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Day 1 – Home to Amelia Island, FL

Today we will board our flight bound for the first phase of a memorable journey along Interstate 10, which crosses our country from Jacksonville, FL to Santa Monica, CA. (During phase one we will travel from Jacksonville to Houston, TX.) We arrive in Jacksonville and will be met by our R&J Luxury Motorcoach for a short ride to Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Our three night stay will be right in the heart of the historic district and only a block from the beautiful Amelia River. We’ll settle in before our welcome dinner in a wonderful restaurant right on the bank of the river.

Included Meals: Dinner

Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites, Amelia Island 

 

Day 2 – Amelia Island

Today our journey is filled with the history of this quaint Island as the trolley picks us up at the hotel for a tour of the town of Fernandina Beach. We’ll learn its history as we travel the narrow streets of this town. The trolley will drop us at the banks of the river and we will board a boat for an interesting river cruise. We’ll learn of the eco systems of the area, hear more of the history, and get to see Ft. Clinch from this great viewpoint. After some time for lunch in downtown Fernandina, we will drive to Ft. Clinch State Park to learn more about this military installation that was built in 1847, at the mouth of the St Mary’s River, to protect the deepwater port of Fernandina. Later today you will be able to enjoy the reception at our hotel and then dinner at one of the nearby restaurants.

Included Meals: Breakfast 

 

Day 3 – Amelia Island

This morning we take the short drive into Jacksonville where we will meet our step-on guide for a tour of the largest city in Florida! Located along the St. Johns River, this city has an interesting history and exciting future, and we will discover it all! Following our tour we will visit the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens for a tour, lunch, and a stroll through the gardens. This afternoon we will visit the Catty Shack Ranch, a wildlife sanctuary that cares for large cats like tigers and panthers. We’ll learn about this non-profit organization’s mission to rescue large cats and have the opportunity to get some great pictures of the big cats! Back on the Island this evening, you will be able to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant of your choosing.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

Day 4 – Amelia Island to Tallahassee, FL

After breakfast we depart Amelia Island and travel down I-10 headed for Tallahassee, Florida’s capital city! After an enjoyable lunch, we will walk over to the Capital complex and tour the Historic Capitol and Museum before we stroll across the grounds to the current Capitol building. Later we will enjoy some time at Mission San Luis, the western capital of Spanish Florida in the late 1600’s. This walk back in time will give you a great taste of late 17th century living!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express 

 

Day 5 – Tallahassee to Mobile, AL

Back on 1-10 this morning as we continue our journey westward. We make a stop at one of Florida’s State Parks, Falling Waters. Here you will enjoy a short tree and fern lined walk to view Florida’s highest waterfall. This waterfall is unique since it drops into a sinkhole…its final destination unknown! Back on 1-10 we continue west, enjoying the sights as we near the western edge of Florida and the city of Pensacola. Here we will have lunch at the Seville Quarter located in the historical district of this Florida community. This afternoon you will have time to explore the National Naval Air Museum, the world’s largest naval air museum on the grounds of Naval Air Station Pensacola. Just a short journey and we will visit the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum. This 1859 Lighthouse, listed on the National Registry of historic places and restored lightkeeper’s quarters, will give us an enlightening look back into this area’s history. As we head west just into Alabama, we will stop for lunch at a unique diner, the Derailed Diner will give you a chuckle and a great meal! Tonight we arrive in Mobile for a three night stay!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Holiday Inn

 

Day 6 – Mobile, AL

Our step-on guide will join us this morning for a tour of this historic southern city. We’ll tour the historic district as well as other stops throughout the town. A historic mansion tour will share some of the insight into the lives of Mobile’s elite! Then it’s lunch along the bay before we visit Battleship Park and tour the USS Alabama Battleship. You will be amazed at the size of this ship and awed by its history. Also on display are many WW2 and newer military vehicles and aircraft. The USS Drum, a submarine, will give us insight into the life of a submarine sailor! Later today we will get a taste of Mardi Gras as we attend one of the many Mardi Gras parades in downtown Mobile.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

Day 7 – Mobile, AL

Down a country road we travel this morning on the way to Bellingrath Gardens and Home. This former fishing camp is now home to one of the nation’s preeminent gardens. Located along the Fowl River, the 65 acres of gardens boast a bloom every day of the year! Of course you’ll want to take a step inside and see the Bellingrath home filled with antiques, silver, crystal, and cut glass. Your tour will give you a wonderful insight into how this couple lived and entertained. But, we aren’t finished…let’s board the Southern Belle for a cruise along scenic Fowl River and learn about the wildlife of the area. A bit further south on Dauphin Island is historic Fort Gaines. The history of this fort, from the war of 1812 through the Civil War and beyond, will amaze you as you walk through the fort and gaze over the walls into Mobile Bay, which it was built to protect. A leisurely drive back to the hotel for the evening offers more sights of this beautiful area.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

Day 8 – Mobile to New Orleans, LA

After a hot breakfast we will merge on to 1-10 and cross into Mississippi. We travel towards Biloxi where we will arrive in time to go “shrimping!” Well, we will at least board the Sailfish for a lesson in how to catch shrimp. It will be an enjoyable morning on the bay as we learn the tricks of the trade! Lunch follows right on the bay, providing wonderful views of all the happenings along the Biloxi Gulf Coast. This afternoon I-10 takes us to New Orleans where our first stop will be Mardi Gras World. Here you will see Mardi Gras magic created right before your eyes! You will learn about the Mardi Gras history and culture, and be able to watch them work on some of the Mardi Gras floats. Tonight we check into the Drury Inn for a two night stay.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Drury Inn 

 

