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Florida's Sunshine Trail

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Overview

9 Night fully escorted tour starting and ending in Orlando.

Travel the length of the state of Florida on this 10 day escorted tour. Explore Orlando before travelling to St Augustine, the nations's oldest city, head down to Kennedy Space Centre and take a private NASA coach tour around the Kennedy Space Centre. Take a walking tour of Little Havana in Miami and marvel at the Art Deco architecture along the famous South Beach. Then head south along the 'Road of Paradise' - the Florida Keys Scenic Highway - with the Atlantic Ocean on your left and the Gulf of Mexico to your right to reach the stunning Key West. Head west through the Everglades and take an exhilarating airboat ride through the sawgrass, getting up close to alligators in their natural habitat.

Details

Day 1

FLY TO 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. (WR)
Hotel: Gaylord Palms Resort (MD)

Day 2

ORLANDO – ST. AUGUSTINE – SPACE COAST – COCOA BEACH
Travel north to St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city. An orientation tour introduces you to its charming cobblestone streets and historical landmarks. Relive the story of the first settlement in North America as you visit Castillo de San Marcos, the Spanish fort built in the 17th century. Explore the site of the first Mass in America at the Mission of Nombre de Dios. 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. This afternoon, head down Florida’s famous Space Coast to Cocoa Beach, the surfing capital of the East coast. This evening, enjoy a dinner at a charming local restaurant. (FB D)
Hotel: Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront (SF)

Day 3

SPACE COAST – CAPE CANAVERAL – MIAMI  (2 NIGHTS)
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 111-metre-long Saturn V moon rocket at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Feel like an astronaut as you experience the sights, sounds and sensations of a real Space Shuttle take off aboard Shuttle Launch Experience. 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. Drive down to Miami. If you’d like, enjoy dinner on your own at the Bayside Marketplace upon arrival. (FB L)
Hotel: Hyatt Miami (SF)

Day 4

MIAMI SIGHTSEEING
This morning, join an expert guide for a private guided tour of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a Renaissance-style villa housing a priceless collection of 15th through 19th century furnishings and decorative arts. This evening, meet in Little Havana for a walking tour with a Local Guide. The owner of a popular Little Havana restaurant closes his doors for our group tonight for a private Be My Guest dinner. Indulge in a mojito or 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. (FB BG)

Day 5

MIAMI – KEY LARGO – KEY WEST (2 NIGHTS)
Today, explore Miami with its famous port, mansions, yachts and famed neighbourhoods. Start with a walking tour of the historic Art Deco District with a Local Guide. Discover the architectural crown jewels of South Beach’s one-square-mile of traditional 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, who was killed on the steps in 1997. Then head south 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. Arrive in Key West where your hotel is at the southernmost point of the continental United States. (FB)
Hotel: Southernmost Hotel (SF)

Day 6

KEY WEST SIGHTSEEING & FREE TIME
This morning, join an expert and learn 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 for you 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. (FB)

Day 7

KEY WEST – EVERGLADES – NAPLES (2 NIGHTS)
Retrace your steps along the Florida Keys Scenic Highway and stop in Big Pine Key at the visitor centre for the National Key Deer Refuge where you will learn about this endangered species of deer that lives only in the lower Florida Keys. After a quick stop in Key Largo, head west through the Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve before an early arrival in Naples on Florida’s “Paradise Coast.” This evening, a Highlight Dinner is served at one of the restaurants at The Village on Venetian Bay, home to fashion boutiques and restaurants perched over the waters of Venetian Bay. This evening back at the hotel, enjoy an interpretive presentation by a Local Expert about the popular manatee, as well as the amazing ecosystem of the Everglades, which you will visit tomorrow. (FB HD)
Hotel: Hilton Naples (F)

