Florida is a wonderful destination for those of us who want to get away from the cold north winds.
Florida Winter Escape Twelve Nights in Florida! FIVE Nights at the Sheraton Key West THREE Nights in Coconut Grove-Miami Beach TWO Nights in St Augustine TWO Nights in Orlando February 13- March 2, 2016
Florida is a wonderful destination for those of us who want to get away from the cold north winds. This 19 day Winter Escape offers 12 of the 19 in Florida where warm breezes flow and the sunsets are spectacular. This state is well-named the Sunshine State and is also known for the Everglades, the Florida Keys, miles and miles of white sandy beaches and of course an optional tour to visit Sea World or Universal Studios. Add to this, rich history of our oldest city, St Augustine, beautiful mansions, gardens and eco tours. We invite you to join us as we make our way south to the beautiful state of Florida. We've even tucked in a few fun stops along the way that are sure to add to the overall enjoyment of this 19 day motorcoach adventure. Note about Spring Break:Spring break generally begins the 1st or 2nd week of March. The dates on this tour should not conflict at all.
Your 19 Day Motor Coach Tour to Florida Includes: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Round-trip deluxe motor coach transportation-Convenient boarding on the day of departure: (Northeast MN) Iron Range Cities, Duluth, Superior.(Central MN) St Cloud, Rice, Little Falls & Baxter
18 Nights of Great Accommodations- Five Nights in Key West (Sheraton Key West); Two nights in St Augustine (Hilton Hotel); Three Nights in Miami Beach's Coconut Grove (Hampton Inn) ; Two Nights in Orlando (Drury Inn).
Other overnights include: Peru, IL (Fairfield Inn); Nashville, TN (Drury Inn); Macon, GA (BW Inn and Suites); Valdosta, GA (Drury Inn); Chattanooga, TN (Holiday Inn Choo Choo); Bloomington, IL ( Hampton Inn)
While in Key West: Ernest Hemmingway Home; Mallory Square; Key West Butterfly Nature and Conservatory; and the Eco Discovery Tour on the Glass Bottom Boat (Dinner at the Sheraton Key West)
While in St Augustine: Old Jail, General Store Museum, Old Town Trolley, Historic District & Dinner at Barnacle Bills
While in Coconut Grove: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens; Island Queen "Millionaire's Row" Cruise; Bayside Market; and Everglade National Park
While in Orlando: Optional Attraction - "Add On" for Universal Studios ($110 per person) or Sea World ($90 per person)
While in Nashville: General Jackson "Valentine's Dinner Cruise"; Time in historic downtown Nashville the following day.
Day by Day Schedule for the Florida Winter Escape Tour - February 13-March 2, 2016
Saturday, February 13th - Day 1 - Travel to Peru, Illinois (469 Miles from Duluth) We'll depart early morning from Central and Northeast Minnesota - with Eau Clair, Wisconsin becoming like "Grand Central Station" as we blend both areas together during our lunch hour. We'll set out on a wonderful 19 day winter escape south to a warmer climate. Set your seats back and get acquainted with fellow travelers. Stops will be made every 2 1/2 - 3 hours as the day goes along. Our first nights destination is Peru, IL. Below was the 2013 departure hours so that we can give you an idea of what you can expect as your day unfolds. The exact hour & location of boarding will be announced in early January.
From Northeast Minnesota by Trobec Motor Coach:
5:15 am- Grand Rapids -Sawmill Inn @ 2301 S Hwy169
6:30 am- Hibbing Park Hotel
7:00 am- Virginia Village Inn
7:15 am- Eveleth Super Eight
8:00-9:00 am- Breakfast Break, Paying on own (Perkins Miller Hill Mall in Duluth)
8:45 am- Duluth (Perkins Miller Hill Mall - 1302 Miller Trunk Hwy)
9:30 am- Superior, Wisconsin - Perkins Restaurant
From Central Minnesota by Trobec Motor Coach: The shuttle transportation from your area and will bring folks from Central Minnesota to Eau Clair, Wisconsin to meet the rest of the group at the lunch hour. The size of the vehicle will be determined by how many are on board. You will join the rest of the group in Eau Clair around 12 pm with time for a meal break before continuing your journey southeast. (Other boarding locations may be added from Brainerd, Little Falls & Rice)
8:40 AM- St Stephens - Trobec Bus Garage -413 South County Rd 2
12:00 pm- All will meet in Eau Clair at the Oakwood Mall offering a great venue to grab a quick lunch before we continue on.
