Road Scholar : Home
St. Augustine: 450 Years of History Comes Alive!

Program Number: 6642RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/17/2013 - 11/22/2013; 2/14/2016 - 2/19/2016; 2/21/2016 - 2/26/2016; 2/28/2016 - 3/4/2016; 3/13/2016 - 3/18/2016; 3/20/2016 - 3/25/2016; 10/16/2016 - 10/21/2016; 10/30/2016 - 11/4/2016; 11/13/2016 - 11/18/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Price starting at: $697.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

An exciting learning adventure awaits you in historic St. Augustine! Founded in 1565, the ancient city abounds in rich architecture of the Spanish, British and Venetian Renaissance periods. Catch a glimpse of a Spanish conquistador or a pirate as you walk through the historic City Gate or stroll along the seawall of Matanzas Bay. Local presenters provide a unique overview of our nation’s oldest city, its Old World buildings and its exceptional history to set the stage for personalized, expert-led adventures around the city, including historic Ponce de Leon Hall on the campus of Flagler College. Viva San Agustin!


• Explore the grounds where the Spanish first came ashore in the New World and admire Gilded Age works of Tiffany glass at historic buildings.
• Meet Henry Flagler in a costumed presentation that takes you back to the 1880s for a glimpse of his life and legacy of grand hotels, followed by a field trip to his former Ponce de Leon Hotel.
• Walk with an expert along the old brick streets of the ancient city and step aboard a trolley for a survey of significant St. Augustine sites.

Activity Particulars

There is moderate amount of walking, stairs and standing at historic sites and museums during field trips. Elevators are provided at several sites. Narrow streets and trolley design make this program more challenging for those with limited mobility.

If you are looking to celebrate Road Scholar's 40th Anniversary in St. Augustine, please check out program #21668.

Date Specific Information


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

Coordinated by Eckerd College.

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.

Beachfront hotel, outdoor pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, free parking.

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

Gerald Brody, a performing pianist since early childhood, has resided in St. Augustine with his wife Susan since 1993. He was acclaimed locally for his extremely popular radio program, "The Joy of Opera", which aired for 15 years. He now shares his rare collection with his Road Scholar participants and performs at the piano. Gerry is regarded as a regional expert in the history of sound recording, and is the author of "Opera: You Never Knew You Loved It!"
George Strock

George Strock received his bachelor’s in history from the University of Wisconsin and master’s in history from DePaul University. For 30 years, he worked for the National Park Service as a historian and interpreter at the Castillo de San Marcos, Gettysburg, Cape Hatteras, Harper’s Ferry and other sites. Since retiring from the Park Service in 1995, he has served as consultant and exhibit planner for various historic sites and leads visitors at the Oldest House and the Pena-Peck House.
Kenneth Barrett

A native Floridian, Ken Barrett graduated from St. Joseph Academy and received degrees from Santa Fe Community College and the University of Florida. While associated with the National Park Service, Ken photographed parks in this region and organized their archives. A freelance photographer, Ken's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including, "The Houses of St. Augustine" and "Florida's Colonial Architectural Heritage." Ken is also a frequent exhibitor at Florida art shows.
Eddie Joyce Geyer

Eddie Joyce Geyer, a native Floridian, was the former director of Visitor Services for the St. Augustine Historical Society for 18 years. A popular presenter and panelist, Eddie has appeared before such organizations as the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Association of Travel Writers, the American Association for State and Local History, and the Florida Museum Association. Eddie has enjoyed her Road Scholar experience as a hostess and presenter in the Southeast.
Margaret Kaler

Margaret Kaler is an actor, storyteller and local history interpreter with the Old Florida Museum. She works with the What’s In a Name Players, performing Shakespeare and improvisational pieces. She often works with Limelight Theatre and is producer of “Comedy Histrios,” a production of authentic 16th century entertainment. Margaret also portrays famous women including Harriet Beecher Stowe and Emily Dickenson, and recently attended two state political conventions as Susan B. Anthony.
Robert Gill

Robert Gill is one of the most sought after and respected professional actors in Florida, with credits in St. Augustine dating back to 1981. One of the premier Shakespearean actors in the state, he was recently seen as Prospero in "The Tempest", as well as Henry Higgins in "Pygmalion". This year saw the debut of his new one-man show, Eric Bogosian's "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll", played to sold-out audiences, before taking it on the road. He continues to bring his Mark Twain, Henry Flagler, and murder mystery dinner theatre shows to the Raintree Restaurant in St. Augustine year round.
Bob Patterson

Bob Patterson is — among many other things — a folklorist, musician, author, photographer, historian and conservationist with a genuine heart for the natural wonders of Florida. His passion for the state’s untamed people and places is truly contagious. Bob’s songs and stories illustrate the “real” Florida through colorful characters, native history and humor. Bob is a member of the Florida Storytelling Association and a co-founder of the Gamble Rogers Folk Festival.
James Bullock

