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Keys and Everglades: Human and Natural History Outdoor Studies

Program Number: 2801RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/31/2013 - 4/6/2013; 11/2/2014 - 11/8/2014; 12/7/2014 - 12/13/2014; 1/11/2015 - 1/17/2015; 1/18/2015 - 1/24/2015; 1/25/2015 - 1/31/2015; 2/1/2015 - 2/7/2015; 2/8/2015 - 2/14/2015; 2/15/2015 - 2/21/2015; 2/22/2015 - 2/28/2015; 3/1/2015 - 3/7/2015; 3/8/2015 - 3/14/2015; 3/15/2015 - 3/21/2015; 3/22/2015 - 3/28/2015; 3/29/2015 - 4/4/2015; 4/5/2015 - 4/11/2015; 4/12/2015 - 4/18/2015; 4/19/2015 - 4/25/2015; 4/26/2015 - 5/2/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Key Largo, Florida
Price starting at: $1,799.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; On the Road
Meals: 17; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

A Florida Master Naturalist leads you on this journey through the Florida Keys’ natural history and cultural heritage. Examine environmental issues affecting the Everglades and coral reefs and hear the stories of Native Americans, shipwreck divers, Henry Flagler and others.




Highlights

• Learn about Florida Keys ecology as you explore Dry Tortugas National Park and two state parks.
• Enjoy a special visit to Biscayne National Park.
• Delve into evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates and shipwrecks to farmers and presidents.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to 1.5 miles over pavement, boardwalks, mulched paths, cobbled stone. Must be able to swim for snorkeling at Dry Tortugas. Snorkeling equipment provided. Wet suits not available.




Date Specific Information

3-31-2013, 12-7-2014, 1-11-2015, 1-18-2015, 1-25-2015, 2-1-2015, 2-8-2015, 2-15-2015, 2-22-2015, 3-1-2015, 3-8-2015, 3-15-2015, 3-29-2015, 4-5-2015, 4-12-2015, 4-19-2015, 4-26-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



11-2-2014

The Yankee Freedom will be undergoing inspection by the Cost Guard and will not be in operation during the course of your program. Unfortunately, due to this unexpected inspection, we will no longer be able to visit Dry Tortugas on Day 4 of your itinerary as originally scheduled. Instead, you will now have the opportunity to experience a ride aboard the Key West Conch Train and later enjoy an excursion to the Florida Key’s Eco-Discovery Center.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Miami, shuttle to Key Largo, 2 nights; coach to Key West, 3 nights; coach to Key Largo, 1 night; shuttle to Miami.




Key Largo

The most northern of the Florida Keys, Key Largo is a popular diving and sports-fishing destination. Kayakers, birders and eco-tourists flock here because of its location between the Everglades and the country’s only living coral reef. At nearby John PenneKamp State Park, visitors can take snorkeling, diving or glass-bottom boat tours of the reef.



Accommodations
Key Largo: Ocean resort. Key West: B&B.
Meals and Lodgings
   Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
  Key Largo 2 nights
   Westwinds Inn
  Key West Florida 3 nights
   Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
  Key Largo 1 night
 Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Type: Resort
  Description: Ocean Pointe is an all-suite resort located directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Their 60 acres are part of a protected mangrove forest and is entered through a private gatehouse and road. Your vacation begins the moment you drive through our gatehouse entrance into their beautifully landscaped tropical grounds and enter your spacious room.
  Contact info: 500 Burton Dr
Key Largo, FL 33070 USA
phone: 305-853-3000
web: www.opsuites.com/Hotel_Overview/key-largo-ocean-pointe-overview.asp
  Room amenities: Living room with queen sofa bed, full kitchen, dining area, separate bedroom with queen bed, private balcony and whirlpool tub in the bathroom. As a condominium hotel, no maid service but complimentary towels and linens delivered upon request. and have washers and dryers in every suite
  Facility amenities: - Oversized heated swimming pool with whirlpool spa - Free tennis on 2 lighted courts - Marina with boat ramp and rental slips - Waterfront cafe and lounge - Small, private white sand beach, volleyball court and kayak rentals. - Courtesy guard at gatehouse - For kids there is also a childrens play area.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $169 - 239 Call the resort directly to make the reservations. Mention your are part of the World Event/Road Scholar Group.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $169 - 239 Call the resort directly to make the reservations. Mention your are part of the World Event/Road Scholar Group.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