12:45 pm- Re-board the coach. Other stops will be made as the day goes along
Enjoy your day getting acquainted with each other. Stops will be made every 2 1/2 - 3 hours as the day goes along. Our first nights destination is Peru, Illinois (Fairfield Inn) with a 6:15 pm arrival. The hotel has an indoor pool, fitness center, coffeemaker, hair-dryer, irons & boards.
There are great restaurants within walking distance of the hotel including an I-Hop and a Red Lobster.
Sunday, February 14th - Day 2- Travel to Nashville, Tennessee - It's VALENTINE'S Day! (500 miles)
5:30 am- Set your luggage outside your doors. Breakfast is served at the hotel - Help yourselves.
6:15 am- The bus departs for Nashville, TN. Again... we'll travel through Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Stops along the way for comfort / lunch break are made.
11:00 am- Today we'll have lunch along the way with an anticipated arrival to the Drury Inn in Nashville around 5:00 pm. We'll have a time to freshen up and get ready for a delightful plated Dinner on the General Jackson River Boat.
5:45 pm- Board the coach and travel to the General Jackson for our evening cruise. (7 pm - 10:15 pm)
This is a Valentine's special cruise to include a delightful set dinner and music by the Craig Duncan Orchestra.
Monday, February 15th- Day 3 - Travel to Macon, Georgia (Now on Eastern Time) (335 Miles)
8:00 am- Set your luggage outside your doors for the porter. Breakfast is served at the hotel from 7 am- 9 am.
Enjoy a nice breakfast this morning before we leave Nashville. We'll make time to stop downtown Nashville so you can visit the Wild Horse Saloon, peak into Tootsies Orchid Lounge & perhaps shop on Historic 2nd Avenue.
1:00 pm- (TBA) Board the coach. We'll travel along Interstate I-24 and cross the Tennessee / Georgia border and continue through the lovely state of Georgia to Macon for our 3rd nights stay around 6:30 pm. Our hotel is the Best Western Inn & Suites (# 5 on Trip Advisor!). We'll make a mid-afternoon stop this afternoon. Since most of the restaurants are not within walking distance of the hotel property, we'll take you out for a bite to eat while your luggage is being delivered to your rooms.
Tuesday, February 16th - Day 4 - Travel to beautiful St. Augustine, Florida! (300 Miles)
6:30 am- Set your luggage outside your doors. Breakfast is served at the hotel - Help yourselves.
7:30 am- The bus departs for St. Augustine. We'll travel south along I-75 until we get to I-10 E. Then we'll continue east to Jacksonville continuing along the eastern shore line of the Atlantic to St. Augustine. We'll arrive around 1:30 pm.
We'll have lunch in the historic district before checking in to the lovely Hilton St. Augustine Hotel. This property is located within walking distance of the historic district of St. Augustine. We'll spend two nights here.
6:00 pm- We'll enjoy dinner at Barnacle Bill's Restaurant, included. Menu is yet to be announced.
Wednesday, February 17th - Day 5 - Touring America's Oldest City ... St. Augustine!
8-10 am-Breakfast is served in the hotel - Help yourself.
10:00 am- Jump on board our "Old Town Trolley" and we'll take you on an Area City Tour of the St. Augustine to include the Old Jail Museum and the Old General Store Museum. After visiting the museums, the trolley will take you on a narrated area tour of this historic and our country's "oldest city". After the tour, you'll enjoy the rest of your day at your leisure. Dinner tonight is at your leisure. There are many wonderful places to eat (including the hotel).
Thursday, February 18th - Day 6-- Coconut Grove .... Miami Beach Area (300 Miles)
8:30 am- Set your luggage outside your doors. Breakfast is served at the hotel - Help yourselves.
9:30 am- The bus departs for St. Augustine. We'll just continue down the east coastline of the Atlantic to Miami Beach.
This is sure to be a delightful drive. We'll make stops as the day goes along. This is about a 5 hour drive.
3:00 pm- We'll arrive to Coconut Grove (Hampton Inn). We are within walking distance of the Bayside Market Place where many restaurants, shopping and entertainment abound. Settle in for a three night stay!
Friday, February 19th - Day 7 - Island Cruise and Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
9:00 am- Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before preparing for a great day of sightseeing. First off we'll take you on a 90 minute Island Queen Cruise "Millionaire's Row" in Biscayne Bay. Here you'll sail past homes of the rich and famous. Next we'll take you to the lovely Italian Mansion, "Vizcaya" Museum and Gardens. We'll enjoy a lovely lunch here before taking the rest of the afternoon touring these magnificent grounds.
