Road Scholar : Home
Secrets of Southwest Florida: From the Gulf to the Glades

Program Number: 20896RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/31/2013 - 4/5/2013; 1/18/2015 - 1/23/2015; 2/1/2015 - 2/6/2015; 3/8/2015 - 3/13/2015; 3/15/2015 - 3/20/2015; 3/29/2015 - 4/3/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Naples, Florida
Price starting at: $1,099.00 - 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    

On southwest Florida’s Paradise Coast, Naples enchants visitors with a charming historic center, world-class dining and museums, and a beautiful setting on the Gulf of Mexico. The nearby Everglades is a sacred reserve with a magical quality that has inspired artists and writers and mobilized politicians and conservationists in its defense. Become engrossed in the history and atmosphere of both places and study the interplay through the centuries between a booming city and a fragile ecosystem.




Highlights

• At the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples, learn about urgent ecological issues facing the region and how conservationist organizations work to resolve them.
• Explore Shark Valley, the "heart of the Everglades," with an expert naturalist and observe one of North America's unique ecosystems.
• Visit the Collier County Museum and Naples Depot Museum to hear the story of the region from prehistory and early human habitation to the frontier era and the arrival of the railroad.



Activity Particulars

Walking one to two miles per day on some uneven terrain. Some standing and stair climbing.




Date Specific Information

3-31-2013, 1-18-2015, 2-1-2015, 3-8-2015, 3-15-2015, 3-29-2015

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



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Naples

Named for the Italian city and only two miles west of Picayune Strand State Forest, Naples is part of the Paradise Coast vacation area that includes Marco Island and the Everglades. The city is home to a thriving arts scene and nourished by its clean beaches and many championship golf courses.



Accommodations
Centrally located hotel minutes from downtown with outdoor pool.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
John Owens

Throughout his long residency in South Florida, John Owens has wandered the Everglades, sailed the bays and discovered its coastal waters. These explorations instilled his interest in soundscape ecology, or the relationship between sound and biological systems within habitats. In association with the 2011 World Listening Project, John organized a statewide initiative to study soundscape ecology with other Florida naturalists.
 
Charles (Living Sanibel) Sobczak

Charles Sobczak is an award-winning author who lives and writes on Sanibel Island. His first novel, Six Mornings on Sanibel, was originally published in 1999 and is currently in its seventh printing. He has written several other novels, a fictional memoir and a collection of selected writings titled Rhythm of the Tides. In 2010, he published a regional nature guide, “Living Sanibel - A Nature Guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands.” The book quickly became the best-selling book on Sanibel and rose to #34 nationally for nature guide sales on Amazon.com during the winter season of 2011. One of his other nature guides, “The Living Gulf Coast-A Nature Guide to Southwest Florida,” won the Gold Medal Presidents Award for the best work of Adult non-fiction, 2011, by the Florida Publisher’s Association.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Port of the Island Resort
  Naples, FL 5 nights
 Port of the Island Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Port of the Islands is a very unique property located in the heart of the Everglades. Please note that the resort is located in a remote area 15 miles from Everglades City, Marco Island, and East Naples, and that there are no shops or other facilities nearby or within walking distance. While this helps to add to the exclusiveness of the program, we want to make sure that you are prepared by bringing any necessities you need with you. We will be making a trip to a local grocery store on Day 2 of the program, so you may be able to pick up any items you may have forgotten, but if you do not have your own vehicle you will not be able to travel throughout the area on your own.
  Contact info: 25000 Tamiami Trail East
Naples, FL 34114 USA
phone: 239-394-3005
web: www.poiresort.com/
  Room amenities: Complimentary light service replenishing towels Trash removal is provided to all guests on a daily basis Start up Complimentary Coffee and Toiletries are provided in your unit. Complimentary Direct TV including HBO Microwave Mini Refrigerator DVDPlayer 4 Cup Coffee maker
  Facility amenities: Heated outdoor swimming pool Picnic area/Chickee Hut Fitness Center and Locker/Shower Area Free Parking Game room with poker and pool tables Internet access in public areas Coin-operated laundry facilities "The Catch" Restaurant and Bar: Open 12 pm-l0 pm Tuesdays- Sunday (Closed Monday} Full-service marina on site Resort hours are 8:30am-5pm,daily. If returning to the property after office hours, be sure to have a room key with you to enter the building. If you arrive late and need to contact someone, please call the Road Scholar Emergency Cell phone at: 617-780-4318
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Price based on availablility Call Port of the Island Resort at 239-394-3005 to book pre and post nights. Make sure to let hotel know that you are with the Road Scholar group.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Price based on availablility Call Port of the Island Resort at 239-394-3005 to book pre and post nights. Make sure to let hotel know that you are with the Road Scholar group.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3 to 5 p.m. in hotel lobby for registration. You will be staying at Port of the Island Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends by 11am. Box Lunches can be picked up as early as 11am. You will be staying at Port of the Island Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free Parking available at hotel
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Naples, FL
  From End of Program
  Location: Naples, FL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Ft. Myers: Southwest Florida International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Classic Transportation
phone: 800-553-8294
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

