Road Scholar : Home
Signature City Mobile: History, Heritage, Culture, Beautiful Homes and Gardens

Program Number: 14321RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/13/2014 - 4/18/2014; 10/12/2014 - 10/17/2014; 12/7/2014 - 12/12/2014; 2/22/2015 - 2/27/2015; 3/15/2015 - 3/20/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Price starting at: $725.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Signature Cities Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; None    

In a series of fascinating field trips and lectures, discover the charms of hospitable Mobile, first capital of colonial French Louisiana. Forays into the past include visits to the City Museum, a replica of early French Fort Condé and Mobile’s historic downtown. Join an architectural historian amid the Garden District’s treasury of 18th- and 19th-century museum homes, and marvel at the splendor of stately Bellingrath and its famous and expansive gardens.




Highlights

• Visit the Museum of Mobile, where cutting-edge exhibits bring to life the area as first seen by early Americans.
• At the Richards DAR House, admire the Italianate home’s exquisite facade, depicting the four seasons in lavish iron lace.
• Step back in time at Bellingrath Gardens and Home, an “American castle” showcasing treasured antiques, a handmade brick-and-ironwork exterior and 65 acres of lush gardens.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to a mile on field trips.




Date Specific Information

4-13-2014, 10-12-2014, 2-22-2015, 3-15-2015

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



12-7-2014

Discover the holiday splendor of Bellingrath Gardens by day and the magic of more than 3 million twinkling holiday lights by night. Also enjoy a session on how to make special holiday treats.
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
Downtown elegant AAA Four Diamond hotel with outdoor pool.

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

Devereaux is an architectural historian and director of the Mobile Historic Development Commission. He serves on the boards of the Mobile Revolving Fund for Historic Properties, the Maritime Advisory Council and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. He received a bachelor’s in art history and Russian language and an MBA from the University of South Alabama. He has done graduate work in art history at Tulane University and lives in an 1839 house in downtown Mobile that is being renovated.
 
Michael Thomason

Dr. Michael Thomason is a retired professor of history and the director of the University of South Alabama Archives. He came to Mobile in 1970 when he was hired to teach at the university and has been studying the political, economic and social life of the area ever since. In 1978 he began the university photographic archives and over the years expanded its focus to include manuscripts as well. Dr. Thomason has produced several books, most recently the tercentennial history of Mobile.
 
Thomas McGehee

Thomas C. McGehee is the museum director and curator for Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore, Ala. He oversees its collections of decorative arts as well as the adjoining Delchamps Gallery of Boehm porcelain. Thomas received his degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and has a lifelong interest in history, architecture and the decorative arts. He is secretary of the Victorian Society in America and serves on the city of Mobile’s Historic Development Commission.
 
