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St. Augustine for the Holidays: Celebrating America’s Oldest Traditions

Program Number: 16742RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/7/2012 - 12/11/2012;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Price starting at: $475.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays
Meals: 12; 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Step into the holiday spirit of America’s oldest city. Amid seasonal lights and music, trace fascinating customs and centuries-old traditions with a lecturer-storyteller at the magnificent Lightner Museum. During a walking field trip through the Old City, learn about the historic and architectural significance of numerous houses of worship, beautifully arrayed for the holidays. Enjoy holiday music throughout.




Highlights

• Take an expert-led field trip on the historic Red Train through the festive Ancient City.
• Recall the Spanish colonial era, when a single candle in the window gave cheer, and marvel at millions of twinkling lights at “Night of Lights.”
• Enjoy Handel's Messiah at the beautiful Cathedral Basillica.



Activity Particulars

Must be able to carry luggage, climb stairs, stand for up to an hour and walk a few blocks indoors and out.



Coordinated by Stetson University.




St. Augustine

St. Augustine is America’s oldest city. With a colorful past of 16th-century conquistadors and pirates, St. Augustine today is a thriving, multicultural community rich in historic sites and architecture, quaint residences and gardens, and a thriving cultural arts scene.



Accommodations
Hotel located just a half block from the ocean, swimming pool, whirlpool, fitness center.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Garden Inn, St. Augustine Beach
  St. Augustine 4 nights
 Hilton Garden Inn, St. Augustine Beach
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach is just a half block from the ocean and only a five minute drive to the downtown St. Augustine Historic District. After your classes and daily trips you may want to enjoy sight-seeing, shopping or just strolling on the beach, You may also want to enjoy our pool and whirlpool; or kick back in a comfortable guest room with microwave, coffee maker and refrigerator. Everything. Right where you need it.
  Contact info: 401 A1A Beach Blvd.
St. Augustine, FL 32080 USA
phone: 904-471-5559
web: www.staugustine.gardeninn.com
  Room amenities: Microwave oven, refrigerator, coffee and coffeemaker, full size iron and ironing board, two dual-line phones with voicemail and data ports, complimentary HBO, complimentary USA Today each week day morning, and hair dryers in each room.
  Facility amenities: Complimentary 24-hour business center with Printer-On remote printing Complimentary wireless high speed internet access throughout hotel 24-hour Pavilion Pantry convenience mart has a selection of refrigerated, frozen and microwaveable packaged items perfect for in-room preparation. Outdoor pool and heated whirlpool 100% all rooms are non-smoking
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: varies Based on availability. Ask for Road Scholar rate. Call 904-471-5559
  Check in time: 3:30 PM
  Additional nights after: varies Based on availability. Ask for Road Scholar rate. Call 904-471-5559
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Sunday at 4:00 p.m. You will be staying at Hilton Garden Inn, St. Augustine Beach that night.
  End of Program:
Friday at 1:00 p.m. You will be staying at Hilton Garden Inn, St. Augustine Beach the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. All health and information forms must be filled out and returned before the start of the program
  Parking availability:
Parking is available on site.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  St. Augustine
  Nearest city or town:  Jacksonville or Palm Coast
  Nearest highway: I-95
  Nearest airport:  Jacksonville
  From End of Program
  Location: St. Augustine
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Airport Shuttle of St. Augustine
phone: 904-825-0004
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies - look below
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

45 miles

   

www.airportshuttlestaugustine.com 1-4 passengers in shuttle $65.00 plus gratuity All prices are subject to change without notice. Other options may be available. You are responsible for all travel arrangements.

 

Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Airport Connection
phone: 904-814-3065
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Varies- approx $70 one way for 1-3 people
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

45 miles

   

Make Reservations Ask for the Road Scholar Rate If you have any questions, please ask for Liz Waters **NEW CARS** All prices are subject to change without notice. Other options may be available. You are responsible for all travel arrangements.

 
Driving Directions
  From I-4 From I-4: Take I-4 East to I-95 North. Then take exit #298 (US1 North). At State Road 206, go right (East). At A1A, turn left (North) and follow the sign to beaches. The Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach is located on your left
  From Northbound and Southbound I-95 Northbound I-95: take exit #298 (US1 North). At State Road 206, go right (East). At A1A, turn left (North) and follow the sign to beaches. The Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach is located on your left. Southbound I-95: take exit #311 to State Road 207. Turn right at State Road 312 and go East until road becomes A1A Beach Blvd. The Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach is located on your right.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration/Orientation
(Friday, December 7)
   
 Arrive To: Welcome to St. Augustine. Registration will begin at 4:00 where you will meet the host/hostess and the instructor/coordinator. This will be followed by dinner and orientation.
 Dinner: Your opening banquet will be catered in the restaurant of the hotel.
 Evening: Get an overview of the program and begin getting to know your fellow Road Scholar participants as we enter into the holiday spirit together.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn, St. Augustine Beach
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Breakfast
(Saturday, December 8)
   
