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Key West Old Town: A Kaleidoscope of Life

Program Number: 20902RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/23/2014 - 3/28/2014; 12/7/2014 - 12/12/2014; 12/14/2014 - 12/19/2014; 1/4/2015 - 1/9/2015; 1/11/2015 - 1/16/2015; 1/25/2015 - 1/30/2015; 2/1/2015 - 2/6/2015; 2/8/2015 - 2/13/2015; 3/1/2015 - 3/6/2015; 3/8/2015 - 3/13/2015; 3/29/2015 - 4/3/2015; 4/12/2015 - 4/17/2015; 4/26/2015 - 5/1/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Key West, Florida
Price starting at: $1,329.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

With its distinctive architecture, courtyard gardens and hidden pathways Key West's Old Town is a delight to explore on foot. Experience what makes the United States' southernmost city so unique and discover what lies behind the quaint facade. With local experts who lead lectures and field trips, hear tales of ships and shipwrecks, explore the Hemingway home and get a look at Papa’s favorite bar. Consider President Truman’s love affair with Key West at the “Little White House” and share the spirit of the island with artists, divers, gardeners, historians, musicians, oceanographers and other natives.




Highlights

• Meet numerous Key West residents and hear from them about their home, and the cultural scene.
• Visit the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum to examine gold and silver bars and other artifacts retrieved by Mel Fisher and his crew of divers from a sunken 17th-century ship.
• Learn about the a variety of different bird species and exotic flora at the Audubon House and Tropical Gardens.



Activity Particulars

Walking two miles daily on paved sidewalks; some stairs and standing at museums and historic sites.



For a less active program you may be interested in the sister program exploring Key West by trolley, Key West at Your Pace: Living on Island Time (#21797).




Date Specific Information

3-23-2014

Beautiful, historic hotel located on Duval St. in the heart of Old Town Key West.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



12-7-2014, 12-14-2014, 1-4-2015, 1-11-2015, 2-1-2015, 3-1-2015, 4-12-2015, 4-26-2015

Serene beachfront hotel, minutes away from Old Town Key West
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



1-25-2015, 2-8-2015, 3-8-2015, 3-29-2015

Beautiful oceanfront resort located in Mallory Square, the heart of Old Town Key West.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Key West

Real estate in America’s southernmost city dates back to the kings of Spain. Key West’s raffish charm has attracted the likes of John James Audubon, Thomas Edison, Lou Gehrig, Ernest Hemingway, Harry Truman, Tennessee Williams and colorful characters who stroll past palm-lined streets, gingerbread mansions and conch houses to celebrate the sun.



Accommodations
Beautiful oceanfront resort located in Mallory Square, the heart of Old Town Key West or serene beachfront hotel, minutes away from Old Town Key West.

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

Juan Riera is a Florida native who earned a B.A. in history at the University of Florida, an M.A. in history from Florida International University as well as a graduate certificate in Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. He then went to Texas for a doctoral program in colonial Latin American History with minors in museum studies and anthropology. For nearly 20 years, Juan has worked in museums including at Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut during the filming of "Amistad." He also taught for 10 years at the university level, led lifelong learning classes, and worked for eight years in libraries and archives.
 
