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GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA

Natural North Florida

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Road Scholar
Program #20439RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
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.

Itinerary for Feb 2 — Feb 7, 2014

Expand all
Type: Bed and Breakfast

Description: The Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast, in historic downtown Gainesville, is part of a Victorian complex which offers all the amenities you'd expect in a world-class bed & breakfast and much more. More History. Featured on PBS's series "Country Inns USA," The Sweetwater Branch Inn is graciously decorated and historically preserved offering its visitors a unique lodging experience. Surrounded by the magnificent McKenzie Gardens, the McKenzie House, dating to 1895, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. **** Almost all rooms have one queen bed. Road Scholar roommate matches and request for two beds are unable to be accommodated with this program. A low single supplement is available.*****

Contact info:
625 East University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601 USA
phone: 352-373-6760
web: www.sweetwaterinn.com

Room amenities: The Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast invites you to step back in time in our beautifully restored, historical landmark Victorian homes. At the Sweetwater's Victorian Complex, you'll find a soothing blend of Southern comfort and Victorian elegance. With shiny hardwood floors, antique furnishings, and luxurious amenities, our gracefully proportioned rooms and cottages are designed for your comfort and relaxation. Sweetwater Branch Inn offers accommodations that will capture your heart and ease your mind. Graciously decorated, each room offers the following amenities: Central Air Conditioning/Heat Queen size beds Antique furnishings Writing desks with sitting chairs Private telephone Cable television Wireless High Speed Internet Ironing board and iron Blow dryer Coffee Maker Noise diffusers Free local phone calls Pre-Arranged Shuttle Service runs from 7:00 am- 11:00 pm

Facility amenities: Two blocks from historic downtown Gainesville On-site Bike Rentals Gift Shop with unique items Romance Packages Koi Pond Courtyard Lush Gardens Library

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

Bathroom: Private bath with claw-foot tub, or Jacuzzi tub and shower (with the exception of Julia's room which has a unique 1930's Art Deco walk-in shower)

Additional nights before:
Please contact Sweetwater Branch Inn directly to inquire about extra night accommodations. The Inn's reservation line is 1-800-595-7760.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, February 02 - Arrival and Check-in, Program Registration, Orien...
Arrival and Check-in, Program Registration, Orientation, Introduction to World of Nature, Welcome Dinner

Afternoon: Check-in: Available from 3:00pm.

Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, you will receive your arrival packet with information about the time and place of our Orientation session.

Orientation: Cornelia Holbrook, founder and owner of the B&B will greet you with a warm welcome, introduce everyone, and provide key staff contact names and phone numbers. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss 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 local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Enjoy a lecture on the History of Water Management in Florida from former St. Johns River Water Management District Land Management Specialist and your tour group leader for the week, Terri Mashour. Terri will project beautiful Florida photos and illustrate how water is linked to every facet of Floridian life from drinking water, to development, to ecology and groundwater and ecosystem services, making water in Florida extremely political. You will quickly see a theme of the importance and presence of water in Florida, a theme that will be linked to each visit on our week long tour.

Dinner: Savor a Southern dinner prepared by the Sweetwater Branch Inn’s renowned kitchen.

Evening: Take the evening to relax and get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow.

Lodging: Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast

Meals Included: Dinner

Type: Bed and Breakfast

Description: The Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast, in historic downtown Gainesville, is part of a Victorian complex which offers all the amenities you'd expect in a world-class bed & breakfast and much more. More History. Featured on PBS's series "Country Inns USA," The Sweetwater Branch Inn is graciously decorated and historically preserved offering its visitors a unique lodging experience. Surrounded by the magnificent McKenzie Gardens, the McKenzie House, dating to 1895, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. **** Almost all rooms have one queen bed. Road Scholar roommate matches and request for two beds are unable to be accommodated with this program. A low single supplement is available.*****

Contact info:
625 East University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601 USA
phone: 352-373-6760
web: www.sweetwaterinn.com

