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Did You Know? In 1982 The Florida Keys formed the Conch Republic and declared War against the United States? It was a symbolic protest against a government policy. One minute after the Declaration of War, The Conch Republic surrendered to the Union Forces, and demanded 1 Billion Dollars in foreign aid and War Relief. .
Day 1 –Upon arrival at the Orlando, FL you check into your hotel for a two night stay. You will have time to relax and refresh before the evening’s activities. This evening enjoy shopping, entertainment galore and dinner on your own in Downtown Disney. Divided into 3 sections—Downtown Disney West Side, Downtown Disney Marketplace and Pleasure Island—Downtown Disney area is an ever-changing destination committed to keeping the experiences exciting and new. Choose from dining with dinosaurs to a Disney shopping extravaganza to catching incredible live music and shows!
Day 2 – After breakfast, discover Disney World with your full-day admission ticket to your choice of Disney World’s Theme Parks. Choose The Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Center, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Disney Hollywood Studios. Lunch and dinner are at your leisure in Disney World.
Day 3 – Following breakfast, pack your luggage and prepare to check out of the hotel for today you travel to nearby Ft Myers, FL for a two night stay. Upon arrival you learn that winning isn’t everything –it’s doing your best that matters most, and that creativity and balance are key. That’s the thinking behind the new “Art of the Olympians Gallery” in downtown Fort Myers’ historic River District. Developed by Al Oerter, (Discus), the gallery also features work by Peggy Fleming, (Skater) Flo-Jo Griffith Joyner, (Sprinter), Liston Bochette (Decathlon and Bob Sled), Bob Beamon, (Long Jump) and other athlete- artists. This evening you enjoy dinner with Beach Music at a local restaurant. Wear your flip-flops, shorts and flowered shirts!
Day 4 – Enjoy a hearty breakfast in the hotel before you start an exciting day with a Marine Biologist Cruise, where you pursue dolphins, manatee and other wildlife. Learn about Florida’s many diverse animals including sea urchins, sea horses, conchs, brittle stars and more. As a bonus to your outing, walk the beach of a remote barrier island and look for seashells. This fun morning is both educational and recreational, as you will have time for a swim after the cruise.
Prepare yourself for a wild afternoon as you learn about Florida’s most remarkable treasure, the Everglades. This Wildlife Adventure begins with a 30-minute Airboat Ride across the Everglades Sea of Grass. During the tour, you will hear tales of how the Seminole and panther once coexisted in this lush wilderness. As you skim across the glassy water, you’ll catch a glimpse of endangered wildlife that inhabits the area. Return to your hotel after a busy day and have dinner on own at a restaurant near the hotel.
Day 5 – After breakfast this morning, get ready to travel to Margaritaville! Your coach drops you at the Key West Jet Express pier at 8:00am and you board a high-speed catamaran ferry for a 3 -1/2 hour cruise to Key West. Your driver and luggage will meet you later at the hotel. Once in Key West you have free time for lunch in one of the many shore-side restaurants or at an eatery on Duval Street. Climb aboard the renowned Conch Train for a riding your upon which you see the sights, hear the stories and share a few laughs, as you tour this happy little Island Resort.
Late afternoon check into your hotel for a two night stay. Dinner is included this evening at Jimmy Buffet’s Maragaritaville. After dinner heat to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration. This nightly festival features art, crafts, psychics and food carts. Witness the antics of the street performers such as jugglers, escape artists, musicians, magicians, tightrope walkers, The Cat Man and an unpredictable variety of other colorful performers.
Day 6 – After breakfast, start your day with a visit to Truman’s Little White House. This property served as Harry Truman’s Winter Home from 1946 to 1952. It was later used by other Presidents, including Eisenhower and Kennedy. Next, is a visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. Nestled in the heart of Old Town Key West, this unique property was home to one of America’s most honored and respected authors. Wander through the lush grounds and enjoy the whimsy of the more than sixty, six-toed cats that call this place home.
After your tour of the Hemingway Home continue to explore Old Town Key West on your own. Stroll by an amazing array of ornate architecture that displays a strong Spanish influence to the impoverished shotgun houses inspired by the Haitians. Walk by the Key West Cemetery, established in 1847 and witness the aboveground vaults and massive display of delicately carved markers.
“Do the Duval Crawl” and have lunch on your own as you head back to the downtown area. Stop in at Sloppy Joe’s, one of Hemingway’s favorites haunts. Next, visit the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, home to more than $20 million in treasure and historical objects. You will see a wide range of artifacts, including gold and silver bars, over 4,000 silver coins, swords, guns, pottery and personal effects from the 1622 Spanish Fleet.
After dinner at local restaurant, climb on board for a Sunset Cruise. Sail off into Key West’s famous sunset and listen to the sounds of steel drum music, let the warm breezes surround you and sip a frozen beverage as you toast the end of the day.
Day 7 – Today travel to St Augustine, FL, America’s Oldest City, and home of the Golf Hall of Fame. Check into your hotel for a two night stay, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 8 – Depart for a full day of “Hop-on Hop-off” St Augustine visits aboard the Trolley. The driver/guides provide narration between each stop so you learn the history of Americas Oldest City and have a chance to visit her most interesting attractions. Admission to Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth is included. The park here features a museum with artifacts about the founding of St. Augustine, a planetarium, natural springs and Indian burial grounds. There are plenty of other attractions, shops and restaurants to keep entertained.
So, once you’ve drunk from the Fountain of Youth, you are on your own to explore the city until mid-afternoon. At that time you will board the Black Raven Pirate Ship and set sail with a crew of swashbucklers and storytellers. This is a lively outing with friendly pirates that will have you singing with them the music and shanties of old. Enjoy a lovely dinner in a local restaurant or on board the Black Raven.
Day 9 – After breakfast and travel back to Orlando for another day of Amusement Park Fun. You may choose to spend another full day at a Disney World Theme or a day at Universal Studios. Lunch and dinner are on your own.
Day 10 – After breakfast, depart for home.