We join new friends on board the coach to escape the Wisconsin winter for a brief respite in the tropical climate of central Florida. Most of us if we’re honest have given thought to a full-time Florida retirement. This trip is designed to give you a taste of what it would be like before you ultimately make that decision. Or, if you’re not quite ready to retire, it’s just a nice getaway to a warm destination! Tonight we overnight at the Drury Inn & Suites in Louisville, KY.
DAY TWO — CB
We continue traveling through Kentucky and Tennessee finally making our way into the deeper south. We pause for another overnight in Morrow, GA at the Drury Inn.
DAY THREE — CB, D
Just a state away now we roll up to the Plantation Lodge of Crystal River in Crystal River, FL mid-afternoon for a two night stay. This lovely 50-year-old resort is surrounded by the natural springs of Kings Bay. This bay in Crystal River is one of the largest aquifers in the state and home to more than 400 West Indian manatees which migrate each year to the warmth of the springs. Stretch your legs as you wander through this beautiful resort. Then freshen up and enjoy a wonderful dinner at the in-house restaurant.
DAY FOUR — D
Welcome to Florida! Wake up to the warm winter breezes of the Crystal River area. There’s time to enjoy breakfast on your own in the resort before we join up for a narrated scenic river cruise. The cruise explores the waters in Kings Bay home to over 41 named springs such as the crown jewel at the river, Three Sisters Springs. These springs have been featured in both National Geographic and the Discovery Channel’s North America series. The bay is also home to the Florida West Indian Manatee. In the winter, it is not unusual to see 300-500 manatees! This afternoon is yours to relax and discover some of the activities at the Plantation. Later, enjoy another delicious included dinner.
This morning we check out of the Plantation and head east about fifty miles to the retirement phenomenon known as The Villages. Many of you have heard of this 55 + retirement community which took the world by storm not too long ago. The Villages is a collection of quaint retirement neighborhoods located in the heart of Florida nestled between two beautiful coastlines, ports of travel and theme parks. Each community is unique in its charm and personality and connected for you to enjoy by golf cart!
Upon arrival our group will be given an orientation tour of this city, over 100,000 strong. During your tour you will see and learn about each of the Town Squares and about the requirements of residency. You’ll also see the recreation opportunities available to you while you’re here.
DAY SIX — CB
Let’s see a little bit of the area today as we embark on a Glass Bottom boat tour of nearby Silver Springs. As one of Florida’s first tourist attractions it is also one of the largest artesian springs in the world! You’ll have the best seats in the house for viewing wildlife, taking pictures, and learning about the lore and history of the springs.
Upon our return to The Villages later this afternoon you’ll discover for yourself about how extensive the shopping and dining options are available to fulfill the carefree lifestyle at The Villages. There are hundreds of shops, boutiques, bistros, nationally known restaurants and various stores scattered around the many Town Squares which are at the entrance of each gated community. And they’re all accessible by golf cart! Each hotel room (two people) will have the use of a gas powered golf cart for the duration of our stay in The Villages. Free live music and dancing each night, modern movie theaters, and a great assortment of events and activities are always on tap here in the friendliest com-munity in Florida. Just chill and enjoy the retirement atmosphere.
DAY SEVEN — CB
Today we’re visiting another great attraction before having the day to ourselves. The area around Ocala, FL, about 20 miles away from The Villages, is known for its thoroughbred horse farms. We’re heading to Chasin’ a Dream horse farm, a real broodmare foaling farm with many new foals being born each spring. With our guide see mothers and their new babies in the field for great photo snaps. By the end of the two hour tour, you are sure to have a good thoroughbred education, from breeding to training.
Because we’re in the area, a pause is made at the Appleton Museum of Art. Glorious European paintings, sculptures and decorative arts as well as a post WWII contemporary collection call this museum home. Back at the hotel, we jump into our golf cart and make our way to whatever town square that suits are fancy for a great evening of fun.
DAY EIGHT — CB
After an active evening, why not sleep in this morning? We’re on vacation after all! Refresh and rejuvenate before joining the group later for a fantastic live music matinee at the Orange Blossom Opry. Great toe-tapping entertainment with some of the best musicians out there give a great performance.. Enjoy a wonderful afternoon here at the opry. Later, we return to The Villages with a plan to experience the best this community has to offer since this is our last night here in Florida.
DAY NINE — CB
Gather your belongings and join your fellow travelers for our return towards home. We make our way northward bound traversing the state of Georgia to our overnight at the Drury Inn & Suites just north of Atlanta in Marietta.
DAY TEN — CB
Once again we hit the road and travel beyond Georgia and into Tennessee. For lunch, we make a stop in Music City, Nashville. Get into “country” as we enjoy a meal at the famed Wildhorse Saloon. After our meal, stroll the downtown area with its honky tonks and souvenir shops. Our final overnight will be on the outskirts of Louisville, KY once again at the Drury Inn & Suites.
DAY ELEVEN — CB
It’s been an adventurous drive back home. We round Chicago and know our trip has come to and end. We hope you enjoyed this sample of he simple life and all can look forward to a fun yet fulfilling retirement no matter where you are.
PER PERSON PRICING:
$2,444 Double | $2,378 Triple | $2,332 Quad | $2,895 Single
Deposit: $200 per person within 7 days of making reservation. Final payment is due 60 days prior to departure. Luggage handling included for one suitcase.
Departure Locations: Appleton, WI, Beloit, WI, Burlington, WI, Cedar Grove, WI, Clintonville, WI, Coloma, WI, Delafield, WI, Denmark, WI, Fond du Lac, WI, Germantown, WI, Green Bay Area, WI, Janesville, WI, Johnson Creek, WI, Juneau, WI, Kenosha, WI, LaCrosse, WI, Lomira, WI, Madison, WI, Manitowoc, WI, Mauston, WI, Menasha, WI, Milwaukee North (Brown Deer), WI, Milwaukee South (13th & College Ave.), WI, Milwaukee West (Hales Corners), WI, New London, WI, Oconomowoc, WI, Oshkosh, WI, Plover, WI, Port Washington, WI, Portage, WI, Racine, WI, Shawano, WI, Sheboygan, WI, Sparta, WI, Tomah, WI, Waukesha, WI, Waupaca, WI, Wausau/Rothschild, WI, West Bend Area (Allenton), WI, Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Franklin Park, IL, Gurnee, IL, Hinsdale, IL, Rockford, IL, South Holland, IL, Hammond, IN, Merrillville, IN
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An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. To assist in preventing the spread of COVID-19, individuals should not travel if they are suffering from any symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 are encouraged to wear masks while traveling and all passengers should engage in frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), senior citizens and individuals with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.
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