PROGRAM REGISTRATION & ORIENTATION: We will gather at 5:30 pm in our reserved room at the hotel (at the Welcome Center in the downstairs area) for introductions and an orientation to the program. We will provide an informative overview of the program including a review of the updated daily schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.
Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to weather and other local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible.Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.Evening: The remainder of the evening is yours to continue getting to know your fellow participants. Stroll along the boardwalk or just relax and get ready for tomorrow. Because your days will be filled with adventures and activities, we are not scheduling evening programs. You will see and learn a lot and will need "down" time to rest and prepare for what each day offers.Lodging: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key LargoMeals Included: Dinner
FIELD TRIP: After our guided walk we'll drive to Pigeon Key where we'll take a trip through time as we explore buildings built in 1909 to house more than 400 workers, working 14-hours a day, six days a week to build Henry Flagler's Florida Overseas Railroad. Ride the Pigeon Key boat (a 20 minutes ride) from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, and you'll cross beneath the new 7-Mile Bridge and a 2.2-mile segment of the old Seven-Mile bridge! Once on the Island, we will explore the historic buildings and the Museum.Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch in Pigeon Key overlooking Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay . The lunch include fresh salad and/or sandwiches.Afternoon: Take the boat back to US-1 and continue our journey to Key West.
HOTEL CHECK IN : 4:30 PM Approximate arrival to the Hotel in Key West.
Dinner: We will walk to a local restaurant for dinner this evening.Evening: FIELD TRIP: Escorted 3/4 mile walk to Mallory Square for the Sunset Celebration, a unique Key West icon to enjoy at your leisure - ask coordinator for an update on entertainers worth seeing. After Sunset either stay on Duval Street or walk back to the hotel.Lodging: Westwinds InnMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Continental breakfast buffet on board the ship at 8:00 AM, including bagels, cereal, yogurt, fruits, and juices. Boat is a large 150 passenger catamaran with air conditioned lower deck and open air top deck.Morning: FIELD TRIP: En route to Dry Tortugas National Park, our onboard naturalist will give you an orientation about the area and the national park's surroundings. During your voyage, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Marquesa Islands, Boca Grande, have an opportunity to see turtles and dolphins, and listen to pirate legends.
Upon arrival to the Park, enjoy a guided walking tour of Ft. Jefferson and its role in history as you learn about its role in US history.Lunch: Buffet lunch inside of the Catamaran.Afternoon: OPEN ACTIVITIES: After lunch enjoy snorkeling, bird watching, a naturalist guided moat walk or just relax on a rarity in the Keys - a sandy beach.
(Birders - from late February the adjoining Bush Key is closed to visitors to enable the sooty terns and other unique birds to nest undisturbed. Activity however can often be viewed through volunteer rangers spotting scopes.)Dinner: After returning to hotel take some time to freshen up. Dinner will be served in the hotel's back garden.Evening: After dinner, your group leader will provide ideas, recommendations and brochures of things to do on your free day in Key West. Afterwards, enjoy a walk on Duval Street or relax at the hotel.Lodging: Westwinds InnMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
FIELD TRIP: On our way back to Key Largo, we'll stop to visit Florida's southernmost state park and learn about U.S. Military history and the role that Fort Zachary Taylor played in it. The fort was one of a series built in the mid-1800s to defend the nation's southeastern coastline. Completed in 1866, Fort Zachary Taylor played important roles in the Civil War and Spanish-American War.Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches at the beautiful Sombrero Beach.Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Visit the Windley Key Fossil Reef State Park and walk along eight-foot-high quarry walls to see cross sections of ancient coral. Learn about the history of the quarry and its operation -- an important part of Florida's 20th century history -- as you walk among samples of the quarry machinery have been preserved at the park. Formed of Key Largo limestone, fossilized coral, this land was sold to the Florida East Coast Railroad, which used the stone to build Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad in the early 1900s. Following the completion of the railroad, the quarry was used until the 1960s to produce exquisite pieces of decorative stone called Keystone.Dinner: Return to the Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo and enjoy some time to freshen up for our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.Evening: Recap of program and special event for following morning.Lodging: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key LargoMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Immediately following our field trip we'll depart for the Miami International Airport. We hope you have had a great time on this learning adventure and will join us for other rewarding programs in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!Meals Included: Breakfast