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&Bm 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 Cushman-Colson front porch given by Dana Rasmussen, professional photographer and resident of the Alachua area since 1982. Dana will introduce the world of nature through the camera's lens, give tips, and show his own gallery of nature photos in the Alachua County area through the years.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 & BreakfastMeals Included: Dinner
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: Dr. Mark Barrow, a leader in Gainesville’s historic preservation movement, will provide an overview of local history from the early days of Native Americans to the present.Lodging: Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & BreakfastMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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 & BreakfastMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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. We will post the information on this website and include it in preparatory materials as soon as confirmed.Lodging: Sweetwater Branch Inn Bed & BreakfastMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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