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BEGINS IN: EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, FLORIDA

Natural Wonders of Florida’s Great National and State Parks

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Road Scholar
Program #20447RJ
8 Days | 7 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
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 Apr 4 — Apr 11, 2014

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Type: Bed and Breakfast

Description: The Ivey House is TripAdvisor's #1 rated lodging facility in Everglades City and the Collier County's first "Certified Green Lodging" location. Rooms in the Inn surround a screened-in, beautifully landscaped courtyard with a tropical waterfall and heated swimming pool. The Ivey House Inn is a modern addition with eighteen rooms that adjoins the historic lodge. Road Scholar groups stay in the modern inn. WiFi is available in public places. Free Parking.

Contact info:
107 Camellia St
Everglades City, FL 34139 USA
phone: 239-695-3299
web: www.iveyhouse.com

Room amenities: Cable TV Small refrigerator in each room air conditioning/heat Phone

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

Additional nights before: $99-$229
Please contact the Ivey House for details. The Inn: $169-$179 The Lodge: $99 The lodge features basic accommodations with shared bathrooms The Cottage: $229 A two night minimum is required, full kitchen and separate living room Due to the high season, Road Scholar does not have a special rate for pre or post nights


Day One: Friday, April 04 - Arrival and Check-in, Program Registration, Welco...
Arrival and Check-in, Program Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation

Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 4:00pm-5:00pm.

Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to pick up your arrival packet containing your name tag, the up-to-date schedule, and to confirm the time of the orientation session.

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.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a 3-course meal with salad, entrée, and dessert.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader (who is also a Study Leader) will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. 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.

Take the rest of the evening to settle in, relax, and prepare for the full day ahead.

Lodging: Ivey House

Meals Included: Dinner

Type: Bed and Breakfast

Description: The Ivey House is TripAdvisor's #1 rated lodging facility in Everglades City and the Collier County's first "Certified Green Lodging" location. Rooms in the Inn surround a screened-in, beautifully landscaped courtyard with a tropical waterfall and heated swimming pool. The Ivey House Inn is a modern addition with eighteen rooms that adjoins the historic lodge. Road Scholar groups stay in the modern inn. WiFi is available in public places. Free Parking.

Contact info:
107 Camellia St
Everglades City, FL 34139 USA
phone: 239-695-3299
web: www.iveyhouse.com

Room amenities: Cable TV Small refrigerator in each room air conditioning/heat Phone

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

Additional nights before: $99-$229
Please contact the Ivey House for details. The Inn: $169-$179 The Lodge: $99 The lodge features basic accommodations with shared bathrooms The Cottage: $229 A two night minimum is required, full kitchen and separate living room Due to the high season, Road Scholar does not have a special rate for pre or post nights


Day Two: Saturday, April 05 - Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, The Fakahatchee
Note: Walking up to 4 miles today on wooden boardwalks

Breakfast: Our breakfast at the hotel offers a selection of hot and cold items including fresh fruit plus coffee and tea.

Morning: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Board the motorcoach, a naturalist guide will provide commentary then lead us around parts of this 14,000-acre sanctuary managed by the National Audubon Society manages to maintain native plants and animals and to preserve the natural processes that have been occurring for thousands of years. A 2.25-mile raised boardwalk takes you through several distinct habitats including the largest remaining virgin bald cypress forest in North America. Wildlife commonly resident at different times of the year include birds from Anhinga to woodpeckers, butterflies, frogs and other amphibians, mammals from squirrels to bears, and reptiles such as alligators, lizards, snakes, and turtles.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch in the sanctuary.

Afternoon: We transfer to Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve for a presentation and expert-led walk via Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. With its dense, enveloping tropical foliage, the Fakahatchee more closely resembles Jurassic Park than a South Florida ecosystem. This beautiful, remote road offers an excellent opportunity for viewing Florida’s flora and fauna in its wildest display.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a 3-course meal with salad, entrée, and dessert.

Evening: At leisure. Talk over the highlights of the day with new Road Scholar friends, or simply enjoy some R&R.

Lodging: Ivey House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Bed and Breakfast

Description: The Ivey House is TripAdvisor's #1 rated lodging facility in Everglades City and the Collier County's first "Certified Green Lodging" location. Rooms in the Inn surround a screened-in, beautifully landscaped courtyard with a tropical waterfall and heated swimming pool. The Ivey House Inn is a modern addition with eighteen rooms that adjoins the historic lodge. Road Scholar groups stay in the modern inn. WiFi is available in public places. Free Parking.

