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FERNANDINA BEACH, FLORIDA

Birding on Amelia and Cumberland Islands and in the Okefenokee Swamp

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Birding

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Road Scholar
Program #14147RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Binoculars

Itinerary for Apr 13 — Apr 18, 2014

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: “HISTORIC HARBOR FRONT HOTEL” offers quality accommodations, friendly and efficient service in clean, comfortable surroundings. Charm, Elegance and Southern Hospitality. All that and more, welcome you as soon as you step onto the hardwood floors of our lobby and take in the elegant winding staircase and hand-painted artwork highlighting Amelia Island's history. Sit and relax in the comfortable lounge area near the fireplace and enjoy coffee or tea and fresh baked cookies every afternoon. Our friendly staff is waiting to welcome you to the Harbor Front Hampton Inn & Suites on Amelia Island. Greet the morning with scenic harbor views in our Breakfast Cafe where our friendly and attentive staff presents a full hot breakfast buffet. It's a perfect place to enjoy that a morning cup of coffee, tea or juice as well as fresh fruit and waffles. The 25 feet high windows give our Cafe an open and airy feel and create a great gathering place for our guests. Comfortable seating invites you to play a game of checkers, catch up on your reading or watch a movie or the game on the 55" inch LED TV. Come back in the evening for our manager's reception and take in the sunset views over the harbor. Enjoy over 50 restaurants and specialty shops, ALL within waking distance of the hotel. We are just 1½ blocks from the Amelia Island Museum of History, which offers daily tours of the Downtown Historic area. Bike rentals, carriage rides, and ghost tours are also popular downtown activities. If relaxation is your preference, white sandy beaches are just minutes away.

Contact info:
19 South 2nd Street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 USA
phone: 904-491-4911
web: www.hamptoninnandsuitesameliaisland.com/

Room amenities: Rooms have HBO and cable TV, data ports, voice mail and multi-line speakerphones, coffee pots with complimentary coffee packets each day.

Facility amenities: Complimentary 50+ item breakfast buffet, upper deck pool. King or two queen beds in each room, HBO and cable TV, data ports, voice mail and multi-line speakerphones. On-site guest business office with Internet access, conference facilities, guest laundry, gift shop, fitness center and wireless internet more. •Fitness Room •Pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Seasonal rates - call hotel
Participant is responsible for making their own reservations if arriving early or staying over after the program ends. Call hotel for availability and seasonal rates.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, April 13 - Registration, Orientation, Get Acquainted, Birdin...
Afternoon: Participants may pick up nametag and schedule for the week anytime between 4:00 - 5:00 PM followed by orientation and dinner in the hotel conference room. Guests hotel check-in is 4:00 pm in the main lobby.

Dinner: Catered meal at hotel.

Evening: Your group leader will go over the daily schedule for your week of birding followed by a birding orientation presented by your expert birder.

Lodging: Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Fernandina

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: “HISTORIC HARBOR FRONT HOTEL” offers quality accommodations, friendly and efficient service in clean, comfortable surroundings. Charm, Elegance and Southern Hospitality. All that and more, welcome you as soon as you step onto the hardwood floors of our lobby and take in the elegant winding staircase and hand-painted artwork highlighting Amelia Island's history. Sit and relax in the comfortable lounge area near the fireplace and enjoy coffee or tea and fresh baked cookies every afternoon. Our friendly staff is waiting to welcome you to the Harbor Front Hampton Inn & Suites on Amelia Island. Greet the morning with scenic harbor views in our Breakfast Cafe where our friendly and attentive staff presents a full hot breakfast buffet. It's a perfect place to enjoy that a morning cup of coffee, tea or juice as well as fresh fruit and waffles. The 25 feet high windows give our Cafe an open and airy feel and create a great gathering place for our guests. Comfortable seating invites you to play a game of checkers, catch up on your reading or watch a movie or the game on the 55" inch LED TV. Come back in the evening for our manager's reception and take in the sunset views over the harbor. Enjoy over 50 restaurants and specialty shops, ALL within waking distance of the hotel. We are just 1½ blocks from the Amelia Island Museum of History, which offers daily tours of the Downtown Historic area. Bike rentals, carriage rides, and ghost tours are also popular downtown activities. If relaxation is your preference, white sandy beaches are just minutes away.

