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The Ultimate Florida Winter Escape

The Ultimate Florida Winter Escape

The Ultimate

Florida Winter Escape


January 22-February 4, 2024


The holidays are over, the decorations are down, and the cold of the Midwest is starting to set in. What better time for an escape than now and to the Sunshine State of Florida to boot? But this is not just an ordinary trip to Florida – this one is hard to beat as you will circle the entire state from the eastern coast to the most southern point of the US in Key West and back up the Gulf of Mexico side! Come along with us as we show you a great time as we travel the Florida coastline.


Click here for a brochure with day-by-day itinerary


Tour Highlights:

Amelia Island

Fernandina Beach

St. Augustine

Merritt Island


Key West

Fort Myers

The Everglades

Sanibel Island

St. Petersburg


Silver Springs


Tour includes:

• Deluxe Roundtrip Motorcoach Transportation

• Friendly On-board Host

• 13 Nights Hotel Accommodations

• 25 Meals

• Nashville Troubadour Tour

• Free Time in Savannah, GA - River Street

• Guided Tour of Amelia Island

   - Fernandina Beach

   - Kingsley Plantation

• Guided Walking Tour of St. Augustine

• Black Raven Pirate Cruise

• Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth

"The Lives & Wives of Henry Flagler" Dinner Show

• The Kennedy Space Center

• Guided Little Havana Art Tour

• Sightseeing Cruise of Biscayne Bay

• Guided Tour of Key West on the Conch Train

• Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

• Mallory Square Sunset Celebration

• Everglades Tram Tour

• Sun Harvest Citrus

• Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre

• Edison Ford Winter Estates

• Old Town Sanibel Island

• J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

• Sunset Dolphin Cruise

• Sunken Gardens

• Florida Orange Groves Winery

• Clearwater Beach Dinner Cruise

• Glass Bottom Boat Ride

• Rock City Gardens

• Free Time in Destinations as Listed in Itinerary


Tour Pricing:

$4500 per person Double

$5625 Single

Non-members add $25

Deposit & Final Payment:

A $300 deposit per person is required within one week of reservation. Must be paid in full by December 15, 2023. No refunds will be issued after October 20, 2023.


Travel Protection:

We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Unforeseen events such as flight delays, baggage loss or even a sudden illness or injury could impact your travel plans. For your convenience we offer a Travel Protection plan provided by the United States Fire Insurance Company and administered by Trip Mate, Inc.; in UT and CA, DBA Trip Mate Insurance. To review full plan details online, go to for domestic tours valued up to $4,000 per person or to for all international tours or domestic tours valued over $4,000 per person.


Day 1

Heading for the Sunshine State!

Day 1: Monday, January 22, 2024
Grab your bags, it is time to get away from the doldrums of winter in the Midwest! Meet your Burlington Trailways friendly and experienced tour host and driver at the available departure location of your choice and then sit back and leave the rest to us! You’ll be making new friends along the way today, or perhaps catching up with past fellow travelers as well while we make our way to our overnight destination in Indiana. Of course, you’ll have some Rest & Refresh breaks, with lunch on your own along the way. Dinner this evening will be on your own at one of the many restaurants located next to the hotel.

Day 2

Pitstop in Music City

Day 2: Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Take in a hot breakfast at the hotel this morning before we depart for another day of travel with a nice break for a tour and lunch, on your own, in Nashville! We will be joined by a Nashville Troubadour for a tour of the city in a very unique fashion. If you aren’t sure just what a Troubadour is, well, basically they are a songwriter and these are ones trying to make a name for themselves in Music City. Enjoy the sites along the way as they serenade you with their guitar singing some of their own music, and perhaps music of others, along the way. It’s definitely a fun way to experience Nashville. Then have some time to explore Lower Broadway, aka Honkytonk Row, with lunch on your own at one of the many dining options available. Perhaps you’d like some traditional smoked meats/barbecue at Jack’s Barbecue – you’ll easily recognize it with the flying neon pigs on their sign located right next door to The Stage. Or, maybe lunch at Ole Red, Blake Shelton’s bar and restaurant, Luke Bryans Luke’s 32 Bridge, Jason Aldean’s Kitchen, and many more to choose from. Then it’s time to say goodbye to Nashville and make our way to our overnight destination in Georgia.