Bob Wolz

Bob Wolz graduated from Youngstown State University with a degree in history and a minor in business. In 1999, he became the executive director of the Harry S. Truman Little White House State Historic Site. Bob created a not-for-profit corporation that aims to expand educational outreach of the Little White House and complete its restoration. He is an accomplished writer having co-authored or edited several books including, “The Legacy of the Little White House: Presidents in Paradise.” His work has also appeared in the Florida Artland History Magazine and the American Political Science Review.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Crowne Plaza La Concha
  Key West Old Town 5 nights
 Crowne Plaza La Concha
Type: Hotel
  Description: A National Historic Landmark in the heart of Old Key West, the Crowne Plaza Key West - La Concha exudes history and luxury. From its elegant atrium-style lobby to its playful sunset rooftop, this classic Key West hotel offers a unique mix of vintage charm and modern chic. Since 1926, this iconic hotel has been embracing guests like Ernest Hemmingway, Tennessee Williams and Harry S. Truman with passionate hospitality and extraordinary service that has made this a landmark hotel and international retreat on Duval Street.
  Contact info: 430 Duval St
Key West, FL 33040 USA
phone: 305-296-2991
  Room amenities: 42” Flat Screen TVs Balconies - Some Rooms Blackout Drapes Cable/Satellite Television CD Player Clock Radio Coffee/Tea Maker Complimentary Newspaper (M-F) in the hotel lobby Complimentary Toiletries Hairdryer Housekeeping High-Speed Internet & Wireless Laptop Safe Mini Fridge Multi-Line Phone With Voicemail Wake-Up Calls
  Facility amenities: The Top - Rooftop Deck Overlooking Ocean & Key West Free Newspapers (Lobby) Front Desk (24-hour) Gift Shop High-Speed Wireless Internet Access Poolside Bar Restaurant - Jack’s Seafood Shack Room Service Safe-deposit Box (Front Desk) Starbucks Coffee Sun Decks Swimming Pool - Outdoor Walking To shops, Beaches, Attractions &Nightlife
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD TBD
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: TBD TBD
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3-5pm in hotel for registration. You will be staying at Crowne Plaza La Concha that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 11 am with a box lunch on Friday. You will be staying at Crowne Plaza La Concha the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
$20.00/day
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Key West Old Town
  Nearest city or town:  Key West
  Nearest highway: The Overseas Highway
  Nearest airport:  Key West
  From End of Program
  Location: Key West Old Town
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Key West International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Key West Taxi
phone: 305-296-6666

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$15-$20
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10-20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

3 miles

   

Taxis are readily available to transport you from the Key West airport to the hotel. The pick up location is outside baggage claim. A reservation is not required.

 

Miami International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Keys Shuttle
phone: 305-289-9997
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$60-$90 per person (Call for exact price)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

4 hours 

 

Distance:

 

120 miles

   

Call the Shuttle company for exact price since prices change from time to time. Rent a car at the airport if you decide to.

 
Driving Directions
  From Key West International Airport (EYW) to the Crowne Plaza La Concha Turn Right out of the Airport onto South Roosevelt Boulevard. South Roosevelt Boulevard turns slightly Right and becomes Berta Street. Turn Left at Atlantic Boulevard. Turn Right onto Truman Avenue. Turn Right at Duval Street and the hotel is 5 blocks up. Hotel is located at 430 Duval Street.
  From Miami International Airport (MIA) to the Crowne Plaza La Concha Head South toward Miad Circle and take a slight Left toward NW 21st Street. Continue straight on NW 21st Street and take exit 4 to 836 W. After about 3 miles, take exit to 826 S for 4 miles, then exit to 874 S. After 25 miles exit Left onto Hwy 5 S and continue on for 124 miles. Turn Right onto North Roosevelt Blvd. Turn Right onto Palm Avenue and then left on Eaton Street. Turn left on Duval Street. Hotel is located at 430 Duval Street.
  From Miami to the Crowne Plaza La Concha If you are driving, from (US1) turn Right onto North Roosevelt Boulevard. Turn Right onto Palm Avenue Causeway. Continue onto Palm Avenue. Take a slight Left onto Eaton Street. Turn Left onto Duval Street and the hotel is located at 430 Duval Street. The trip will be 163 miles.
Elevation Note: 3 feet above sea level

Equipment Requirements: No equipment required
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 & Check-in, Program Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
(Sunday, March 23)
   
 Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 3:00-5:00pm.

Program Registration: 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: This evening’s dinner at the hotel is a plated, 3-course meal with salad, choice of entrée, and dessert.
 Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome, introduce everyone, and provide key staff contact names and phone numbers. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Take the rest of the evening to settle in, relax, and prepare for the day ahead.

   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza La Concha
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Key West By Trolley, Harry Truman and the Little White House, Key West Museum of Art and History, Key West Garden Club, Celebrate the Sun at Mallory Square
(Monday, March 24)
   
 Breakfast: Our well-balanced breakfast buffet in the hotel offers a variety of tasty foods to start your day with hot and cold items, fresh fruit, juices, and coffee/decaf, tea, water.
 Morning: Lecture: Harry Truman and the Little White House. Bob Wolz, our Truman expert, will tell you all about the President’s days in Key West and what came to be known as The Little White House. Florida’s only Presidential site, the Harry S. Truman Little White House was constructed in 1890 as housing for naval officers. Its most important usage was as President Truman’s winter White House from 1946-1952.