5:00 pm- We'll return to the hotel with the rest of the day to relax as per your own agenda.
Saturday, February 20th - Day 8 - Everglade National Park and Eco Boat Tour
9:00 am- Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before preparing for another great day of sightseeing.
This day holds in store a short ride to the east entrance of Everglade National Park. We begin our visit at the Ernest F Coe Visitors Center before beginning our 38 mile drive through the park. There are great overlooks along the way which we'll stop at to take photos. Our drive will end at the Flamingo Visitors Center. Here we'll have lunch, included, and make time for a delightful Eco Boat Tour in the National Park.
5:30 - 6 pm- We'll return to the hotel for the rest of the evening to enjoy as per your own agenda.
Sunday, February 21st - Day 9- The Southern Most Tip of the State .... to KEY WEST (160 Miles)
8:45 am- Set your luggage outside your doors. 9:45 am- After breakfast, board the bus.
The bus departs for Key West. Today our journey takes us as far south as we can get to where the warm breezes flow and life switches into "Island Time". The Overseas Highway, the southernmost leg of U.S. Highway 1 and sometimes called the Highway That Goes to Sea is a modern wonder. The road, that follows a trail originally blazed in 1912 by Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railroad, stretches from Miami to Key West. This is our route!
3:00 pm- Arrive to Key West and to the Lovely Sheraton Suites Key West.
Prepare to relax and soak in the warmth from this tropical paradise! This property will be a wonderful fit for our next five nights. Settle in and enjoy the lovely sand beach and the amazing sunsets. The hotel also offers a hotel shuttle that runs into the historic downtown district (Mallory Square) at a variety of times on a daily basis. Tonight, we've included an Island Dinner at the hotel. All rooms have either two beds or one king.
Monday, February 22nd - Day 10 - Ernest Hemingway Home
Take the early morning at your leisure (Breakfast is included in the dining room).
10:00 am- We'll board the Key West Conch Train Trolley for a tour of beautiful Key West. We'll learn about it's rich history and the people of this community. After our one hour tour, the Ernest Hemingway Home is on our agenda. We'll spend about an hour here exploring this home and museum. Ernest Hemingway was one of America's most honored and respected authors. He called Key West his home for more than ten years. It was where he found solace by the peaceful turquoise waters that surrounded this tiny island. Wander through the lush grounds. Perhaps you'll even meet one of the many cats that live on site.
12:30 pm - Once our tour is complete, re-board the Conch Train and return to our hotel. Keep in mind, the hotel offers a free shuttle to the downtown area throughout the day. They have a schedule that I'm sure will fit whatever "island-time" mood you are in!
Tuesday, February 23rd - Day 11 - Key West Nature & Butterfly Conservatory
Take the early morning at your leisure (Breakfast is included in the dining room).
10:30 am- The Old Town Trolley meets us at the hotel and brings us to the Key West Nature and Butterfly Conservatory. Walk through a magical and inviting environment filled with hundreds of the most beautiful winged creatures in nature. During your breathtaking journey you will experience an impressive collection of flowering plants, colorful birds, cascading waterfalls and trees that set the stage for the "flowers of the sky." Witness a variety of some 50 to 60 butterfly species from around the world, along with over 20 exotic bird species, all under a climate- controlled, glass enclosed habitat. Once our tour is complete... we have some free time to spend on Mallory Square until mid-afternoon.
2:00 pm- We'll re-board our trolley and return to the lovely Sheraton.
The rest of the day is yours to enjoy as per your own agenda.
Wednesday, February 24th - Day 12 - Fury's Glass Bottom Boat Eco Cruise Tour
Take the morning and early afternoon at your leisure (Breakfast included in the dining room). 1:15 pm- Board our motor coach and we'll travel a short distance to the marina for the Fury's Glass Bottom Boat Eco Tour.
2:00 pm- Get ready for a tour of a lifetime! A wide variety of fish and other sea creatures await you as you gaze into the underwater world of Key West. In addition, you will have the opportunity to see North America's only living coral reef, one of the most biologically diverse marine eco-systems in the world. Along the trip, the experienced captain and crew will provide a unique and informative eco-tour and point out some of the most interesting marine life that inhabit the waters of this incredible island. Special glass â€œwindows to the reefâ€ provide continuous viewing for all passengers.
4:00 pm- Take the rest of the day at your leisure!