Day 3

Savannah, Georgia

Day 3: Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Fuel up on another hot breakfast this morning before we depart for the day. We will be making a Rest & Refresh break along the way before stopping for an afternoon on River Street in Savannah, Georgia! This will be an extended Rest & Refresh Lunch break in historic Savannah, GA on River Street. Packed with shops, candy stores (y’all gotta try those pralines!), restaurants, and galleries, you will have plenty of time to stretch your legs while perusing the area and have time for a leisurely lunch before departing. Don’t forget to walk all the way to the end of River Street to see the famed statue of “The Waving Girl.” (Note: It isn’t all that far of a walk if you may wish to dine at Paula Deen’s or take in the historic city market area today.) Then it’s time to load back up and make our way to Amelia Island, Florida where we will check into our hotel and have a bit of time to freshen up before this evening’s included group dinner at a local favorite restaurant.

Day 4

Amelia Island

Day 4: Thursday, January 25, 2024
Have breakfast at the hotel before we depart for a day of exploration. A step-on guide will join us for a guided tour of Amelia Island which will include Fernandina Beach with some free time to explore the area and to have lunch on your own before making our way to Kingsley Plantation. Kingsley’s house is the oldest plantation house still standing in Florida, and the solidly built village of slave cabins is one of the best preserved in the United States. It is also “the oldest surviving antebellum Spanish Colonial plantation in the United States.” The plantation was self-sufficient, so all food needed for the planter’s family and the slave community was grown here. Okra is one example of a crop with African roots that became a staple of southern cooking. Other provisional crops included beans, potatoes, peas, sugar cane, squash, gourds, and many more. After spending the day on Amelia Island, we depart and make our way for a two-night stay in St. Augustine, Florida. Once we get checked into our hotel and have had a bit of time to freshen up, it’ll be time for another group dinner this evening at a local favorite restaurant.

Day 5

St. Augustine

Day 5: Friday, January 26, 2024
After a great hot breakfast at the hotel, we start out with our local guide for a guided walking tour of St. Augustine with time to have lunch on your own before we depart for the Black Raven Pirate Cruise. Known as Florida’s best live pirate show all onboard a real pirate ship: the Black Raven. The ship was designed to be a floating performance stage for live pirate shows with a wide variety of dynamic and interactive entertainment programs designed for everyone. By the way, you never know what will happen while sailing across the mystic Matanzas Bay… After the swash-buckling excitement of pirates that may have provided a few worry lines or even an extra gray hair, it is time to visit Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth to restore yourself.
The Spring House at Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is a beautiful 60-year-old coquina building that encompasses the original spring that was recorded in a seventeenth century Spanish land grant. With signed guest books stretching back to 1868, the Fountain of Youth is the oldest attraction in Florida, and the Spring House is the centerpiece of the historical Juan Ponce de Leon experience at the park. The spring issues forth directly from the Floridan aquifer, which lies below ground under much of North Florida. The water contains over 30 minerals and the spring would have been the perfect replenishment site for Juan Ponce de Leon’s ships upon landing on Florida’s shores 500 years ago. Take a sip from Juan Ponce de Leon’s Spring of Eternal Hope; do you believe?
We are soon off for “The Lives & Wives of Henry Flagler” Dinner Show. Henry Morrison Flagler was quite a guy - American tycoon, real estate promoter, railroad developer, hotel magnate, philanthropist, partner of John D. Rockefeller in Standard Oil. His presence is indelibly imprinted everywhere in and around St. Augustine. Watch as he is brought to life through the story telling of the three women he married - in an original production, written by Candace B. Fleming, a graduate of Flagler College - “The Lives and Wives of Henry Flagler.” Return to the hotel after this packed day of everything St. Augustine.

