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BEGINS IN: EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, FLORIDA

A Biking Journey through the Everglades and Big Cypress

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Bicycling

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Road Scholar
Program #20390RJ
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.

Itinerary for Jan 12 — Jan 17, 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. WiFi is available in public places. Free Parking.

Contact info:
107 Camellia St
Everglades, 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: Sunday, January 12 - Arrival and Check-in, Program Registration, Welco...
Arrival and Check-in, Program Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation and Bike Fitting

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

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: Enjoy a 3-course meal at a local restaurant with appetizer, entrée, and dessert.

Evening: Orientation: 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.

Bike Fitting: This key activity will be the last element of our orientation session. Take the rest of the evening to relax, get a good night’s sleep, and be ready for a full day tomorrow.

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. WiFi is available in public places. Free Parking.

Contact info:
107 Camellia St
Everglades, 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: Monday, January 13 - Biking Through Everglades Towns
Note: We will cycle approximately 20-25 miles at 10-15mph throughout the day.

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

Morning: Learn about the natural and human history of the Everglades.

We then board the motorcoach and head to Marco Island where we hop aboard our bikes. During our first morning’s ride we will bike through the remote luxury enclave of Marco Island. . Within its 24 square miles on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, Marco Island features six miles of beach and more than 100 miles of waterways. It is the largest barrier island of southwest Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands area, with a permanent population of 15,000 and a peak winter season population of 35,000.

We continue east to the outpost fishing village of Goodland. With its laid back charm, Goodland continues to buck the significant development changes around it. Some 200 residents make their home in this remote village known for its fishing, airboat excursions, and seafood.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, choose from a select menu of sandwiches and salads.

Afternoon: After lunch as we bike along County Road 92, you will notice the marsh land and pristine waters that make up the 10,000 Islands. And then? Take a settlement at the end of the world, add a legendary gentlemen’s fishing and hunting lodge, bring in a daring financier with the determination to build a road across the Everglades, lay out an imposing city with a grid of wide boulevards and a town circle. Let it all stew for one hundred years of hurricanes, financial ruin, smugglers, intrigue, isolation and you get…Everglades City.

After the scheduled ride, you will be able to bike at leisure before dinner. Our afternoon cycling begins and ends at the Inn in Everglades City.

Dinner: At a local restaurant in easy walking distance, enjoy a 3-course meal with salad, choice of entrée, and dessert.

Evening: At leisure.

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. WiFi is available in public places. Free Parking.

Contact info:
107 Camellia St
Everglades, 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: Tuesday, January 14 - Biking Fakahatchee, Big Cypress Swamp Walk
Note: We will cycle approximately 20 miles in the morning at 10-15 mph. During the afternoon there will be a swamp walk. For those who wish to participate in the wet hike, please wear: water resistant long pants, hat, old tennis shoes or closed toed water shoes and bring a complete change of clothes because you will get wet!

Breakfast: At the Inn.

Morning: Biking Fakahatchee Jane's Scenic Drive. We will board the motorcoach and ride out to Janes Scenic Drive where we hop aboard our bikes. Along this unpaved road into the heart of the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve, the dense, enveloping tropical foliage more closely resembles Jurassic Park than a South Florida ecosystem. Beautiful, remote Jane’s Scenic Drive offers an excellent opportunity for viewing Florida’s flora and fauna in its wildest display.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic in the preserve.

Afternoon: Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery and Swamp Walk. Our next stop gives you a unique opportunity to become familiar with a world-famous photographer and to view his stunning work. No one really expects to find an art gallery in the Everglades, but it’s there in the form of Clyde and Nikki Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery. You may notice a few dozen gators in Clyde’s front yard. Don’t worry, as with any good neighbor, if you mind your own business, they will mind theirs. Hear from gallery staff about Big Cypress and Everglades Nature.

After the talk in the gallery, you will have the option of participating in a wet or dry swamp walk with gallery staff to experience the flora, fauna, and primordial beauty of subtropical Big Cypress National Preserve. Reminder: If you opt for the wet walk, you will need a change of clothes.