 Westwinds Inn
Type: Bed and Breakfast
  Description: Enchanting 26 roomed complex of renovated, early 19th century Key West cottages located in Old Town. Traditional white trim and gingerbread charm. Courtyard paved with bricks and granite curbstones from ships' ballast. Short walking distance to Old Seaport (where ferry to Dry Tortugas docks) and 4 blocks from Duval Street. No children under 12 allowed and Spring Breakers discouraged.
  Contact info: 914 Eaton Street - Old Town
Key West, FL 33040 USA
phone: 305-296-4440 xor8007884150
web: www.westwindskeywest.com
  Room amenities: all non-smoking, private bathroom, air conditioned, voice mail telephone, hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: 2 Pools and jacuzzi spa surrounded by luxuriant tropical trees and shrubs, coin operated guest laundry, bicycle rentals and assistance with booking extra curricular activities
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 pm Shuttle departs MIA airport Terminal H Baggage Claim # 6 - 5:30 pm Orientation at Ocean Pointed Welcome Center You will be staying at Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 AM Shuttle depart to Miami Airport after our visit to Key Biscayne National Park. Approximate airport arrival 12:00 noon. You will be staying at Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. World Events LLC require a waiver be signed before starting the program
  Parking availability:
Inform your group leader at Orientation to arrange parking at Ocean Pointe while we are n Key West
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Key Largo
  Nearest city or town:  Key Largo
  Nearest highway: US-1 aka Overseas Highway
  Nearest airport:  Miami
  From End of Program
  Location: Key Largo
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Key Largo/Tavernier

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Provider - World Events LLC
phone: 800-971-3884
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary - for conditions see comments
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hrs 

   

Complimentary for all participants arriving Miami Airport only and for flights arriving no later than 2:00 pm. The meeting location is Terminal H Baggage claim # 6 by the benches.Shuttle will depart at 3:00 pm. Please use the Travel Form attached to request the complimentary shuttle service.

 

Key Biacayne National Park

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
World Events LLC
phone: 800-971-3884
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 ˝ 

 

Distance:

 

50 miles

   

Complimentary for all participants departing Miami Airport no earlier than 2:00 PM. Transportation on 12 or 15 pax vans. Please use the Travel Form attached to request the complimentary shuttle service.

 

Key Largo/Tavernier

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
KEYS SHUTTLE
phone: 888-765-9997
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$70 PER PERSON OR $80 FOR TWO PEOPLE
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hrs 

 

Distance:

 

50 miles

   

CALL THE COMPANY FOR UPDATED PRICE AND SCHEDULES

 
Driving Directions
  Miami Take the Florida Turnpike south to the end, when it becomes US1 south. Follow US1 over the causeway to Key Largo. When you reach the island, continue south to milemarker 92.5, About 1/4 mile before you reach 92.5, you will see a highway sign on the center median: Harris Harris Park Burton Drive. Turn left at the next corner at the Circle K Convenience store. The Ocean Pointe Suites gatehouse entrance will be on your right side approximately 1/4 mile from US1.We provide detailed instructions and maps in the pre-program materials packet.
Elevation Note: No elevation above 100 feet.

Equipment Requirements: None required.
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: Hospitality and Orientation
(Sunday, March 31)
   
 Arrive To: Complimentary shuttle from Miami Airport to Ocean Pointe Suites. The meeting location is Terminal H Baggage Claim # 6 at 2:45 PM.
 Afternoon: Orientation and Hospitality in Hotel Welcome Center at 5:30 pm.
 Dinner: At local restaurant
 Evening: As this will have been a long day for many travelers an early night is recommended.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Everglades National Park - East/Everglades National Park - East Part 2
(Monday, April 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Local Restaurant
 Morning: Visit Everglades National Park, "River of Grass”. Guided walk along the Anhinga Trail with discourse on the animals seen and the impact of human developments on the Everglades ecosystem. Excellent birding and photo opportunities.
 Lunch: Picnic style in the Park
 Afternoon: After lunch a short hike around a lake and bird rookery or in the pine flat woods and grass prairie. Location depends on time available and weather considerations. Upon return to hotel a stop at the Ernest Coe Visitor Center to peruse Everglades/natural Florida book store and other items of educational interest. Short video presentation also.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: John Pennekamp State Park/ Pigeon Key Ferry to 7 mile Bridge / Key West Mallory Square Sunset Celebration
(Tuesday, April 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Local Restaurant
 Morning: Drive to the John Pennekamp visitor center and aquarium. The Visitor Center features a 30, 000 gallon saltwater aquarium and other natural history exhibits interpreting the park's unique marine environment. After our short visit to the exhibit we will be walking a very unique protected area from the park, the Mangroves. We will be walking boardwalks that allow us to learn all the important facts of this wonderful and fragile ecosystem. It is like walking inside of a jungle above the water. Drive to Pigeon Key and step back in time inside buildings built in 1909 to house more than 400 workers, working 14-hours a day, six days a week. Ride the Pigeon Key ferry from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, and you'll cross beneath the new 7-Mile Bridge and a 2.2-mile segment of the old Seven-Mile bridge! Once at the Island, we will be exploring the historic buildings and the Museum.
 Lunch: Picnic style lunch in Pigeon Key overlooking Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay
 Afternoon: Continue drive to Key West. Check in to hotel after the drive.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Escorted 3/4 mile walk to Mallory Square Sunset Celebration, a unique Key West icon to enjoy at your leisure - ask coordinator for an update on entertainers worth seeing. After Sunset either stay on Duval Street or walk back to the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Westwinds Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: On board Yankee Freedom/A Journey from Key West to the Dry Tortugas National Park & Fort Jefferson
(Wednesday, April 3)
   