Thursday, February 25th - Day 13 - A Day of Leisure
Take this entire day and enjoy it as per your own agenda. (Breakfast is included in the dining room).
Fishing Charters: If you are interested in a private fishing charter while in Key West, kindly let us know and we'll be happy to make those arrangements! We'll be sure to get in touch with you prior to securing this reservation. Please let us know how many in your party wishes to fish. Friday, February 26th - Day 14 - Orlando, Florida (400 Miles)
7:00 am- Set your luggage outside your doors. Have your breakfast before boarding the bus.
8:00 am- Board the coach and begin traveling to Orlando, Florida. We'll make stops along our 8 hour day. We'll arrive around 4 pm - in time to unpack and settle in to the Drury Inn. Tonight the hotel serves an "After Five Reception" that includes cocktails, a light dinner and appetizers for your enjoyment. The evening is yours to enjoy as per your own agenda.
Saturday, February 27th - Day 15 - Sea World Sea World or Universal Studios - The choice is yours! Note: The Drury Hotel offers a Universal Studios Shuttle Transfer directly to the theme park. They have a wide variety of schedules to select from throughout the day. Find a full day of action-packed entertainment all in one place: thrilling theme park rides and shows, a real working movie studio. Our Trobec motor coach will transfer folks to Sea World with the schedule selected below.
9:30 am- Board the coach and travel to Sea World. (You will have from 10 am - 4 pm at the park) Spend a day at SeaWorld Orlando and come face-to-face with the ocean's most fascinating marine animals. This park has over 30 family-friendly attractions and shows. We'll drop off first at Sea World and then Universal Studios. The coach will return at 4 pm and return you to the Drury Hotel.
5:30-7 pm- The hotel offers their famous "After Five Reception". The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy as per your own agenda.
Sunday, February 28th - Day 16 - Valdosta, Georgia (220 Miles)
8:00 am- Set your luggage outside your doors. Have your breakfast before boarding the bus.
9:00 am- Board the coach and begin traveling to Valdosta, Georgia. We may visit an attraction in Orlando this morning before we leave town. Stay tuned. Our drive to Valdosta is only about 3 1/2 hour ride.
9:30 - 1:30 pm - To be announced.
5:00 pm- Estimated arrival to Valdosta, Georgia to the Drury Inn. The After-Five Reception begins at 5:30 pm.
The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy as per your own agenda.
Monday, February 29th - Day 17 - Chattanooga, TN (350 Miles) "LEAP YEAR" It's February 29th - LEAP YEAR! So we'll just HOP right into the day with many fun things to explore!
8:00 am- Set your luggage outside your doors. Have your breakfast before boarding the bus.
9:00 am- Board the coach and begin traveling to Chattanooga, Tennessee! We'll travel straight north on I- 75 through Atlanta to Chattanooga on the Tennessee and Georgia border. We'll arrive early with time to explore this historic hotel property. The hotel is now what used to be the historic Chanttanooga train depot and there's a train museum, small novelty shops as well as historic train cars transformed into sleeping rooms that you may be able to view. It's really a fun place to stay. We've included dinner tonight at the hotel.
Tuesday, March 1 - Day 18 - Bloomington, Illinois (550 Miles)
7:00 am- Set your luggage outside your doors and go to breakfast - served in the restaurant of the hotel.
8:00 am- Board the coach and begin another full day of travel.
Today we'll travel through the lovely states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. We'll stop along the way as the day progresses. We'll move back into Central Daylight Savings Time once we arrive to Indiana. Our overnight accommodation is the Hampton Inn where quite a few restaurants are within walking distance. We'll arrive around 6 pm. Relax and take the rest of the day at your leisure.
Wednesday, March 2 - Day 19- Home Sweet Home (500 Miles)
7:00 am- Set your luggage outside your doors and help yourself to Breakfast at the hotel.
8:00 am- Board the coach! We're HOMEWARD BOUND.
Our last day together will include stops along the way. Time to reflect on a fun trip and visit a little bit more with fellow travelers before everyone has to say good-bye to one another. We hope you've left a little extra room for all the wonderful 2015 Winter Escape memories you've made!
1:00 pm- Estimated arrival to Eau Clair, Wisconsin (Lunch Venue at the Oakwood Mall). Also this is where folks from Central Minnesota will transfer to their shuttle vehicle and begin their journey home.
Below is an estimated arrival home hours.
