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Coastal Christmas Splendor: Bellingrath Gardens and Historic Homes

Program Number: 13587RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/9/2013 - 12/12/2013;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Price starting at: $449.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays
Meals: 9; 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Low Salt    

Discover the holiday splendor of Bellingrath Gardens by day and the magic of more than 3 million twinkling holiday lights by night. Explore the American Castle at Bellingrath with its incomparable collection of 19th-century furnishings, antiques and Boehm porcelain. Unveil the lives of the founders and fascinating history of this memorable estate. See the wealth King Cotton brought this charming coastal city and journey through its dazzling historic district.




Highlights

• Discover Mobile’s rich architecture through its treasury of preserved and restored museum homes, decorated in period Christmas grandeur.
• Take an expert-led field trip to Richards DAR, Oakleigh and Cox-Deasy Museum Homes, and get a glimpse of gracious living in Mobile's Official Period House Museum.
• Learn about the Spanish, French, British, Native American and African influences in architecture, furnishings and decorative arts.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to a few blocks; level terrain.




Date Specific Information

12-9-2013

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



Coordinated by University of South Alabama.




Mobile

Mobile, home of the nation’s oldest Mardi Gras celebration, was founded in 1702 as the original capital of the Louisiana territory. Its rich heritage is evident in the city’s elegant, historic homes. The bay area is renowned for its lush beauty, bountiful azaleas (in season) and fabulous seafood.



Accommodations
Hotel located in the heart of downtown, built in the 1940s with architectural features and modern conveniences.
Meals and Lodgings
   Admiral Semmes Hotel
  Mobile, Alabama 3 nights
 Admiral Semmes Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Admiral Semmes Hotel has been one of the south's finest historic landmark hotels since its opening in 1940, when it was acclaimed Mobile's only luxury hotel. Some of the hotel's architectural features include expansive marble floors, stair cases, a unique oval balcony lobby, highlighted by a large central chandelier, and the original Art Deco elevator doors. An entire floor of conference space on the mezzanine level is located on the second floor near some of the rooms.
  Contact info: 251 Government Blvd
Mobile, AL 36602 USA
phone: 251-423-8000
web: www.admrialsemmeshotel.com
  Room amenities: All accommodations feature a comfortable lounge chair with ottoman, an elegant armoire with separate vanity, a mini-refrigerator, coffee pot, hair dryer, maid service and room service until 10 PM.
  Facility amenities: There is a spacious outdoor pool deck with hot tub, and there is a covered parking garage adjacent to the hotel. Oliver's restaurant and bar is also located inside the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Ask for the Road Scholar rate Please call in advance for before and after nights, as hotel does fill up.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Ask for the Road Scholar rate Please call in advance for before and after nights, as hotel does fill up.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration begins at 4:00 PM, Hotel Registration begins at 3:00 PM You will be staying at Admiral Semmes Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends by 11:00 AM, Check out is at 11 AM from the hotel You will be staying at Admiral Semmes Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Road Scholar health form required for each participant.
  Parking availability:
Parking available adjacent to the hotel, there is a $7 a day fee charged.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Mobile, Alabama
  Nearest city or town:  Mobile
  Nearest highway: Interstate 65
  Nearest airport:  Mobile Regional Airport (airport code MOB)
  From End of Program
  Location: Mobile, Alabama
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Mobile Regional Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

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

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$20 per person
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

7.5 miles

   

You must register at least 24 hours in advance. You must ask for Mobile Bay Transportation when you call to get the $20 price. You can register on line by e-mailing dispatch@mobilebaytransportation.com or you can call 251-476-7711. Confirm your reservation before your flight lands to ensure pick up. Prices subject to change.