 Breakfast: Early departure from hotel for walk to Dry Tortugas NP ferry. Complimentary continental breakfast buffet on board from 8:00 am. Large 150 passenger catamaran with air conditioned lower deck and open air top deck .
 Morning: En route to Dry Tortugas National Park our on board naturalist will give you an orientation about the area and the national park's surroundings. During your voyage, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Marquesa Islands, Boca Grande, have an opportunity to see turtles and dolphins, and listen to pirate legends. Guided walking tour of Ft. Jefferson and its role in history .
 Lunch: Lunch buffet inside of the Catamaran
 Afternoon: After lunch enjoy snorkeling , bird watching, naturalist guided moat walk or just relaxing on a rarity in the Keys - a sandy beach. For birders - from late February the adjoining Bush Key is closed to visitors to enable the sooty terns and other unique birds to nest undisturbed.
 Dinner: After return to hotel and time to freshen up; dinner will be served in the back garden of the Hotel
 Evening: After dinner either walk back to hotel via Duval Street or ride back with coordinator
   
Accommodations: Westwinds Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Free Time in Key West
(Thursday, April 4)
   
 Breakfast: Hot and Cold choices for breakfast by the pool.
 Morning: Spend the whole day visiting Key West sites that appeal to you. The coordinator can recommend many activities to do or sites to visit. Highly recommended for easy access and background history of Key West is the Old Town Trolley. This lets you get on and off at the places you wish to visit or take the famous Conch Train for an in-depth 2 hour narrated tour of Old Key West. Tickets are available from Hotel Front Desk.
 Lunch: Lunch is at your leisure - cash will be provided by coordinator at Orientation.
 Afternoon: At your leisure. Take a self-guided walking tour or simply return to the hotel to relax at the pool or in the jacuzzi spa. If desired, Road Scholar's coordinator and hotel staff will help you with suggestions.
 Dinner: Dinner is at your leisure - cash will be provided by coordinator.
 Evening: After dinner enjoy Key West's lively night scene. Chose from visiting or revisiting your favorite watering hole; take in a cabaret revue or jazz venue; stroll some quieter neighborhoods on a Ghost Walk or simply saunter down to the Westin Marina or Old Seaport to see a visiting celebrity's luxury yacht.
   
Accommodations: Westwinds Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, A National Historic Landmark / Windley Key State Park/ Farewell Dinner
(Friday, April 5)
   
 Breakfast: Hot and Cold choices for breakfast by the pool.
 Morning: Hotel check-out and return drive up the Keys. Visit the Florida's southernmost state park on our way to Key Largo and learn the fort history , as well as U.S. military history. The fort was one of a series built in the mid-1800s to defend the nation's southeastern coastline. Completed in 1866, Fort Zachary Taylor played important roles in the Civil War and Spanish-American War.
 Lunch: Picnic style lunch at an appropriately scenic venue.
 Afternoon: Visit to Windley Key State Park. We will walk along eight-foot-high quarry walls to see cross sections of the ancient coral and learn about the quarry and its operation- an important part of Florida's 20th century history. Samples of the quarry machinery have been preserved at the park. Formed of Key Largo limestone, fossilized coral, this land was sold to the Florida East Coast Railroad, which used the stone to build Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad in the early 1900s.
 Dinner: Return to hotel and time to freshen up for the farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Recap of program and special event for following morning.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Biscayne National Park /Program Ends - Shuttle to Airport
(Saturday, April 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Local Restaurant
 Morning: Very special visit to Biscayne National Park.Within sight of downtown Miami, yet worlds away, Biscayne protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, and fish-bejeweled coral reefs. Here too is evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates and shipwrecks to pineapple farmers and presidents.
 Lunch: Immediately after last activity depart for the Miami Airport.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
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


A Land Remembered


Author: Patrick Smith


Eco-Touring the Florida Keys


Author: Matthew Landau Larry Gates


Everglades Nat. Park & Surrounding


Author: Roger Hammer


Hidden Florida Keys & Everglades


Author: Candace Leslie Ana Boese


Insiders Guide Florida Keys and Key West


Author: Victoria Shearer and Janet Ware


Key West


Author: Gerald Sprayregen


National Audubon Field Guide to Florida


Author: Alden / Cech / Nelson




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