Contact info:
19 South 2nd Street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 USA
phone: 904-491-4911
web: www.hamptoninnandsuitesameliaisland.com/

Room amenities: Rooms have HBO and cable TV, data ports, voice mail and multi-line speakerphones, coffee pots with complimentary coffee packets each day.

Facility amenities: Complimentary 50+ item breakfast buffet, upper deck pool. King or two queen beds in each room, HBO and cable TV, data ports, voice mail and multi-line speakerphones. On-site guest business office with Internet access, conference facilities, guest laundry, gift shop, fitness center and wireless internet more. •Fitness Room •Pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Seasonal rates - call hotel
Participant is responsible for making their own reservations if arriving early or staying over after the program ends. Call hotel for availability and seasonal rates.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, April 14 - Huguenot Park/Kingsley Plantation/Talbot Island S...
Breakfast: Plentiful breakfast buffet at the hotel in the Garden Room.

Morning: Visit birding areas known for shorebirds, waders, and ducks. You will also explore Fort George Island and the grounds of Kingsley Plantation.

Lunch: Lunch at hotel/local restaurant or picnic.

Afternoon: Field trip to Big Talbot and Little Talbot Islands for more birding. Located on one of the sea islands unique to Northeast Florida, this is primarily a natural preserve and a premier location for nature study, bird watching, and photography. Little Talbot Island is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in NE Florida.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or at one of the downtown restaurants located in the historic district.

Evening: Lecture or entertainment

Lodging: Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Fernandina

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: “HISTORIC HARBOR FRONT HOTEL” offers quality accommodations, friendly and efficient service in clean, comfortable surroundings. Charm, Elegance and Southern Hospitality. All that and more, welcome you as soon as you step onto the hardwood floors of our lobby and take in the elegant winding staircase and hand-painted artwork highlighting Amelia Island's history. Sit and relax in the comfortable lounge area near the fireplace and enjoy coffee or tea and fresh baked cookies every afternoon. Our friendly staff is waiting to welcome you to the Harbor Front Hampton Inn & Suites on Amelia Island. Greet the morning with scenic harbor views in our Breakfast Cafe where our friendly and attentive staff presents a full hot breakfast buffet. It's a perfect place to enjoy that a morning cup of coffee, tea or juice as well as fresh fruit and waffles. The 25 feet high windows give our Cafe an open and airy feel and create a great gathering place for our guests. Comfortable seating invites you to play a game of checkers, catch up on your reading or watch a movie or the game on the 55" inch LED TV. Come back in the evening for our manager's reception and take in the sunset views over the harbor. Enjoy over 50 restaurants and specialty shops, ALL within waking distance of the hotel. We are just 1½ blocks from the Amelia Island Museum of History, which offers daily tours of the Downtown Historic area. Bike rentals, carriage rides, and ghost tours are also popular downtown activities. If relaxation is your preference, white sandy beaches are just minutes away.

Contact info:
19 South 2nd Street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 USA
phone: 904-491-4911
web: www.hamptoninnandsuitesameliaisland.com/

Room amenities: Rooms have HBO and cable TV, data ports, voice mail and multi-line speakerphones, coffee pots with complimentary coffee packets each day.

Facility amenities: Complimentary 50+ item breakfast buffet, upper deck pool. King or two queen beds in each room, HBO and cable TV, data ports, voice mail and multi-line speakerphones. On-site guest business office with Internet access, conference facilities, guest laundry, gift shop, fitness center and wireless internet more. •Fitness Room •Pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Seasonal rates - call hotel
Participant is responsible for making their own reservations if arriving early or staying over after the program ends. Call hotel for availability and seasonal rates.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, April 15 - Ferry to Cumberland Island For All Day Field Trip...
Breakfast: Breakfast

Morning: Ferry to Cumberland Island for a day of birding on one of the most beautiful barrier islands off the coast of Georgia. Cumberland Island National Seashore is a beautiful, largely undeveloped 36,000-acre barrier island. Access is by ferry or private boat. Extensive salt marshes border the island to the west, and 16 miles of pristine, white-sand beaches border Cumberland on the east. The island hosts an amazing variety of wildlife and plant communities. A total of 322 species of birds have been seen on the island. Types of Birds: Songbirds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, gull-like birds Best Birding Seasons: Songbirds (spring and fall), shorebirds (all), wading birds (all), waterfowl (winter), gull-like birds (all) Specialties: Peregrine falcon, painted bunting, red knot, black skimmer, warblers Tips: Look for peregrine falcons during fall migration. Painted buntings are common in summer. Shorebirds are best seen in summer, winter and spring. Warblers can be seen during fall and spring migrations. Piping plovers may be spotted on the beach in winter. Bring along, beverages, sunscreen, rain gear and other necessities because the island has no stores.