Marvel at the pristine splendor of the natural world as you traverse a rarely seen world filled with vibrant colors and mysterious sounds -- a spacious, richly diverse wilderness found nowhere else. As we explore, you'll learn about the fragile Everglades ecosystem and see endangered species of orchid, rare ferns, threatened bromeliads, native birds, and a host of swamp creatures. Stop beneath ancient cypress trees and feel the deep stillness of an unspoiled realm far from everyday life, a place of wonder and awe.

Dinner: This evening eat out on your own to enjoy the foods of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Ivey House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

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 Sonia Shelton and mention “Road Scholar” to make the reservations. Based on Availability.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Four: Wednesday, January 15 - Shark Valley & the “Urban Threshold”
Note: Cycle 15 miles at 10-15mph and 1 mile trail walk today. Transfer and check-in to Florida City Hotel.

Breakfast: At the Inn.

Morning: Biking Shark Valley Loop. When the Everglades’ flow was stronger and the water from Florida Bay would reverse, sharks would be found well up into the slough, and so the name of Shark Valley stuck. The Loop Trail is an ecological highlight of Everglades National Park. Perched on the northern border of the park, teeming with flora and fauna, this 15 mile trail loops takes you through a saw grass prairie for close-up views of biological diversity. Halfway along the trail, we will stop at the After Shark Valley Observation Tower for a panoramic view of the heart of the Everglades.

Lunch: At a local café, choose from a select menu of sandwiches and salads.

Afternoon: From the restaurant, we board our motorcoach to encounter the “Urban Threshold” where civilization meets wilderness. At once tropical and rural, it is the growing region of Homestead, Redland, and Florida City. The people who settled this region were pioneers in the subtropics. After entering the southern entrance of Everglades National Park, we walk along the Anhinga Trail with our Group Leader-Naturalist who will provide expert commentary about the flora and fauna we see.

At the conclusion of the field trip, we transfer by motorcoach to the hotel and check in to our rooms with some time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: We will walk to dinner at a nearby restaurant to enjoy a 3-course meal with appetizer, choice of entrée, and dessert.

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 Sonia Shelton and mention “Road Scholar” to make the reservations. Based on Availability.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Five: Thursday, January 16 - Biking the Southern Everglades
Note: We will cycle approximately 15-20 miles today at 10-15 mph.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Biking Old Ingraham Road. We begin with a visit to the Ernest F. Coe Visitor’s Center at the Main Entrance of Everglades National Park. Opened in 1922 as the first motorway to the town of Flamingo, the Old Ingraham Highway saw many intrepid motorists in Model Ts and other roadsters. After Everglades National Park was dedicated in 1947, the road continued to provide the park’s visitors with access to Flamingo until a new highway opened in the 1960s. Old Ingraham Road is now abandoned to auto traffic, but is ideal for cycling, where ten miles into the Glades feels like a journey into a pre-historic era We will bike down this road and explore the Long Pine Key area of the park.

Lunch: We will have our boxed lunch in a picnic area on Long Pine Key.

Afternoon: Explore the sculpture garden at Coral Castle built by Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock. His unknown process has created one of the world's most mysterious accomplishments.

After the field trip, we return to the hotel via motorcoach.

Dinner: Our farewell dinner is at a nearby local restaurant to enjoy good company and a 3-course meal from a select menu. Compare experiences and say farewell to new Road Scholar friends. Until next time!

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Best Western "Gateway to the Keys"

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day Six: Friday, January 17 - Wrap-up Session, Program Concludes, Shuttle to Mi...
Wrap-up Session, Program Concludes, Shuttle to Miami International Airport

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Please note: You will need to be checked out and ready to board the bus by 10:00am.

Morning: To conclude the program, we will have a brief wrap-up with the Group Leader, followed by departure aboard the shuttle bus.

Arrival at Miami International Airport is scheduled for approximately 12:00 Noon, depending on traffic. We advise not making ongoing flight arrangements before 2:00pm.

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!

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 ...
5 nights of accommodations
13 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
5 Field trips
6 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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