Activity note: Hotel Check in after 3:00 PM
Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table outside the meeting room 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 to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may be changed due to local conditions/circumstances. 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. You are embarking on a Signature City program in one of Florida's most welcoming and delightful cities. Famous for more than a century as a desired destination, St. Petersburg is aptly called "Sunshine City" with a Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine. St. Pete is experiencing an exciting and enriching cultural renaissance as an art city with a number of world-class institutions, several of which you'll explore during our program.
Activity note: There are several opportunities to leave the bus and there may be some walking on uneven surfaces at some sites. An elevator is available for the historic hotel visit
Breakfast: The hotel buffet breakfast features choices such as fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal pastry or breakfast bread, bagels, waffles and hot items such as a rotating choice of eggs and meat (bacon or sausage) with juices, watter, coffee, and tea
Morning: Board our bus with an expert in St. Petersburg history and historic preservation to visit city neighborhoods and landmarks while learning about the city's past and present.
Lunch: Enjoy a 3-course plated lunch in Marchand's Bar and Grill, the renowned dining room at the historic Vinoy Hotel. You will choose from a set menu that includes a choice of appetizer, hot entrée, and dessert. Water and iced tea included. Other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: After lunch, we'll be met by our 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 opened. We will 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 of grace and elegance. Afterwards there will be free time to linger at the Vinoy or to take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Dinner: Hotel Buffet
Evening: In our meeting room, our speaker will introduce us to St. Petersburg, sharing what makes it a Signature City
Activity note: Several stops with opportunity to leave the bus for a closer look at murals. A short walk in a brick paved alley to some of the murals.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet
Morning: We board our bus to head to Florida Craft Art, a gallery of fine crafts, all created in Florida. A local expert will join us there and lead us on our encounter of 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 which brings famous muralists from around the world. With the help of our expert, we will learn how this ancient, yet new art form has come to St. Pete. Afterwards, there is time for a brief visit to the gallery.
Lunch: A short bus ride takes us to Tavern at Bayboro, a casual dining tradition on the campus at University of South Florida St. Petersburg where we will taste a signature Florida grouper sandwich You will be served your plated choice of fried, broiled, or blackened Other options are available for those who don't eat fish. Lemonade and water are included. Other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: The bus takes us a couple blocks to the Salvador Dalí Museum. 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 round out your experience.
Dinner: Hotel buffet
Evening: A viewing of the movie "Cocoon" which was filmed in St. Petersburg
Activity note: The Sunken Gardens field trip involves walking and standing for approximately 90 minutes, about 3/4 mile. There are a few benches to sit on.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet
Morning: Board our bus to 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 soon blossomed into a world famous botanical garden. 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. .
Lunch: Our plated lunch is at the Parkshore Grill. The award winning chef strives to create every dish using sustainably grown, meat, seafood and organic produce from local farms whenever possible. Our special menu includes a salad, choice of entrée, and chef's choice dessert. Iced tea and water are included. Other beverages available for purchase
Afternoon: St. Petersburg is recognized as a center for the creation and exhibition of art from glass. Our bus takes us a few blocks to the Morean Arts Center’s Glass Studio & Hot Shop, an opportunity to observe working artists creating magnificent glass pieces. The artists provide step-by-step commentary, talk about the science behind glass and the artistic vision guiding the process. Seated on bleachers, you watch an artist working in front of the furnace with molten glass and techniques dating back thousands of years. From there we 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 Dale Chihuly's specifications. Return to the hotel after our visit.
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.
Evening: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
Breakfast: Hotel Buffet
Morning: We will begin the day with a short bus ride to First United Methodist church where we will be greeted by a church member steeped in the history and art of the church's unique stained glass windows. After our visit, we will return to the hotel and board the bus for a short ride to the St. Petersburg Museum of History. Pinellas County’s oldest museum. It was founded in 1920 as the St. Petersburg Memorial Historical Society. Through the determination and effort of Mary Wheeler Eaton and others, the Society began collecting artifacts, natural history specimens, archival documents, photographs, papers, and “boxes of unknown treasures that were just dropped on our doorstep during the night.” In 1922, the Society became incorporated and the city of St. Petersburg provided the use of an old aquarium building (located on the same site as today’s Museum) for the public display of the Museum’s collections. Learn about America's Pastime - Baseball through an exhibit featuring the world's largest collection of autographed baseballs. See a flying replica of the Benoist Airboat which made the world's first regularly scheduled airline flight January 1, 1914. .Other exhibits enlighten you about other aspects of our signature city's history.
Lunch: Lunch is on your own. Your Group Leader has many suggestions of great places for lunch nearby.
Afternoon: The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg 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. The afternoon features a docent-led exploration and time to explore on your own.
Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant
Evening: Tonight we attend a performance at a local theater.
Activity note: Hotel check out by 11:00 AM
Breakfast: Hotel Buffet. 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.