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21268
Florida

Amelia Island and St. Augustine: Coastal Treasures in Florida

Discover what makes Amelia Island and St. Augustine such cultural and historic gems, learning about Native American history, Civil War strategy, grand architecture and renowned cuisine.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21268RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,399
Florida

Amelia Island and St. Augustine: Coastal Treasures in Florida

Discover what makes Amelia Island and St. Augustine such cultural and historic gems, learning about Native American history, Civil War strategy, grand architecture and renowned cuisine.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,399
Length
6 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
1,399
Program No. 21268RJ

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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 9 - Oct 14, 2022
Starting at
1,399
Dec 4 - Dec 9, 2022
Starting at
1,399
Jan 15 - Jan 20, 2023
Starting at
1,579
Itinerary Note

Kodai International School Reunion

Feb 5 - Feb 10, 2023
Starting at
1,499
Mar 5 - Mar 10, 2023
Starting at
1,499
Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
1,649
Oct 8 - Oct 13, 2023
Starting at
1,649
Dec 3 - Dec 8, 2023
Starting at
1,549
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 9 - Oct 14, 2022
Starting at
1,799
Dec 4 - Dec 9, 2022
Starting at
1,799
Jan 15 - Jan 20, 2023
Starting at
1,999
Itinerary Note

Kodai International School Reunion

Feb 5 - Feb 10, 2023
Starting at
1,929
Mar 5 - Mar 10, 2023
Starting at
1,929
Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
2,089
Oct 8 - Oct 13, 2023
Starting at
2,089
Dec 3 - Dec 8, 2023
Starting at
1,989

