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
1,099
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 3 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Fernandina Beach, Florida
D
Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Fernandina

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar desk in the conference 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, 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 popular local inn in the Fernandina Beach Historic District, we will enjoy a plated dinner, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
2
Amelia Island & Fernandina, Fort Clinch, Coastal Ecology
Fernandina Beach, Florida
B,L,D
Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Fernandina

Activity note: Getting on/off trolley. Minimal walking/standing at Fort Clinch on uneven terrain. Walking 2 blocks from hotel to dinner.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will enjoy a buffet breakfast with fresh fruit, eggs, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, danish, bacon or sausage and more, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Morning: Today will be a day of fascination and historical adventure. We will board an authentic trolley for our group at our hotel and be chauffeured to the downtown historic district. We will be greeted by an historian on board, who will give 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: At a popular restaurant downtown, we will enjoy a plated meal, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will next 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.

Dinner: At a restaurant in the historic district, we will enjoy a plated meal, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After dinner we will walk back to the hotel. In the conference room, we will learn about the island ecology from an expert.

DAY
3
Amelia Island River Cruise, Free Time
Fernandina Beach, Florida
B,D
Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Fernandina

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: Hotel buffet.

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: 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: We will enjoy entertainment with a guest musician who plays numerous instruments.

Dinner: At a popular restaurant downtown, we will enjoy a plated meal, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Cathedral Basilica, Historic St. Augustine, Lightner Museum
St. Augustine, FL
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites 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: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will depart Amelia Island for St. Augustine by motorcoach. En route, we will preview a video about Henry Flagler, 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, we will enjoy a plated meal, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will enjoy a self-guided visit 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: At a restaurant in the historic district set in a restored Victorian house, we will enjoy a plated dinner, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Flagler, Memorial Presbyterian, Castillo de San Marcos
St. Augustine, FL
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites St. Augustine Historic District

Activity note: Getting on/off trolley.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

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. Our trolley will bring us to Memorial Presbyterian Church, Learn about the history of this historical church built in 1889 by business tycoon and St. Augustine benefactor Henry Morrison Flagler in honor of his daughter Jennie Louise Benedict. Our expert will tell us about the unique construction techniques employed to build this Second Renaissance Revival gem, as well as stories about Flagler and his family.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

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. Before going to dinner, we’ll hear from a local 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.

Dinner: At a local restaurant in the historic downtown, we will enjoy a plated meal, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Departure St. Augustine to Jacksonville Airport/Fernandina
St. Augustine, FL
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon. Transfer shuttle departs hotel at 9:00 a.m. For participants who arrived by plane, transfer to Jacksonville Airport will be by 10:00 a.m. For participants who drove, transfer to Fernandina will follow by 12:00 Noon. This concludes our program.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Transfer shuttle departs hotel at 9:00 a.m. For participants who arrived by plane, transfer to Jacksonville Airport will be by 10:00 a.m. For participants who drove, transfer to Fernandina will follow by 12:00 Noon. 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!