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Keys and Everglades: Human and Natural History Outdoor Studies

Program Number: 2801RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/2/2014 - 11/8/2014; 12/7/2014 - 12/13/2014; 1/11/2015 - 1/17/2015; 1/18/2015 - 1/24/2015; 1/25/2015 - 1/31/2015; 2/1/2015 - 2/7/2015; 2/8/2015 - 2/14/2015; 2/15/2015 - 2/21/2015; 2/22/2015 - 2/28/2015; 3/1/2015 - 3/7/2015; 3/8/2015 - 3/14/2015; 3/15/2015 - 3/21/2015; 3/22/2015 - 3/28/2015; 3/29/2015 - 4/4/2015; 4/5/2015 - 4/11/2015; 4/12/2015 - 4/18/2015; 4/19/2015 - 4/25/2015; 4/26/2015 - 5/2/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Key Largo, Florida
Price starting at: $1,795.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; On the Road
Meals: 15; 6 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

A Florida Master Naturalist leads you on this journey through the Florida Keys’ natural history and cultural heritage. Examine environmental issues affecting the Everglades and coral reefs and hear the stories of Native Americans, shipwreck divers, Henry Flagler and others.




Highlights

• Learn about Florida Keys ecology as you explore Dry Tortugas National Park and two state parks.
• Enjoy a special visit to Biscayne National Park.
• Delve into evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates and shipwrecks to farmers and presidents.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to 1.5 miles over pavement, boardwalks, mulched paths, cobbled stone. Must be able to swim for snorkeling at Dry Tortugas. Snorkeling equipment provided. Wet suits not available.




Date Specific Information

11-2-2014

The Yankee Freedom will be undergoing inspection by the Cost Guard and will not be in operation during the course of your program. Unfortunately, due to this unexpected inspection, we will no longer be able to visit Dry Tortugas on Day 4 of your itinerary as originally scheduled. Instead, you will now have the opportunity to experience a ride aboard the Key West Conch Train and later enjoy an excursion to the Florida Key’s Eco-Discovery Center.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



12-7-2014, 1-11-2015, 1-18-2015, 1-25-2015, 2-1-2015, 2-8-2015, 2-15-2015, 2-22-2015, 3-1-2015, 3-8-2015, 3-15-2015, 3-29-2015, 4-5-2015, 4-12-2015, 4-19-2015, 4-26-2015

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



Itinerary Summary

Miami, shuttle to Key Largo, 2 nights; coach to Key West, 3 nights; coach to Key Largo, 1 night; shuttle to Miami.




Key Largo

The most northern of the Florida Keys, Key Largo is a popular diving and sports-fishing destination. Kayakers, birders and eco-tourists flock here because of its location between the Everglades and the country’s only living coral reef. At nearby John PenneKamp State Park, visitors can take snorkeling, diving or glass-bottom boat tours of the reef.



Accommodations
Key Largo: Ocean resort. Key West: B&B.
Meals and Lodgings
   Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
  Key Largo 2 nights
   Westwinds Inn
  Key West Florida 3 nights
   Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
  Key Largo 1 night
 Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Type: Resort
  Description: Ocean Pointe is an all-suite resort located directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Their 60 acres are part of a protected mangrove forest and is entered through a private gatehouse and road. Your vacation begins the moment you drive through our gatehouse entrance into their beautifully landscaped tropical grounds and enter your spacious room.
  Contact info: 500 Burton Dr
Key Largo, FL 33070 USA
phone: 305-853-3000
web: www.opsuites.com/Hotel_Overview/key-largo-ocean-pointe-overview.asp
  Room amenities: Living room with queen sofa bed, full kitchen, dining area, separate bedroom with queen bed, private balcony and whirlpool tub in the bathroom. As a condominium hotel, no maid service but complimentary towels and linens delivered upon request. and have washers and dryers in every suite
  Facility amenities: - Oversized heated swimming pool with whirlpool spa - Free tennis on 2 lighted courts - Marina with boat ramp and rental slips - Waterfront cafe and lounge - Small, private white sand beach, volleyball court and kayak rentals. - Courtesy guard at gatehouse - For kids there is also a childrens play area.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $169 - 239 Call the resort directly to make the reservations. Mention your are part of the World Event/Road Scholar Group.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $169 - 239 Call the resort directly to make the reservations. Mention your are part of the World Event/Road Scholar Group.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

