6642
Florida
St. Augustine: 450 Years of History Comes Alive!
Explore culturally vibrant St. Augustine with experts and learn the story of the nation’s oldest city through its architecture, monuments, Gilded Age works and a historic reenactment.
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 6642RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
999
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6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 3 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
St. Augustine, Florida
D
Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach

Activity note: Program registration will be available from 3:00 p.m. Hotel check-in will be available after 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come to the Meeting Room located on the first floor to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing an 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 at the hotel front desk when you check in.

Dinner: We'll walk three blocks from the hotel to a local restaurant near the beach where we'll enjoy a plated meal featuring your pre-selected entrée, including salad and dessert. Coffee, tea or water included.

Evening: 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. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the full day ahead.

DAY
2
Before the Europeans, Historic District, Architecture
St. Augustine, Florida
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach

Activity note: Boarding/disembarking trolley multiple times during field trips; walking up to 2 miles; stairs (14 steps) at the Oldest House (no elevator).

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet features a rotating variety of hot items as well as fruit, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, breads and muffins, plus juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll gather in the hotel’s meeting room for a presentation and discussion of the early natives, the Timucuas, who called Northeast and North Central Florida and Southeast Georgia their home. It is believed that the Timucuas may have been the first Native Americans to see the Spanish explorers when they landed in Florida. At the time of the European contact it is believed this was home to 200,000+. From 1649-1656, the population began to diminish. War with the English and other Indians decreased their numbers and a series of epidemics further diminished their population, the major one being smallpox. In less than 250 years the Timucuas disappeared. Afterwards, board a bus for a short ride to the Historic District. Meet the former city archaeologist where you will take a brief archaeological walk and discover how the past and present meet in St. Augustine. End your walk at the Art Association where both its director and our archaeologist will share with you how this site went through an archaeological preparation prior to its expansion. Discover how the past and present meet through archaeological discoveries.

Lunch: Take a 3-block walk to a local restaurant, where you will enjoy a plated meal featuring your pre-selected choice of salad or sandwich with a soft drink, coffee, tea, and water included. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Outside our restaurant, an open sided trolley will take us for a non-stop narrated exploration of the Historic District. In this city occupied since the 1600s, we’ll see evidence of the Spanish, British and American occupation of St. Augustine and gain insight as to how they may have lived. The trolley ride will end at the Oldest House, where you will have an opportunity to explore on your own. The González–Alvarez House, also known as The Oldest House, is a historic house museum. With a construction history dating to about 1723, it is believed to be the oldest surviving house in St. Augustine. It is also an important example of the St. Augustine's Spanish colonial architectural style, with later modifications by English owners. It was designated a U.S. National Historic landmark in 1970. It is now owned by the St. Augustine Historical Society. We’ll return to the hotel via bus.

Dinner: In the hotel, enjoy a catered buffet including salad, chef's choice main dishes, vegetable, bread and dessert plus coffee, decaf, tea and water.

Evening: In our meeting room, we’ll be joined by the founding president of the Friends of St. Augustine Architecture Society for a presentation on St. Augustine's “vernacular” architecture: design based on local needs, materials, and traditions that span the city’s history, adapted to meet changing times.

DAY
3
The Europeans, Castillo de San Marcos, Pena-Peck House
St. Augustine, Florida
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach

Activity note: Boarding/disembarking trolley multiple times during field trips; walking up to 2 miles; some stairs (elevator may not be available at all sites), uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Begin the morning in the hotel’s meeting room for a historical overview of St. Augustine and the Castillo (Fort). Our presenter, a former park ranger, author, college professor and photographer, will also be your guide at the Fort. At the conclusion of the lecture, we’ll board the bus for our trip to the Historic District and Castillo de San Marcos. The Castillo is a monument not only of stone and mortar but of human determination and endurance. It symbolizes the clash of cultures which ultimately resulted in our uniquely unified nation. Still resonant with the struggle of an earlier time, these walls provide tangible evidence of America’s remarkable history.