Lunch: We will be taking a sack lunch to Cumberland. There are no restaurants or stores on the island.

Afternoon: Field trip continues.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Evening: Free evening after a long day on Cumberland that is rewarding and well worth it.

Lodging: Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Fernandina

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: “HISTORIC HARBOR FRONT HOTEL” offers quality accommodations, friendly and efficient service in clean, comfortable surroundings. Charm, Elegance and Southern Hospitality. All that and more, welcome you as soon as you step onto the hardwood floors of our lobby and take in the elegant winding staircase and hand-painted artwork highlighting Amelia Island's history. Sit and relax in the comfortable lounge area near the fireplace and enjoy coffee or tea and fresh baked cookies every afternoon. Our friendly staff is waiting to welcome you to the Harbor Front Hampton Inn & Suites on Amelia Island. Greet the morning with scenic harbor views in our Breakfast Cafe where our friendly and attentive staff presents a full hot breakfast buffet. It's a perfect place to enjoy that a morning cup of coffee, tea or juice as well as fresh fruit and waffles. The 25 feet high windows give our Cafe an open and airy feel and create a great gathering place for our guests. Comfortable seating invites you to play a game of checkers, catch up on your reading or watch a movie or the game on the 55" inch LED TV. Come back in the evening for our manager's reception and take in the sunset views over the harbor. Enjoy over 50 restaurants and specialty shops, ALL within waking distance of the hotel. We are just 1½ blocks from the Amelia Island Museum of History, which offers daily tours of the Downtown Historic area. Bike rentals, carriage rides, and ghost tours are also popular downtown activities. If relaxation is your preference, white sandy beaches are just minutes away.

Contact info:
19 South 2nd Street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 USA
phone: 904-491-4911
web: www.hamptoninnandsuitesameliaisland.com/

Room amenities: Rooms have HBO and cable TV, data ports, voice mail and multi-line speakerphones, coffee pots with complimentary coffee packets each day.

Facility amenities: Complimentary 50+ item breakfast buffet, upper deck pool. King or two queen beds in each room, HBO and cable TV, data ports, voice mail and multi-line speakerphones. On-site guest business office with Internet access, conference facilities, guest laundry, gift shop, fitness center and wireless internet more. •Fitness Room •Pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Seasonal rates - call hotel
Participant is responsible for making their own reservations if arriving early or staying over after the program ends. Call hotel for availability and seasonal rates.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, April 16 - Fort Clinch, Amelia River Cruise, Rare and Endang...
Breakfast: Breakfast in the Garden Room.

Morning: At the northernmost point on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, separated from Georgia by the St. Marys River, lies Fort Clinch State Park, the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail’s northernmost gateway. This “must-see” park allows visitors to sample a wide spectrum of Florida’s bird species and habitats – from migratory songbirds in maritime forests, to salt marshes teeming with rails and wading birds, to beach and ocean replete with shorebirds and seabirds galore. As we follow the canopy road into the park, we'll stop periodically and check the hammock and neighboring marsh for warblers, waders, wrens and sparrows. Shaded bicycle and foot paths parallel both sides of the entrance road for several miles. Don’t miss the opportunity to bird from atop the fort’s brick walls for an elevated, panoramic view of Cumberland Sound. Other species of interest on the park’s checklist are Gull-billed Tern, Wood Stork, Roseate Spoonbill, Magnificent Frigatebird, Piping Plover, Salt Marsh Skipper and Juniper Hairstreak.

Lunch: Lunch at a popular restaurant in Fernandina.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will board a covered pontoon boat for an Amelia River Cruise that takes you along salt marshes, wilderness beaches, and historic river banks. Dolphins, sea turtles, manatees, egrets, herons, spoonbills, and osprey meld with shrimping history of the area.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Evening: Rare and Endangered Species of the Region will be the subject matter for the evening presentation given by your birding instructor.