James Bullock is a playwright, historian and reenactor, who is passionate about the history of Fort Mosé and works to gain a deeper understanding of the collective roles of people of African descent in Colonial times. He has shared his passion for history during presentations for the U.S. Army Reserve and others, and received the 2006 Interpretive Guide Award from Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. He is also actively involved in community theater.
Thomas Graham

Dr. Thomas Graham has been a professor at Flagler College for 35 years. He currently teaches history and is Emeritus in the Humanities Department. Thomas earned his PhD in history from the University of Florida, and his research has focuses on 19th century U.S. history. He’s written five books and he’s served on the Board of Directors and eventually become the President of the St. Augustine Historical Society.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort
  St. Augustine, Florida 5 nights
 Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: On the beach, 151 rooms
  Contact info: 860 A1A Beach Blvd
St. Augustine, FL 32080 USA
phone: 904-471-2555
  Room amenities: Color TV, coffee maker, tea maker, iron/ironing board, phone with voice mail, separate hanging closet, private bath, and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Direct beach access is available via the gazebo over the dunes. Rental of chairs and umbrellas from the gazebo are available in season. Outdoor unheated pool. Health and fitness center on site. Self-serve laundry.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for prices Extra night hotel stays before or after the program are limited and are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Terms are subject to change without notification. Call ahead to make reservations and confirm cost.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for prices Extra night hotel stays before or after the program are limited and are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Terms are subject to change without notification. Call ahead to make reservations and confirm cost.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
5 p.m. in the Pelican Room for Orientation & Introductions. You will be staying at Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Classes end at 11am and an early lunch served from 11am-12noon. You will be staying at Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. You will need a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license. If you have special dietary needs (low-salt, gluten-free, vegetarian, etc), you must notify us in advance and we will do our best to meet those needs.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free at the Holiday Isle, St. Augustine Beach for the duration of the program.
To Start of Program
  Location:  St. Augustine, Florida
  Nearest city or town:  St. Augustine, Florida
  Nearest airport:  Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), Jacksonville, FL.
  From End of Program
  Location: St. Augustine, Florida
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

St. Augustine


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Airport Shuttle
phone: 904-825-0004
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Call for prices. Will vary depending on how many people they are transporting.
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Approx. 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes 


Ask for Robin and tell her you're with the Eckerd College Road Scholar program.


St. Augustiine


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Airport Express
phone: 904-824-9400


Per Person/One Way:


Call for prices
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Approx. 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes 




Approximately 65 miles


Ask for Joan and tell her you are with the Eckerd College Road Scholar program.