Dean Mosher

Dean Mosher is a nationally respected artist and historian. His epic historical paintings can be found in museums, National Park visitor centers and the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. For five years he held the office of Historian General of the Naval Order of the United States, and he was awarded the Commander General’s medal in 2006 for saving the Order’s archives. Dean lives with this wife and their two children in their two storybook castles, which have been featured on HGTV.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Admiral Semmes Hotel
  Mobile, AL 5 nights
 Admiral Semmes Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Admiral Semmes Hotel has been one of the south's finest historic landmark hotel since it's opening in 1940, when it is was acclaimed Mobile's only luxury hotel. Some of the hotel's architectural features include expansive marble floors, stair cases, a unique oval balconied 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 St
Mobile, AL 36602 USA
phone: 251-432-8000
web: www.admiralsemmeshotel.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: A spacious outdoor pool deck with hot tub, and a covered parking garage adjacent to the hotel.(Parking fee $10 per day) Oliver's restaurant and bar is also located inside the hotel. Free WiFi is available for hotel guests
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Ask for the Road Scholar rate Please make reservations in advance as the hotel may fill up before or after the program.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Ask for the Road Scholar rate Please make reservations in advance as the hotel may fill up before or after the program.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel Check-In at 3:00 PM, Registration is 4:00-5:30 PM You will be staying at Admiral Semmes Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Class ends by 11:00 AM. Hotel Check-Out is at 11:00 AM 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 is required for each participant.
  Parking availability:
A parking garage is located on the west side of the hotel. Parking is $10 a day and subject to change.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Mobile, AL
  Nearest city or town:  Mobile
  Nearest highway: Interstate 65
  Nearest airport:  Mobile Regional Airport (airport code MOB)
  From End of Program
  Location: Mobile, AL
    (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; Orientation/Introductions
(Sunday, April 13)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in is at the Admiral Semmes Hotel 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, 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 served in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Each person will introduce themselves and tell something that might connect them to someone else in the group. There will also be time at the end to answer any new questions that may arise.
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Morning classes include the history of Bellingrath Gardens and Home and Mobile History /Afternoon class on the the Battle of Mobile Bay/Evening class on the architecture of the area/Meals are in the hotel dining room
(Monday, April 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Explore Bellingrath Gardens and Home conducted by the property’s curator. Discover how this local attraction was chosen as the only Alabama property featured on the A&E series, America’s Castles. Learn about the 65-acre garden estate, its opening to the public in 1932, and the original owners, Mr. and Mrs. Bellingrath. Dive into Mobile history! During a class with a local expert, discover the influence and contributions of Native Americans, Africans, Spanish, French, and British on our city. Learn about Mobile’s role in the Civil War, Reconstruction, and World War II.
 Lunch: Lunch served in the hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" Sail into a class on the Battle of Mobile Bay. A local expert discusses the battle and Mobile, Alabama – the Confederacy’s last major port on Gulf of Mexico during the Civil War.
 Dinner: Dinner served in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy a class with an architectural historian. Learn about Mobile’s architecture in discussions surrounding 18th and 19th century styles including bungalow, Creole, Antebellum, Victorian, and Italianate. Topics may include churches, homes, and commercial buildings. Discover how details followed individual tastes and trends of the time.
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Morning classes include the history of Bellingrath Gardens and Home and Mobile History /Free afternoon to explore the area/ Dinner on your own/Evening class with the Azalea Trail Maids
(Tuesday, April 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Continue your discussion on Bellingrath Gardens and Home conducted by the property’s curator. Discover how this local attraction was chosen as the only Alabama property featured on the A&E series, America’s Castles. Learn about the 65-acre garden estate, its opening to the public in 1932, and the original owners, Mr. and Mrs. Bellingrath. Dive into Mobile history! During a class with a local expert, discover the influence and contributions of Native Americans, Africans, Spanish, French, and British on our city. Learn about Mobile’s role in the Civil War, Reconstruction, and World War II.
 Lunch: Lunch served in the hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon as you explore Mobile on your own. Discover downtown Mobile as you walk around the historic district or venture out into the city.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own. Lots of great restaurants within walking distance of the hotel or take a short drive to the causeway for delicious seafood restaurant options.
 Evening: This evening, enjoy a special presentation on Mobile’s famous Azalea Trail Maids. These fifty young women, selected from area high schools, wear traditional hooped antebellum dresses with pantaloons, gloves, and dainty umbrellas. The Azalea Trail Maids are true ambassadors of the city and exemplify Mobile’s southern charm. This class will definitely remain on your list of favorites for years to come! Be sure to bring your camera this evening.
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Morning field trips include guided bus tour of historic Mobile and Richards DAR house/Lunch at Wintzells/ Spend the afternoon at Bellingrath gardens and home/Evening class on historic architecture/Breakfast and dinner served in the hotel dining room.
(Wednesday, April 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Continue your classroom history discussion with the instructor as you roll through the streets for a guided bus tour of the Mobile area. View historic landmarks, beautiful 18th and 19th century homes, and majestic live oaks. Then, drive past the city’s port area where you will learn about the Mobile economy. Visit the Richards DAR House, furnished and administered by the Daughters of the American Revolution as a Period House-Museum. Built in 1860, this handsome historic home, a Town House of the Italianate style, tells in superb architectural detail of fashionable life during Mobile's affluent antebellum days. The House is famous for its iron lace that lavishly decorates the front facade. While you're there, enjoy tea and cookies as you experience Mobile's true southern hospitality.
 Lunch: Lunch served at a unique local seafood restaurant that has been serving seafood dishes to the Gulf Coast for over 70 years. Known far and wide for is "Oysters- fried, stewed, or nude" Wintzell's Oyster House was founded in 1938 by Oliver Wintzell. You will enjoy the atmosphere and of course the food.
 Afternoon: Tour one of A&E’s “American Castles” – Bellingrath Gardens and Home. Step back in time for a journey through the magnificent 15-room mansion. The home showcases its original collection of treasured antiques, furniture, silver, china, crystal, and cut glass. The exterior features handmade brick and ironwork from a landmark 19th century Mobile hotel. Nestled among beautiful live oaks, Spanish moss, and scenic Fowl River, the 65-acre gardens boast blooms every day of the year. During Spring, enjoy azaleas, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, pansies, camellias, Japanese magnolias, ornamental kale and cabbage, foxglove, delphinium, violas and poppies.
 Dinner: Dinner served in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Finish up your lessons on historic architecture. Learn about Mobile’s architecture in discussions surrounding 18th and 19th century styles including bungalow, Creole, Antebellum, Victorian, and Italianate. Topics may include churches, homes, and commercial buildings. Discover how details followed individual tastes and trends of the time.
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Morning field trip to the History Museum of Mobile/Lunch on your own in downtown Mobile/Afternoon spent on an area walking tour and at a Museum home/ Evening class/ Breakfast and lunch served in the hotel dining room.
(Thursday, April 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: 21st Century innovative exhibits come alive during your field trip to The History Museum of Mobile. Explore Mobile as the first Americans saw it. Relive the passage on an African slave ship. Listen to the stories of Civil War soldiers, and feel the power of nature’s raging storm, the hurricane. Get your hands on history in the Discovery Room, an interactive gallery for the young and young at heart. Visit The Shop in the Southern Market for a unique gift or memento.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own. You will be able to board a free downtown trolley to stop and eat wherever you would like. From seafood to sandwiches and salads, you can find many wonderful restaurants to enjoy. Don't miss "Three Georges" candy store for your home made candy dessert.
 Afternoon: After your walking tour, visit the Oakleigh House Museum and the Cox-Deasy House. View exhibits of beautiful furnishings with fine period collections of furniture, portraits, silver, china, jewellery, interesting kitchen implements, and toys.
 Dinner: Dinner served in the hotel.
 Evening: Enjoy a class to discover the history, fun, and ambience of Mardi Gras with a local expert. Understand the true meaning behind the carnival season and where it orginated first.
   
