May 5, 2022


Trip Report: UC Davis Bee Haven

We enjoyed a fascinating tour of the UC Davis Bee Haven this week. As participant Janny Tang said, "I now know 99.9% more about bees than I did when I walked into the garden." The Bee Haven is a unique outdoor museum where visitors can observe and learn about bees and the plants that support them. Bee populations the world over are declining due to pesticide use, drought, habitat descruction, and more. But bees are vital to life. Since 80% of flowering plants rely on bees for pollination, as our tour guide said, "No bees, no plants." The Haven's research projects will hopefully help scientists to better understand the declining bee population and to halt the downward trajectory.

Bees are cold-blooded insects that rely on the sun to navigate, so they are only active on sunny days above 55 degrees. In a nod to the importance of the sun to bees, the garden features an analemmatic sundial, a horizontal design whereby tiles for each month and hour are strategically imbedded in the ground. When standing on the present month's tile, a person's shadow will fall on the current time of day.

It is easy to create a bee-friendly garden at home, especially with the Haven's helpful resources. Not all plants are created equally as far as bees are concerned. The most desirable plants produce pollen with higher protein levels. Plants from the mustard family and mint family are two bee favorites. The Haven website includes bee-friendly plant lists, including a list that rates the top 10 best plants by "bees per gallon" (drought-tolerant plants that attract high numbers of bees). In general, a bee-attracting garden requires a varied mixture of pollinating plants that bloom at different times of the year so that there is a constant source of pollen and nectar. 

The Bee Haven, located on the outskirts of the UC Davis campus, near the UC Davis Airpot, is open every day from dawn to dusk. There is no fee to enter or park (free parking on the UC Davis campus? That is a rarity.). It is a beautiful, fragrant, and serene place through which to meander. Visit their website for more information.

"Dear San Francisco" Ticket Available

One ticket has become available for "Dear San Francisco - A High Flying Love Story," at Club Fugazi on May 21. Powered by exhilarating acrobatics, choreography, spoken word, video projections, shadow play, and original music, "Dear San Francisco" takes you on a heart-stopping romp that honors the City by the Bay. From the Gold Rush and 1906 earthquake to the mysterious fog, San Francisco comes vividly to life through a series of tableaus. Cost is $120. Email if you would like to purchase this ticket.

Upcoming Trips

  • “Stay Trip: Great Bear Vineyards, Davis (Wednesday, June 1)
    Last date to register: Tuesday, May 17
  • China Camp State Park & Sausalito (Wednesday, June 15)
  • "Follow the Seagull" 49-Mile Scenic Drive & Lunch at Park Chalet, San Franciso (Wednesday, July 27)
  • UC Berkeley Botanical Garden (Wednesday, August 24)

Save the Date

Mark your calendars for two new day trips. We are working to finalize details and will send an email when registration is open for:

  • Abbey of our Lady of New Clairvaux, near Chico (Wednesday, September 28); two-week priority registration will be given to those who had registered for this trip that was cancelled last year.
  • "Ain't too Proud: Life and Times of the Temptations," Golden Gate Theater, San Francisco (Wednesday, November 30)
Visit our Website for Trip Details

 Upcoming Trips

Great Bear Vineyards (Davis)

Wednesday, June 1

In this "stay" trip, we will visit Great Bear Vineyards, an award-winning winery on the northern edge of Davis that dates back to 1860. We will enjoy a vineyard tour, taste several wines, dine on a charcuterie assortment of cheese, cold cuts, crackers, and fruit; and pick a bunch of lavender from their stunning lavender field. Great Bear wines have won multiple medals at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the winery was voted “Best Local Winery” by Sacramento Magazine readers. In addition to producing grapes with intense flavor and wines of distinction, they also cultivate olives and produce olive oil. $55 per person.

Last date to register: Tuesday, May 17

Register Online
Register by Mail

China Camp State Park (San Rafael) & Sausalito

Wednesday, June 15

China Camp State Park, nestled along San Pablo Bay, is the site of a once-thriving Chinese shrimp fishing village. During the settlement's 1880s heyday, nearly 500 people lived here and processed three million pounds of shrimp per year, exporting nearly all of the catch to China. We will enjoy a guided tour of the remaining village buildings and hear the story of these hardy fishermen. We will then take the bus to the park’s intertidal salt marsh to learn about the abundance of birds and other wildlife. We will end the day in Sausalito for lunch on your own and self-guided exploring. This picturesque town offers stunning views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge and a historic houseboat community, built after WWII by artists and other free spirits. $98 per person.

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"Follow the Seagull" 49-Mile Scenic Drive, San Francisco

Wednesday, July 27

Created in 1938 for the Golden Gate International Exposition, the "Follow the Seagull" 49-Mile Scenic Drive highlights many of San Francisco’s historic and iconic landmarks. Popular San Francisco guide Craig Smith will regale us with the history and stories of Union Square, Japan Town, Chinatown, Ghiradelli Square, Presidio National Park, Fort Point, the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Zoo, Lake Merced, Golden Gate Park, Mission Dolores, and more. We will disembark at two scenic viewpoints - Land's End, for sweeping vistas of the ocean, headlands and Golden Gate; and Twin Peaks, for a panoramic 360-degree view of the city. We will enjoy lunch at the Park Chalet restaurant, with its view of the Golden Gate Park. $145 per person.

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NEW: UC Berkeley Botanical Garden

Wednesday, August 24

The UC Berkeley Botanical Garden is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, with more than 10,000 types of plants including many rare and endangered species. Our docent-led tour of this beautiful garden will cover the hightlights of nine regions of naturalistic plantings from six continents, including environments as diverse as deserts, redwood forests, and wetlands‎. After the garden visit, you will have time to explore and enjoy lunch on your own at Berkeley’s Fourth Street district, with its wide leafy sidewalks and specialty/artisan retail and dining. The Travelaires will provide a map with several lunch options within close proximity to the bus drop off on Fourth Street. $89 per person.

Register Online
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COVID-19 Health Protocols

The health and safety of our travelers is our highest priority. All Travelaires volunteers and bus drivers are fully vaccinated for COVID. 

All travelers must provide proof that they are fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to their trip. A photo of your vaccination card can be uploaded when you register for a trip online or a copy can be mailed to the Travelaires office. We will keep the records on file so you only have to provide proof once.

Masks must be worn while on the bus and at other venues as required and eating/drinking is not allowed while on the bus. Travelers must bring their vaccination cards and photo ID on the trip, as venues may require proof of vaccination upon entry.