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23862
Florida

Signature City Tampa

Experience the best of Tampa as you immerse yourself in the contemporary art and architecture, historic neighborhoods and fascinating wildlife that make this city truly one of a kind.
Program No. 23862RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,499
Florida

Signature City Tampa

Experience the best of Tampa as you immerse yourself in the contemporary art and architecture, historic neighborhoods and fascinating wildlife that make this city truly one of a kind.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,499
Program No. 23862 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

The west coast of Florida boasts the calm, coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and spectacular sandy beaches with a more laid-back attitude than its eastern counterparts. Alongside local experts, immerse yourself in one of the most culturally rich cities in western Florida as you explore the colorful streets of Tampa. Step back in time in historic Ybor City, former cigar capital of the world, to get a taste of Cuban culture. Then, explore Tampa’s many museums and parks to study the city’s contemporary architecture and an electric culture as new life is breathed into old buildings in this lively, up-and-coming city.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Ride an eco-boat and learn about the wildlife of Tampa Bay and then search for manatees in the warm waters of Apollo Beach.
  • Spend a day in Ybor City to immerse yourself in local Cuban history while also tasting delicious Cuban food.
  • Ferry to Egmont Key State Park, an uninhabited island, to learn about its unique flora and explore a lighthouse.
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6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 4 L 3 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Tampa, Florida
D
Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown

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

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the 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. Remember to bring your name-tag (sent previously). 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 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 along Tampa's Riverwalk, we’ll have a plated meal with soft drinks, juice, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Tampa Downtown, Tampa Museum of Art & Theatre
Tampa, Florida
B,L,D
Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles total throughout the day; city streets and sidewalks, indoors at the art museum.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet meal featuring a variety of hot and cold selections with coffee, tea, water included.

Morning: Setting out from the hotel on foot, our local expert will lead us on walking exploration of downtown Tampa, along with commentary. We'll learn more about the rich history of this area, its historic architecture and modern landmarks, along with its culture infused with Cuban and Spanish flavors.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with soft drinks, juice, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Continuing on foot, we’ll explore the Tampa Museum of Art, which provides innovative exhibitions with a focus on ancient, modern, and contemporary art. We’ll be led around the facility by a museum docent. Afterwards, we'll visit the Tampa Theatre for a docent-led behind-the-scenes look at this historic landmark theater and learn more about how they make their performances come to life. According to the theater website, “Today, the Theatre is managed by the not-for-profit Tampa Theatre Foundation. As one of the most heavily utilized venues of its kind in the United States, Tampa Theatre’s single auditorium hosts more than 600 events each year, including a full schedule of first-run and classic films, concerts, special events, corporate events, tours and educational programs.”

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with soft drinks, juice, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Ybor City & Museum State Park, Independent Exploration
Tampa, Florida
B,L
Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley; about 3.5 miles; approximately 1/2 hour. Walking up to 3 miles total throughout the day; city streets and sidewalks, indoors at the art museum. Extent and duration of walking and other activities during time for independent exploration according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our local expert will take us on a stroll of Ybor – a neighborhood celebrated for its colorful culture and rich history, fueled by the energy and passion of its diverse inhabitants.

Lunch: At the renowned Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, Florida’s oldest restaurant, we’ll have plated lunches with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch with a local historian, we'll have time to explore the Ybor City Museum State Park, which occupies the former Ferlita Bakery building at 1818 9th Avenue in Ybor City Historic District. The bakery was known for producing Cuban bread and its ovens are part of the museum displays that cover the history of the cigar industry and the Latin community from the 1880s through the 1930s. After the museum, the remainder of the afternoon and evening is open for independent exploration. You may consider visiting the American Victory Ship & Museum, which features the SS American Victory – a ship that was in service in the Pacific Theater of Operations during the waning months of World War II, the Korean War from 1951-1954, and the Vietnam War from 1967-1969.

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. There is a free trolley to and from the hotel to Ybor.

DAY
4
Henry Plant Museum, Boat Cruise & Manatee Viewing
Tampa, Florida
B,L
Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 50 miles; approximately 1 hour. Walking up to 3 miles total throughout the day; city streets and sidewalks, indoors at the art museum. Getting on/off a boat; ride is about 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After hearing a lecture given by our Group Leader at the hotel about America's Gilded Age, we'll walk to the Henry B. Plant Museum, which is a national historic landmark. Their mission is to interpret the history and lifestyle of America’s Gilded Age, as well as the life of Henry Bradley Plant and the significant contributions he made to the development of Florida and Tampa Bay. Original lavish furnishings and artifacts during the dynamic self-led audio exploration will help to immerse us in the opulence of the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel and its rich history.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with soft drinks, juice, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Arriving to the dock via motorcoach, we’ll then enjoy a relaxing boat ride while learning more from the boat captain about the ecological environment of the Tampa Bay Estuary and Little Manatee River. It is home to about 260 species of birds, as well as dolphins, manatees, rays, and fish that are all dependent on this delicate ecosystem for survival.

Dinner: On your own to explore more of the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Egmont Key Ferry, Farewell Dinner
Tampa, Florida
B,L,D
Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 75 miles; less than 1.5 hours. Getting on/off ferry; ride is about 1/2 hour. Walking up to 1 mile total throughout the day; sandy beaches, some stairs.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After having a morning to sleep in, we'll travel via motorcoach to Hubbard's Marina and take the ferry out to Egmont Key, an uninhabited island and wildlife refuge, which offers great shelling, swimming, and exploring opportunities. There is also a large fort on the island named Fort Dade, which is spread along the island’s interior and dates back to the Spanish-American War era. Egmont Key is also home to a large population of native gopher tortoise and our Group Leader will provide commentary. These large, slow-moving tortoises are an endangered species so we can’t touch them, but they make for great photos as we spot them throughout the island’s interior.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After making our way back to the hotel following the ferry ride, we’ll have some time to relax and unwind before our farewell dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, we'll enjoy a farewell dinner as a group exchange stories about our adventures together.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Tampa, Florida
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. 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!






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