Activity note: Bike Fitting before dinner.
Afternoon: If you have chosen to take the transfer from Miami Airport to the Ivey House, please meet the Road Scholar Representative at the food court (near Subway, Air Margaritaville, Duty Free etc.) in Terminal E. Located before the Security Checkpoint, Terminal E, 2nd level. The representative will be there to greet you at 1pm until the shuttle will leave promptly at 2pm. Please call 617-780-4318 if you need assistance on your day of travel. Hotel Check-in: Available from 3:00pm. 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. Bike Fittings will occur before dinner. 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. 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.
Dinner: At the Inn, we will have a buffet, 3-course welcome dinner, plus one glass of house wine or beer, coffee, tea, or water.
Evening: Take the rest of the evening to relax, get a good night’s sleep, and be ready for a full day tomorrow.
Activity note: We will cycle approximately 20 miles at 10-15mph throughout the day.
Breakfast: Our breakfast at the Inn offers a selection of hot and cold items including fresh fruit plus coffee and tea.
Morning: Begin the your first day of biking with a ride along Jane's Scenic Drive in the Fakahatchee swamp. We will board the motorcoach and ride out to Jane's Scenic Drive where we will hop aboard our bikes. Along this unpaved road we'll ride into the heart of the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. The dense, enveloping tropical foliage more closely resembles Jurassic Park than a South Florida ecosystem. Beautiful and remote, Jane’s Scenic Drive offers an excellent opportunity for viewing Florida’s flora and fauna in its wildest display.
Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Available beverages include coffee, tea and water.
Afternoon: Board the motor coach for a visit to the Rookery Bay. The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a prime example of a nearly pristine subtropical mangrove forested estuary. You will have an opportunity to walk the trails and spend time at the visitor center.
Dinner: At a local restaurant in easy walking distance, enjoy a 3-course meal with salad, choice of entrée, and dessert. Available beverages include coffee, tea and water.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: We will cycle approximately 20 miles in the morning at 10-15 mph. During the afternoon there will be a swamp walk. Please wear: water resistant long pants, hat, old tennis shoes or closed toed water shoes. You will be returning to the hotel after the walk. You will get wet!
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: As you bike along County Road 92, you will notice the marsh land and pristine waters that make up the 10,000 Islands region of the Everglades. Then, add a settlement at the end of the world in this remote section of the Everglades, add a legendary gentlemen’s fishing and hunting lodge, bring in a daring financier with the determination to build a road across the Everglades, lay out an imposing city with a grid of wide boulevards and a town circle. Let it all stew for one hundred years of hurricanes, financial ruin, smugglers, intrigue, isolation and you get…Everglades City. Today's exploration through Everglades City will include stops at the Museum of the Everglades, Gulf Coast Visitor Center of Everglades National Park and the Smallwoods Store.
Lunch: At a local restaurant, choose from a select menu of sandwiches and salads. Available beverages include coffee, tea and water.
Afternoon: Return to the hotel and get ready for a Swamp Walk. Experience the flora, fauna, and primordial beauty of subtropical Fakahatchee National Preserve with a naturalist guide from the hotel. Marvel at the pristine splendor of the natural world as you traverse a rarely seen world filled with vibrant colors and mysterious sounds -- a spacious, richly diverse wilderness found nowhere else. As we explore, you'll learn about the fragile Everglades ecosystem and see endangered species of orchid, rare ferns, threatened bromeliads, native birds, and a host of swamp creatures. Stop beneath ancient cypress trees and feel the deep stillness of an unspoiled realm far from everyday life, a place of wonder and awe.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions including options near the hotel.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Cycle 15 miles at 10-15mph and 1 mile trail walk today. Transfer and check-in to Florida City Hotel.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: Biking Shark Valley Loop. When the Everglades’ flow was stronger, the water from Florida Bay would reverse and sharks would be found well up into the slough. As a result the name of "Shark" Valley stuck. The Loop Trail is an ecological highlight of Everglades National Park. Perched on the northern border of the park, teeming with flora and fauna, this 15 mile trail loop takes you through a saw grass prairie for close-up views of biological diversity. Halfway along the trail, we will stop at the Shark Valley Observation Tower for a panoramic view of the heart of the Everglades. We will board our motorcoach to encounter the “Urban Threshold” where civilization meets wilderness. Once tropical and rural, it is the growing region of Homestead, Redland, and Florida City.
Lunch: Lunch at the Fruit and Spice Park. Bottled water included.
Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy a tram ride around the park and learn about the plants that grow in the subtropics. The Fruit & Spice Park is the only tropical botanical garden of its kind in the United States and hosts over 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, nuts, and other commercially important plant specimens from around the world. At the conclusion of the field trip, we transfer by motorcoach to the hotel and check in to our rooms with some time to freshen up before an evening lecture.
Dinner: Prior to dinner you will be joined by Seminole expert, Rey Becerra. Engage in his lecture of the Seminole history and culture with props and artifacts. Dinner with the group is served at a local restaurant. Available beverages include coffee, tea and water.
Evening: Evening at your leisure.
Activity note: We will cycle approximately 15-20 miles today at 10-15 mph.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: Explore the sculpture garden at Coral Castle built by Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock. His unknown process has created one of the world's most mysterious accomplishments. After the field trip, we will set out for the Royal Palm Visitor Center and Ernest Coe Visitor Center via motorcoach. Biking Old Ingraham Highway. We begin with a visit to the Ernest F. Coe Visitor’s Center at the Main Entrance of Everglades National Park. Opened in 1922 as the first motorway to the town of Flamingo, the Old Ingraham Highway saw many intrepid motorists in Model Ts and other roadsters. After Everglades National Park was dedicated in 1947, the road continued to provide the park’s visitors with access to Flamingo until a new highway opened in the 1960s.
Lunch: We will have our box lunch in a picnic area on Long Pine Key. Bottled water included.
Afternoon: Old Ingraham Road is ideal for cycling, where ten miles into the Glades feels like a journey into a pre-historic era. We will bike down this paved road and explore the Long Pine Key area of the park. We will also pause at Pa-Hay-Okee Overlook.
Dinner: Our farewell dinner is at a local restaurant to enjoy good company and good food. Available beverages include coffee, tea and water. Compare experiences and say farewell to new Road Scholar friends.
Evening: Return to the hotel for a program wrap-up talk with your Group Leader and fellow Road Scholars.
Activity note: The Road Scholar shuttle to the airport leaves promptly at 10:00am. Please book departure flights no earlier than 2:00pm.
Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.
Morning: Please note: You will need to be checked out and ready to board the shuttle bus by 10:00am. Arrival at Miami International Airport is scheduled for approximately 11:30am, depending on traffic. We advise not making ongoing flight arrangements before 2:00pm. 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!