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Floridas Sunshine Trail 2014

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Airboat ride through Everglades National Park, Florida, USAKennedy Space Center in Florida, USAArt Deco District in Miami, USAMiami skyline in Florida, USAArt Deco at Miami Beach, USA
Airboat ride through Everglades National Park, Florida, USA
Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA
Art Deco District in Miami, USA
Miami skyline in Florida, USA
Art Deco at Miami Beach, USA
  • Duration: 11 Days
  • Rating: Read Reviews
  • Brochure: USA and Canada 2014
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  • Style: Regional
  • Description: From the gentle rising mists of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Everglades, to the funky and vibrant island revelry of Key West to the Spanish-infused, old-world charm of St. Augustine, this Florida guided trip has it all! Explore the Kennedy Space Centre on a private NASA coach and sip on mojitos or Sangria in Little Havana during the Miami leg of this tour.
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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1

    ARRIVE ORLANDO

    Welcome to the Sunshine State! Relax or explore your resort with its breathtakingly beautiful tropical gardens and signature atriums that recreate three Florida environments–from the gently rising mists of the Everglades, to the funky and vibrant island revelry of Key West, to the Spanish-infused, old-world charm of St. Augustine. At 6 p.m. join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.


    Meal(s): (Welcome Reception)

    Hotel: Gaylord Palms Resort (MD)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 2

    ORLANDO – ST. AUGUSTINE – COCOA BEACH (2 NIGHTS)

    Travel north to St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city. An orientation tour introduces you to its charming cobblestone streets and historical landmarks. Climb aboard the Old Town Trolley to hear tales and interesting trivia from conductors, as they bring 500 years of American history to life. If you like, relive the story of the first settlement in North America and visit Castillo de San Marcos, the Spanish fort built in the 17th century. Experience early St. Augustine as you visit old St. Augustine Village, featuring houses from the 18th and 19th centuries and the oldest wooden school in the Americas. Arrive at your beachfront hotel on beautiful Cocoa Beach.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Dinner)

    Hotel: Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront (SF)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 3

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER

    Explore the Kennedy Space Center on a private NASA coach for a panoramic view of space shuttle launch pads at the LC-39 Observation Gantry. Then experience the historic Apollo 8 launch and marvel at a massive 364-foot-long Saturn V moon rocket at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. At the IMAX theatre, the dream of spaceflight comes alive with a wall of sound, a five-story screen and realistic 3-D special effects featuring dramatic footage shot by NASA astronauts during actual missions—you will feel like you're floating alongside them! End your space journey at lunch where you are joined by a veteran astronaut from NASA's famous Astronaut Corps. This afternoon, see why Cocoa Beach is known as the surfing capital of the East Coast.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Lunch)

  • Day 4

    COCOA BEACH – MIAMI (2 NIGHTS)

    This morning, visit the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame, complete with the sights, sounds and experiences of the famous astronauts who first ventured into the frontiers of space. Explore a rare collection of astronaut artefacts and see remarkable displays, exhibits and tributes dedicated to the heroes. Then travel along the coast through West Palm Beach and Jupiter before arriving in Miami.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

    Hotel: Hilton Miami (F)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 5

    MIAMI SIGHTSEEING

    Start out on a walking tour of the historic Art Deco District with a Local Expert. Discover the architectural crown jewels of South Beach's one-square-mile of traditional Art Deco in the first 20th century neighbourhood to be recognised by the National Register of Historic Places. You'll also view the area's most infamous residence, Casa Casuarina, once the home of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. This evening, meet in Little Havana for a walking tour with a Local Expert. The Cuban owner of a popular Little Havana restaurant welcomes you tonight for a private Be My Guest dinner. Indulge in a glass of Sangria while the host enlightens you on the influences Cuban cuisine has in Little Havana. After some appetisers, sit down for a dinner featuring some classic Cuban dishes, followed by a cup of Café Con Leche and homemade Cuban dessert and traditional dance.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining)

  • Day 6

    MIAMI – KEY WEST (2 NIGHTS)

    Head south this morning along the fabled "Road to Paradise"—the Florida Keys Scenic Highway. With the Atlantic Ocean on your left and the Gulf of Mexico on your right, the highway winds through vistas of natural beauty and areas rich in history, legends and stunning views. Stop at the Dolphin Research Center to say hello to dolphins and sea lions before arriving in Key West where your hotel is at the southernmost point of the continental United States. Tonight, join the Sunset Celebration festivities in Mallory Square at the historic Key West waterfront and see the sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

    Hotel: Southernmost Hotel (MF)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 7

    KEY WEST SIGHTSEEING & FREE TIME

    This morning, learn about (and sample!) the history of the Keys' favourite dessert and Local Speciality, the Key Lime Pie. Then explore Key West aboard the world-famous Conch Train Tour and discover Key West Historic District's many points of interest including world famous Duval Street, the Key West Bight, West Martello Fort, and much more. The rest of the day is free to pursue your own interests. Key West is known for its amazing variety of aquatic and land-based activities. Not sure what kind of activities you want to do? Not a problem—your Travel Director is happy to help.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