 Westwinds Inn
Type: Bed and Breakfast
  Description: Enchanting 26 roomed complex of renovated, early 19th century Key West cottages located in Old Town. Traditional white trim and gingerbread charm. Courtyard paved with bricks and granite curbstones from ships' ballast. Short walking distance to Old Seaport (where ferry to Dry Tortugas docks) and 4 blocks from Duval Street. No children under 12 allowed and Spring Breakers discouraged.
  Contact info: 914 Eaton Street - Old Town
Key West, FL 33040 USA
phone: 305-296-4440 xor8007884150
web: www.westwindskeywest.com
  Room amenities: all non-smoking, private bathroom, air conditioned, voice mail telephone, hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: 2 Pools and jacuzzi spa surrounded by luxuriant tropical trees and shrubs, coin operated guest laundry, bicycle rentals and assistance with booking extra curricular activities
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00 PM: Shuttle departs MIA airport Terminal H Baggage Claim # 6. 5:30 PM Orientation at Ocean Pointe Welcome Center You will be staying at Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 AM Shuttle departs for Miami Airport after our visit to Key Biscayne National Park. Approximate airport arrival 12:00 noon. You will be staying at Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. World Events LLC requires a waiver to be signed before the start of the program
  Parking availability:
Please inform your Group Leader at Orientation to arrange parking at Ocean Pointe while we are in Key West. The special parking arrangement cannot be made directly with the hotel in advance. We can not accommodate RV's, large vans and car with trailers.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Key Largo
  Nearest city or town:  Key Largo
  Nearest highway: US-1 aka Overseas Highway
  Nearest airport:  Miami
  From End of Program
  Location: Key Largo
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Key Largo/Tavernier

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Provider - World Events LLC
phone: 800-971-3884
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hrs 

   

Complimentary for all participants arriving to Miami International Airport only and for flights arriving no later than 2:00 PM. The meeting location is Terminal H Baggage claim # 6 by the benches. The shuttle will depart at promptly at 3:00 PM. Please use the Travel Form (attached to your preparatory materials) to request the complimentary shuttle service. We can not guarantee reservations made by phone.

 

Key Biacayne National Park

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
World Events LLC
phone: 800-971-3884
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Complimentary
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

50 miles

   

Complimentary for all participants departing Miami International Airport. Please do not schedule your flights for any earlier than 2:00 PM. Transportation on 12 or 15 pax vans.Please use the Travel Form (attached to your preparatory materials) to request the complimentary shuttle service. We cannot guarantee reservations made by phone.

 

Key Largo/Tavernier

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Keys Shuttle
phone: 888-765-9997
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$70 per person or $80 for two people
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hrs 

 

Distance:

 

50 miles

   

Please contact the shuttle company for updated prices and schedules.

 
Driving Directions
  From Florida's West Coast Take 1-75 (Alligator Alley) East towards Miami then look for the signs for Key West and the Turnpike Extension. Go South on the Turnpike until it ends at Florida City then follow U.S. #1 South for about 22 miles to Key Largo. Mile Markers (MM) While driving in the Keys, the right side of the road if driving toward Key West is referred to as Bayside while the left side is called the Oceanside. The signs count down from MM107 in Key Largo to MM0 in Key West. The road is also know as the Overseas Highway. When you reach the island, continue south to mile marker 92.5, you will see a highway sign on the center median: Harris Park/Burton Drive next left. Turn left at the next corner at the Circle K Convenience store The Ocean Pointe Suites gatehouse entrance will be on your right side approximately 1/4 mile from US1
  From Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Exit the airport and follow the signs for #595 West. Take #595 to the Florida Turnpike South toward Key West. The Turnpike ends at US #1 in Florida City. Follow U.S. #1 South about 22 miles to Key Largo. Mile Markers (MM) While driving in the Keys, the right side of the road if driving toward Key West is referred to as Bayside while the left side is called the Oceanside. The signs count down from MM107 in Key Largo to MM0 in Key West. The road is also know as the Overseas Highway. When you reach the island, continue south to mile marker 92.5, you will see a highway sign on the center median: Harris Park/Burton Drive next left. Turn left at the next corner at the Circle K Convenience store The Ocean Pointe Suites gatehouse entrance will be on your right side approximately 1/4 mile from US1
  From the North Take the Florida Turnpike South to just below Ft. Lauderdale, where Old Exit 4 takes you on to the southern portion of the Turnpike. The Turnpike ends at US #1 in Florida City. Follow U.S. #1 south for about 22 miles to Key Largo. Mile Markers (MM) While driving in the Keys, the right side of the road if driving toward Key West is referred to as Bayside while the left side is called the Oceanside. The signs count down from MM107 in Key Largo to MM0 in Key West. The road is also know as the Overseas Highway. When you reach the island, continue south to mile marker 92.5, you will see a highway sign on the center median: Harris Park/Burton Drive next left. Turn left at the next corner at the Circle K Convenience store The Ocean Pointe Suites gatehouse entrance will be on your right side approximately 1/4 mile from US1
  Miami Take the Florida Turnpike south to the end, when it becomes US1 south. Follow US1 over the causeway to Key Largo. When you reach the island, continue south to milemarker 92.5, About 1/4 mile before you reach 92.5, you will see a highway sign on the center median: Harris Harris Park Burton Drive. Turn left at the next corner at the Circle K Convenience store. The Ocean Pointe Suites gatehouse entrance will be on your right side approximately 1/4 mile from US1.
Elevation Note: No elevation above 100 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Insect repellent, water bottle, sun screen or sun block.
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: Check-in and orientation
(Sunday, March 29)
   
