14441
St. Petersburg
Fins and Feathers: Exploring the Florida Environment From Sea to Sky
Encounter Florida’s land and sea creatures in a subtropical paradise. From beach to aquarium, from mangroves to classroom, join experts with a passion for Florida’s unique environments.
Rating (2)
Program No. 14441RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,179
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrival/Welcome/Orientation
St. Petersburg, FL
D
Staybridge Suites

Afternoon: CHECK IN: Available from 3:00 pm at the hotel front desk. PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table 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, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. ORIENTATION: 5:00 pm. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities and answer any questions that you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.

Dinner: In our private dining room at the hotel, enjoy a buffet dinner including salad, a hot entrée, side dishes, bread, dessert, plus iced tea, coffee/decaf, water; other beverages available for purchase

Evening: Time on your own to enjoy the hotel amenities, continue getting to know your fellow participants, or rest after your day of travel

DAY
2
Florida Aquarium, Fort Desoto, Tampa Bay Watch
St. Petersburg, FL
B,L,D
Staybridge Suites

Breakfast: Start each day with the hotel's complimentary hot breakfast buffet. Healthy and hearty options available including breakfast pizza, fresh made waffles, pastries, fresh fruits, oatmeal, cereals and a daily selection of eggs, bacon or sausage.

Morning: Board the bus for a 30 minute trip to Florida Aquarium in Tampa for a lecture and tour about Florida's wildlife

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel

Afternoon: Our bus takes us to Fort DeSoto Park, the largest park within the Pinellas County Park System, consisting of 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands (keys). These keys are home to beach plants, mangroves, wetlands, palm hammocks, hardwoods and scores of native plants. Each of these species plays a vital role in the preservation and protection of the natural environment. We experience the park's natural beauty and see why Trip Advisor named it America's Number One Beach in 2009, We visit the Fort DeSoto Park Bird Sanctuary now protected for threatened shorebird and seabird nesting and foraging habitat. An expert shares insights into this beautiful oasis.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Evening: This evening will feature either a lecture in conjunction with the course, a presentation, a movie or entertainment by a local artist.

DAY
3
South Florida Museum & Aquarium/ Manatee Viewing Center
St. Petersburg, FL
B,L
Staybridge Suites

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Board our bus as we visit the South Florida Museum, the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The museum interprets the region from the Pleistocene to the present. Highlights include fossil evidence of Florida’s earliest mammals and marine species and the Montague Tallant collection of prehistoric and early post-contact archaeological artifacts. Recently opened is the Environmental Wing focusing on Florida’s ecology and bio-diversity in the Pine Uplands and Riverine Galleries. Our special focus of interest at the South Florida Museum is the Parker Manatee Aquarium. The aquarium is part of Florida’s manatee rehabilitation network and is home to Manatee County's most famous resident and official mascot, ‘Snooty’, the manatee, the oldest known living manatee. The Parker Manatee Aquarium, designed to house three adult manatees, holds nearly 60,000 gallons of water. The pool offers both deep and shallow water, allowing the manatees to maintain natural feeding behaviors. An exhibit area within the facility helps to educate the public about manatee anatomy, physiology and habitat, and provides above and below water viewing.

Lunch: Lunch at a nearby restaurant

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: We'll get back on the bus to head to the Manatee Viewing Center at Apollo Beach. We have met Snooty and his companions. Now we encounter these gentle creatures in the wild. Tampa Electric Company has taken advantage of the fact that manatees congregate in the warm water coming from its power plant and has created an award winning environmental and educational center. We'll get back on the bus to return to the hotel in plenty of time to relax before dinner.

Dinner: Dinner is on your own. Your Group Leader has suggestions for a nearby restaurant

Evening: You are on your own to explore the night life of St. Petersburg's waterfront downtown

DAY
4
Field Trip to Mote Marine Aquarium/Tour of Save our Seabirds
St. Petersburg, FL
B,L,D
Staybridge Suites

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Board the bus for a visit to the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. Founded by Dr. Eugenie Clark in 1955, this center has been a leader in marine research on sharks, red tide and other environmental toxins, marine mammals, sea turtles, coral reefs, fisheries, coastal ecology and aquaculture (sustainable fish farming). Mote has about 1,400 volunteers who contribute more than 200,000 volunteer hours to the organization. Mote Aquarium is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and has met rigorous, professional standards for animal management, veterinary care, wildlife conservation and research, education, safety, staffing and more. During our visit you will have time, in a self guided tour, to explore the secrets of the sea through touch pools, viewable-working labs and high-tech interactive exhibits that showcase the world-renowned research of Mote Marine Laboratory. You will see sharks, manatees and sea turtles, along with more than 100 other species of marine life.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Walk to nearby Save our Seabirds Wild Bird Learning Center, a non-profit wildlife conservation and education organization on City Island in Sarasota, Florida. Their mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured birds, and to educate the public about nature and environmental sustainability. Birds that have been rescued but are unable to be returned to the wild are given permanent homes in their Wild Bird Learning Center. Our tour guide will enlighten us about their work. We'll then board the bus to return to the hotel with ample time to relax before dinner.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Evening: An evening program at the hotel will enlighten and entertain.

DAY
5
Eckerd College Marine Science Lab/Boat Trip/Boca Ciega Bay
St. Petersburg, FL
B,L,D
Staybridge Suites

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: FIELD TRIP: This morning we take the short bus ride to the Eckerd College Campus, to the Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory. A tour of the complex gives you a glimpse of the many types of research occuring at Eckerd, where marine science is a popular major. A professor lectures about a particular topic of interest.

Lunch: Lunch at the cafeteria on campus

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: After lunch, proceed to the college waterfront where we board a pontoon boat for a ride around the waters of the college exploring the natural beauty of Boca Ciega Bay.

Dinner: Closing dinner at a local restaurant

Evening: Relax after dinner or get a start on packing

DAY
6
Program Concludes
St. Petersburg, FL
B

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar adventures and we look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to 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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