At a Glance

From the Spanish Renaissance architecture and world-class cuisine of St. Augustine, to Amelia Island’s sun-soaked Southern charm — this learning adventure in Northeastern Florida will reveal the state’s coastal treasures. Take trolley rides back in time as you hear stories of lawless pirates, Spanish explorers, tycoons and the Native Timucuan tribespeople. Explore the historic architecture of St. Augustine, the oldest European settlement in the U.S. — including the 1672 Castillo de San Marcos and The Ponce, built by oil tycoon Henry Flagler in 1888.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Moderate walking, some uneven terrain; standing for some field trip lectures, boarding pontoon boat. Stairs in some historical buildings and homes.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Encounter rare birds, watch for manatees and learn about the shrimping industry as you boat the backwaters of Amelia Island.
  • Join an expert in period dress to learn about Minnorcan settlers of St. Augustine, who arrived here after nine years of enslavement at a nearby indigo plantation.
  • On a field trip to Flagler’s College, learn about Henry Flagler’s contributions to the development of Florida’s Atlantic Coast and hear stories about the Flagler family.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Tom Murray
Tom Murray is a graduate of San Jose State University but is a Southerner by choice, having spent more than 45 years in the South absorbing the culture, customs and history of the region. Tom specializes in coastal history with an emphasis on the sea islands of Georgia. Few people know and love beautiful Cumberland and Amelia islands better than Tom. He has spent 25 years lecturing and leading Road Scholar groups to sites from the mountains to the sea.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Tom Murray
Tom Murray View biography
Tom Murray is a graduate of San Jose State University but is a Southerner by choice, having spent more than 45 years in the South absorbing the culture, customs and history of the region. Tom specializes in coastal history with an emphasis on the sea islands of Georgia. Few people know and love beautiful Cumberland and Amelia islands better than Tom. He has spent 25 years lecturing and leading Road Scholar groups to sites from the mountains to the sea.
Profile Image of Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy View biography
Kevin grew up in Gloucester, Mass. and settled in Fernandina Beach in 1968. He spent 41 years sailing the waters of northeast Fla. and southeast Georgia. He holds a 100 ton master’s license and developed his knowledge of the wildlife and history exploring the waters that surround Amelia Island, Cumberland Island and St. Mary's, Ga. Generations of Kevin’s family have been shrimpers, and he shares with participants his knowledge of shrimp farming and the future of the shrimp industry in the U.S.
Profile Image of Ron Kurtz
Ron has been an Amelia Island resident for more than 30 years. After attending Hiram College, he graduated from New York University with a degree in educational theater. He served as the director of the Amelia Island Museum of History and wrote a highly regarded history of the island, now in its sixth printing, as well as a series of children's books. Ron has lectured on the history and architecture of the first coast for the Historic Preservation Trust as well as the Smithsonian Institution.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Henry Flagler - Visionary of the Gilded Age
by Martin, Sidney Walter
Henry Flagler, Visionary of the Gilded Age is the fascinating story of a turn-of-the-century business career. Flagler left home at the age of 14 to seek his fortune and made two. He formed a partnership with John D. Rockerfeller soon after oil was discovered. When asked if the Standard Oil Company was the result of his thinking, Rockerfeller said: "I wish I had the brains to think of it. It was Henry M Flagler." Flagler began his retirement in Florida. He believed in the east coast and created hotels, railroads, communities, model farms and more from Jacksonville to Key West including major development efforts in St. Augustine, Palm Beach and Miami.
Mr. Flagler’s St. Augustine
by Graham, Thomas
In the late 1800s, Henry Morrison Flagler walked away from Standard Oil, leaving the enormously successful company in the hands of John D. Rockefeller while he headed to Florida to pursue other interests. Flagler’s new venture would lead him to completely restructure the sleepy town of St. Augustine and transform Florida’s entire east coast. This monumental biography tells the story of how one of the wealthiest men in America spared no expense to turn the country’s “Oldest City” into a highly desirable vacation destination for the rich. Upon arrival, Flagler found accommodations in St. Augustine to be inferior, so he set out to build the opulent Ponce de Leon Hotel, and thus began his endeavor to attract wealthy travelers to the small southern city. He funded hospitals and churches and improved streets and parks. He constructed railroads in remote areas where men feared to tread and erected palatial hotels on swampland. The rich and famous flocked to Flagler’s invented paradise. And he had the vision to stretch his new railroad southward, establishing hotels and accommodations along the way. In tracing Flagler’s second career, Thomas Graham reveals much about the inner life of the former oil magnate and the demons that drove him to expand a coastal empire that eventually encompassed Palm Beach, Miami, Key West, and finally Nassau. Graham also gives voice to the individuals that history has forgotten: the women who wrote tourist books, the artists who decorated the hotels, the black servants who waited tables, and the journalists who penned society columns for the newspapers. Arguably no man did more to make over a city—or a state—than Flagler. Almost single-handedly, he transformed Florida from a remote frontier into the winter playground of America’s elite. Filled with fascinating details that bring the Gilded Age to life, Mr. Flagler’s St. Augustine provides an authoritative look at an intriguing man and a captivating time in American history.
St. Augustine: A Brief History of America's Oldest City
by Robert L. Gold
Take an enjoyable journey through one of America’s most beloved historical cities, rich with architecture and decades of multicultural influence. The history of St. Augustine is a long and memorable chronicle of a city that has existed for more than 450 years. Founded by Spain in 1565 and named San Agustín, the city continues to flourish in the 21st century. Despite destructive fires, floods, and colonial wars, St. Augustine still stands, proudly exhibiting its massive 17th century fortress, the colonial look of its old houses and streets, and the grand Guilded Age hotels.
Floridanos, Menorcans, Cattle Whip Crackers: Poetry of St. Augustine
by Masters, Ann Browning
Poetry from this collection has been published in anthologies and journals, read at the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Annual Conference and Florida Literary Arts Coalition Conferences, recognized at the Florida Folk Festival, and recorded for the Florida State Historical Archives. Dr. Ann Browning Masters is a retired faculty member of St. Johns River State College. She continues to read from her work in the Eckerd College Road Scholar Program. In 2015 she was knighted by the Board of Directors of the Easter Festival Committee of St. Augustine for her dedication in promoting St. Augustine s Spanish heritage. A St. Augustine native, Dr. Masters is a 12th generation Floridian.
Legendary Locals of Amelia Island
by Rob Hicks Dr
Amelia Island has been host to remarkable people throughout its 500-year history. These people are responsible for giving Amelia the distinction as the only place in the United States to have seen eight different flags. A new railroad followed the Civil War and brought those who sought to take advantage of the burgeoning shipping center. As opportunities waned, the island became a sleepy, blue collar community supported by the local paper mills. Prior to civil rights legislation desegregating the South, Fernandina's American Beach flourished as an African American coastal community. Meanwhile, local visionaries oversaw tight-knit communities and set the stage for the large resorts that came to the island's south end in the 1970s. Today, Amelia Island is a national tourist destination and home to a diverse of community of longtime residents and newcomers, both with remarkable talents and interesting stories to tell.
Amelia Island
by Rob Hicks Dr (Author), Amelia Island Museum of History
Tiny Amelia Island, in the northeast corner of Florida, was once among the most important ports in the western hemisphere. Before Florida was granted statehood, the island served as an international gateway between Spanish Florida and the English colonies that would later become the United States. Where Spanish monks and pirates once roamed, the island eventually developed into a significant seaport that exported the rich resources of Florida's interior in the late 1800s. This era was known as the Golden Age of Amelia Island and the town located on its north end, Fernandina. The railroad that connected Amelia Island to the Gulf Coast was largely responsible for the Golden Age, as it brought a burgeoning economy and many of the South's most prominent and wealthy figures. Today the island is best known as a resort community but retains the influence and charm of its remarkable past.
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6 days
5 nights
11 meals
5 B 3 L 3 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Fernandina Beach, Florida
D
Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island-Historic Harbor Front

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m. Hotel is near railroad tracks and you may hear a train pass during the night.