 Arrive To: INDEPENDENT ARRIVALS: Complimentary shuttle from Miami Airport to Ocean Pointe Suites. The meeting location is Terminal H Baggage Claim # 6 at 2:45 PM.
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Hotel check-in will be available beginning at 4:00 PM.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION & ORIENTATION: We will gather at 5:30 pm in our reserved room at the hotel (at the Welcome Center in the downstairs area) for introductions and an orientation to the program. We will provide an informative overview of the program including a review of the updated daily schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to weather and other local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible.

 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: The remainder of the evening is yours to continue getting to know your fellow participants. Stroll along the boardwalk or just relax and get ready for tomorrow. Because your days will be filled with adventures and activities, we are not scheduling evening programs. You will see and learn a lot and will need "down" time to rest and prepare for what each day offers.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Everglades National Park
(Monday, March 30)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Join us on a visit to Everglades National Park's, "River of Grass.” Take a guided walk along the Anhinga Trail while learning about local animals and the impact of human development on the Everglades ecosystem. Excellent birding and photo opportunities.
 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches at the park.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: After lunch we'll go on a short hike around a lake and bird rookery or in the pine flat woods and grass prairie. Location depends on time available and weather considerations. Before returning to the hotel we'll stop at the Ernest Coe Visitor Center to peruse exhibits, a short video and the Everglades/Natural Florida book store.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: John Pennekamp State Park/ Pigeon Key Ferry to 7 mile Bridge / Key West Mallory Square Sunset Celebration
(Tuesday, March 31)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a warm, friendly, restaurant, featuring a casual atmosphere and traditional, home cooked meals.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: This morning we'll drive to John Pennekamp Visitor Center and Aquarium. The Visitor Center features a 30,000 gallon saltwater aquarium and other natural history exhibits providing examples of the park's unique marine environment. After our short visit to the visitor center, we'll embark on a guided field trip through the park, including a mile long walk through mangrove habitats over pathways and boardwalk. Learn about the importance of mangroves to the reefs and why the mangrove system is the second most productive bio-zone on the planet as we walk inside this virtual jungle above the water.

FIELD TRIP: After our guided walk we'll drive to Pigeon Key where we'll take a trip through time as we explore buildings built in 1909 to house more than 400 workers, working 14-hours a day, six days a week to build Henry Flagler's Florida Overseas Railroad. Ride the Pigeon Key boat (a 20 minutes ride) from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, and you'll cross beneath the new 7-Mile Bridge and a 2.2-mile segment of the old Seven-Mile bridge! Once on the Island, we will explore the historic buildings and the Museum.

 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch in Pigeon Key overlooking Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay . The lunch include fresh salad and/or sandwiches.
 Afternoon: Take the boat back to US-1 and continue our journey to Key West.

HOTEL CHECK IN : 4:30 PM Approximate arrival to the Hotel in Key West.

 Dinner: We will walk to a local restaurant for dinner this evening.
 Evening: FIELD TRIP: Escorted 3/4 mile walk to Mallory Square for the Sunset Celebration, a unique Key West icon to enjoy at your leisure - ask coordinator for an update on entertainers worth seeing. After Sunset either stay on Duval Street or walk back to the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Westwinds Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: On board Yankee Freedom/A Journey from Key West to the Dry Tortugas National Park & Fort Jefferson
(Wednesday, April 1)
   
 Breakfast: Early departure from hotel for walk to the boat to Dry Tortugas National Park ferry.

Continental breakfast buffet on board the ship at 8:00 AM, including bagels, cereal, yogurt, fruits, and juices. Boat is a large 150 passenger catamaran with air conditioned lower deck and open air top deck.