Room amenities: The Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast invites you to step back in time in our beautifully restored, historical landmark Victorian homes. At the Sweetwater's Victorian Complex, you'll find a soothing blend of Southern comfort and Victorian elegance. With shiny hardwood floors, antique furnishings, and luxurious amenities, our gracefully proportioned rooms and cottages are designed for your comfort and relaxation. Sweetwater Branch Inn offers accommodations that will capture your heart and ease your mind. Graciously decorated, each room offers the following amenities: Central Air Conditioning/Heat Queen size beds Antique furnishings Writing desks with sitting chairs Private telephone Cable television Wireless High Speed Internet Ironing board and iron Blow dryer Coffee Maker Noise diffusers Free local phone calls Pre-Arranged Shuttle Service runs from 7:00 am- 11:00 pm

Facility amenities: Two blocks from historic downtown Gainesville On-site Bike Rentals Gift Shop with unique items Romance Packages Koi Pond Courtyard Lush Gardens Library

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

Bathroom: Private bath with claw-foot tub, or Jacuzzi tub and shower (with the exception of Julia's room which has a unique 1930's Art Deco walk-in shower)

Additional nights before:
Please contact Sweetwater Branch Inn directly to inquire about extra night accommodations. The Inn's reservation line is 1-800-595-7760.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, February 03 - Florida Museum of Natural History, Butterfly Rain...
Florida Museum of Natural History, Butterfly Rainforest, History of Gainesville

Breakfast: Sweetwater’s breakfast features a rotating daily menu of hot items as well as home-made granola, yogurt, fresh local fruit, English muffins and toast, preserves, milk, coffee, and tea.

Enjoy a lecture from Dr. Mark Barrow, a leader in Gainesville’s historic preservation movement and founder of the Matheson Historical Museum, who will provide an overview of local history from the early days of Native Americans to the present.

Morning: Walk next door to the Matheson Museum where we will learn about the history of Alachua County and take a guided tour of the city’s second oldest house. Then head to the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) where we will learn about Florida's cultural and natural history and explore the museum with a curator.

Lunch: We will have box lunches in the next door Harn Museum of Art and Gardens’ peaceful and sunny Japanese garden.

Afternoon: Dr. Thomas Emmel, Director of the McGuire Center at FLMNH and an expert on butterflies, will present an introduction to the Butterfly Rainforest at the FLMNH followed by a guided stroll through this popular exhibit here at the world’s largest research facility devoted to Lepidoptera. Strolling through tropical foliage and flowers to the sound of waterfalls, see exotic free-flying butterflies within a large screened enclosure. Some 60-80 species from all over the world reside here at any given time.

At approximately 3:00pm, we will return to the Sweetwater Branch Inn with time for relaxing and enjoying the gardens, porches, courtyard, and koi pond.

Dinner: At Sweetwater Branch Inn.

Evening: Take the evening to relax and get a good night's sleep for the full day tomorrow, explore the Matheson Museum’s Synoptic Garden, or enjoy a DVD showing of, “Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: Everglades to Okefenokee-1000 miles in 100 days” on the Cushman Colson front porch.

Lodging: Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Bed and Breakfast

Description: The Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast, in historic downtown Gainesville, is part of a Victorian complex which offers all the amenities you'd expect in a world-class bed & breakfast and much more. More History. Featured on PBS's series "Country Inns USA," The Sweetwater Branch Inn is graciously decorated and historically preserved offering its visitors a unique lodging experience. Surrounded by the magnificent McKenzie Gardens, the McKenzie House, dating to 1895, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. **** Almost all rooms have one queen bed. Road Scholar roommate matches and request for two beds are unable to be accommodated with this program. A low single supplement is available.*****

Contact info:
625 East University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601 USA
phone: 352-373-6760
web: www.sweetwaterinn.com

Room amenities: The Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast invites you to step back in time in our beautifully restored, historical landmark Victorian homes. At the Sweetwater's Victorian Complex, you'll find a soothing blend of Southern comfort and Victorian elegance. With shiny hardwood floors, antique furnishings, and luxurious amenities, our gracefully proportioned rooms and cottages are designed for your comfort and relaxation. Sweetwater Branch Inn offers accommodations that will capture your heart and ease your mind. Graciously decorated, each room offers the following amenities: Central Air Conditioning/Heat Queen size beds Antique furnishings Writing desks with sitting chairs Private telephone Cable television Wireless High Speed Internet Ironing board and iron Blow dryer Coffee Maker Noise diffusers Free local phone calls Pre-Arranged Shuttle Service runs from 7:00 am- 11:00 pm

Facility amenities: Two blocks from historic downtown Gainesville On-site Bike Rentals Gift Shop with unique items Romance Packages Koi Pond Courtyard Lush Gardens Library

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

Bathroom: Private bath with claw-foot tub, or Jacuzzi tub and shower (with the exception of Julia's room which has a unique 1930's Art Deco walk-in shower)

Additional nights before:
Please contact Sweetwater Branch Inn directly to inquire about extra night accommodations. The Inn's reservation line is 1-800-595-7760.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, February 04 - Paynes Prairie State Park
Breakfast: At Sweetwater Branch Inn.