Afternoon: Program Registration will begin at 5:00 p.m. in the conference room. At this time you will register with the program staff and get your welcome packet and up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to confirm 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.

Evening: After meeting fellow participants over dinner, take time to unpack and prepare for tomorrow's outing on Amelia Island.

DAY
2
Amelia Island & Fernandina, Fort Clinch
Fernandina Beach, Florida
B,D
Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island-Historic Harbor Front

Activity note: Getting on/off trolley. Minimal walking/standing at Fort Clinch on uneven terrain. Slopped incline to second level of Fort Clinch with no railings.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Start the morning off with a history presentation by a local expert before boarding an authentic trolley just for our group with pick up at the hotel. Receive 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: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will 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. Explore the many rooms, galleries and grounds of the fort as you learn how the soldiers worked and lived each day.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Amelia Island River Cruise, Free Time
Fernandina Beach, Florida
B,L
Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island-Historic Harbor Front

Activity note: Getting on/off pontoon boat for cruise including ramp with grade and elevation dependent on tide. Minimal walking. Walk 2 blocks to dinner.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

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 and history expert who will give you the details of everything from the land to the sea. We will cruise by Fernandina’s shrimp boats, historic Old Towne, Fort Clinch, the wild horses of Cumberland Island, and ruins of the Carnegie Dungeoness Mansion.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: At leisure.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Cathedral Basilica, Historic St. Augustine, Lightner Museum
St. Augustine, FL
B,L
DoubleTree by Hilton St. Augustine Historic District

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Travel by motorcoach approximately 1.5 hour/77 miles. Minimal walking in historic district.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart Amelia Island for St. Augustine by motor coach. En route, we will preview a video about St. Augustine, a key figure in the development of the Atlantic coast of Florida and founder of what became the Florida East Coast Railway. Upon arrival into St. Augustine, we will visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, the oldest parish of a permanent European settlement on the North American continent north of Mexico, led by a local expert. Then, we will take a walk through the downtown historic district.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will enjoy a self-led visit to the Lightner Museum, home to one of the best collections of fine and decorative 19th-century art in the country, in the historic former Hotel Alcazar. Afterwards, we will check into the hotel.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Trolley Field Trip, Castillo de San Marcos, Nights of Lights
St. Augustine, FL
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton St. Augustine Historic District

Activity note: Getting on/off trolley.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will be treated to an expert-led field trip to Flagler College, once the Ponce de Leon, Henry Flagler's first St. Augustine, traveling by trolley or minibus dependent on weather. We will learn about the history of the building and its stunning Spanish Renaissance architecture and manicured gardens of the campus. We will then take a trolley ride around St. Augustine, the nation's oldest continually occupied European settlement and at various times home to Native American tribes, British redcoats, Spanish conquistadors, pirates, and tycoons. We will see remnants of each era preserved in the city's historical sites, such as historic St. George Street, City Plaza, and the Spanish Military Hospital.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll hear from an expert about Minorcan settlers of St. Augustine, who arrived here after nine years of enslavement at a nearby indigo plantation. Our presenter will be dressed in Minorcan period attire.

Afternoon: From lunch, we will walk to visit Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, with construction beginning in 1672 when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire.

Dinner: At a local restaurant. We will say our farewells as we prepare to depart St. Augustine the next day.

Evening: After dinner, we will go by trolley around the old town to view the Nights of Lights. This is the local winter holiday celebration in St. Augustine where each historic downtown business and many residents participate by lighting up their buildings. The celebration was chosen in 2011 and 2012 by National Geographic as one of the 10 dazzling holiday lighting displays in the world.

DAY
6
Depart St. Augustine to Jacksonville Airport and Fernandina
St. Augustine, FL
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon. Transfer shuttle departs hotel at 8:00 a.m. for the Jacksonville Airport which is 45 min. away. The bus will continue to Fernandina to take anyone who left their car on Amelia Island. This concludes our program.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: Transfer shuttle departs hotel at 8:00 a.m. for the Jacksonville Airport and then on to Fernandina Beach, FL. 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!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.