Day 9 – New Orleans

Today we begin with a tour of New Orleans. Our step-on guide will take us through the city, sharing history and highlights of the many different city districts. Later, a special lunch is planned and then some free time to enjoy this great southern city! Your hotel is not far from the French Quarter, so maybe a stroll down Bourbon Street or one of the other areas close by is in order!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 10 – New Orleans to Baton Rouge, LA

Travel past the New Orleans Superdome and onto I-10 this morning, continuing our trek westward. Our destination this morning is Baton Rouge, the Capital of Louisiana. But before we tour Baton Rouge, we will travel across the Mississippi River to the town of Port Allen and learn about the sugar cane industry at the West Baton Rouge Museum. Sugar Cane is one of the premier crops of this area and in our travels we will see some of the fields being prepared for this year’s crop! Back over the river and time to meet our step-on guide for our touring of this capital city. Included in our tour will be time at the wonderful Louisiana Museum as well as the State Capitol Building, with a stop on the 29th floor to gaze from their outdoor observation deck at this beautiful city on the banks of the Mississippi River. Later today we will enjoy a great Cajun dinner at a local restaurant, complimented with Cajun music and your chance to join in on a Cajun dance!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Drury Inn 

 

Day 11 – Baton Rouge to Nottoway Plantation

Today is Plantation Day, as we travel the beautiful River Road along the banks of the Mississippi River towards our first stop at Oak Alley Plantation. You will be able to stroll along the lane of 100 year old Oak Trees that canopy the walkway. Tour the Big House and spend time enjoying the 25 acres filled with history! Back on to the River Road, we continue past sugar cane fields and small communities as we travel to Nottoway Plantation. Nottoway will take you back to a time when sugar cane and cotton were king along the Mississippi River. We will tour the Plantation Home and have some time to walk the grounds of this beautiful plantation before we gather around the table and enjoy a delightful “who dun it” Murder Mystery Dinner. Savor this great evening of fine food and entertainment with your traveling companions before you settle in for a great night’s rest on the plantation!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Nottoway Plantation 

 

Day 12 – Nottoway Plantation to Lake Charles, LA

Enjoy your plantation breakfast this morning and maybe a walk on the River Dyke before your luxury motorcoach continues down the road and takes the entrance onto I-10 traveling westward. This morning we will enjoy a swamp tour on the edge of the Atchafalaya Swamp, the largest swamp in the United States. Our native guides will share of the history of this area and ecosystems as well as insights into what it is like to live on a house boat on the swamp! Lunch again will be Cajun style on the banks of the swamp. If the alligators haven’t chewed the tires off the bus, we will continue our travels west towards the town of Crowley, LA. Crowley claims the title, “Rice Capitol of America” and their town motto is “Where Life is Rice & Easy.” We’ll learn about the rice industry and enjoy some of the history of this Louisiana community. Later its north of town, past miles of rice fields being prepared for planting, to “Kelly’s Landing” where we will learn about rice and crawfish farming! Kelly will entertain and teach as he shares his passion and prepares for us a delightful dinner served right next to the rice field! Back on I-10 we travel to Lake Charles for our stay tonight.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express 

 

Day 13 – Lake Charles to Houston, TX

We’ve traveled through four states as we’ve traveled I-10 westward and today we enter our fifth and final state, the Lone Star State of Texas. Our first stop is Beaumont where Oil is King! At the Texas Energy Museum we will learn how oil is turned into those useful products we use every day! Our lunch today is well…we are in Texas so…how about lunch at a steakhouse! Then it’s off to the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum to re-live the excitement of that day the Lucas Gusher blew and changed the face of the petroleum age forever. We will feel the thunder from the depths of the earth as that black gold spews 100’s of feet in the air! I-10 takes us to our final destination, Houston, where we will spend two nights at the Embassy Suites.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Embassy Suites 

 

Day 14 – Houston

After a great breakfast we will board our motorcoach accompanied by our local step on guide for a day of touring the Houston area. We’ll make a stop at San Jacinto State Park and see where the battle took place that gained Texas their independence. Other sights along the way will include the town’s large industrial area and a short stop at NASA to view the large Saturn V rocket and some other “space equipment.” We’ll explore more of Houston before ending in time to prepare for our farewell dinner this evening.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

 

Day 15 – Houston to Home

A leisurely morning allows us to enjoy a hearty breakfast around the table with our new friends as we reminisce about our I-10 journey before we board our plane for home!

Included Meals: Breakfast

Flyaway Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $3,799
Single: $4,599
Triple: $3,599
Quad: $3,449

Flyaway Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $270
Single: $340

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, airport taxes & fuel surcharges,
30 Meals, Hotel & Activities as stated in brochure



The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 69°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
55°
Minneapolis, Mn
70°
Coast to Coast on I-10
Flyaway Departure Date:
02/17/2014
Flyaway Return Date:
03/03/2014

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Tour Map


Tour Highlights

3 Night Stay on Amelia Island
Amelia Island History
Cummer Gardens, Jacksonville
Florida Capital Tour
Pensacola National Naval Air Museum
Mobile, AL City Tour
Mardi Gras Parade
Battleship Park, The USS Alabama
Bellingrath Gardens and River Cruise
City Tour of New Orleans
Mardi Gras World
Oak Alley Plantation
Shrimping Demonstration Tour
Historic Baton Rouge and State Capital Tour
Boutin’s Cajun Dinner and Music
Beautiful, Historic Oak Alley Plantation Tour & Lunch
Lodging at the Historic Nottoway Plantation
Louisiana Swamp Tour
Rice and Crawfish Farming
Texas Oil and Energy History in Beaumont, TX
Historic Tour of Houston
San Jacinto State Park-where Texas earned its independence!



Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
55°
Minneapolis, Mn
70°
Coast to Coast on I-10
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 69°
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