Morning: Visit Paynes Prairie State Park with a video and talk by a park ranger on the unique features of this park, followed by a 1-hour nature walk including the look-out tower viewing this massive basin. Potentially get a glimpse of the wild Spanish horses or the bison roaming the prairie!

Lunch: Boxed lunch overlooking Lake Wauberg and possibly get a view of many avian species grazing on the lake.

Afternoon: La Chua Trail at the northern end of Paynes Prairie State Park. Hear from a well known local birder, then walk along a unique board-walk with a view of Florida's alligators. Excellent birding and reptile photographic opportunities.

Later in the afternoon, you will have an option to walk through the Downtown Farmer's Market or return to the hotel for some down time.

Dinner: At Sweetwater Branch Inn.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Bed and Breakfast

Description: The Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast, in historic downtown Gainesville, is part of a Victorian complex which offers all the amenities you'd expect in a world-class bed & breakfast and much more. More History. Featured on PBS's series "Country Inns USA," The Sweetwater Branch Inn is graciously decorated and historically preserved offering its visitors a unique lodging experience. Surrounded by the magnificent McKenzie Gardens, the McKenzie House, dating to 1895, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. **** Almost all rooms have one queen bed. Road Scholar roommate matches and request for two beds are unable to be accommodated with this program. A low single supplement is available.*****

Contact info:
625 East University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601 USA
phone: 352-373-6760
web: www.sweetwaterinn.com

Room amenities: The Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast invites you to step back in time in our beautifully restored, historical landmark Victorian homes. At the Sweetwater's Victorian Complex, you'll find a soothing blend of Southern comfort and Victorian elegance. With shiny hardwood floors, antique furnishings, and luxurious amenities, our gracefully proportioned rooms and cottages are designed for your comfort and relaxation. Sweetwater Branch Inn offers accommodations that will capture your heart and ease your mind. Graciously decorated, each room offers the following amenities: Central Air Conditioning/Heat Queen size beds Antique furnishings Writing desks with sitting chairs Private telephone Cable television Wireless High Speed Internet Ironing board and iron Blow dryer Coffee Maker Noise diffusers Free local phone calls Pre-Arranged Shuttle Service runs from 7:00 am- 11:00 pm

Facility amenities: Two blocks from historic downtown Gainesville On-site Bike Rentals Gift Shop with unique items Romance Packages Koi Pond Courtyard Lush Gardens Library

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

Bathroom: Private bath with claw-foot tub, or Jacuzzi tub and shower (with the exception of Julia's room which has a unique 1930's Art Deco walk-in shower)

Additional nights before:
Please contact Sweetwater Branch Inn directly to inquire about extra night accommodations. The Inn's reservation line is 1-800-595-7760.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, February 05 - Devil's Millhopper Sinkhole, Kanapaha Botanical G...
Note: Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes. There are 232 steps on a winding wooden staircase to the bottom of the 500-foot-wide, 120-foot-deep sinkhole.

Breakfast: At Sweetwater Branch Inn.

Morning: On Sweetwater's Cushman-Colson front porch, learn about Alachua County's geology.

We then depart for Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park where you will walk down 120 feet into an ancient sinkhole. Devil's Millhopper is a National Natural Landmark. Researchers have learned a great deal about Florida's natural history by studying fossil shark teeth, marine shells and the fossilized remains of extinct land animals found in the sink. The 120-foot deep bowl-shaped cavity leads down to a miniature rain forest. Small streams trickle down the steep slopes of the limestone sinkhole, disappearing through crevices in the ground. Lush vegetation thrives in the shade of the walls even in dry summers.

Lunch: Enjoy a boxed lunch at Devil’s Millhopper.

Afternoon: Visit Kanapaha Botanical Gardens to meet and talk with with the creator and curator of the gardens, Don Goodman. Enjoy an introduction to Alachua County's unique flora and explore the gardens.