Day 8

NAPLES SIGHTSEEING & FREE TIME
This morning, enjoy an exciting excursion through the Everglades, where you will embark on a thrilling airboat ride through the sawgrass 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. Enjoy some time on your own for lunch in Everglade City where locally caught seafood reigns, from stone crab in season to grouper, shrimp and snapper. Back in Naples, the rest of the day is yours to do as you please: stroll around Naples’ Fifth Avenue South with its boutiques and art galleries, then head a few blocks away and do it all again along Third Street South. (FB)

Day 9

NAPLES – FORT MYERS – SARASOTA
Meet a historian who leads you on a private visit to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, 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 and then head for beautiful Sarasota. 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. Next, 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 Florida trail. (FB L FD)
Hotel: Hyatt Regency (MD)

Day 10

SARASOTA – DEPART ORLANDO
Time to bid farewell to the Sunshine State, but not before a stop at the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. From a variety of observation platforms, you get a chance to view manatees gathering in the clean, warm water when the temperature of Tampa Bay falls below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Your Florida trail ends at Orlando International Airport or the hotel in Orlando for those wishing to extend their stay in Orlando to visit one of the many amusement parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal or SeaWorld Orlando Resorts.  (FB)

Day 11

Arrive home

 

FIRST CLASS HIGHLIGHTS

  • 9 nights First Class accommodation 
  • Airport transfers are provided on Day 1 and Day 10
  • Complimentary keepsake photo and My Journey book
  • Audio Headsets For all guided visits and included sightseeing

DINING HIGHLIGHTS

 

  • 9 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 Sarasota

SIGHTSEEING HIGHLIGHTS

  • St. Augustine Visit Castillo de San Marco, the Nombre de Dios Mission, old St Augustine Village and the oldest wooden school in the Americas.
  • Space Coast Visit NASA’s Kennedy Space Center; relive the historic Apollo 8 launch experience on a simulated Space Shuttle launch.
  • Miami Enjoy a guided tour of Vizcaya; discover the South Beach neighbourhood.
  • Florida Keys Scenic Highway Drive along the “Road to Paradise” from Key Largo down to Key West. • Key West Spend two relaxing nights at the southernmost point of the US. Everglades Traverse this World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve; board an airboat to view endemic wildlife up close.
  • Naples Relax with two nights and enjoy the gentle pace and tropical ambiance of Florida’s Paradise Coast.
  • Fort Myers Join a private tour of the Edison & Ford Winter Estate with its beautiful historic buildings and award-winning gardens.
  • Sarasota Enjoy a private tour of Ca’ d’Zan • Apollo Beach Observe manatees in their natural habitat from a variety of viewing platforms.


 INSIDER EXPERIENCES

  • Be My Guest Join your Cuban host for the evening as he closes the doors of his restaurant just for you and effortlessly transports you from Miami to Havana for a fascinating and charming evening of Cuban hospitality, music, mojitos and delicious traditional cuisine.
  • Local Guide For included sightseeing in Miami’s Little Havana and Art Deco District.
  • Local Expert Enjoy a lecture in Naples on the fragile ecosystem of the Everglades and learn why it is significant to all people of the world; hear about the threat of oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico on manatees, dolphins and turtles.
  • Local Speciality Watch a Key Lime Pie making demonstration.

The weather information shown below refers to the first stop on the tour, call us and speak to one of our travel experts for the most up-to-date forecasts and weather details for your tour.

TODAY 30ºC
FRI 30ºC
SAT 33ºC
SUN 32ºC
MON 31ºC
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)
24ºC
24ºC
27ºC
29ºC
32ºC
33ºC
34ºC
33ºC
32ºC
30ºC
26ºC
24ºC
2
2
3
3
3
8
7
8
6
4
2
3

Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)

Jan
24ºC
2
Feb
24ºC
2
Mar
27ºC
3
Apr
29ºC
3
May
32ºC
3
Jun
33ºC
8
Jul
34ºC
7
Aug
33ºC
8
Sep
32ºC
6
Oct
30ºC
4
Nov
26ºC
2
Dec
24ºC
3

Book today

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01342 3317949am - 9pm Mon - Sun

Business & First Class01342 310 587

Brendan White

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