Lodging: Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Fernandina

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: “HISTORIC HARBOR FRONT HOTEL” offers quality accommodations, friendly and efficient service in clean, comfortable surroundings. Charm, Elegance and Southern Hospitality. All that and more, welcome you as soon as you step onto the hardwood floors of our lobby and take in the elegant winding staircase and hand-painted artwork highlighting Amelia Island's history. Sit and relax in the comfortable lounge area near the fireplace and enjoy coffee or tea and fresh baked cookies every afternoon. Our friendly staff is waiting to welcome you to the Harbor Front Hampton Inn & Suites on Amelia Island. Greet the morning with scenic harbor views in our Breakfast Cafe where our friendly and attentive staff presents a full hot breakfast buffet. It's a perfect place to enjoy that a morning cup of coffee, tea or juice as well as fresh fruit and waffles. The 25 feet high windows give our Cafe an open and airy feel and create a great gathering place for our guests. Comfortable seating invites you to play a game of checkers, catch up on your reading or watch a movie or the game on the 55" inch LED TV. Come back in the evening for our manager's reception and take in the sunset views over the harbor. Enjoy over 50 restaurants and specialty shops, ALL within waking distance of the hotel. We are just 1½ blocks from the Amelia Island Museum of History, which offers daily tours of the Downtown Historic area. Bike rentals, carriage rides, and ghost tours are also popular downtown activities. If relaxation is your preference, white sandy beaches are just minutes away.

Contact info:
19 South 2nd Street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 USA
phone: 904-491-4911
web: www.hamptoninnandsuitesameliaisland.com/

Room amenities: Rooms have HBO and cable TV, data ports, voice mail and multi-line speakerphones, coffee pots with complimentary coffee packets each day.

Facility amenities: Complimentary 50+ item breakfast buffet, upper deck pool. King or two queen beds in each room, HBO and cable TV, data ports, voice mail and multi-line speakerphones. On-site guest business office with Internet access, conference facilities, guest laundry, gift shop, fitness center and wireless internet more. •Fitness Room •Pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Seasonal rates - call hotel
Participant is responsible for making their own reservations if arriving early or staying over after the program ends. Call hotel for availability and seasonal rates.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, April 17 - Okefenokee Swamp Birding/Social/Farewell
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: All day birding in the Okefenokee Swamp. Boat fleet consists of 24’ Carolina Skiffs with canopies overhead and includes a wheelchair-accessible boat. Watch birds through what is arguably the world's most famous birding window, trek into one of the most unusual and interesting places to see in the Okefenokee Swamp where hundreds of wading birds return to roost for the night. Search for warblers and thrushes and try to locate tiny songsters flitting in the tops of centuries-old cypress trees. Along the way you can see the rarest of the rare, the red-cockaded woodpecker; wild turkeys, wading birds such as wood storks, ring-necked ducks and other waterfowl, hear the Bob-white call of the northern bobwhite, see blue grosbeaks and indigo buntings looking much like brightly colored ornaments hung on shrubs growing in field borders, as well as Mississippi kites, ospreys and bald eagles exhibit their mastery of the air. All told, 263 species of birds have been identified at sites along the trail. We can't promise you'll see all of them but we do know they have been sited before and it may be your turn on this Road Scholar program.

Lunch: Picnic lunch at the Okenenokee Swamp.

Afternoon: Continuation of birding in the Okefenokee Swamp.

Dinner: Dinner at Hotel

Evening: Social and farewell

Lodging: Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Fernandina

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, April 18 - Egan Creek Greenway, Conclusion
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Take one last time to experience nature on Egans Creek Greenway. Over 300 acres that run north to south along Egans Creek, the Greenway was opened for public use in the summer of 2000 as an undeveloped park for passive recreational use. Its grass-covered roads are suitable for walking and bicycling and its environment exhibits a variety of natural wildlife and vegetation. As in any natural area, many different kinds of creatures live, nest, feed, and find safety in the Greenway. Depending on the season and time of day, you may see a river otter, bobcat, alligator, or birds such as the great blue heron, egrets, anhinga, bald eagle, osprey, roseate spoonbill, and more.

Lunch: Program ends at 11:00 am. Hotel check-out is 11:00 am.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
9 Expert-led lectures
6 Field trips

Ratings

3.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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