Later in the afternoon, return to the hotel for some relaxation time.

Dinner: At Sweetwater Branch Inn.

Evening: Attend a performance at the Hippodrome State Theatre. The Hippodrome has grown from a tiny theatre group to the only professional theatre in the region, now occupying the historic Federal Building in the cultural heart of the city. Please note: Because our program was planned almost a year in advance, and because performance schedules can change on short notice, specific information was not available at the time of publication. The performance information will be included in the onsite materials when you arrive at the Sweetwater Branch Inn.

Lodging: Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Bed and Breakfast

Description: The Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast, in historic downtown Gainesville, is part of a Victorian complex which offers all the amenities you'd expect in a world-class bed & breakfast and much more. More History. Featured on PBS's series "Country Inns USA," The Sweetwater Branch Inn is graciously decorated and historically preserved offering its visitors a unique lodging experience. Surrounded by the magnificent McKenzie Gardens, the McKenzie House, dating to 1895, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. **** Almost all rooms have one queen bed. Road Scholar roommate matches and request for two beds are unable to be accommodated with this program. A low single supplement is available.*****

Contact info:
625 East University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601 USA
phone: 352-373-6760
web: www.sweetwaterinn.com

Room amenities: The Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast invites you to step back in time in our beautifully restored, historical landmark Victorian homes. At the Sweetwater's Victorian Complex, you'll find a soothing blend of Southern comfort and Victorian elegance. With shiny hardwood floors, antique furnishings, and luxurious amenities, our gracefully proportioned rooms and cottages are designed for your comfort and relaxation. Sweetwater Branch Inn offers accommodations that will capture your heart and ease your mind. Graciously decorated, each room offers the following amenities: Central Air Conditioning/Heat Queen size beds Antique furnishings Writing desks with sitting chairs Private telephone Cable television Wireless High Speed Internet Ironing board and iron Blow dryer Coffee Maker Noise diffusers Free local phone calls Pre-Arranged Shuttle Service runs from 7:00 am- 11:00 pm

Facility amenities: Two blocks from historic downtown Gainesville On-site Bike Rentals Gift Shop with unique items Romance Packages Koi Pond Courtyard Lush Gardens Library

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

Bathroom: Private bath with claw-foot tub, or Jacuzzi tub and shower (with the exception of Julia's room which has a unique 1930's Art Deco walk-in shower)

Additional nights before:
Please contact Sweetwater Branch Inn directly to inquire about extra night accommodations. The Inn's reservation line is 1-800-595-7760.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, February 06 - Cedar Key
Breakfast: At Sweetwater Branch Inn.

Morning: At the Cedar Key Museum, hear a lecture on the Trail of Florida’s Indian Heritage followed by a guided walk to ancient shell mounds. Then visit the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Center to learn about marine estuaries, marine life and the large shellfish industry.

Lunch: Tasty sandwiches at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Take a boat trip around the coastal areas of Ceder Key and stop at an uninhabited island for a guided walk.

Dinner: Enjoy good food and good company during our farewell Dinner at Sweetwater Branch Inn.

Evening: Enjoy our last evening together with Road Scholar friends and prepare for check-out and depature tomorrow morning.

Lodging: Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & Breakfast

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, February 07 - Wrap-up Presentation, Program Concludes
Note: Please note: Check-out is by 11:00am.

Breakfast: At Sweetwater Branch Inn.

Morning: A presentation by Group Leader features a slide show of the week and events. The program concludes with this presentation.

We hope you have enjoyed this exploration of Natural North Florida and will join us for other rewarding Road Scholar programs in the future. Please stay in touch and share your memories, pictures, and comments via the Road Scholar Social Network. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Meals Included: Breakfast



Free Time Opportunities


Gainesville, Florida
Hippodrome TheaterLocal cinema showing independent films. Please visit the website for a calendar of upcoming showings and events.
For additional information, visit: thehipp.org/cinema/current-films
Morningside Living History FarmThe living history farm at Morningside Nature Center brings Florida cracker family living in the mid 1800's to life again.
For additional information, visit: www.cityofgainesville.org/GOVERNMENT/CityDepartmentsNZ/NatureOperationsDivision/tabid/83/Default.aspx

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.

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
5 Expert-led lectures
8 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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