Contact info:
107 Camellia St
Everglades City, FL 34139 USA
phone: 239-695-3299
web: www.iveyhouse.com

Room amenities: Cable TV Small refrigerator in each room air conditioning/heat Phone

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

Additional nights before: $99-$229
Please contact the Ivey House for details. The Inn: $169-$179 The Lodge: $99 The lodge features basic accommodations with shared bathrooms The Cottage: $229 A two night minimum is required, full kitchen and separate living room Due to the high season, Road Scholar does not have a special rate for pre or post nights


Day Three: Sunday, April 06 - Characters, Pioneers and 10,000 Islands
Note: Water shoes, water resistant long pants or fast drying pants and a change of clothes will be needed for the Swamp Walk.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: A ride on the motorcoach take us to The 10,000 Islands. Though the name is misleading -- there are actually several hundred islands, islets, and high spots -- they are rich in natural and human history. Aboard a boat, we wind through these islands to watch for dolphins, manatees, wading birds, and raptors. The 10,000 Islands have been witness to powerful Indian nations, Spanish shipwrecks, pirates, and murderous outlaws -- still considered the wildest, most unknown place in America and an example of time uninterrupted.

Lunch: Choose from a select menu of salads and sandwiches at the island café.

Afternoon: Depart the Ivey House for a swamp walk with one of their guides. Enjoy a wet hike experience within the Big Cypress National Preserve. You will learn why conservationists have described this area as "a beautiful, rugged, subtropical landscape."

Dinner: We will dine out at one of the area’s most popular seafood restaurants to enjoy a 3-course meal with appetizer, choice of entrée, and dessert.

Evening: It has been an active day. Relax, recharge your batteries, and prepare for a full day tomorrow beginning with early morning check-out and departure.

Lodging: Ivey House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Stay at this newly renovated, 100% non-smoking Florida City, Florida hotel located adjacent to Homestead and close to attractions such as the Everglades National Park, the Florida Keys and Biscayne National Park. This Southern Florida area hotel features well-appointed guest rooms and suites, each equipped with cable satellite television and free high-speed Internet access. Hotel guests will enjoy an array of amenities , an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub

Contact info:
411 S Krome Avenue
Florida City, FL 33034-4913 USA
phone: 305-246-5100
web: bestwesternflorida.com/hotels/best-western-gateway-to-the-keys

Room amenities: Cable satellite television....Free local calls under 30 minutes....Microwave...Refrigerator....High-speed Internet access hard wired in every room.....Air-conditioning

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

Additional nights after: Discount based on availability
Call Best Western directly (305) 246-5100 Mon through Fri 9-5 EST. Ask for Felix Camacho and mention “Road Scholar” to make the reservations. Based on Availability.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Four: Monday, April 07 - Shark Valley, Coral Castle Museum
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After early check-out, we board the motorcoach for departure to the Shark Valley section of Everglades National Park. During a ride in an open-air tram the guide will share “hidden” aspects of the ecosystem that help make the Everglades a world-renowned wetland. We will have an opportunity at the half-way point of the tram ride, to see tranquil vistas of the park from a 45-foot-high observation deck, with views extending 20 miles in all directions. A gradual ramp provides access to the tower and each deck offers a chance to view something different.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Redland.

Afternoon: A motorcoach ride takes us to the Coral Castle Museum, Edward Leedskalnin’s sculpture garden masterpiece. From 1923 to 1951, Leedskalnin singlehandedly -- and secretly -- carved more than 1,100 tons of coral rock. His process is still unknown, yet one of the world’s most mysterious accomplishments is viewed in awe by many.

After the field trip, we arrive at the hotel and check-in with some time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: Dinner in Florida City.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Best Western "Gateway to the Keys"

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Type: Hotel

Description: Stay at this newly renovated, 100% non-smoking Florida City, Florida hotel located adjacent to Homestead and close to attractions such as the Everglades National Park, the Florida Keys and Biscayne National Park. This Southern Florida area hotel features well-appointed guest rooms and suites, each equipped with cable satellite television and free high-speed Internet access. Hotel guests will enjoy an array of amenities , an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub

Contact info:
411 S Krome Avenue
Florida City, FL 33034-4913 USA
phone: 305-246-5100
web: bestwesternflorida.com/hotels/best-western-gateway-to-the-keys

Room amenities: Cable satellite television....Free local calls under 30 minutes....Microwave...Refrigerator....High-speed Internet access hard wired in every room.....Air-conditioning

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

Additional nights after: Discount based on availability
Call Best Western directly (305) 246-5100 Mon through Fri 9-5 EST. Ask for Felix Camacho and mention “Road Scholar” to make the reservations. Based on Availability.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Five: Tuesday, April 08 - Biscayne National Park
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The motorcoach take us to R.F. Orchids in Homestead. This third-generation family enterprise has become one of the most highly respected orchid-growing operations in the South. We will have a guided look through the house and see thousands of exotic orchids growing in a hammock-like setting accented with gazebos, ponds, tiki huts, and lush landscaping.

