Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00-5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table outside our meeting room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 5:00-6:00 p.m. 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 the hotel, our dinner buffet includes salad, entrée, side dishes, rolls, dessert, coffee, iced tea, water; other beverages available for purchase at the bar.
Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night's rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking and standing at field trip sites; uneven surfaces at some sites; elevator at historic hotel.
Breakfast: In the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers hot items such as a rotating choice of eggs and meat (bacon or sausage), waffles, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, bagels, breakfast bread or pastry, milk, juices, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: We’ll board a bus with an expert on St. Petersburg history and historic preservation to visit city neighborhoods and landmarks while learning about the city's past and present. We’ll end our morning at the historic Vinoy Hotel.
Lunch: In Marchand's Bar and Grill, the renowned dining room at the historic Vinoy Hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated lunch and order from a select menu that includes a choice of appetizer, hot entrée, and dessert; iced tea and water included, other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: We'll be met by a local expert who will share her deep knowledge of the historic Renaissance Vinoy Resort. On New Year's Eve 1925, Aymer Vinoy Laughner's dream of an incomparable luxury hotel was realized. We’ll walk through the public spaces of this magnificent hotel that was — and still is — one of the finest examples of Mediterranean Revival architecture in Florida. With glazed quarry tiles, frescoed ceilings, intricate ornamental plaster, and beautifully painted wood beams, it is a monument to grace and elegance. We’ll also have some time for independent exploration to see what interests you most. The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore on your own or return to the hotel.
Dinner: Hotel buffet.
Evening: We’ll gather in our meeting room for a guest speaker’s presentation on St. Petersburg and what makes it a “signature city.”
Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking and standing at field trip sites; short walk in brick paved alley.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We’ll board our bus and head to Florida Craft Art, a non-profit gallery of fine crafts created in Florida. A local expert will join us there and lead us as we encounter St. Petersburg's most beautiful and interesting murals. Artists are turning buildings into works of art, some by local artists who paint with the permission of building orders, and some as the result of an annual festival that brings famous muralists from around the world. We’ll learn how this ancient yet new art form has come to St. Pete. We’ll also have some time to explore the gallery independently.
Lunch: A short bus ride will take us to Tavern at Bayboro, a casual dining tradition on the campus of University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where we will have a plated meal featuring a signature favorite — a Florida grouper sandwich — with choice of fried, broiled, or blackened (other choices available for those who don't eat fish); lemonade and water included, other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll ride a few blocks to the Salvador Dalí Museum for an expert-led field trip. There has been a Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg for 30 years. The spectacular new building protects the most comprehensive private collection of Dalí's work in the world. The entire range of his work is displayed, from early Impressionist paintings through transitional surrealist works, and into his classical period. This constantly growing and evolving artist worked in all media, leaving behind a wealth of oils, watercolors, drawings, graphics, sculptures, films, photographs, performance pieces, jewels, and objects of all descriptions. Rotating exhibits will round out our experience. We’ll then return to the hotel.
Dinner: Hotel buffet.
Evening: We’ll have a presentation about the filming of the 1985 movie “Cocoon” in St. Petersburg, then view the film. Some of Hollywood’s most esteemed veteran actors play characters frustrated by life in a retirement community who accidentally discover a swimming pool where aliens have hidden cocoons that have strange restorative powers.
Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking up to 1 mile, standing approximately 1.5 hours during field trips; few places to sit.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Boarding our bus, we’ll head to Sunken Gardens. In 1903, George Turner, Sr. began growing tropical plants in the rich fertile soil of an ancient lake bed. What began as a passion for gardening blossomed into a world famous botanical garden. We’ll stroll through this 4-acre sanctuary with an expert and examine a variety of lush tropical plantings, cascading waterfalls, flowing ponds, exotic birds, and a flock of flamingos. We’ll then ride to lunch.
Lunch: At the Parkshore Grill, we’ll have a plated lunch with salad, choice of entrée, and chef's choice dessert; iced tea and water included, other beverages available for purchase. Dishes feature sustainably grown and organic produce from local farms whenever possible.
Afternoon: St. Petersburg is a recognized center for the creation and exhibition of art from glass. We’ll ride a few blocks to the Morean Arts Center’s Glass Studio & Hot Shop to observe working artists creating magnificent glass pieces. The artists will provide step-by-step commentary, talk about the science behind glass, and the artistic vision guiding their process. Seated on bleachers, we will watch an artist working in front of the furnace with molten glass and techniques dating back thousands of years. From there, we’ll walk across the street to the Chihuly Collection, a stunning, permanent collection of world-renowned Dale Chihuly's unusual artwork in a setting designed to his specifications. We’ll then return to the hotel.
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.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off a bus.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: For our first field trip of the day, we’ll take a short bus ride to First United Methodist Church where a church member will share the history and art of the church's unique stained glass windows. Next, we will ride to the St. Petersburg Museum of History, Pinellas County’s oldest museum. The museum has been sharing stories of the Sunshine City for nearly a century, through its mission to collect, preserve, and communicate the history and heritage of Florida with emphasis on St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Peninsula. We’ll learn more about “America's Pastime” — baseball — with an exhibit featuring the world's largest collection of autographed baseballs. We’ll also see a flying replica of the Benoist Airboat that made the world's first regularly scheduled airline flight on January 1, 1914, right here in Tampa Bay. Other exhibits will highlight further significant aspects of our signature city's history.
Lunch: 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.
Afternoon: For our final field trip of the program, we’ll set off for the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg that opened to the public in 1965. The Museum has an eclectic and well-represented collection of art from antiquity to the present. The building is an attraction itself, with its Palladian inspired portico and soaring lobby with a glass wall opening on views of Tampa Bay. It is frequently described as a jewel by those who live here and visitors alike. A museum docent will lead our exploration followed by time to explore on your own.
Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.
Evening: Performance. We will attend a performance for current offerings at a local theater. Our program was planned far in advance when details of performances were not confirmed. When available, the information will be posted on the Road Scholar website under this program number and will also be included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment. Returning to the hotel, prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check out by 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.
Morning: If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!