Historic Amelia & Secluded Cumberland: Island Adventures in the South
Learn the story of Fernandina Beach — the only US municipality to have flown eight different flags — and explore the ecosystems of Cumberland Island during a rare two-night overnight.
Rating (5)
Program No. 1379RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
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Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida
Hampton Inn & Suites

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration, 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the second floor café to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated dinner, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: In the hotel meeting room, we will hear from an expert historian about the eight flags of Fernandina. First inhabited by the Timucuan tribe, the “Isle of Eight Flags” has flown the flags of France, Spain, Great Britain, the Patriots of Amelia Island, the Green Cross of Florida, Mexico, the Confederate States, and the United States since 1562.

Amelia Island, Fort Clinch, Folk Performance
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida
Hampton Inn & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off trolley. Walking and standing at Fort Clinch. Walking 2 blocks from hotel for dinner.

Breakfast: In the Garden Room of the hotel, we will enjoy a buffet breakfast, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Morning: Today will be a day of fascination and historical adventure. We will board an authentic trolley for our group at our hotel and be chauffeured to the downtown historic district. We will be greeted by an historian on board, who will give a brief history of Amelia Island, including the story of the visionary whose exhilarating dream so stirred his neighbors that they agreed to move their entire town to the site of a plantation he owned, creating "New" Fernandina in the 1850s. From the "giant" Timucua Native Americans, to Spanish and French explorers, to the lawless spirit of pirates, to the dignified air of Victorian-era residents, Amelia Island has been home to diverse cultures that have left a truly exciting heritage. We will observe the uniquely gracious and historic homes of another century and learn of the efforts to preserve their nearly extinct, pristine architectural styles, as well as the small town’s fragile sense of community and historical integrity.

Lunch: At a popular restaurant in the historic district, we will enjoy a plated meal, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will next travel by trolley to Fort Clinch, a part of the Florida State Park system since 1935. The fort is one of the most well-preserved 19th century forts in the country, thanks to the preservation and restoration efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. While garrisoned during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War, the fort has never seen action. Civil War-period reenactors will bring garrison living to life for us.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated dinner, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: A local folk performer will present six types of rare instruments in a program filled with songs and stories, including mountain dulcimer.

River Cruise, Brett's Waterway, Cumberland Island History
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida
Hampton Inn & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off trolley. Walk to and from marina from hotel which is located across the street.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After breakfast, we will walk across the street from our hotel to a marina and board a vessel to cruise the rivers, creeks and marshes that surround Amelia Island with a naturalist who will give you the details of everything from the land to the sea.

Lunch: At a riverside café, we will enjoy a plated lunch, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like from one of the many delicious local restaurants.

Evening: Tonight we will enjoy a presentation on Cumberland Island history from a local expert.

Ferry to Cumberland Island, Field Trip with Naturalist
Cumberland Island, GA
Greyfield Inn

Activity note: Walking approximately .5 miles. 10 minute walk from hotel to beach. Nature walk will last around an hour. Walking over uneven, unpaved terrain on walk with naturalist and walk to beach for lunch.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning, we will walk to the marina where we will board the 35-minute ferry from Fernandina Beach to Cumberland Island. Hotel staff will retrieve our luggage from the ferry and take it up to the Greyfield Inn. We will then check in at Greyfield Inn and take a short field trip of the inn. Cumberland Island is 17.5 miles long and totals 36,415 acres of which 16,850 are marsh, mud flats, and tidal creeks. It is well known for its sea turtles, wild turkeys, wild horses, armadillos, abundant shore birds, dune fields, maritime forests, salt marshes, and historic structures.

Lunch: At the hotel, we will pick up our boxed lunch for a picnic-style meal outside in a spot of our choice to enjoy the scenery—under some of the huge old live oaks, down by the water, and on the patio are just a few options.

Afternoon: A naturalist will take half of the group on a Jeep safari for a field trip on Cumberland Island. The other half will be led by a naturalist on a nature and beach field trip. During the course of the program, the groups will have a chance to swap so that we can all experience both activities. Upon returning to the inn, we will enjoy a cocktail social hour each evening, with hors d'oeuvres in the oceanfront resort inn's well-stocked bar (drinks not included), share stories with fellow guests.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, we will enjoy a plated dinner by candlelight and featuring fresh and creative cuisine, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We will meet in the living room for a presentation by the island naturalist.

First African Baptist Church, Plum Orchard, Free Time
Cumberland Island, GA
Greyfield Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off Jeep. Walking over some uneven, unpaved terrain around First African Baptist Church and Plum Orchard.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, we will enjoy a plated meal featuring eggs, pancakes, fruit, and more, plus juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will visit the First African Baptist Church by Jeep, where John Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette were married. We will also drive by Plum Orchard, an 1898 Georgian Revival mansion building by Lucy Carnegie for her son, George and his wife, Margaret Thaw. This mansion was donated to the National Park Foundation by the Carnegie family in 1971. We will then return to the inn for lunch.

Lunch: Picnic-style lunch outside the hotel.

Afternoon: On your own. Bikes are available free of charge for anyone staying at the Greyfield Inn.

Dinner: Plated hotel dinner.

Evening: After dinner, we will share stories and bid farewell at the inn social hour. Prepare for departure in the morning.

Program Concludes
Cumberland Island, GA

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Plated hotel meal.

Morning: Staff will gather your luggage from your rooms and load the ferry for your approximately 35 minute trip to the mainland. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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