Explore Florida

Orlando to the Keys

Departing april 1 for 9 days / 8 nights

Join us as we travel from the Black Hills to the wonderful State of Florida for this fantastic brand new tour. Whatever your interests, from music to painting, porcelain to archeology, thrill rides to outer space, Florida holds something for everyone, whether you want to just laze around on unspoiled beaches soaking up the sun, visit the home of American space flight, take a safari through the Florida Everglades, or just while away the days in Florida's many excellent theme parks.

The State of Florida has a land mass of 58,560 square miles, yet no part of the state is more than an hour and a half's drive from the ocean. Orlando, in central Florida is a vibrant community with countless parks, tennis courts, and golf courses, which has been settled for more than a century, and is the closest major city to the Walt Disney World Resort. But don't think that WDW and the Orlando area is all that Florida has to offer. There are countless other attractions, many of which are included on this tour…

Florida

Itinerary:


Day 1: Rapid City to Orlando
Today we depart Rapid City and fly to Orlando Florida. On arrival please proceed to the baggage reclaim area where you will be met and then transferred to your hotel for overnight.
Overnight Orlando Airport area – No meals included 

Day 2: Orlando to Kennedy Space Center & Titusville, FL (60 miles)
After breakfast it’s time to head east towards the Kennedy Space Center… Short of becoming an astronaut, there’s no better way to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Kennedy Space Center than on the Kennedy Space Center Tour (KSC Tour). We take a NASA bus for a panoramic view of space shuttle launch pads at the LC-39 Observation Gantry, and then experience the historic Apollo 8 launch and marvel at a massive 363-foot-long Saturn V moon rocket at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. After spending most of the day absorbing the sights and atmosphere of this amazing place we check into our hotel mid to late afternoon.
Overnight Titusville, FL – Breakfast included

Kennedy Space Center

Day 3: Titusville to Key Largo (275 miles)
After breakfast, we journey south with our lunch break being in the Ft Lauderdale area. Key Largo is our home for the next three nights. When you think of Key Largo, do you get a warm, nostalgic feeling? Could it be because you have memories of the Bogart and McCall movie of the same name, or the song by Bertie Higgins? The Caribbean Club may look somewhat familiar because one or two of the exterior scenes for the movie Key Largo were filmed there, although most of it was shot on a Hollywood soundstage. The African Queen, a boat that was one of the stars in the movie of the same name can be found at Holiday Harbor Marina. Sometimes they take the boat on tour and sometimes the engine has problems. But, when it is there and in good working order, you can take a ride on it yourself. Also located at the same marina is the Thayer IV, a boat that appeared in “On Golden Pond”. The one out in the yard is actually the movie double. The real Thayer IV is in storage to protect it from the elements.
Overnight Key Largo – Breakfast included

Day 4: Key Largo to Key West (101 miles) then Key West back to Key Largo.
Today we explore the Florida Keys as we continue our journey to the most southern tip of the Florida Keys and indeed the Continental USA – Key West. First we have to negotiate all the bridges including the famous Seven Mile Bridge which just happens to be the highest point in the state of Florida. Seven Mile Bridge links the city of Marathon in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. There are a total of 42 bridges spanning island to island until you reach Key West. Known as the southernmost city in the continental United States, Key West is actually closer to Cuba than Miami, 94 miles as opposed to 161. The city’s name is derived from old Spanish charts listing it as Cayo Hueso, literally meaning “Bone Key” in English. Key West was just another nondescript island for centuries, with one exception: it has a natural deep-water port. After Florida became a U.S. territory in 1821, its protected harbor and ability to dock large ships turned it into a center of commerce and a refuge for travelers sailing between the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and the U.S. Atlantic coast. Immigrants from the Bahamas arrived, too, calling themselves Conchs (pronounced “konks”) after a tropical shell that houses a marine mollusk which is now a local delicacy. The influx catapulted Key West into the largest city in Florida and the wealthiest per capita in the U.S. by 1860. In 1912, Henry Flagler put the final touches on a staggering engineering feat, a railroad that linked Key West to Florida’s mainland. However, in 1935, his railroad came to a crashing end when a monster Category 5 hurricane killed hundreds of people in the Keys and destroyed sections of the railroad. The rebuilt bridges and roadbed above the rails later served as the backbone of the present Overseas Highway/U.S. 1. Word of Key West’s robust character and laid-back mentality attracted vacationing presidents, such as Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, and has served as home to famous residents, including Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett. In 1982 the U.S. Border Patrol blockaded the northern U.S. 1 entrance to the Keys to winnow out illegal aliens, a move that choked off tourism. An enraged Key West protested by seceding from the U.S. and mockingly declared itself the independent “Conch Republic.” Locals before and since proudly refer to themselves as Conchs. Historic Mallory Square and the city of Key West both had their beginning along this deep harbor waterfront - the wrecking schooners, the frigates and warships of the US Navy, the Cuban cigar makers tobacco warehouses, ship's Chandlers and government offices combined to make Key West a bustling seaport out on the frontier of a young America. Today, Mallory Square is a Key West must see. You will find exciting attractions, unparalleled shopping and the Key West historic sculpture garden. Early afternoon we depart Key West and head back to Key Largo – stopping wherever we please.
Overnight Key Largo – Breakfast included

