park by St. Peter & Paul Cathedral. Not sure if that's still happening)
  • 9:30am - Travel to San Francisco Amtrak station. It's only a mile away, but I'm thinking guests may want to keep the luggage-schlepping to a minimum. This would be an additional charge for us all
  • 10:30am - Train from San Francisco to Sacramento
  • 1:15pm - Walk to Delta King Riverboat waterfront hotel to drop off bags (9 mins,  .5mi); Sacramento is much flatter than San Francisco, but you still may elect to take a taxi/Uber
  • 1:30pm - Bag drop-off at Delta King Riverboat hotel (check-in is at 4pm, but I'll ask if our rooms might be ready)
  • 1:45pm - Walk from Delta King to Underground Tour (3 mins, .2 mile) 
  • 2pm - Underground Tour, lasts 1 hour (If you prefer, ditch the tour & wander Old Sac)
  • 3pm - Walk to California State Railroad Museum (2 mins, .1 mile)
  • 3:30pm - California State Railroad Museum
  • 5pm - Walk from CSRM to Delta King (5 mins, .3 mile)
  • 5:30pm - Check-in at Delta King (If rooms not available earlier)
  • 7:30pm - Dinner at the Delta Bar & Grill, onsite overlooking the water (sunset is at 7:50pm ... yes, I looked it up 😉) [click for menu]
  • Optional after-hours entertainment on the waterfront; most of the theaters are dark on this day, but comedy clubs abound


  • 7am - Joy will be checking out (physically, that is)
  • 7:30am - Farewell BYO Breakfast onsite at the Delta Pilothouse [click for menu]
  • 8:30am - Walk to Sacramento Amtrak Station (9 mins, .5 mile) or grab a taxi/Uber 
  • 9:50am - Train & Coach back to SoCal 
  • 6:35pm - Motorcoach arrives in Los Angeles; 8pm - Train arrives in Santa Ana

COSTS (based on double occupancy; inquire about single prices)
Go with our full package, or arrange your own accommodations &/or travel, as meets your needs

NOB HILL package - $975 from Los Angeles, $1030 from Santa Ana includes 
  • 3 train trips + bus connections – SoCal to San Francisco, San Francisco to Sacramento, Sacramento to SoCal
  • 2 nights Stanford Court hotel with all fees & taxes (double occupancy)
  • Cable Car museum
  • Self-guided Chinatown walking tour
  • Afternoon tea at Palace Hotel
  • Secret Society shenanigans
  • Jay Alexander magic show
  • All-day cable car pass
  • California Railroad Museum
  • Old Sacramento Underground Tour
  • 1 night Delta King Riverboat hotel on the water in Sacramento (double occupancy)

Notes: Does not include meals (aside from 1 afternoon tea). We will be walking here and there, usually .3-.6 miles at a time; never more than .9 miles. If you prefer to take a cab (or Uber), cost is additional

EMBARCADERO package - $875  
  • All activities in Nob Hill package, however you arrange for your own 3 legs of transportation to/from San Francisco, Sacramento, SoCal

  • UNION SQUARE package - $475 from Los Angeles, $530 from Santa Ana includes 
  • All activities in Nob Hill package, however you arrange for your own lodgings

  • TENDERLOIN package - $375  
  • All activities in Nob Hill package, however you arrange for your own lodgings and 3 legs of transportation to/from San Francisco, Sacramento, SoCal

  • SINGLE SUPPLEMENT - If you'd like a room to yourself, please plan on expending an additional $500. If it ends up being less (based on availability) we'll let you know and pass that savings on to you xo

    However you opt to travel, do please consider joining us. I'd love to share all things secret society with you at the peak on the City by the Bay