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 (4.94)
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 from 3:00 p.m. Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: Upon arrival, check-in at the front desk where you’ll receive your key and room assignment. Then proceed to the meeting room located on the first floor to complete your registration with our program staff. You will receive your welcome packet containing an up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and 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 two blocks from the hotel to a restaurant near the beach and have a plated meal with pre-selected entrée, salad, dessert, and beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

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

DAY
2
Historic District, Government House, Architecture
St. Augustine, Florida
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley multiple times during field trips. Walking up to 1 mile.

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 St. Augustine’s history before and after the Europeans. With our local historian, a retired National Park Ranger, we’ll begin with the Native Americans who called this area home, continue through the first Spanish explorers and missionaries, and then the British who competed with them to establish colonial power here.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal featuring your pre-selected choice of salad or sandwich with choices of a soft drink, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll step outside the restaurant and board open-sided trolley for a non-stop, narrated exploration of the Historic District. In this city occupied since the 1600s, we’ll see evidence of Spanish, British, and American occupation of St. Augustine and gain insights into how these different people lived. We’ll end at Government House for a self-directed exploration of an exhibition on Spanish origins, then return to the hotel by bus.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, choose what you like from a catered buffet with salad, chef's choice main dishes, vegetable, dessert, coffee (regular and decaf), tea, 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
Flagler & Heritage of the Gilded Age, Musical Entertainment
St. Augustine, Florida
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley multiple times during field trips. Walking up to 1 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 Mary Harkness (in the person of a noted professional actor) — one of the first individuals to realize the potential of this titan of industry, the love of his life, the forgotten Flagler. Following the presentation, we will break for coffee and cookies. We’ll then view a DVD about Whitehall, Flagler's winter retreat. As we experience a virtual exploration of this carefully restored Gilded Age mansion, we’ll gain more insights into Mr. Flagler's life and legacy.

Lunch: At a restaurant near the beach, we’ll have a plated meal from a select menu; soft drinks, coffee, tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll board our bus for a ride downtown 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 a knowledgeable student leader who will share information about the first of the luxury hotels Flagler built on the east coast of Florida. The building featured innovations such as a steam heating system and electricity as well as interior stained glass designed by Louis Tiffany.

Dinner: Hotel catered buffet.

Evening: In our meeting room, we’ll be joined by an award-winning folklorist, author, and singer who will present an evening of musical entertainment.

DAY
4
Floridanos, Minorcans, Fort Menendez
St. Augustine, Florida
B
Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley multiple times during field trips. Walking up to 1 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 an author who is a retired college professor and historical interpreter. Through engaging recollections and poetry "in the vernacular," she will weave together historical information on Floridanos, Minorcans, and crackers. We’ll then board our bus for a field trip to Fort Menendez where we’ll experience other aspects of history at this early Spanish archaeological site. Another our author, who is also a playwright and performing artist, will bring history to life through a presentation in military dress examining the multi-culturalism of St. Augustine. Our bus will be at the Fort after our field trip and take us as a group to the Historic District where a variety of restaurants are available for individual selection.

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 time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. We recommend visiting the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. According to the National Park Service, “the Castillo de San Marcos symbolizes the clash between cultures which ultimately resulted in our uniquely unified nation. Still resonant with the struggles of an earlier time, these original walls provide tangible evidence of America’s grim but remarkable history.” Transportation back to the hotel will be provided at a pre-arranged time and location.

Dinner: On your own to explore the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
First Coast Music, Riverboat Cruise, Evening Entertainment
St. Augustine, Florida
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Beach

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley multiple times during field trips; on/off a cruise boat. Walking up to 1 mile; some stairs (elevator may not be available at all sites), uneven terrain. Boat cruise is approximately 1.5 hours and is weather dependent.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll be joined in the meeting room by a professional pianist and avid music collector who will lead a musical study of First Coast culture. Through discussion, live musical presentations, and vintage recordings, we’ll trace the Spanish, British, Minorcan, and English eras. We’ll then depart for the Historic District by bus.

Lunch: At a restaurant in the Historic District, we’ll have choices for a plated lunch plus soda, iced tea, water; other beverages also available for purchase.

Afternoon: Weather permitting, we’ll walk from the restaurant and gather at the City Marina for a scenic cruise on Matanzas Bay via the Victory III. As we see St. Augustine from a different and beautiful prospective, the boat’s captain will provide a running narrative throughout the trip discussing the historical significance of points of interest as well as the natural surroundings. Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the afternoon is free. We’ll gather before dinner for a social time.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, we’ll enjoy a special Taste of St. Augustine catered buffet featuring dishes inspired by the Timucuan Indians as well as the Greek, Spanish, and British with beverage choices of coffee (regular/decaf), tea, water. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At the hotel, enjoy an evening of live musical entertainment with a special guest: a costumed performer portraying a legendary silent screen actress. Prepare for check-out and departure following our final session in the morning.

DAY
6
Hats Off to History, Program Concludes
St. Augustine, Florida
B

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

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

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