To Central Minnesota: 4:45 pm to St. Cloud, 5:00 pm to St Stephens
For Northeast MN - 5:00 - Duluth; 6:30 pm-Eveleth; 6:45 pm - Virginia; 7:15 pm-Hibbing; 8:00 pm Grand Rapids
A few things to know when considering this tour: ________________________________________________________________________________________________
Cost: $ 3889 Per Person Double ~ $ 3279 Per Person Triple ~ $ 2979 Per Person Quad ~ $5649 Single Occupancy Reservations: Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. We can hold a reservation up to seven days without a deposit if the tour isn't sold out. There's no guarantee after that date. We need a minimum of 30 travelers to take this tour by December 1, 2015. Should we not reach the minimum number of 30, all monies paid to Happy Trails Tours is refundable. Deposits & Cancellations: Deposit of $200 per person is due upon registering and fully refundable with cancellations made prior to October 1, 2015. Reservations are transferable and if we have a waiting list, we would be happy to resell your reservation for you and offer you a refund. A small fee may be charged to do this depending on how late you cancel. Cancellations between October 1 - December 20, 2015 are contingent to what Happy Trails Tours can receive from hotels, restaurants, attractions, charters, etc. There are no refunds with cancellations after December 20, 2015 if you cancel. Final Payment is due December 13, 2015 Types of Payments: We accept personal checks, money orders, cashier's checks, Visa and Master Card. NOTE: When paying with cash or check, discounts may apply. Cancellation Insurance: We highly recommend travel protection insurance. Travel Guard Insurance provides financial security as well as peace of mind. It also covers pre-existing conditions when purchased within 12 days of your initial deposit paid. This can be critical especially if you have a medical history within the past five years. It will also cover cancellations or interruptions due to an elderly parent in a nursing home or in poor health. The travel insurance also offers coverage if you have to leave the tour or for weather delays. Call us for more information on the insurance coverage. Final Documents to Arrive: Final documents will arrive in mid-January. These documents will confirm your boarding location, time of boarding, luggage tags, payment receipts or invoices, medical forms, and updated itineraries with hotel phone numbers & addresses. Luggage & Dress Code: It's very casual. Think island casual for most of this tour plus a light weight jacket & comfy shoes. Each person may pack one suitcase each, weighing up to 50#. You may also bring along a carry on bag inside the coach which you are personally responsible for. The Schedule: Occasionally changes occur that are beyond our control. If this happens, we'll try to replace it with something of equal value or better. The Coach: Our motor coach is equipped with restrooms, air-conditioning, sound-system, reclining seats, DVD player, TV, & large windows. We do not rotate seats on our tours. We assign them as to first-come, first-serve basis. If you have a special need, kindly let us know in advance. We seldom assign the last few seats in the coach unless you ask for them or unless the coach is really full. The Hotels: The hotels we use are beautiful properties! Our properties always include two beds (occasionaly one king bed for couples unless otherwise noted), non-smoking, breakfast each morning, and luggage handling. Tips for the porters are also included. The Drury Suites offers cocktails in the early evening upon our arrival. Our property in Key West is a full service property that offers a free hotel shuttle to Mallory Square Historic District throughout the day. Many also offer indoor pools, hot tubs, Jacuzzi and fitness centers. The Hilton in St. Augustine and the Hampton in Coconut Grove are located within the historic districts of shops, attractions and restaurants. Most also offer guest laundry. Please let us know your room preference or if you have any special needs such as a room nearby an elevator, lower floor, allergies, or other special concerns. People with Special Needs: Folks with special needs can easily do this tour as long as they can walk short distances. If you can climb at least six steps into the coach, you've got it made! We stop the coach every 2 Â½ to 3 hours to stretch, get a cup of coffee and use the restrooms while traveling. Let us also know of any allergies (such as; colognes, perfumes, foods, etc...) or if you have any special needs at all. Kindly refrain from using colognes and perfumes on the bus. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Changes: We reserve the right to adjust this schedule for the benefit of all traveling. If a change of hotel, restaurant or an attraction occurs, we'll replace it with one of equal value or better. As always... we'll inform you of any changes as we learn of them. Disclaimer: Happy Trails Tours acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, theater, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Happy Trails Tours, INC and their respective employees, agents, representatives accept no liability what-so-ever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other default of any company or person in performing these services. Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws or other causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of country in which they are provided. Happy Trails Tours INC is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours/trips arranged by Happy Trails Tours. Individual travelers are responsible for purchasing a travel insurance policy, if desired, that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects.