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Day 1 – Home to St. Pete Beach, FL 

Today we begin our journey south to the beautiful state of Florida in search of a bit of sunshine and warmer weather! Our flight into Tampa is followed by a coach transfer directly to our hotel on St. Pete Beach. Our hotel is located within walking distance to many restaurants, shops, attractions and of course the beach! Explore the resort and the beach a bit before we gather back together for a wonderful “Welcome to South Florida” dinner! 

Included Meals: Welcome Dinner 

Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn (3 Nights) 

 

Day 2 – Tarpon Springs area 

Following a wonderful breakfast at our hotel, we’ll head to Tarpon Springs, the “sponge capital of the world.” This charming village was founded back in 1907 and is a mecca of Greek culture. Stroll around this charming seaside village where divers bring in sponges from off the Gulf floor. Walk the fishing docks and do some browsing in the local shops. We’ll take a Sponge Cruise and see just how the sponge divers of old collected the sponges. We’ll have lunch at a local Greek Restaurant, one of our favorites. Following some time on your own to explore the area, we head back to our lovely hotel on St. Pete Beach for the night. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

Day 3 – St. Petersburg area 

This morning after breakfast we will have a short drive to St. Petersburg, and our first stop will be the new St. Pete Pier! There we will board an open air trolley that will loop through the downtown area while our friendly trolley driver gives us a little history of the area. We end back at the Pier where we will visit the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center. The Discovery Center is located on an over-water walkway and presents the unique ecosystem of Tampa Bay and features an estuary habitat with a variety of species found in the waters. Enjoy some free time on the Pier as you take in the beautiful acreage and views of the blue waters of Tampa Bay. Our lunch will also be on the pier at a favorite local restaurant, well known for their authentic Florida fare. After lunch we will visit the historic Sunken Gardens. This 100-year old gem is St. Pete’s oldest living museum and has some of the oldest tropical plants in the area. This afternoon be ready for some fun as we head over to the oldest and largest shuffleboard club in the world! R&J Tours has rented enough courts for us to play some games! If you haven’t played before, no worries, we have arranged for staff to give us a quick lesson. After our fun at the shuffleboard club, we will return to the hotel. Dinner and the evening are free for you to do as you wish! 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

Day 4 – St. Pete Beach to Naples, FL 

Today, after a leisurely breakfast and morning, we’ll depart St. Pete Beach. On our way to Naples for the night, we make a stop in Bradenton, known for its unspoiled charm of Old Florida. Our first stop will be at the Myakka City Elephant Ranch where we will learn everything from tusk to tail about elephants and the ranch’s passion for conservation. We will also get to touch their unique hide, and take a once-in-a-lifetime photo with the elephants. A special stop for lunch will be at Mixon’s Fruit Farm. Here we also have time to tour the factory, shop for specialty gifts, and take a tram ride through the farm. After our fun experiences today, we’ll continue southward to Naples for a two-night stay. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Hotel: Staybridge Suites Gulf Coast (2 Nights) 

 

Day 5 – Naples/Marco Island area 

Today we have a special adventure planned. You won’t want to miss this! We’ll enjoy an everglades airboat ride to look for alligators and other everglades dwellers! You might even have an opportunity to hold one! After lunch on our own, we’ll do some touring of the area before we head back to Naples and Tin City! A quaint little seaside community of shops and restaurants and boardwalks to traverse. Spend some time exploring Tin City and maybe spotting some dolphins along the waterway. Rest well for one more night in Naples before an early start tomorrow. 

Included Meals: Breakfast 

 

Day 6 – Naples to Marathon, FL 

After breakfast together, another adventure awaits us as we head to Marco Island for an early morning ferry ride to Key West! We’ll board the jet-powered catamaran to deliver us to Key West, the vacation spot of MANY! Our first stop will be to get an overview of the area on an hour long narrated trolley tour through Key West with hop on/hop off privileges for the whole afternoon! Keep your eyes peeled for a spot to dine later this afternoon! We’ll have time to spend on world famous Duval Street where the shopping, restaurants, outdoor cafes, and galleries make this street the epicenter of Key West and its “main drag.” You’ll have ample time after the tour to explore the area, shop or dine before we board our coach for the drive to our premier waterfront resort in Marathon. We might even be able to watch the sunset right from our seats! 

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Hotel: Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club (2 Nights) 

 

Day 7 – Marathon area 

Today, following breakfast, the morning and afternoon are yours to explore Marathon, a city set on 13 islands known for tropical forestry, miles of beaches, loggerhead turtles, and dolphin encounters. Walk along the beach or simply relax at our resort, easily identifiable by its hictoric lighthouse. Late this afternoon we’ll take a breathtaking sunset cruise followed by a fantastic dinner at our resort. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

 

Day 8 – Marathon to Fort Lauderdale, FL 

Following our last breakfast in the Keys, we’ll pack up our belongings and begin the final leg of our tour by heading north. We’ll make a few stops along the way as we journey along to Fort Lauderdale and the beautiful Courtyard Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach. Get checked in and settled a bit before we head out for the evening on a fantastic jungle cruise and enjoy an island BBQ. It’ll be a late night, but a beautiful one before we head home tomorrow! 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: Courtyard Marriott 

 

Day 9 – Fort Lauderdale to Home 

This morning we’ll enjoy breakfast at our hotel before we board our coach and head to the airport for our flight home. We’ve been rejuvenated by the Best of South Florida! 

Included Meals: Breakfast

Flyaway Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $3,999
Single: $5,139
Triple: $3,719
Quad: $3,549

Flyaway Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $270
Single: $407

Travel Bucks

$50 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$200 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 45 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed

No

Tour Pace

Light to Moderate Walking

Price Includes

Roundtrip Airfare from MSP including all baggage fees, taxes & surcharges, 14 Meals, Hotels & Activities as stated in brochure, Luxury Motorcoach



The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 72°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
72°
Minneapolis, Mn
86°
Best of South Florida
Flyaway Departure Date:
01/15/2023
Flyaway Return Date:
01/23/2023

Make a Reservation Online

Tour Map


Tour Highlights

3 Nights on St. Pete’s Beach
Tarpon Springs & Sponge Diving Cruise
St. Petersburg Pier
Tampa Bay Discovery Center
Sunken Gardens
St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club
Myakka City Elephant Ranch
Mixon’s Fruit Farm
2 Nights in Naples
Everglades Airboat Ride
Tin City Leisure Time
Catamaran Cruise from
Marco Island to Key West
Trolley Tour in Key West
2 Nights in The Keys
Sunset Cruise in The Keys
Intracoastal Waterway Cruise in Fort Lauderdale



Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
72°
Minneapolis, Mn
86°
Best of South Florida
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 72°
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