  • Day 8

    KEY WEST – EVERGLADES – NAPLES (2 NIGHTS)

    Today, embark on a thrilling airboat excursion through the Everglades. It's an exciting ride through the saw grass prairies and mangrove wilderness. Get up-close with alligators, manatees, native wildlife and a variety of birds, such as the Blue Heron, American Egret, Bald Eagle and Osprey. Arrive in Naples this afternoon.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

    Hotel: Hilton Naples (F)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 9

    NAPLES SIGHTSEEING & FREE TIME

    This morning, meet a Local Expert to hear about the Everglades ecosystem and learn how it affects the entire world. In Fort Myers, join a historian who leads you on a private visit to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, a 20-acre National Register Historic Site featuring historical buildings, award-winning historic gardens, the Edison Botanic Research Lab and the Edison Ford Museum. Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch on the beautiful grounds of the estate. Afterward, there is free time to stroll around Naples' Fifth Avenue South with its boutiques and art galleries or head a few blocks away and do it all again along Third Street South. Tonight, enjoy a Highlight Dinner served at one of the restaurants at the The Village over the waters of Venetian Bay.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Lunch / Highlight Dinner)

  • Day 10

    NAPLES – SARASOTA – TAMPA

    This morning, tour the dazzling palatial mansion, Ca' d'Zan, of John and Mable Ringling (of circus fame). With a guide, discover this tribute to the American Dream reflecting the splendour and romance of Italy. Afterward, visit the Circus Museum celebrating the American circus, its history, and unique relationship to Sarasota. A special Farewell Dinner celebration is served tonight—the perfect ending to your Floridian holiday.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Farewell Dinner)

    Hotel: InterContinental Tampa (MD)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 11

    TAMPA – DEPART ORLANDO

    Visit the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. From a variety of observation platforms, you may get a chance to view manatees gathering in the clean, warm water when the temperature of Tampa Bay is warm enough (This is a seasonal visit, generally November 1st through April 15th). Then it's time to bid farewell to the Sunshine State. Your Florida trail ends at Orlando International Airport or the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando for those wishing to extend their stay in Orlando to visit one of the many amusements parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal or SeaWorld Orlando Resorts. Please do not schedule any flight before 3 p.m.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

What's Included

Insider Experiences

  • Be My Guest Join your host for the evening at his Miami restaurant for a taste of Little Havana during a charming and exciting evening of Cuban hospitality, music and dance.
  • Hidden Treasure Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Local Speciality Watch a Key Lime Pie making demonstration.
  • Local Expert Enjoy a lecture in Naples on the fragile ecosystem of the Everglades; hear about the threat on manatees, dolphins and turtles in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Local Expert For included sightseeing in Miami's Little Havana and Art Deco District.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • St. AugustineTake a ride on the Trolley, see the Nombre de Dios Mission, old St. Augustine Village and the oldest wooden school in the Americas.
  • Cocoa BeachVisit the hometown of many east coast surfing champions located on a barrier island, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River Lagoon.
  • Space CoastVisit NASA's Kennedy Space Center; relive the historic Apollo 8 launch experience on a simulated Space Shuttle launch; experience the Astronaut Hall of Fame.
  • MiamiDiscover the Art Deco District, Little Havana and the South Beach neighbourhood.
  • Florida KeysEnjoy a scenic drive along the "Road to Paradise" from Key Largo down to Key West.
  • Key WestSpend two relaxing nights at the southernmost point of the U.S.
  • EvergladesTraverse this World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve; board an airboat to view endemic wildlife up close.
  • NaplesRelax with two nights and enjoy the gentle pace and tropical ambiance of Florida's Paradise Coast.
  • Fort MeyersJoin a private tour of the Edison & Ford Winter Estate with its beautiful historic buildings and award-winning gardens.
  • Apollo BeachObserve manatees in their natural habitat from a variety of viewing platforms.

Dining

  • 10 full breakfasts
  • 2 lunches
  • 5 evening meals:
    • Welcome Reception with light appetisers and drinks with your Travel Director in Orlando
    • 1 three-course dinner
    • Be My Guest dinner with wine in Miami
    • Highlight Dinner with wine in Naples
    • Farewell Dinner with wine in Tampa

Travel Highlights

  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring twin rooms and private facilities.
  • Audio Headsets provided throughout your trip to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo and map.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director throughout your journey.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Airport transfers are provided on the first and last day of your guided trip
  • 10 nights First Class accommodation

Airport Transfers

  • For full details on transfers, please click here.
Disclaimer
  • These prices are LAND-ONLY and are correct at the time of the website going live, however prices are subject to confirmation at the time
    of booking.
  • All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however prices and itineraries are subject to change, please confirm all details and final cost at time of booking.
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  • Hotels are subject to change.
Notes
  • * For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 
  • ^Twin-share option not available for trips to South America., Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey.

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