 
Driving Directions
  From Mobile Regional Airport to Admiral Semmes When leaving the airport, travel east on Airport Blvd for 10 miles. Airport Blvd will end at Old Government St where you will yield to the right onto Old Governement St. You will then turn left onto Government St still traveling east. Travel for 2.5 miles and the hotel will be on your right. To get to the parking garage, take a right on Joachim St. After one block, take a right on Church St (the back of the hotel) then the next right on S Jackson St, where the parking garage is on the west side of the hotel to your right.
  I-10 east to Admiral Semmes Traveling east on I-10 take exit 26B Water St. to your right toward downtown Mobile. Merge to the far left lane to turn left at the first light to Government St. The hotel will be on your left on the corner of Joachim and Government. To get to the parking garage, take a left on Joachim St. After one block, take a right on Church St (the back of the hotel) then the next right on S Jackson St, where the parking garage is on the west side of the hotel to your right.
  I-10 west to Admiral Semmes Hotel Traveling west on I-10, take exit 27 onto US-90/US-98 to merge onto Government Blvd. You will go through the Bankhead tunnel and the hotel will be on your left. To get to the parking garage, take a left on Joachim St. After one block, take a right on Church St (the back of the hotel) then the next right on S Jackson St, where the parking garage is on the west side of the hotel to your right.
  I-65 to Admiral Semmes Hotel Heading south on I-65, merge to the left toward Florida where I-65 forks to travel I-10 East. Travel for 6 miles on I-10 then take exit 26B Water St. to your right toward downtown Mobile. Merge to the far left lane to turn left at the first light to Government St. The hotel will be on your left on the corner of Joachim and Government. To get to the parking garage, take a left on Joachim St. After one block, take a right on Church St (the back of the hotel) then the next right on S Jackson St, where the parking garage is on the west side of the hotel to 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 and Check-in/Dinner in the hotel/Introductions
(Monday, December 9)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in at the Admiral Semmes Hotel is at 3 PM. From 4-5:30 PM you can register with Road Scholar. From 5:30-6:00 PM orientation for the program week will be in the ballroom. University history and all handout materials (schedule, bios, menus, field trips, etc.) will be discussed. Any questions about the schedule or the program will be answered at this time. (Please note: schedule is subject to change based on weather and instructor availability.)
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel.
 Evening: Introductions and questions answered in the classroom. Evening ends by 8:30 PM. (Schedule subject to change depending on weather and instructor availability.)
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: All meals served in the hotel/Morning classes on Bellingrath and Architecture / Afternoon field trips to Richards DAR, Oakleigh, and Cox Deasy Museum Homes/Evening session with the Azalea Trail Maids
(Tuesday, December 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Two morning classes: Explore the lives of the Bellingraths and the development of Bellingrath Gardens and Home. Discover little known facts about the Bellingraths and their home on Fowl River. Discuss, with the Bellingrath curator, the antiques, silver, china and other unique features of the home. The second class will explore Mobile's distinctive architecture with an Architectural historian. Discuss the various periods of architectural history in Mobile with examples of each.
 Lunch: Lunch served in the hotel.
 Afternoon: Take a Field trip to Richards DAR, Oakleigh, and Cox Deasy Museum Homes. Get a glimpse of gracious living in Mobile's Official Period House Museum, Oakleigh, circa 1833. This unique T-shaped Greek Revival mansion is furnished with fine period antiques, exquisite portraits, porcelains and silver. Oakleigh reflects opulent Mobile living when "Cotton was King." Other facilities that operate as part of Oakleigh Historic Complex are the Cook’s House, an 1850’s slave cabin located behind the main house, and the Cox-Deasy Cottage, an 1850s raised plantation house that interprets the middle-class lifestyle in 19th century Mobile. The second stop on this field trip is the Richards DAR House . This historic Italianate style Town House tells, in superb architectural detail, of fashionable life during Mobile's affluent ante-bellum days. The house is famous for its iron lace that lavishly decorates the front facade. Interior adornments of this spacious dwelling speak of the cultivated tastes of the time: magnificently carved Carrara marble mantels; in double parlors and reception hall, massive brass and bronze chandeliers, etched panes of bohemian glass frame the doorway. One of the largest crystal chandeliers in the city reflects in a French mirror over the mantel in the dining room. Furnishings are prior to 1870. Gracious southern hostesses serve tea and cookies during your visit to the Richards DAR Home.