Field Trip: Custom House Museum. This living link to Key West’s historic past was built in 1891 to house the island’s customs office, postal service, and district courts. “Old 91” is now the headquarters of the Key West Art and Historical Society that maintains a collection of artifacts and art significant to the Florida Keys. A docent will lead us through this amazing space.

Excursion: Key West By Trolley. During an hour long, narrated trip see why this island that is only four miles long and two miles wide is such a fascinating place.

 Lunch: Lunch today is out at a local favorite: Salute! on the Beach
 Afternoon: Field Trip and Lecture: Visit the West Martello Tower -- a former Civil War fort and National Historic Site that is now the home of the Key West Garden Club with beautiful grounds. The President of the Key West Garden Club will guide you through the gardens and share the history of the tower.
 Dinner: Dinner this evening is out at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Performance: Enjoy a dance demonstration at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza La Concha
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: John James Audubon, Old Town Walk, Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center
(Tuesday, March 25)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Excursion: Enjoy a guided walk around Old Town.
 Lunch: Lunch today is on your own to enjoy the cuisine of your choice. Your group leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. Part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the Eco-Discovery Center features more than 6,000 square feet of interactive and dynamic exhibits including a mock-up of Aquarius, the world's only underwater ocean laboratory. Colorful exterior artwork depicts the deep sea, coral reef, and mangrove shoreline. Here we will learn about native plants and animals of the Keys, marine and terrestrial, for increased awareness and appreciation of the need to protect and conserve South Florida’s ecosystem.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Lecture: John James Audubon. America's greatest wildlife artist and early naturalist began exploring Florida in 1831 and visited the Keys and Dry Tortugas the next year. He left having sighted and drawn 22 birds for his "Birds of America" folio. Audubon's painting of the white-crowned pigeon features the Geiger tree found in the front yard of the so-called Audubon House where he stayed in Key West.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza La Concha
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, Treasures & Stories of the Deep, Audubon House & Gardens, Free Evening
(Wednesday, March 26)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip: Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. Dedicated to educating the public on maritime and colonial activity in the New World and preserving maritime culture resources, the museum celebrates 500 years of history where you will learn about marine archaeology and see treasures including gold and silver bars retrieved from beneath the sea. As a special highlight, we will go behind the scenes to see the conservation lab. We will return to the hotel following the field trip.

Lecture: Treasures and Stories of the Deep. Meet and hear from our favorite deep sea diver who will delight you with tales of his many years of fishing and diving in these waters.

 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. Part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the Eco-Discovery Center features more than 6,000 square feet of interactive and dynamic exhibits including a mock-up of Aquarius, the world's only underwater ocean laboratory. Colorful exterior artwork depicts the deep sea, coral reef, and mangrove shoreline. Here we will learn about native plants and animals of the Keys, marine and terrestrial, for increased awareness and appreciation of the need to protect and conserve South Florida’s ecosystem.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own this evening to explore and sample the town's numerous dining options. Your group leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
 Evening: Free Evening. Enjoy a stroll to view the passing parade. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, wet your whistle in one of Hemingway's favorite hang-outs. Hint: Two local bars lay claim to being his "real" favorite.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza La Concha
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Stories of Key West, Hemingway House, Farewell Dinner
(Thursday, March 27)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip: Visit the Tennessee Williams exhibition and learn more about his life in Key West.

Field Trip: Hemingway House. A docent will lead us through former residence of one of America’s iconic writers, whose personal life was a colorful as any of his characters. Ernest Hemingway first visited Key West in 1928, arriving from Havana. Learn about the lives and times in Key West of Hemingway, his wife Pauline, and the house itself. Personal touches are everywhere throughout the house, from European antiques to trophies and skins that were the legacy of African safaris. It was here that Hemingway produced some of his best known works including “To Have And Have Not” set in Key West. Descendants of his six-toed cat abound.