Day 6

Kennedy Space Center

Day 6: Saturday, January 27, 2024
Fuel up on breakfast this morning before we ‘blast off’ to our next destination. We land at The Kennedy Space Center where in the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, you can see where American astronauts are remembered and honored from Project Mercury to the Space Shuttle Program. Check out the Secret Garden where you can walk among giants to see rockets from NASA’s Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. Discover NASA’s plans to explore deep space, get up close to life-sized Mars rover replicas and test your skills as a recruit in Journey to Mars: Launched by United Launch Alliance. Get a close-up view of Atlantis, the only space shuttle displayed in flight. Space Shuttle Atlantis also includes more than 60 interactive exhibits celebrating the history, technology, and impact of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Every human who stepped foot on the Moon launched from Kennedy Space Center atop a Saturn V rocket. Learn about the power of this rocket and imagine what it was like to launch into space on this massive machine. Take the Kennedy Center Bus Tour and access the restricted areas of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to see operational facilities for the history and future of American spaceflight. Meet an astronaut during a live presentation at Universe Theater – be sure to bring your questions and camera! Experience the thrill of the space race with the launch of Apollo 8. Watch history unfold in the Firing Room as the first crewed Saturn V mission blasts into space. See the real Lunar Module 9 with a life-sized scene from the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Gain a better understanding of this vehicle and how to land it on foreign terrain. In the Lunar Theater, relive the final few minutes leading up to the first words ever spoken from the surface of the Moon, “…the Eagle has landed.” You can also experience the wonder of the Apollo Moon landings through various interactive exhibits and artifacts. Seeing a real lunar module and touching an actual Moon rock are only a few of the ways you too can explore the Moon! You will be extremely busy today exploring the Space Center!
We are sure you will be exhausted after all this space and moon exploration today so we will be off to check into our hotel and to have a group dinner at a local favorite restaurant before retiring this evening. Get a great night of rest, there are plenty more earthly explorations awaiting you tomorrow!

Day 7


Day 7: Sunday, January 28, 2024
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel today before we depart for Miami with a Rest & Refresh break along the way. We start with a guided Little Havana Art Tour that will immerse you in Calle Ocho’s history. You will go by and learn about locations such as: Domino Park, a Cigar Shop, the Cuban Memory Plaza, Bay of Pigs Monument, “Walkway of the Stars”, and Tower Theater. There are also shops, restaurants, a little market, and an art gallery the group can explore as well. You will be able to choose a spot for lunch while here. Later this afternoon enjoy a sightseeing cruise of Biscayne Bay. Cruise the waters of the Bay where you will have the best views of the Downtown Miami skyline, the Port of Miami, Fisher Island, Miami Beach, and Millionaire’s Row - the homes of the rich and famous.
We overnight in Miami Beach, Florida where your waterfront Historic District hotel is within a mile of Miami South Beach and all it has to offer. There are local bars within walking distance and the Miami Beach Boardwalk is only a block away. Following time to freshen up, dinner is included this evening at Havana 1957. Offering an authentic taste of Cuba, Havana 1957 is a new breed of restaurant in Miami offering guests the chance to experience the glory and glamour of old Cuba during the 1950’s.

Day 8

Key West

Day 8: Monday, January 29, 2024
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before we head to the southernmost point of the United States today – Key West, Florida! Here we will meet our private tour guide who will lead us through the picturesque streets as they reveal the treasures that have, and still do, make Key West the magical island basking in the Caribbean sun as we take a ride on the Conch Train. Then we visit the Ernest Hemingway Home & 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 cats that live here. Experience a Mallory Square Sunset Celebration. Sunset Celebration is a nightly arts festival at Mallory Square Dock in Key West. The participants of this event consists of arts and crafts exhibitors, psychics, street performers, and food carts. Each night around two hours before sunset, masses of people flock to the water’s edge to experience a multicultural happening and to watch the sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico.
We make our way to our Key West hotel where we will get checked in and hopefully have a bit of time to freshen up before we depart for an included group dinner at a local favorite restaurant. Concluding dinner, we return to the hotel for the remainder of the evening for you to enjoy as you wish.