Driving Directions
  1. NORTH I-95 (S) to SR 207 (N- Exit 311) to SR 312 (E) over the Intracoastal (be in the middle lane at major intersection. Look for the Welcome to St. Augustine Beach sign - approx. 3.7 miles). Proceed on A1A (S) beachside to Holiday Isle on your left [2.5 mi.].
  SOUTH I-95 (N), to SR 206 (E) Exit 305 – over the intracoastal - continue to end (approx. 8 miles). Turn left at the intersection onto A1A (N). Travel approximately three miles (surf shop on the right) - bear right at fork in road and look for Holiday Isle on right (860 A1A/Beach Blvd. - less than 2 miles).
  WEST I-4 (E) to I-95 (N) to SR 206 (E) Exit 305. Head towards St. Augustine Beach and continue to end (approx. 8 miles). Turn left onto A1A (N) - bear right at fork in road and look for Holiday Isle on right (860 A1A/Beach Blvd.)
Equipment Requirements: Walking shoes and climate appropriate, casual clothing.
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: Arrival/Orientation
(Sunday, November 17)
 Afternoon: Program registration from 3:00-5:00 pm in the Pelican Room. Holiday Isle check-in at 4:00 pm. NOTE: SUNDAY LUNCH IS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE HOLIDAY ISLE - PLAN TO HAVE LUNCH BEFORE YOU ARRIVE.
 Dinner: 6:00 pm in the Holiday Isle Dining Room.
 Evening: Evening orientation at the hotel.
Accommodations: Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: The Oldest City: Before & After the Europeans / Sightseeing Train ride through the Historic District / Expert-Led Field Trip to the Historic Fort Castillo de San Marcos /Vernacular Architecture of St. Augustine
(Monday, November 18)
 Breakfast: Dining Room at the Holiday Isle.
 Morning: Spend the morning exploring, through discussion and power point presentation, the history of St. Augustine before and after the Europeans. Presentation covers and ends with the War Between the States. After a short break view a DVD to the group tour of the Castillo de San Marcos.
 Lunch: Dining Room at the Holiday Isle.
 Afternoon: Narrated non-stop tour of the Historic District via sightseeing trolley; explore the Historic Castillo De San Marcos and a Pirate Museum.
 Dinner: Dining Room at the Holiday Isle.
 Evening: Power point presentation of St. Augustine's vernacular style of architecture by a local historian. NOTE: All evening lectures, presentations and entertainment are subject to change.
Accommodations: Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Flagler and the Gilded Age / Field Trip to Memorial Presbyterian Church and the former Ponce de Leon Hotel / Evening of Musical Entertainment.
(Tuesday, November 19)
 Breakfast: Dining Room at the Holiday Isle.
 Morning: Spend the morning with Henry M. Flagler, railroad tycoon and hotelier. Learn about his life and impact he had on the state of Florida and St. Augustine. Enjoy a first-person presentation of Henry Flagler by a respected actor. After a short break, view a DVD (optional) about Whitehall: The Flagler Museum. Learn all about this historic monument's impact on the area.
 Lunch: Dining Room at the Holiday Isle.
 Afternoon: Explore the Memorial Presbyterian Church founded in 1889, an elegant example of Venetian Renaissance architecture. Then visit the magnificent Ponce de Leon Hotel (now Flagler College) and see over $300 million of Tiffany glass. Founded in 1888, the hotel is a magnificent example of Spanish Renaissance Revival architecture and is listed on the National Historic Registry. Railroad magnate Henry M. Flagler commissioned architects Carrera and Hastings to design these outstanding examples of America's Gilded Age. Later, the two young architects designed the New York Public Library and the US Senate Office Building.
 Dinner: Dining Room at the Holiday Isle.
 Evening: Evening of Musical Entertainment. This will be followed by the viewing of a DVD - "Romantic St. Augustine." (Optional)
Accommodations: Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Costumed Presentation/Lecture/Afternoon in the Historic District /Evening Musical Entertainment or lecture
(Wednesday, November 20)
 Breakfast: Dining Room at the Holiday Isle.
 Morning: Begin the morning being entertained and enlightened by a local costumed actress portraying a Pulitzer Prize winning historical figure. Then, take a break, followed by a presentation to be announced.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in the historic district
 Afternoon: Free time to tour additional sites and revisit areas of interest. Transportation to and from the Historic District is provided.
 Dinner: Dining Room at the Holiday Isle.
 Evening: See St. Augustine come alive through a power point presentation and commentary by a professional photographer and former college professor.
Accommodations: Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Historical Harmonies of the 1st Coast / Lunch at a local Restaurant / Seasonal Riverboat Cruise or Museum Tour / Evening Entertainment
(Thursday, November 21)
 Breakfast: Dining Room at the Holiday Isle.
 Morning: Spend the morning learning about the Music of the First Coast through discussion, live musical presentations and vintage recordings which will enhance your appreciation.
 Lunch: Bus departs for the Historic District for a lunch provided at a local favorite restaurant, close to the afternoon tour.
 Afternoon: Meet at either the City Marina for a Riverboat Cruise (seasonal) or Lightner for a museum tour. There will be time after the cruise or museum tour to visit additional sites. Transportation to and from the Historic District is provided.
 Dinner: Dining Room at the Holiday Isle: A Taste of St. Augustine
 Evening: Evening of Musical Entertainment - Razz-Ma-Tazz and All That Jazz, followed by social time.
Accommodations: Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Closing Program and DVD (St. Augustine Lighthouse)
(Friday, November 22)
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the Dining Room at the Holiday Isle.
 Morning: Costumed presentation by local instructor, followed by "St. Augustine Lighthouse." (DVD - optional).
 Lunch: The program concludes with an early lunch which will be served at 11:00 am in the dining room. Make travel plans accordingly. Have a safe journey and please return to see us again.
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

Black Society in Spanish Florida

Author: Landers, Jane

Description: The first extensive study of the African American community under colonial Spanish rule, "Black Society in Spanish Florida" provides a vital counterweight to the better-known dynamics of the Anglo slave South. Jane Landers draws on a wealth of untapped primary sources, opening a new vista on the black experience in America and enriching our understanding of the powerful links between race relations and cultural custom. Blacks under Spanish rule in Florida lived not in cotton rows or tobacco patches but in a more complex and international world that linked the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and a powerful and diverse Indian hinterland. Here the Spanish Crown afforded sanctuary to runaway slaves, making the territory a prime destination for blacks fleeing Anglo plantations, while Castilian law (grounded in Roman law) provided many avenues out of slavery, which it deemed an unnatural condition. European-African unions were common and accepted in Florida, with families of African descent developing important community connections through marriage, concubinage, and godparent choices. Assisted by the corporate nature of Spanish society, Spain's medieval tradition of integration and assimilation, and the almost constant threat to Spanish sovereignty in Florida, multiple generations of Africans leveraged linguistic, military, diplomatic, and artisanal skills into citizenship and property rights. In this remote Spanish outpost, where they could become homesteaders, property owners, and entrepreneurs, blacks enjoyed more legal and social protection than they would again until almost two hundred years of Anglo history had passed.