 Lunch: Walk around the corner from the Hemingway House and have lunch at the Six-Toed Cat restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Little White House. President Truman’s first 19 months were grueling and left him physically exhausted. His doctor ordered a warm vacation and Key West was chosen. The President and Mrs. Truman arrived in November 1946 for a week of relaxation. He fell in love with the climate and small town charm, returning to what became known as the Little White House for 11 presidential working vacations and five post-Presidential trips after leaving office. Truman claimed Key West was his second favorite place on earth -- surpassed only by his hometown, Independence MO.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner at Kellys Caribbean Bar and Grill. Enjoy good company and good food.
 Evening: Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square Dock. Here in Key West, watching the sun go down is a daily ritual. Even more, it’s a festival with arts and crafts exhibitors, street performers, vendors, and a crowd of thousands consisting of locals and visitors alike. People begin gathering about two hours before sunset for this multi-cultural “happening” that embodies the spirit of Key West.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza La Concha
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Key West and Cuba History, Program Concludes
(Friday, March 28)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: Cuba is located only 90 miles from Key West; these two islands are closely linked and their relationship is one of the most unusual and fascinating in all of American history. Learn about their cultural and economic ties and how Key West has transformed over the past 175 years.
 Lunch: The program ends with lunch. You will have a box lunch that you may eat at the hotel or take with you.

We hope you have enjoyed this Road Scholar learning adventure and look forward to having you on other programs in the future. Please stay in touch and share your memories, pictures, and comments via the Road Scholar Social Network. Best wishes for all your journeys!

   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Key West Old Town Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory
Walk through a magical and inviting environment filled with hundred of the most beautiful winged creatures in nature. During your breathtaking journey you will experience an impressive collection of flowering plants, colorful birds, cascading waterfalls and trees that set the stage for the "flowers of the sky." Witness a variety of some 50 to 60 butterfly species from around the world, along with over 20 exotic bird species, all under a climate- controlled, glass enclosed habitat. For additional information, visit http://www.keywestbutterfly.com/
  Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973, Florida's southernmost state park is popular for recreation, as well as U.S. military history. The fort was one of a series built in the mid-1800s to defend the nation's southeastern coastline. Completed in 1866, Fort Zachary Taylor played important roles in the Civil War and Spanish-American War. Guided tours of the fort are available daily. For additional information, visit http://www.floridastateparks.org/forttaylor/
  U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum
U.S. COAST GUARD CUTTER INGHAM (WPG-35) Maritime Museum & National Historic Landmark is both a military history museum and a National Memorial to Guardians Killed in Action In World War II and Vietnam. With over 50 years of service around the work, USCGC INGHAM is a quintessential portrait of Coast Guard history from 1936 to 1988. For additional information, visit http://www.uscgcingham.org/
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


To Have and Have Not


Author: Ernest Hemingway


Description: This is the dramatic, brutal story of Harry Morgan and his efforts to support his family by running contraband between Key West and Cuba. Set in the 1930s, the book carries all the flavor of an era that was poor, tough and resourceful. Harshly realistic, yet with one of the most subtle and moving relationships in Hemingway's "oeuvre", it goes beyond high adventure. It was adapted for film and became a memorable classic, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.



Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean


Author: Les Standiford


Description: Last Train to Paradise is acclaimed novelist Les Standiford’s fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad—one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the Labor Day hurricane of 1935



Hemingway's Key West


Author: Stuart McIver


Description: This vivid portrait reveals both Hemingway, the writer, and Hemingway, the hard-drinking, woman-chasing fighter and sportsman of legend. Hemingway's decade in Key West during the 1930s was his most productive. His only book set in the U.S., To Have and Have Not, takes place there. Meet his circle of friends (known as "the Mob"), his second wife, Pauline, and their two children. Hear from Hemingway contemporaries and scholars about the man and the town that he made famous.



Key West: History of an Island of Dreams


Author: Maureen Ogle


Description: Parrotheads, Hemingway aficionados, and sun worshipers view Key West as a tropical paradise, and scores of writers have set tales of mystery and romance on the island. The city’s real story—told by Maureen Ogle in this lively and engaging illustrated account—is as fabulous as fiction. In the two centuries since the city’s pioneer founders battled Indians, pirates, and deadly disease, Key West has stood at the crossroads of American history. In 1861, Union troops seized control of strategically located Key West. In the early 1890s, Key West Cubans helped José Martí launch the Cuban revolution, and a few years later the battleship Maine steamed out of Key West harbor on its last, tragic voyage. At the turn of the century, a technological marvel—the overseas railroad—was built to connect mainland Florida to Key West, and in the 1920s and 1930s, painters, rumrunners, and writers (including Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost) discovered Key West. During World War II, the federal government and the military war machine permanently altered the island’s landscape, and in the second half of the 20th century, bohemians, hippies, gays, and jet-setters began writing a new chapter in Key West’s social history.





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