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Shifting Sands: Distinctive Natural and Human History of Mobile Bay

Program Number: 10416RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/3/2013 - 2/8/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Orange Beach, Alabama
Price starting at: $625.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Natural History Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Take your shoes off to explore the life and lore of this beautiful coastal area from sparkling sands to dunes and wave zones. Observe flora and fauna, learn about the importance of rich marine resources, consider the effects of hurricanes and storms, and discover the rich human history of Mobile Bay.




Highlights

• Investigate the vast array of area marine life valued by commercial/recreational fishermen and discuss the seafood industry -- its economic impact and the effects of regulation on this centuries-old profession.
• Learn about beach development, erosion, landforms, wetlands, long shore currents and barrier islands.
• Discover the rich history of Mobile Bay including Native American, Spanish, French and British influences, and recall its storied past and roles in war.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles a day.



Coordinated by University of South Alabama.




Orange Beach

Brilliant white-sand beaches greet beautiful emerald waters at this beachfront resort on the north shore of the Gulf of Mexico, 26 miles west of Pensacola. Golf courses, hiking trails, fresh water fishing and bike paths are just a few minutes away.



Accommodations
Delightful beachfront hotel; pool, fitness center, business center; boardwalk to white-sand beaches, emerald waters. Accessible via Interstates 65 and 10 via Highway 59.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn Express
  Orange Beach 5 nights
 Holiday Inn Express
Type: Hotel
  Description: Holiday Inn Express welcomes you to its beautiful beachfront resort where emerald waters greet the sandy beaches. This wonderful private beach complex, offers side views of the Gulf of Mexico, plus opportunites to enjoy beachcombing, watching dolphins, pelicans,shore birds, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, or just relaxing.
  Contact info: 24700 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL 36561 USA
phone: 251-974-1634
web: www.hiexpress.com/orngbchal
  Room amenities: All lodging rooms are climate-controlled with private bath, cable TV, microwave, refrigerator, internet access, free local calls. Safety Deposit Boxes located at the front desk.
  Facility amenities: All rooms have private bath, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, cable TV and free local calls. Daily maid service provided. There are guest laundry facilities, outdoor pool, and an on-site business center. Parking is free.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: prices vary with the seasons Ask for best rate.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: prices vary with the seasons Ask for best rate.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel Check-In is 4:00PM, Registration is 4:00-5:30 PM You will be staying at Holiday Inn Express that night.
  End of Program:
Check-Out of hotel by 11:00 AM. You will be staying at Holiday Inn Express the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Road Scholar Health Form required for all programs.
  Parking availability:
Parking is Free in Hotel private parking lot for the duration of the program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Orange Beach
  Nearest city or town:  Orange Beach, Alabama
  Nearest highway: Highway 182
  Nearest airport:  Pensacola Regional Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Orange Beach
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Mobile to Beach

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Yellow Cab/Mobile Bay Transportation
phone: 251-476-7711
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$139.00 for up to 4 people - prices may change without notice
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

69.5 miles

   

Traveling to the hotel from the airport, is very expensive. If you plan to site see in the area, you might consider renting a car. You must register at least 24 hours in advance. When you call you will get Yellow Cab, you must ask for Mobile Bay Transportation. You can register on line by emailing dipatch@mobilebaytransportation.com or you can call 251-476-7711. Confirm your reservation before your flight lands to ensure pick up.

 

Pensacola to Beach

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Yellow Cab/Mobile Bay Transportation
phone: 251-475-7711
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

One Way $125 for 1 to 4 people or $32.50 a person for 5 or more
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 Hour 15 Min's 

 

Distance:

 

36 miles

   

You must register at least 24 hours in advance. The sooner you register, the easier it is for them to match you with someone else and lower your cost. When you call you will get Yellow Cab, you must ask for Mobile Bay Transportation. They will transfer you to Mobile Bay Transportation. You can register on line by emailing dispatch@mobilebaytransportation.com or you can call 251-476-7711. Confirm your reservation before your flight lands to ensure pick up.

 
Driving Directions
  From Interstate 10, east or west Take exit 44 south at the Loxley, Alabama exit. Go south on State Highway 59 south, Gulf Shores Parkway, about 35 miles into Gulf Shores. Highway 59 ends at Highway 182. Turn left on Highway 182, East Beach Boulevard. East Beach Boulevard becomes Perdido Beach Boulevard. Holiday Inn Express is 5.2 miles on the right.
  From Interstate 65 (Montgomery, AL) Take exit 37 south, the Bay Minette/Gulf Shores Parkway exit. Take State Highway 287 south to State Highway 59 south, Gulf Shores Parkway. It is about 60 miles to Gulf Shores. Highway 59 ends at Highway 182. Turn left on Highway 182, East Beach Boulevard. East Beach Boulevard becomes Perdido Beach Boulevard. Holiday Inn Express is 5.2 miles on the 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: Check-in and Orientation/Dinner in hotel dining room/Introductions
(Sunday, February 3)
   