 Breakfast: In the restaurant. It will be buffet style with the option of ordering anything you don't see at the buffett.
 Morning: Dianne Jacoby as Mary Lily Kenan Flagler cordially invites you to celebrate Christmas in the glorious Gilded Age. In a warm and joyous performance. Mrs. Henry Flagler traces the origins of our beloved Christmas traditions and Decorations through time from Medieval 12th Night feasts and Christmas in the American Colonies to the glittering Victorian Christmas Celebrations of St. Augustine’s Grand Hotels.
 Lunch: Enjoy fresh baked breads and spanish foods at the Spanish Bakery which has been featured on the Food Network. The Spanish Bakery is tucked away in an out of the way garden in the middle of St. Augustine Downtown Historic district right off St. George St. It wont be hard to find if you follow the sweet smell of freshly baked bread coming out of the stone hearth oven every half hour or so, not to mention the empanadas, or the spicy sausage wrapped in a flaky golden crust.
 Afternoon: After lunch we will visit St. Photios Greek Shrine with a lecture and a tour. The St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine, an institution of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, is dedicated to the first colony of Greek people who came to America in 1768. With a magnificent Orthodox Chapel filled with Byzantine style frescoes and special exhibits that tell the story of the First Greek Colony in the New World. This freestanding exhibit contains various artifacts, photographs and historical documents. Depart and head to the Lightner Museum and enjoy a self guided tour with a special music box presentation. Enjoy wandering through the museum's setting — the former Hotel Alcazar, built in 1887 in the Spanish Renaissance style. Railroad magnate Henry M. Flagler commissioned architects Carrere and Hastings to design the Alcazar and the Ponce de Leon Hotel (across the street). The two young architects later designed the New York Public Library and the U.S. Senate office building. After years of accommodating vacationing wealthy patrons, the elegant resort hotel closed. Depart Lightner Museum for a Red Train Tour of the city.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy the hometown boat parade and then enjoy a holiday open house inside the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. The Castillo de San Marcos, a monument not only of stone and mortar but of human determination and endurance, the Castillo de San Marcos symbolizes the clash between cultures which ultimately resulted in our uniquely unified nation. Still resonant with the struggles of an earlier time, these original walls provide tangible evidence of America’s grim but remarkable history. This event will feature military arts demonstrations and the public interpretation of univorms, weapons, and equipment used at the Castillo during its long service as the Castillo de San Marcos, Fort St. Marks, and Fort Marion from 1672 to 1945.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn, St. Augustine Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:
(Sunday, December 9)
   
 Breakfast: In the restaurant. It will be buffet style with the option of ordering anything you don't see at the buffett.
 Morning: Depart the hotel for downtown St. Augustine. Docent tour of Historical Pena Peck House. The Pena-Peck House was constructed circa 1750 by order of the King of Spain to be the residence of his royal Treasurer, Juan Esteban de Pena. Built of native coquina stone, it is one of the finest surviving First Spanish Period home in the city. Today the loggia and the first floor remain little changed. During the British Period (1763-1784) the home was leased to the aristocratic Dr. John Moultrie of Charleston, South Carolina, as his town house. Moultrie, who became Lt. Governor of Florida, owned vast plantations south of St. Augustine in an area that still bears his name.
 Lunch: Lunch out to enjoy local fare.
 Afternoon: Tour of Flagler College Advent Lessons and Music in Trinity Episcopal Church
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: Red Train tour of the Nights of Lights through the city of St. Augustine. St. Augustine glows with holiday magic - from the ground to the rooftops. One by one, tiny white lights make the oldest city twinkle in the night.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn, St. Augustine Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:
(Monday, December 10)
   
 Breakfast: In the restaurant. It will be buffet style with the option of ordering anything you don't see at the buffett.
 Morning: Start the day off with the "Three Mrs. Flaglers" and then depart on the Red Train for the Hotel Casa Monica. In the heart of St. Augustine, Florida—the nation’s oldest city—the Casa Monica Hotel is a majestic 1888 landmark. Restored in 1999, the Casa Monica Hotel blends a legendary past with contemporary pleasures. Step inside this historic St. Augustine hotel and enter the grand lobby, rich in décor of tapestries and chandeliers.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Casa Monica Hotel (95 Cordova) in a private room.
 Afternoon: Free time. You may stay downtown and enjoy the city or return to the hotel and relax.
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: Medieval Mummers: Christmas in teh 18th century. Full length dramatic performance by the St. George Players.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn, St. Augustine Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:
(Tuesday, December 11)
   
 Breakfast: In the restaurant. It will be buffet style with the option of ordering anything you don't see at the buffett.
 Morning: Visit the Villa Zorayda Castle. Closed for the past eight years the Villa Zorayda Museum has undergone an extensive renovation and is once again open to the public as a museum. On the National Register of Historic Places it was built in 1883 as the winter residence of Franklin Smith utilizing his method of construction of poured concrete and crushed coquina shell. It is built 1/10th the scale of a section of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. This building set a precedence for St. Augustine and began the Moorish Spanish revival of architecture that is seen throughout the city today. In 1904 it became the Zorayda Club. On display for the first time ever is the custom made bone china made exclusively for the Zorayda Club. In 1913 it was purchased by Abraham S. Mussallem, an authority on Oriental rugs, fine arts and Egyptian artifacts. In 1922 it became one of the most fashionable places for casino gambling. In the mid 1930's it was opened as a museum featuring the priceless antique collections of both Franklin Smith and A.S. Mussallem which are still on display today. The magnificent architecture as well as descriptions of the many exquisite pieces you will see. On display is the "Sacred Cat Rug" over 2400 years old and made from the hairs of ancient cats that roamed the Nile River. Taken from a pyramid in Egypt it is said to possess a curse for anyone that walks on it! Washington Irving wrote of the original Alhambra in Spain in his famous "Tales of the Alhambra".
 Lunch: Graduation and closing luncheon
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


America's First City: St. Augustine's Historic Neighborhoods


Author: Karen Harvey


Description: http://ancientcityechoes.com/index.php/book-gallery/



St. Augustine and St. Johns County: A Pictorial History


Author: Karen Harvey


Description: http://ancientcityechoes.com/index.php/book-gallery/



The History of Castillo de San Marcos


Author: Luis Rafael Arana




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