21797
Florida
Key West at a Slower Pace: Living on Island Time
Find out what makes Key West such a unique city as you stroll its vibrant streets, discovering its heritage, culture, world-class museums and the true spirit of island life.
Rating (4.89)
Program No. 21797RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,699
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6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 3 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Harry Truman
Key West Old Town
D
Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina

Activity note: Check in available from 3:00 pm

Afternoon: 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. 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. 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.

Dinner: This evening’s dinner at the hotel is a plated, 3-course meal with salad, choice of entrée, and dessert.

Evening: Our Truman expert will tell us all about President Harry Truman's days in Key West and what came to be known as The Little White House. Florida’s only Presidential site, the Harry S. Truman Little White House was constructed in 1890 as housing for naval officers. Its most important usage was as President Truman’s winter White House from 1946-1952.

DAY
2
Stories of the Deep, Boat Cruise, Little White House
Key West Old Town
B,L,D
Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina

Activity note: Walk for up to 1 hour over the course of the day on paved side walks; standing for up to 1 hour at various stops and boarding/de-boarding the schooner.

Breakfast: Our well-balanced breakfast buffet in the hotel offers a variety of tasty foods to start your day with hot and cold items, fresh fruit, juices, and coffee/decaf, tea, water.

Morning: Meet and hear from a local deep sea diver who will delight us with tales of his many years of fishing and diving in these waters. Enjoy seeing Key West by boat and learn about its shorelines and history on this late morning to early afternoon cruise.

Lunch: Return to the hotel for lunch.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will visit the Little White House. President Harry S. Truman’s first 19 months were grueling and left him physically exhausted. His doctor ordered a warm vacation and Key West was chosen as the location. President and Mrs. Truman arrived in November 1946 for a week of relaxation. He fell in love with the climate and small town charm and returned to what became known as the Little White House for 11 presidential working vacations and five post-presidential trips after leaving office. Truman claimed Key West was his second favorite place on earth -- surpassed only by his hometown, Independence, MO.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Experience Key West's rich cultural offerings with an evening performance or film screening.

DAY
3
Tennessee Williams, Walking Excursion, Hemingway House
Key West Old Town
B,L,D
Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina

Activity note: Walking for up to 1 1/2 hours during our afternoon excursion on paved sidewalks. We will use a trolley to visit the Hemingway House, board and de-board with 2-3 steps.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Learn about playwright, author, and Key West literary figure, Tennessee Williams from a local expert. After the lecture we will take the trolley to the Hemingway House. There, a local expert will lead us through the former residence of one of America’s most iconic writers, whose personal life was as colorful as any of his characters. Ernest Hemingway first visited Key West in 1928, arriving from Havana. We will learn about the lives and times of Hemingway and his wife Pauline in Key West, and about the house itself. Personal touches are still visible throughout the house, from European antiques to trophies and skins which are the legacy of Hemingway's African safaris. It was at the house that Hemingway produced some of his best known works including “To Have And Have Not” which is set in Key West. Descendants of his six-toed cat still flourish there. The trolley will bring us back to the hotel afterward.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will set out on a guided walking excursion of Key West's streets, taking in its intricate architecture and vast array of colors. Hear from local experts about the Key West's rich history of the US Navy presence as well as the heyday of the wrecking, sponging and cigar industries.

Dinner: At a restaurant in Mallory Square.

Evening: We will end the day at the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square Dock. In Key West, watching the sun go down is a daily ritual accompanied by a festival with arts and crafts exhibitors, street performers, vendors, and a crowd of thousands of locals and visitors alike. People begin gathering about two hours before sunset for this multi-cultural “happening” that embodies the spirit of Key West.

DAY
4
Audubon Lecture & House, Free Time
Key West Old Town
B
Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina

Activity note: Walk for up to 1 hour over the course of the day on paved sidewalks; standing up to 1 hour, and climbing a flight of stairs at the Audubon House.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning we will hear about John James Audubon, America's greatest wildlife artist and early naturalist. Audubon began exploring Florida in 1831 and visited the Keys and Dry Tortugas the next year. He left having seen 22 different bird species, and created drawings of each for his "Birds of America" folio. Audubon's painting of the white-crowned pigeon features the Geiger tree found in the front yard of the appropriately-dubbed Audubon House where he stayed in Key West. Afterward, we will visit Audubon House, the house Audubon lived and worked while in Key West, which was then the home of one of the town’s founders. Audubon's painting of the white-crowned pigeon features the Geiger tree found in the home's front yard.

Lunch: On your own to sample the local daytime fare.

Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Key West on your own. Your Group Leader will be happy to provide suggestions.

Dinner: Dinner is on your own this evening to explore and sample the town's numerous dining options. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer recommendations.

Evening: Free Evening. Enjoy a stroll to view the passing parade. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, wet your whistle in one of Hemingway's favorite hang-outs. Hint: Two local bars lay claim to being his "real" favorite.

DAY
5
Architecture, Butterfly, Mel Fisher, Farewell Dinner
Key West Old Town
B,L,D
Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina

Activity note: Use the trolley to travel to activities, boarding and de-boarding with 2-3 steps. Walking and standing up to 1 hour at sites on expert-led field trips.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will start the day with a lecture from a local expert about Key West's intricate architecture that you have been seeing the past few days. Learn about the significance of iconic buildings on the island. After the lecture, we will make our way to the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory where we will see and learn about exotic butterflies, plants and birds in this beautiful, glass-enclosed habitat.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: At the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, we will learn about marine archaeology and view treasures of the sea, including gold and silver bars retrieved from beneath the waves. Dedicated to educating the public on maritime and colonial activity in the New World and preserving maritime culture resources, the museum celebrates 500 years of history. As a special highlight, we will go behind the scenes to see the conservation lab.

Dinner: Tonight, we will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY
6
Custom House Museum, Program Concludes
Key West Old Town
B

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: On our last morning as a group, we will visit the Custom House Museum. This living link to Key West’s historic past was built in 1891 to house the island’s customs office, postal service, and district courts. “Old 91” is now the headquarters of the Key West Art and Historical Society, which maintains a collection of artifacts and art significant to the Florida Keys. A local expert will lead us through this amazing space. We will return to the hotel following the field trip.

Afternoon: This concludes our program. We hope you have enjoyed this Road Scholar learning adventure and look forward to having you on other programs in the future. Please stay in touch and share your memories, pictures, and comments via the Road Scholar Social Network. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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