 Afternoon: Welcome by the University of South Alabama staff. Orientation to the program week. Questions about program, area will be answered at this time.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served in the hotel Dinning room
 Evening: After dinner we will have introductions and answer any additional questions about the program, hotel and area.**Please note scheduled times are subject to change based on instructor availability.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Morning class will be on Beaches, Wetlands and Barrier Islands/Afternoon field trip to learn about flora and fauna of the area/All meals in the hotel dining room/Evening class
(Monday, February 4)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast in the hotel’s dining room.
 Morning: Begin your program with Gulf Beaches, Wetlands and Barrier Islands. Your instructor is a retired executive director of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab on Dauphin Island, Alabama and a retired professor from the University of South Alabama. These classes give him a unique understanding of Alabama’s natural resources and the pressures facing them. He will discuss land development, erosion, land forms, wetlands, long shore currents and more.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch in the hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Discover all that you have discussed in the morning session as you take a bus tour of the area. You will view the flora and fauna while learning unique features of the Gulf Coast. Your University of South Alabama instructor will be the guide for this tour.
 Dinner: Dinner is served in the dining room.
 Evening: Spend an evening learning all about alligators. Your presenter will bring a baby alligator to help with the teaching. This class prepares you for the field trip later in the week to Alligator Alley.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Morning classes on the Battle of Mobile Bay and Fort Morgan/Afternoon class continues the discussion on the Battle of Mobile Bay/All meals served in the hotel dining room/Free Evening
(Tuesday, February 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the dining room
 Morning: "Damn the torpedo's, full speed ahead!" Learn about the Battle of Mobile Bay this morning. Your instructor will share details of the battle and explain the events leading up to Admiral Farragut's famous words. Your next class will be on Fort Morgan. Learn about the strategically built fort and what role it played during its years of operation as a fort. Fort Morgan was part of the coastal fortification which was a primary line of defense for the United States.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch in the hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Continue your class on the Battle of Mobile Bay this afternoon. Learn about how even the smoke from the guns effected the outcome of this historic battle.
 Dinner: Dinner is served in the dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy your free evening. Whether you enjoy the area night life or walk the beach it is your time to explore the Gulf Coast.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Morning class on marine life/Free Afternoon to explore the area/All meals served in the hotel/Evening class
(Wednesday, February 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the dining room.
 Morning: This morning, enjoy a class given by a representative from the Alabama Department of Marine Resources. Learn about the Gulf Coast seafood industry. Study the different types of marine life found in the Gulf of Mexico and their effects on the coastal economy.
 Lunch: Lunch is served in the dining room.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon exploring one of the Gulf of Mexico’s most beautiful areas! Relax, take a walk on the beach, feast on fresh gulf seafood, or shop at local boutiques. Visit the Tanger Outlet Mall - buy direct from over 120 brand name manufacturer and designer outlet stores. Whatever your taste, you are sure to find endless “must see” venues.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served in the dining room
 Evening: Sit back and relax as you finish your day with an entertaining evening class. From comedy to music or local flair, you will always look forward to what this session offers.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Breakfast in hotel dining room/Field trip to Fort Morgan/Lunch at a local seafood restaurant/Field trip to Alligator Alley/Dinner in hotel dining room/Evening class
(Thursday, February 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the dining room.
 Morning: Field trip to Fort Morgan. Construction was begun on this fort in 1819 and was completed in 1834. Designed to control the main ship channel into Mobile Bay, see how this star shaped fort was also designed to handle a land attack.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local seafood restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip to Alligator Alley. You will explore alligators in their natural environment. With over 20 acres of natural cypress swamp land, the alligators roam freely in a protected environment. Discover Captain Crunch and over 150 other alligators. A field trip you will not soon forget.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served in the dining room.
 Evening: Sit back and relax as you finish your day with an entertaining evening class. From comedy to music or local flair, you will always look forward to what this session offers.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Breakfast in hotel dining room/Morning class on native and migratory birds/Box lunch to go.
(Friday, February 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served in the dining room.
 Morning: Class on native and migratory birds. The Gulf Coast is an important stop-over habitat for a number of migratory birds who make the area their transient home. This talk will include information about the local shore birds.
 Lunch: Box lunch to go.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Orange Beach Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
Explore more than 250 animals. Elevated viewing decks offer close-up viewing of everything. Reptile House, Aviary, petting zoo. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo featured on Animal Planet's "The Little Zoo That Could". For additional information, visit www.alabamagulfcoastzoo.com
  Bike Trails
Biking trails available throughout the Gulf State Park. Additional trails available in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
  Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
Hike through unspoiled forest to view wildlife. Beach access available.
  Fort Morgan
Known mostly for its strategic location during the Civil War's Battle of Mobile Bay. Visit the fort museum and learn from the guides and reenactors about the Confederate soldiers of 1864.
  Gulf State Park
18 hole golf course, 6,000 acre park with walking trails and nature center are available at Gulf State Park. You can also fish in the Gulf or in a fresh water lake, or walk along the 2 1/2 mile beach on the Gulf of Mexico. For additional information, visit www.dcnr.state.al.us
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


Beachcomber's Guide to Gulf Coast Marine Life, 3rd Edition


Author: Susan Rothchild


Description: ISBN: 1-58979-061-8



Coasting: An Expanded Guide to the Northern Gulf Coast


Author: Jolane Edwards(Author), Carolyn Lee Goodloe (Author), Laurel Wilson (Author), Judy Barnes




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