 Morning: FIELD TRIP: En route to Dry Tortugas National Park, our onboard naturalist will give you an orientation about the area and the national park's surroundings. During your voyage, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Marquesa Islands, Boca Grande, have an opportunity to see turtles and dolphins, and listen to pirate legends. Upon arrival to the Park, enjoy a guided walking tour of Ft. Jefferson and its role in history as you learn about its role in US history.
 Lunch: Buffet lunch inside of the Catamaran.
 Afternoon: OPEN ACTIVITIES: After lunch enjoy snorkeling, bird watching, a naturalist guided moat walk or just relax on a rarity in the Keys - a sandy beach. (Birders - from late February the adjoining Bush Key is closed to visitors to enable the sooty terns and other unique birds to nest undisturbed. Activity however can often be viewed through volunteer rangers spotting scopes.)
 Dinner: After returning to hotel take some time to freshen up. Dinner will be served in the hotel's back garden.
 Evening: After dinner, your group leader will provide ideas, recommendations and brochures of things to do on your free day in Key West. Afterwards, enjoy a walk on Duval Street or relax at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Westwinds Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Free Time in Key West
(Thursday, April 2)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast by the pool including an assortment of cereal, fruit, bagels, pastries, eggs, juice and coffee.
 Morning: On your own. Spend the day visiting Key West sites that appeal to you. Highly recommended for easy access and background history of Key West is the Old Town Trolley, which allows you get on and off at the places you wish to visit. Or enjoy a ride on the famous Conch Train for an in-depth, 2 hour narrated tour of Old Key West. Tickets are available at the front desk of the hotel.
 Lunch: On your own to sample from the many restaurants Key West has to offer.
 Afternoon: At your leisure. Key West is full of interesting places to visit and explore. For recommendations of things to do, ask your your Group Leader, Road Scholar Coordinator or hotel staff who will be more than happy to offer suggestions based on your interests: take a self-guided walking tour of the city; enjoy a Fury Water Adventure such as a sunset sail cruse, parasailing or a glass bottom boat ride; take the opportunity to visit the Audubon House or the Key West Aquarium; or simply return to the hotel to relax at the pool or in the jacuzzi spa.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own to sample from the many restaurants Key West has to offer.
 Evening: After dinner enjoy Key West's lively night scene. Chose from visiting or revisiting your favorite watering hole; take in a cabaret revue or jazz venue; stroll some quieter neighborhoods on a Ghost Walk or simply saunter down to the Westin Marina or Old Seaport to see a visiting celebrity's luxury yacht.
   
Accommodations: Westwinds Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Fort Zachary Taylor State Park / Windley Key State Park/ Farewell Dinner
(Friday, April 3)
   
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast by the pool including an assortment of cereal, fruit, bagels, pastries, eggs, juice and coffee. .
 Morning: HOTEL CHECK OUT: return your room keys and bring luggage to the front.

FIELD TRIP: On our way back to Key Largo, we'll stop to visit Florida's southernmost state park and learn about U.S. Military history and the role that Fort Zachary Taylor played in it. 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.

 Lunch: Enjoy a delicious and healthy picnic lunch including fresh salad and/or sandwiches at the beautiful Sombrero Beach.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Visit the Windley Key Fossil Reef State Park and walk along eight-foot-high quarry walls to see cross sections of ancient coral. Learn about the history of the quarry and its operation -- an important part of Florida's 20th century history -- as you walk among samples of the quarry machinery have been preserved at the park. Formed of Key Largo limestone, fossilized coral, this land was sold to the Florida East Coast Railroad, which used the stone to build Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad in the early 1900s. Following the completion of the railroad, the quarry was used until the 1960s to produce exquisite pieces of decorative stone called Keystone.
 Dinner: Return to the Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo and enjoy some time to freshen up for our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Recap of program and special event for following morning.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Biscayne National Park /Program Ends - Shuttle to Airport
(Saturday, April 4)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at a local ,warm, friendly, and casual atmosphere restaurant with traditional home cooked breakfasts.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: This morning we'll make a short visit to Biscayne National Park. Within sight of downtown Miami, yet worlds away, Biscayne protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, and fish-bejeweled coral reefs. Here too is evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates and shipwrecks to pineapple farmers and presidents.

Immediately following our field trip we'll depart for the Miami International Airport. We hope you have had a great time on this learning adventure and will join us for other rewarding programs in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!

   
Meals Included: Breakfast
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


A Land Remembered


Author: Patrick Smith


Eco-Touring the Florida Keys


Author: Matthew Landau Larry Gates


Everglades Nat. Park & Surrounding


Author: Roger Hammer


Hidden Florida Keys & Everglades


Author: Candace Leslie Ana Boese


Insiders Guide Florida Keys and Key West


Author: Victoria Shearer and Janet Ware


Key West


Author: Gerald Sprayregen


National Audubon Field Guide to Florida


Author: Alden / Cech / Nelson




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