Mon, Nov 6: Fly to Key West, Florida and check in the Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa, conveniently located in the heart of town for exploring during your free time. Relax and settle in before making your way to the nearby pier where you will witness the romantic and world-famous Key West sunset aboard a leisurely catamaran cruise. Enjoy champagne, margaritas and beer as you sail past local landmarks including Mallory Square, Sunset Key and historic Fort Zachary Taylor then watch as sun slides beneath the western horizon.
Tue, Nov 7: Enjoy a narrated trolley tour of historic Key West. Take a guided tour of the Ernest Hemingway Home visiting the rooms and gardens that witnessed the most prolific period of this Nobel Prize winner's writing career, and see descendants of the original six-toed cats. Tour the Truman Little White House, originally a naval station command headquarters, and later the winter White House of President Harry S. Truman. Explore the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum and discover the history, lore and archaeology of shipwrecks and Spanish treasure. The thought provoking Slave Ship and Key West African Cemetery exhibits provide a stark look into the transatlantic slave trade and Key West’s unique role in it. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Wed, Nov 8: Today is free day to explore on your own! You may want to book an excursion to Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson to enjoy a day on the white and sandy beach, snorkel among the coral formations or tour the fort.
Thu, Nov 9: Check out of the hotel and set off for a drive over the historic Overseas Highway, a 113 mile roadway with 42 overseas bridges. Stop in Key Largo to take a peek under the sea at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Established to protect and preserve a portion of the only living coral reef in the continental United States, it was the first undersea park in the U.S. You can either snorkel or journey by glass-bottom boat and witness a number of shallow reefs teeming with wildlife. Next, stop by the Dante Fascell Visitor Center in Biscayne National Park. With 95% of the park’s 173,000 acres covered by water, a stop at the visitor center offers a virtual journey through the park's four ecosystems using dioramas, audio and video. Transfer to your hotel near Miami and conclude the day with a group dinner. (Meals: Lunch, Dinner)
Fri, Nov 10: Enjoy an exhilarating airboat ride through the Everglades, North America's last remaining subtropical wetlands, known as the "River of Grass." Ride and slide threw sawgrass mangroves in less than 6 inches of water in search of alligators and a huge host of birds such as roseate spoonbills, egrets and wood storks. Continue to the Shark Valley Visitor Center for a tram ride through Everglades National Park and learn about the history and ecology of the site from a park-trained naturalist guide. The park encompasses 1.5 million acres of tropical and subtropical habitat with one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. Transfer to the Fort Lauderdale Airport and fly home. (B,L)
Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa
In the heart of Key West’s Old Town, this upscale waterfront resort is a short walk to Mallory Square and a mile from the Southernmost Point buoy. Highlights: chic, contemporary rooms with furnished balconies • flat screen TV • in-room mini fridge • complimentary WiFi • 2 restaurants • bar • complimentary morning coffee station • room service • 24/hour fitness center • outdoor pool and whirlpool • beach access • spa • gift shop • water sports and aquatic activities.
SpringHill Suites Miami Airport South
This modern hotel is just minutes away from restaurants and shopping and has convenient access to the Everglades. Highlights: spacious guest rooms • flat screen TV • in-room mini fridge, microwave and coffeemaker • complimentary WiFi • fitness center • outdoor pool • sundry/convenience store.