The rate to hire a car is approximately $75.00 per ride for up to three (3) persons.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

60 miles

   

The rate to hire a car is approximately $75.00 per ride for up to three (3) persons. Or rent a car at the airport and drive to the hotel.

 

Ft. Myers: Southwest Florida International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
American Comfort
phone: 239-262-5466
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$109 for a town car
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

60 miles

 

Southwest Florida International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
phone: Ark-way-Taxi
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$90 for a town car
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

60

 

Southwest Florida International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
A-OK taxi
phone: 239-394-1113
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$90 for a town car
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

60 miles

 
Driving Directions
  Interstate-10/Gulf Region Start going on Interstate-10 east towards Pensacola, and take exit 296A to merge onto Interstate-75 South towards Tampa. From I-75, Take exit 101 – Collier Boulevard. At the light turn right onto Collier Boulevard towards Marco Island and stay on Collier Boulevard. Turn Left at Rt 41 Tamiami Trail. (Landmarks: CVS drug store on your left and Walgreens across the street on right). Continue on Tamiami Trail For 14.2 Miles. The Resort will be on your right.
  Points North/Interstate - 75 From I-75 South take exit 101 – Collier Boulevard. At the light turn right onto Collier Boulevard towards Marco Island and stay on Collier Boulevard. Turn Left at Rt 41 Tamiami Trail. (Landmarks: CVS drug store on your left and Walgreens across the street on right). Continue on Tamiami Trail For 14.2 Miles. The Resort will be on your right.
  Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers FL Start going North on Cleveland Ave/FL-45/US-41 toward McGregor Blvd/FL-867. Turn right onto Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd/FL-82 E.--4.2mls. Merge onto I-75S.--35.6 mls. From I-75, Take exit 101 – Collier Boulevard. At the light turn right onto Collier Boulevard towards Marco Island and stay on Collier Boulevard. Turn Left at Rt 41 Tamiami Trail. (Landmarks: CVS drug store on your left and Walgreens across the street on right). Continue on Tamiami Trail For 14.2 Miles. The Resort will be 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: Welcome and meet others/Introductions and program review
(Sunday, March 31)
   
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN AND REGISTRATION between 3:00-5:30 PM.

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 dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Orientation in hotel meeting room. We'll review the schedule and any changes; discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures; and answer any questions you may have. You'll also have an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants.
   
Accommodations: Port of the Island Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Introduction to the Everglades with an expert Naturalist/ Field trip to The Fakahatchee Strand/Lecture on the birds of the Everglades
(Monday, April 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: John Owens, a naturalist will introduce you to the fascinating Everglades. He will discuss the the diverse Terrestrial, Freshwater, Marine, and Coastal ecosystems and to some of the "critters" which comprise the Everglades.
 Lunch: Lunch at hotel
 Afternoon: After lunch board the motor coach and listen to stories of the area by John Owens followed by a docent guided tour of Fakahatchee Strand. Fakahatchee Strand, probably one of the best examples of subtropical, strand swamp in the US. There is an active eagles nest along the Board walk. After the guided walk board the motor coach to the Big Cypress Welcome Center.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
 Evening: After dinner, enjoy a beautiful presentation on "Birds of the Everglades" with expert birders Tom and Judy Gire. You will learn why the bird of the Everglades, the Anhigha spreads his wings to dry off before continuing on his flight, etc.
   
Accommodations: Port of the Island Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Find out more about the birds of the Everglades/Lunch at Seafood Depot/Visit Shark Valley and enjoy a tram ride/Listen to a lecture given by a represtative of the National State Parks
(Tuesday, April 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Enjoy the second part of the presentation with the Gires. You will learn how the Everglades and its birds have been affected by human activities and what actions are being taken to restore the ecosystem.
 Lunch: Lunch in Everglades City
 Afternoon: Listen to a lecture on the motor coach while on the way to Shark Valley. An expert guide will take you on a tram ride. See the Sawgrass Prairie unfold before your eyes.Have you ever been up close and personal with the Alligator? You will learn about their habits, etc. You will learn about their habits and see many beautiful Everglades birds.
 Dinner: Dinner in the Hotel
   
Accommodations: Port of the Island Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Everything Everglades lecture/Take a boat ride around 10,000 Islands
(Wednesday, April 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: "History of the Everglades" and the National Park. Presentation with Meda Jensen, active in "everything Everglades". Learn about Marjory Stoneman Douglass, author of several books including "River of Grass". Hear about early settler, Totch Brown who lived and raised his family in this area.
 Lunch: Lunch at hotel
 Afternoon: Enjoy a boat ride along the mangrove's. Watch for birds, manatee, and other wildlife along the banks of the water's edge.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel
 Evening: Listen to Charlie Sobcyk talk about his latest book on the Everglades
   
Accommodations: Port of the Island Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Visit the Collier County Museum/Botanic Gardens/ Everglades City Musuem
(Thursday, April 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Board the Motor Coach to the Collier County Museum where we will have a tour and a presentation on one of many subjects such as the prehistoric saber cat or the Calusa Indians to Spanish explorers and Seminole warriors.The two attractions of the Museum are the Genuine World War II Sherman Tank and the Dr. Frank C. Craighead, Sr. Laboratory and Florida Native Garden. After the Collier Museum visit the Botanic Gardens.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Botanic Gardens
 Afternoon: Visit the Everglades City Museum which is a showcase for the rich and colorful history of the region. Enjoy a lecture about Barron G. Collier's successful transformation of a pioneer village into a modern 1920' town.
 Dinner: Dinner in local resturant in Everglades City.
   
Accommodations: Port of the Island Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Wrap up the week with Everglades Museum Director
(Friday, April 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel
 Morning: Timothy England from the Everglades City Museum will visit with us to wrap up the week and to answer all your questions about what you learned this week.
 Lunch: Box lunch to go
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Naples, FL Clyde Butcher Art Gallery / Big Cypress Gallery
Breathtaking Black and White photos of the Southwest Florida. Enjoy this amazing collection of photographs, books, nature trail and tours that can only be brought to you by Clyde Butcher. Check out the annual Swamp Walk, where Clyde will take you out to the heart of the Everglades and shares his photography skills and the beauty that inspires him. 239-695-2428. 52388 Tamiami Trail • Ochopee, FL 34141 For additional information, visit www.clydebutcher.com
  Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Located in the heart of Naples, it features an exhibit on natural history where visitors can touch a snake, count an alligator’s teeth and explore Southwest Florida’s underwater natural world. Visitors can watch recuperating patients through the O.W.L.S. online video monitoring system and see several of the Center’s permanent residents; including a bald eagle, hawks and owls. Naturalist-guided trail walks and boat tours through a mangrove forest are offered daily. The Nature Store carries hard-to find guide books and unusual, nature-related items. 239-262-0304 1450 Merrihue Drive • Naples, FL 34102 For additional information, visit www.conservancy.org
  Historic Smallwood Store & Museum
Experience the unique history of the 10,000 Islands in the Ole Indian Trading Post and Museum. 239-695-2989 360 Mamie Street • Chokoloskee, FL 33925
  World’s Smallest Post Office
This closet sized, 7 x 8 foot building used to be an irrigation pipe shed for a tomato farm. It was pressed into service after a fire destroyed the Ochopee general store, which also housed the post office, in 1953. The town, which sits on the edge of the Everglades, and which reportedly has a population of 11, has been happy with it ever since. Everglades, FL
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


The Living Gulf Coast: A Nature Guide to Southwest Florida


Author: Charles Sobczak


Description: Charles Sobczak is a guest lecturer. Bring your book with you and get it signed. The Living Gulf Coast is the first comprehensive nature guide to Florida's Southwest region. The book covers six counties: Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Glades and Hendry. There are more than 160 parks, preserves and eco-destinations covered in this work, with sixty-one of them described in great detail. Not only does the book describe these outstanding destinations, it also covers all the major birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians found throughout the region.



A Brief History of the Everglades City Area


Author: Marya Repko


Description: This is neither a guide book nor an academic book. It is exactly what the title says, a concise history of the area. The extensive index makes it a handy reference and the list of sources provides readers a starting point to dig deeper into this fascinating area.



The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise


Author: Michael Grunwald


Description: The Everglades was once reviled as a liquid wasteland, and Americans dreamed of draining it. Now it is revered as a national treasure, and Americans have launched the largest environmental project in history to try to save it. The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man's abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald, a prize-winning national reporter for The Washington Post, takes readers on a riveting journey from the Ice Ages to the present, illuminating the natural, social and political history of one of America's most beguiling but least understood patches of land.



The Everglades Handbook: Understanding the Ecosystem


Author: Thomas E. Lodge


Description: The Everglades Handbook provides a breadth and depth of information on the entire ecosystem of the Everglades that cannot be found anywhere else. Written by Thomas Lodge, one of the most respected authorities on the Everglades and one of its most ardent protectors, the book is an updated, expanded, and comprehensive explanation of what the Everglades is, how it has been changed, and the restoration needed to bring back ecological functions and safeguard sustainable future uses of the region by people.



The Everglades: River of Grass


Author: Marjorey Stoneman Douglas


Description: When activist Jow Browder was trying to round up people to fight a proposed jetport in the Everglades, one of the people he approached was Marjory Stoneman Douglask whose 1947 Everglades:River of Grass had first brought the state's most famous marsh to a national audience. But she demurred. Nobody would listen to some half-blind old lady, the 78 year old writer said. People only pay attention to organizations. "Well" Browder retorted, "why don't you start an organization?" So she did, founding Friends of the Everglades with dues of $1.00 per year so everyone could join. Douglas not only denounced the jetport, she transformed herself into Florida's environmental conscience. She spent the next 30 years-until her death at 108-fearlessly confronting local,l state, and federal officials. One of the most important book written about the FL Everglades.



Totch: A Life in the Everglades


Author: Loren G. Brown


Description: Totch was a devil most of his life, even by his own standards. It is interesting that he repented and claims to have tried to save the very same Everglades that he harvested most of his life. The book fives and accurate and in depth look at life as it was in a remote and still wild area of America.



The Living Gulf Coast: A Nature Guide to Southwest Florida


Author: Charles Sobczak


Description: The Living Gulf Coast is the first comprehensive nature guide to Florida's Southwest region. The book covers six counties: Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Glades and Hendry. There are more than 160 parks, preserves and eco-destinations covered in this work, with sixty-one of them described in great detail. Not only does the book describe these outstanding destinations, it also covers all the major birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians found throughout the region. The bird section includes 291 species with 120 of the most commonly encountered birds covered in exacting detail. It also includes all the major mammals and eighty-eight snakes, lizards, turtles and crocodilans found in the unique ecosystems of Southwest Florida. Charles will be speaking on the program, and he will be available to sign copies of his book after his lecture. It can be found on Amazon.com





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768