Accommodations: Admiral Semmes Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Breakfast in the hotel/Check-out; morning class on Jubilee/ Box lunch
(Friday, April 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served in the hotel dining room
 Morning: Check out of lodging rooms. Discover Jubilee, a natural phenomenon that takes place from time to time on the shores of Mobile Bay in Alabama. Occurring mainly on warm summer nights, often in the early pre-dawn hours, the event initiates a joyous community beach party. Learn what this rare celebration is all about and why it benefits coastal residents.
 Lunch: Box lunch to go.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Mobile, AL Battleship USS Alabama
History meets heroism ...from World War II to Iraqi Freedom, at one of America’s finest military parks. Here at Battleship Memorial Park you’ll walk the decks of a mighty battleship. Go below in a World War II submarine. View cockpits of combat aircraft. You’ll also see tanks, a Vietnam River Patrol Boat, and a plane like the one flown by the Tuskegee Airmen. It’s all here, all waiting to be discovered by you! For additional information, visit www.ussalabama.com/
  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 Southern Bell River Cruiser on the Fowl River. View surrounding estates and wildlife from climate controlled comfort. For additional information, visit www.bellingrath.org
  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 www.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.
  Mobile Carnival Museum
The Mobile Carnival Museum highlights the history of Mardi Gras in its true birthplace - Mobile Alabama. ♦ Immerse yourself in the rich history and traditions of carnival. ♦ See firsthand the intricate designs and artistry of majestic crowns, scepters and robes of Mardi Gras monarchs. ♦ Discover the art of costume design and float construction. ♦ View videos of parades and balls. ♦ Witness the pomp and pageantry of past coronations. ♦ Browse a pictorial gallery of historical photographs dating back to 1886. ♦ Experience a behind the mask view of the street party by climbing aboard a rocking float. For additional information, visit www.mobilecarnivalmuseum.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


Historic Photos of Mobile


Author: Carol Ellis and Scotty Kirkland


Mobile: The New History of Alabama's First City


Author: Michael Thomason, ed.


Moving the Earth-For a Song


Author: M. Wilson Gaillard




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