Fort Mose: Colonial America's Black Fortress of Freedom

Author: Deagan, Kathleen A. and Darcie A. Macmahon

Description: This book tells the story of Fort Mose and the people who lived there. It challenges the notion of the American black colonial experience as only that of slavery, offering instead a richer and more balanced view of the black experience in the Spanish colonies from the arrival of Columbus to the American Revolution.

Henry Flagler - Builder of Florida

Author: Sammons, Sandra Wallus

Description: Follow the rise of Henry Flagler as he changes Florida's east coast with his hotels and his Florida East Coast Railway

Henry Flagler - Visionary of the Gilded Age

Author: Martin, Sidney Walter

Description: Henry Flagler, Visionary of the Gilded Age is the fascinating story of a turn-of-the-century business career. Flagler left home at the age of 14 to seek his fortune and made two. He formed a partnership with John D. Rockerfeller soon after oil was discovered. When asked if the Standard Oil Company was the result of his thinking, Rockerfeller said: "I wish I had the brains to think of it. It was Henry M Flagler." Flagler began his retirement in Florida. He believed in the east coast and created hotels, railroads, communities, model farms and more from Jacksonville to Key West including major development efforts in St. Augustine, Palm Beach and Miami.

Henry Flagler, The Astonishing Life and Time of The Visionary Robber Baron Who Founded Florida

Author: Chandler, David Lean

Description: With an entrepreneurial spirit noteworthy of his immigrant Palatine forebears, Flagler, together with John D. Rockefeller, founded Standard Oil and used his fortune to create the modern state of Florida. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chandler (Criminal Brotherhood, etc.) provides colorful accounts of the early immigrants and the ferment of invention and industry of the mid- and late-1880s to which the Standard Oil empire contributed. After an initial visit to Jacksonville in 1877 because of his first wife's health, Flagler disengaged from the company and at 64 started a second career in Florida as developer of farmland and resort areas, building luxury hotels and railroads which spurred the growth of Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach and other cities. Flagler, an elusive personality, remains an enigmatic figure, however, despite his astonishing life as a visionary robber baron recreated here.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: A Descriptive Bibliography

Author: Tarr, Rodger L.

Mullet on the Beach: The Minorcans of FLorida, 1768-1788

Author: Griffin, Patricia C.

Description: In the history of St. Augustine, the story of the Minorcans, who still today exert tremendous political and social influence, rivals the drama of the Jamestown or Plymouth settlements. Patricia C. Griffin describes their first twenty years in the New World, including the hardship of their arrival in British East Florida in 1768, their starvation and suffering on an indigo plantation, and their revolt and flight to sanctuary in St. Augustine. There, survivors of this devastating experience pieced back together their Mediterranean heritage. In time, they became farmers, craftsmen, shopkeepers, mariners, and fishermen. Mullet on the beach, their freedom cry, signaled the emigrants release from plantation captivity. As the Floridas reverted to Spanish control and were later acquired by the United States, the Minorcans became the core population of St. Augustine, settling into a quarter next to the city gate and south of the old Spanish fort which is now known as the restored area. Griffin brings alive this remarkable colonial venture through her use of documentary sources, archaeological evidence, and topographical and climatic data. Students of Florida history and the Spanish borderlands, specialists in migration studies, ethnohistorians, and the general reader will value this solidly researched study of a folk communitys struggle and triumph in the New World.

The Houses of St. Augustine

Author: Nolan, David, Barrett, Ken and Fitzpatrick, Jean Ellen

Description: Richly illustrated with 15 original watercolors and 180 color photographs to show representative styles and forms. Each chapter covers a separate era in St. Augustine's history and discusses the city's distinctive character during that era as well as how architectural styles evolved. Offers a history of attempts at historic preservation and suggests future remedies.

The Houses of St. Augustine, 1565-1821

Author: Manucy, Albert

Description: Albert Manucy's book continues to serve as a catalyst for architectural preservation in St. Augustine and to inspire similar works elsewhere. His sketches, which explain this colonial architecture, delight as much as they inform. "The book also serves as a gentle reminder to Yankees that Florida was civilized before the Puritans settled New England."--F. Blair Reeves, chairman, Historic Resource Committee, Florida Association/American Institute of Architects. As architecture documents history, The Houses of St. Augustine records architecture, preserving and interpreting the history of housing in the oldest city in the continental United States.

The Oldest City: St. Augustine's Saga of Survival

Author: Waterbury, Jean Parker

Description: Four cultures over more than four centuries contribute to the history of St. Augustine

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:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2016 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768