Bridges

Day 5: Key Largo to Islamorada and the Theater of the Sea (17 miles each way)
After breakfast, we leave our hotel and take a short drive and a full day to explore the Theater of The Sea. Theater of the Sea, established in 1946, is the second oldest marine mammal facility in the world. Its natural salt water lagoon was originally a quarry that supplied rock for Henry Flagler’s famous railroad which opened the Keys to the rest of the country in the early 1900’s. Today the lagoon is home to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, sea turtles, tropical and game fish, sharks, stingrays and other forms of marine life. This 17-acre tropical paradise is also home to wild and exotic birds, lizards and crocodilians.
Overnight Key Largo – Breakfast included

Day 6: Key Largo to Sarasota via The Everglades Alligator Farm (280 miles)
Our exciting day begins after breakfast as we head to the Everglades Alligator Park. Everglades Alligator Farm is a privately owned attraction and is a real working alligator farm, according to owners, Charles and Deborah Thibos. The Farm is currently home to about 2,000 alligators of all sizes. The smaller alligators are kept in growout pens and the larger alligators are in natural settings called breeding ponds. It takes about 6 years for an alligator to start breeding. The female alligator will have only one clutch of eggs a year, depending on the mother's age and fertility the clutch will contain up to 45 eggs. Our visit to the alligator farm includes an exciting airboat tour into the surrounding river of grass and a walk around the farm to see the alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and wildlife. After our lunch break, we continue our journey to Sarasota located on the Gulf Coast of Florida arriving at our hotel late afternoon.
Overnight Sarasota – Breakfast included

Everglades

Day 7: Sarasota to Orlando via The Ringling Family Circus Museum & Home (115 miles)
The Circus Museum celebrates the American circus, its history and unique relationship to Sarasota. Established in 1948, the museum was the first in the county to document the rich history of the circus. View colossal parade and baggage wagons, sequined costumes, and a sideshow banner line that document the circus of the past and of today. See memorabilia and artifacts documenting the history of The Ringling family circus, John Ringling as the Circus King, and the greatest circus movie, The Greatest Show on Earth, which was filmed in Sarasota. After exploring this amazing piece of history, we continue our journey up to Orlando.
Overnight Orlando – Breakfast included

Day 8: Orlando / Epcot – Entrance…Our last full day and night is spent at Walt Disney’s Epcot
Epcot theme park is divided into two main areas - Future World and World Showcase. Future World is full of sensational attractions including one of the fastest attractions in all Disney Parks as well as inspiring entertainment and shows, all of which focus on technological advancements, innovation and wonder. In Future World, ideas become reality. The Epcot theme park icon, Spaceship Earth, looking like a giant golf ball rising high above the horizon, welcomes you as you walk through the Park's main entrance. World Showcase is beyond Future World, if entering from the main gate at Epcot theme park, is the World Showcase area. World Showcase is a collective of Pavilions that wrap around the World Showcase Lagoon. Inside the Pavilions, find shops, attractions and restaurants that represent the culture and cuisine of these 11 countries:

Mexico – Norway – China – Germany – Italy – United States – Japan – Morocco – France – United Kingdom & Canada

Whilst walking between Pavilions, be amused by live performers—some may even invite you to participate in the show! In Epcot theme park, creativity is encouraged, imagination is celebrated and countries are united. Be amazed, inspired, enlightened and entertained! We close our evening with IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, a mesmerizing fireworks, laser and water show which plays nightly in Epcot. After the fireworks we head back to the hotel for overnight.
Overnight Orlando – Breakfast included

Day 9: Orlando & Home
After breakfast it’s time to say goodbye to Florida and head back to the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Weather averages

Weather


Itinerary at a Glance

Starts: Monday April 1st 2019
Ends: Tuesday April 9th 2019

Pelican

What's Included

  • Fully escorted
  • Roundtrip flights from Rapid City
  • All ground transportation
  • 1 suitcase per person (up to 50lbs) including any airline fees
  • 8 nights’ accommodations
  • All tours and entrance fees as listed
  • Breakfast each day
  • Baggage handling and taxes

Pricing

  • Price: $3,295pp (double occupancy)
  • Single Supplement: add $925

  • IF BOOKED AND PAID IN FULL BY DECEMBER 22nd 2018 DEDUCT $200 PER PERSON!

Tour Brochure

How to Book

  • Deposit of $500pp due at time of booking
  • December 12th 2018 - Final balance due
  • Booking Form

What You'll Need

  • A camera is a must
  • Binoculars would be a great idea
  • A light jacket as temperatures cool off in the evenings
  • Mosquito / bug spray (Everglades)
  • Passports are not required for this tour
  • Photo ID is however (Driver’s License)

ABS Travel Group | 945 Enchantment Road, Rapid City, South Dakota, 57701, USA
1-888-788-6777 | 1-605-791-2520 | Fax 605-791-2618
© 2018 ABS Travel Group Inc.