 Dinner: Dinner served in the hotel.
 Evening: Spend the evening with Mobile's Ambassadors, the Azalea Trail Maids.
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Breakfast in the hotel dining room/Two morning classes on Hanukkah and Bellingrath/Lunch in the hotel/Field trip to Bellingrath Gardens/Dinner at Bellingrath Gardens/Lights of Bellingrath
(Wednesday, December 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Two morning classes: In the first class you will explore, with a Rabbi, the customs and rituals involved with Hanukkah. The second class will continue your exploration of Bellingrath Gardens and Home before your visit to Bellingrath this afternoon.
 Lunch: Lunch served in the hotel.
 Afternoon: Free time this afternoon before boarding the bus for the field trip to Bellingrath Gardens. Readers of "Southern Living" recently chose Bellingrath Gardens as one of the top three gardens in its annual Readers Choice Survey. Bellingrath Gardens offers visitors 65 acres of landscaped beauty among towering live-oaks draped in Spanish moss. The Bellingrath Home is the first in Alabama to appear on A&E's America's Castles.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner in the Garden Cafe at Bellingrath.
 Evening: See Bellingrath Gardens and Home transformed into a winter wonderland with giant swans, charming toy soldiers, and millions of twinkling holiday lights. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through this holiday display of glittering lights, Poinsettias and Mums. From the towering Poinsettia Tree in the Cafe to the 15 rooms of the Bellingrath Home every angle provides holiday beauty.
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Breakfast in the hotel dining room/Check out and Morning class on Holiday treats/Farewell lunch
(Thursday, December 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Check out of hotel and Class on Holiday Treats! During a class with a local expert, discover some wonderful holiday treats that you can make at home. Come ready to sample these tasty treats.
 Lunch: Farewell lunch served in the hotel or box lunch to go.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Mobile, Alabama Bellingrath Gardens and Home
Readers of "Southern Living" recently chose Bellingrath Gardens as one of the top three gardens in its annual Readers Choice Survey. In bloom every day of the year, Bellingrath Gardens offers visitors 65 acres of landscaped beauty among towering live-oaks draped in Spanish moss, The Bellingrath Home has been chosen as the first in Alabama to appear on A&E's popular "America's Castles" series. Enjoy a relaxing sight-seeing cruise aboard the Sourthern Bell River Cruiser on Fowl River. View surrounding estates and wildlife from climate controlled comfort. For additional information, visit www.bellingrathgardens.com
  Bragg-Mitchell Mansion
Canopied by century-old live oak trees, "The Bragg" is a grand antebellum mansion. This beautiful example of southern elegance is furnished with fine antiques and exquisite draperies. The circular staircase, double parlors and lavish rooms with crystal chandeliers remind one of a time when hospitality was a way of life. Free Parking. For additional information, visit braggmitchellmansion.com
  Conde Charlotte Museum House
Mobile's first official jail, this circa 1822 Federal-style home has period rooms containing French, British, Spanish, Confederate and American furnishings and decor. For additional information, visit www.condecharlottemuseum.com
  Exploreum Science Museum
Gulf Coast Exploreum, in downtown Mobile, features an IMAX theater. Exhibits offered in the past at the Exploreum include, The Dead Sea Scrolls, Mummy: The Inside Story, Pompei, The Dinosaurs, China. Call the exploreum for information about exhibits at 251-208-6873 or 877-625-4386 For additional information, visit www.exploreum.net
  Museum of Mobile
Walk through the historical Museum of Mobile and travel back into the history of the Gulf Coast's oldest city, once the third busiest port in the United States. Learn of the cultures long past but still contributing to Mobile's rich heritage. Discover artifacts from Native Americans, French, British and Spanish eras in Mobile and learn of the important contributions of Mobile's African-Americans. Discover the American origins of Mardi Gras, begun in Mobile. For additional information, visit www.museumofmobile.com
  USS Alabama Battleship
Battleship park features the WWII USS Alabama Battleship. Also at the park are planes used in WWII and Vietnam, other aircraft and tanks, armored vehicles and much more. For additional information, visit www.ussalabama.com
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


Mobile: The History of Alabama's First City


Author: Mike Thomason, Ed.


Mister Bell: A Life Story


Author: Howard Barney


Description: Please contact the gift shop at Bellingrath Gardens and home to order the book. (251)973-2217





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