Lunch: Take a short walk (2 blocks) to a local restaurant and enjoy a plated meal featuring your choice of select salads or sandwiches with a soft drink, coffee, tea, and water included. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch walk (3 blocks) to the Pena-Peck House. Begin with a lecture on the British Period followed an expert led exploration of the house. Built in 1750 by order of the King of Spain, the Pena-Peck House was home to prominent Spanish, British and American families. Notable is the 19th Century art and antique furnishings of Connecticut natives Dr. Seth Peck and his wife Sarah. Three generations of Pecks called this magnificent estate “home” for 94 years. Our informative guide will bring this beautiful appointed historical home to life for us. Bus returns to the hotel after this session.

Dinner: In the hotel, enjoy a catered buffet including salad, chef's choice main dishes, vegetable, bread and dessert plus coffee, decaf, tea and water.

Evening: Review the schedule for the second half of the week and suggestions for free time activities.

DAY
4
Minorcans, Fountain of Youth-Many Flags, Many Colors
St. Augustine, Florida
B
Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach

Activity note: Boarding/disembarking trolley multiple times during field trips; walking up to 2 mile; some stairs (elevator may not be available at all sites), uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll spend the first part of the morning at the hotel with our author, retired college professor and historical interpreter. Through her engaging recollections and poetry "in the vernacular," she weaves together the historical information of Floridanos, Minorcans, and crackers. Next, we’ll board our bus for a field trip to Fountain of Youth where we’ll experience history at this early Spanish archaeology site. In military dress, our author, playwright and performing artist will bring history to life through his presentation exploring the multi-culturalism of St. Augustine.

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: Free Afternoon: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Transportation will be provided back to the hotel at a pre-arranged time and location.

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.

DAY
5
Meet Mrs. Flagler, The Lightner Museum, Mr. Flagler's Church
St. Augustine, Florida
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach

Activity note: Boarding/disembarking trolley multiple times during field trips; walking up to 2 mile; some stairs (elevator may not be available at all sites), uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Henry M. Flagler's legacy as railroad tycoon, hotelier, and "Father of Tourism" is deeply appreciated and acknowledged in St. Augustine and the State of Florida. We will be joined by one of the first individuals to realize the potential of this titan of industry, the love of his life and first wife, Mary Harkness in the person of our noted professional actor. We'll then board a bus and head for the Historic District and the Lightner Museum. Our docent guides will share with you the museum's rich past and lead you through select galleries. The Lightner Museum is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel built in 1888 by Henry Flagler. Today it is home to one of the best collections of fine and decorative 19th century art in the country.

Lunch: At a restaurant in the Historic District, enjoy a plated lunch and select from three options, plus your choice of iced tea, soda, water; other beverages also available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch we'll walk (approximately 3 blocks) to Memorial Presbyterian Church . Built in 1889 as a memorial to his daughter and infant granddaughter who died that year, this church is an elegant example of Venetian Renaissance architecture. We’ll move on to Flagler’s magnificent Ponce de León Hotel that set the standard of luxury in 1888, and became the centerpiece of Flagler College in 1968. We’ll hear from an expert student leader who will share information about the first of the luxury hotels Flagler built on the east coast of Florida. Learn how the building featured innovations such as a steam heating system and electricity as well as interior stained glass designed by Louis Tiffany. Depending on time and schedule the Ponce de Leon part of this day may be presented in the morning.

Dinner: Enjoy your farewell dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy a plated meal featuring your choice of entre, salad and dessert. Coffee, tea and water included. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Dinner with extend into part of the evening. The remainder of the evening at leisure.

DAY
6
Wrap-Up and Hats Off to History, Program Concludes
St. Augustine, Florida
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out is by 10:30 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room, our closing session will feature a brief first-person historical presentation by a local instructor in dress from the First Spanish Period for a creative re-cap of the week. 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!






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