Day 9

Fort Myers

Day 9: Tuesday, January 30, 2024
Have a good breakfast at the hotel this morning before checking out and heading back north. We will take a Rest & Refresh break on our way to Fort Myers, Florida today. But first we stop in the Everglades where we will take a two-hour Everglades Tram Tour through the Shark Valley section of Everglades National Park. Shark Valley naturalists escort this tour and are fully prepared to make our journey a memorable one. Besides giving insight into the ecosystem, our naturalist will also help to point out some of the “hidden” aspects of the Everglades that help to make this a world-renowned wetland. The open vehicles used on this tram tour allow you to view wildlife within the sawgrass prairies on either side of the tram.
Once we are back on the road again, we will be making a stop at Sun Harvest Citrus, where for over 30 years this has been a must stop for locals and tourists alike. Known for their juicy hand-picked citrus, fresh squeezed juices along with gourmet foods, tropical wines, and famous soft serve ice cream, it will be sure to please.
Arriving in Fort Myers, we check into our hotel and take some time to freshen up before departing for the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Enjoy the buffet dinner before the Broadway-style musical play at one of the longest running dinner theaters in all of Florida. Featuring nationally selected performers, dazzling sets and costumes and a live orchestra, this theatre is a treat. The show is just part of the package, as chefs put their talents to work creating a menu that changes with each production. After such a busy day, we return to the hotel where your head will be ready to hit the pillow for a great night of rest; there’s a lot more tomorrow!

Day 10

Sanibel Island

Day 10: Wednesday, January 31, 2024
It’s up and at ‘em, head down and get breakfast before we depart for another very full day of adventure. We begin the day with a visit to the Edison Ford Winter Estates and discover the genius of two American Innovators, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford. Enjoy 20 acres of historical buildings, historic gardens, the Edison Botanic Research Lab, and the Edison Ford Museum. The newly restored buildings include the Edison Main House, Guest House, Caretaker’s House, and the Ford House. The 1929 historic landscape is throughout the property including the award-winning Moonlight Garden. The Edison Ford Museum has hundreds of inventions, artifacts, and special exhibits for you to peruse. From here we arrive at Old Town Sanibel Island with time for a lunch break, on our own, and a bit of time for some shopping too. Old Town encircles the east end of the island near the Sanibel Lighthouse. Historically, it was the center of much of the island’s activity; today, it is a place to stroll quaint village shops, inns, and restaurants. Now that you’ve had some lunch to refuel, we depart for the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge for a tram tour. Located on the subtropical barrier island of Sanibel, it is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States. President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order creating the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge in 1945 and in 1967 it was renamed in honor of Jay Norwood Darling. It is world famous for spectacular migratory bird populations. Experienced naturalists will help you spot wildlife most visitors would never see. Hop on the tram that travels along Wildlife Drive through the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge for a 90-minute tour. Search for roseate spoonbills, herons, egrets, ibis, alligators and much more while learning about the refuge’s ecology and history.
We are off for the Sanibel Marina where we will dine at a local restaurant right on the water. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the atmosphere as you watch ships go by with a wonderful dinner. Is there any better way to end a beautiful Florida day? Well actually, yes, there is! We set out for a laid-back Sunset Dolphin Cruise. Enjoy a 90-minute scenic journey into the Gulf of Mexico where they will stop for dolphins, bird rookeries, and other wildlife along the way. Learn about the green flash sometimes seen at sunset too. We make our way back to the hotel for the remainder of the evening to do as you wish.

Day 11

St. Pete & Clearwater

Day 11: Thursday, February 1, 2024
Have breakfast at the hotel this morning before checking out of the hotel and off for more fun. This morning tour the Sunken Gardens, a botanical paradise amid a bustling city. As St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum, this 100-year-old garden is home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the region. Unwind as you stroll through meandering paths, lush with exotic plants from around the world. Explore cascading waterfalls, beautiful demonstration gardens, more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers. The Gardens began in 1903, when plumber and avid gardener George Turner Sr., purchased six acres of land, including a shallow lake 10 feet below sea level, which he drained to form his private “sunken” garden. From the late 1940’s through the 1970’s, Sunken Gardens was among the most popular roadside tourist attractions in Florida drawing more than 200,000 visitors each year.