Lunch: Sandwiches in the Tea Room.

Afternoon: A comfortable ride aboard our motorcoach take us to the Dante Fascell Visitor Center of Biscayne National Park. You can take a virtual journey through the park's four ecosystems via dioramas, audio, and video. In the auditorium, we will view "Spectrum of Life," a short film presentation on the park's natural wonders. Our Group Leader-Study Leader-Naturalist will provide commentary as we drive through the park.

Dinner: Dinner at Captain's Tavern Restaurant, a local staple for seafood dining.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Best Western "Gateway to the Keys"

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Stay at this newly renovated, 100% non-smoking Florida City, Florida hotel located adjacent to Homestead and close to attractions such as the Everglades National Park, the Florida Keys and Biscayne National Park. This Southern Florida area hotel features well-appointed guest rooms and suites, each equipped with cable satellite television and free high-speed Internet access. Hotel guests will enjoy an array of amenities , an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub

Contact info:
411 S Krome Avenue
Florida City, FL 33034-4913 USA
phone: 305-246-5100
web: bestwesternflorida.com/hotels/best-western-gateway-to-the-keys

Room amenities: Cable satellite television....Free local calls under 30 minutes....Microwave...Refrigerator....High-speed Internet access hard wired in every room.....Air-conditioning

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

Additional nights after: Discount based on availability
Call Best Western directly (305) 246-5100 Mon through Fri 9-5 EST. Ask for Felix Camacho and mention “Road Scholar” to make the reservations. Based on Availability.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Six: Wednesday, April 09 - Key Largo and America's First Undersea Park
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Board the motor coach for Key Largo. Enjoy a presentation about the coral reefs before our visit to Pennekamp State Park.

Lunch: We ride on to John Pennekamp State Park for a box lunch on the premises.

Afternoon: Take a glass-bottom boat ride for a nautical excursion into John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the only undersea state park in the continential U. S with a fully-intact coral reef consisting of many varieties and species of living coral. John Pennekamp is a Florida treasure.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Best Western "Gateway to the Keys"

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Stay at this newly renovated, 100% non-smoking Florida City, Florida hotel located adjacent to Homestead and close to attractions such as the Everglades National Park, the Florida Keys and Biscayne National Park. This Southern Florida area hotel features well-appointed guest rooms and suites, each equipped with cable satellite television and free high-speed Internet access. Hotel guests will enjoy an array of amenities , an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub

Contact info:
411 S Krome Avenue
Florida City, FL 33034-4913 USA
phone: 305-246-5100
web: bestwesternflorida.com/hotels/best-western-gateway-to-the-keys

Room amenities: Cable satellite television....Free local calls under 30 minutes....Microwave...Refrigerator....High-speed Internet access hard wired in every room.....Air-conditioning

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

Additional nights after: Discount based on availability
Call Best Western directly (305) 246-5100 Mon through Fri 9-5 EST. Ask for Felix Camacho and mention “Road Scholar” to make the reservations. Based on Availability.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Seven: Thursday, April 10 - Everglades National Park
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The motorcoach takes us to begin our morning at the Ernest F. Coe Visitors Center at the Main Entrance of Everglades National Park. The center has a giant diorama with life-size replicas of Everglades denizens on the prowl. A comfortable theater offers an informative film on the Everglades. During your self-guided walk, you can see thought-provoking exhibits.

Lunch: We will ride to the Long Pine Key picnic area a few miles from the Visitors Center for a picnic lunch.

Afternoon: We are off to hike at the famous Anhinga Trail at the Royal Palm area of Everglades National Park. Follow the trails and boardwalks to get a close-up view of wild gators, turtles, Roseate Spoonbills, and abounding varieties of wading birds and aquatic species. The Anhinga Trail was so beautiful and indicative of the Everglades that a group of women petitioned for its protection as a state park in the early 20th Century. This state park was the genesis of Everglades National Park, dedicated in 1947.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Enjoy a final presentation on the the Everglades and Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

Lodging: Best Western "Gateway to the Keys"

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eight: Friday, April 11 - Program Concludes and Departures.
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Please stay in touch and share your memories, pictures, and comments via the Road Scholar Social Network. Best wishes for all your journeys!

The transfer to Miami International Airport departs at 10:00am.

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.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
7 nights of accommodations
20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
13 Field trips

Ratings

4.5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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