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: Enjoy a 3-course meal including salad, entrée, and dessert at the hotel.Evening: Orientation: Gathering in our hotel meeting room, the Group Leader 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.
Take the rest of the evening to settle in, relax, and prepare for the full day ahead.Lodging: Courtyard Marriott NaplesMeals Included: Dinner
At the conclusion of the presentation, we will transfer to the Naples Botanic Gardens.Lunch: Enjoy a box lunch from the café at the Botanical Garden.Afternoon: Led by a docent, explore the Botanical Garden to see the essence of the Florida landscape and learn about native plants you will see throughout the course of the program. This world-class “paradise” combines delightful cultivated tropical gardens with beautifully restored natural habitats, connecting people and plants through display, education, conservation, and science. It began in 1993 with the purchase of an extraordinary 170-acre site comprising seven different habitats just south of Old Naples, where an existing strip mall and parking lot were transformed, culminating in six cultivated gardens, 2.5 miles of walking trails, and 90 acres of restored native preserve.
Afterwards, we will visit the Collier County Museum in Naples, one of five related facilities that trace the pre-history, natural and human history and culture of southwest Florida over more than a million years. Nestled on five acres of native Florida landscaping, the flagship museum at the county government center offers newly created exhibits and galleries. We will have a guided introduction and presentation on one of many subjects covered in the museum such as the prehistoric saber-tooth cat, Calusa Indians to Spanish explorers, or Seminole warriors.Dinner: At the hotel.Evening: At leisure.Lodging: Courtyard Marriott NaplesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Later in the afternoon, we depart for 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Preserve. The name is misleading as there are only a few hundred of these island and mangrove islets but assuredly exceptional. Parts of this 35,000 acre refuge were occupied by Native Americans for thousands of years and today it protects important habitats and a rich diversity of native wildlife, including several endangered species. We will have a narrated cruise to watch for birds, manatees, and other wildlife along the water's edge.Dinner: Dinner is on your own in Naples. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.Evening: At leisure.Lodging: Courtyard Marriott NaplesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
At the conclusion of the presentation, we will depart for lunch.Lunch: For lunch in Everglades City, choose from a select menu of sandwiches, salads, and seafood bar at a popular restaurant.Afternoon: John Owens will continue his talk on the motor coach en route to Shark Valley, at the heart of the Everglades. When we hop aboard the Shark Valley tram, park naturalists will point out any wildlife in motion. In addition to providing insights into the ecosystem as a whole, these guides will also point out some of the "hidden" aspects of this world-renowned wetland. The open vehicle will allow you to view wildlife within the sawgrass prairies on either side of the tram. At the half-way point , a 45-foot-high observation deck offers an opportunity to observe the tranquil vistas of the Everglades, extending 20 miles in all directions. A ramp with gradual include provides access to the observation tower deck, and every part of the ramp and deck provide chances to view something different.Dinner: Dinner in at a popular restaurant in Everglades City offers a 3-course meal of appetizer, entrée, and dessert.Evening: At leisure.Lodging: Courtyard Marriott NaplesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Afterwards, we visit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Its mission is to protect the area's unique natural environment. You will have the opportunity to walk through the exhibits in the new discovery center, see the animal hospital, or stroll along their marshwalk.Lunch: For lunch in Old Town Naples, choose from a select menu.Afternoon: Free Afternoon: You may stay in town to explore on your own or return to the hotel. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. The motorcoach will pick up those who go exploring at an appointed place and time (TBA).Dinner: Enjoy a farewell dinner with good company and good food.Evening: At leisure.Lodging: Courtyard Marriott NaplesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The program concludes with this presentation.
We hope you have enjoyed this Road Scholar learning adventure and look forward to having you on other 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! Best wishes for all your journeys!Lodging: Courtyard Marriott NaplesMeals Included: Breakfast