We make a stop for lunch, on our own, before this afternoon’s stop – the Florida Orange Groves Winery. Take in a tour and tasting at Florida’s original tropical fruit winery, producing over 43 different varieties of tropical wines. Each of the flavored wines are made from 100% juice creating premium tropical wines with true fruit flavors. They are never an infused or artifically flavored grape wine. Over the years the winery has won over 380 medals for its wines in international competitions and is the only Florida winery invited to participate in Disney’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival (the last 15 years!). With unique options such as Key Lime, Hurricane White Sangria, and Mango Momma, you’ll really enjoy sipping on these wines that taste so good!
We check in to our St. Petersburg hotel where you will have some time to freshen up before we depart for dinner this evening. And hey, grab your dancing shoes because you are in for a great treat – a Clearwater Beach Dinner Cruise, complete with not only a great dinner, but also live entertainment and dancing with some of the best waterfront views in all of Clearwater Beach! It’s a great way to celebrate our last night in Florida before beginning our journey back home.

Day 12

Silver Springs

Day 12: Friday, February 2, 2024
Have another breakfast at the hotel this morning before we depart. We aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to Florida yet – we need to stop to take a Glass Bottom Boat Ride at Nature’s Theme Park in Silver Springs, Florida! Glass Bottom Boats have wowed visitors to Silver Springs since the 1870’s with breathtaking views of underwater life and the many springs that feed the Silver River. In fact, the Glass Bottom Boat was invented here! Take a tour aboard one of their historic Glass Bottom Boats and marvel at the beauty and sheer size of Mammoth Spring, the river’s head spring. You’ll explore many other beautiful feeder springs and see countless species of fish, ancient Native American and Spanish artifacts, and even underwater movie props from the days when Hollywood productions flourished at the park! We depart and say goodbye to The Sunshine State as we make our way into Georgia and our hotel for the night with dinner included.

Day 13

Visit Rock City!

Day 13: Saturday, February 3, 2024
After breakfast at the hotel we set out for a bit more adventure before getting home. Today we make our way to Lookout Mountain, Georgia to see Visit Rock City! Located atop Lookout Mountain in Georgia just six miles from downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, Rock City Gardens is an enchanted 4,100-foot walking trail showcasing soaring rock formations, caves, and lush gardens. Nearly a half million people from all over the world visit this natural attraction each year. Rock City Gardens’ history as a world-famous tourist attraction dates back to the days of the Great Depression, but its history as a geological marvel of nature reaches back several thousands of years before that. Rock City officially opened as a public attraction on May 21, 1932. It got off to a slow start because advertising in those days was difficult, especially since Carter’s mountain-top attraction was not located in a place that people would just happen to be passing by and take notice. It was at this point another brilliant idea of Carter’s was born. He enlisted the help of a young sign painter named Clark Byers, who was hired to travel the nation’s highways and offer to paint a farmer’s barns in exchange for letting him paint three simple words: See Rock City. The distinctive black-and-white signs appeared as far north as Michigan and as far west as Texas. The advertising soon began to produce the desired effect and by the close of the 1930’s, more travelers than ever had seen Rock City Gardens. We will also enjoy a catered lunch here today before we depart.
While we made an extended break in Nashville on our way to Florida, tonight we are staying overnight. Dinner this evening is included at Caney Fork Fish Camp featuring authentic Southern and Camp-style Cuisine, all served with a heaping helping of authentic southern charm. Be sure to check out the indoor pond with fish and the many interesting items located throughout the restaurant. We return to the hotel for the remainder of the evening.

Day 14

Home Sweet Home

Day 14: Sunday, February 4, 2024
It’s time for a hot breakfast before we hit the road this morning and tonight, you get to sleep in your own bed! We will take our usual Rest & Refresh breaks, and a lunch one, as we return home and to whatever Mother Nature has in store for us weather-wise. At least we have all had a nice break and can withstand the rest of the winter season with great memories of our time in Florida to keep us warm.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address
Davenport, Iowa 8735 Northwest Blvd - Burlington Trailways Bldg.
1st right past Blain's Farm & Fleet; on the left
Ft. Madison, IA Ft. Madison Prison Industries Parking Lot
1st Street & Avenue E
Mediapolis, IA Mediapolis, IA - Mepo. Foods
111 N. Wapello Rd.
Muscatine, IA Muscatine - Wal*Mart 3003 US-61
Wapello, IA Family Dollar/Dollar Tree
503 US 61, Wapello, IA
West Burlington Depot Burlington Trailways Depot, 906 Broadway
West Burlington Garage West Burlington Garage - Host/Driver
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