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Florida: Tour of the Keys

This trip is a true tropical leisure tour.   The bike riding is complimented by the opportunity to explore the Everglades and the Florida Keys, on and off the water.   The terrain is relatively flat  and the majority of the trip will be on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail between Key Largo and Key West.  The itinerary is developed so there is time to relax and enjoy the “island living” type of atmosphere.  Perfect trip for a couple that has 1 cyclist and a non-cyclist!   Plan on beautiful sunsets, amazing meals (especially if you love seafood) and some unique lodging.

Day 1 (Sunday)

Arrival day!  CST staff will pick you up in Fort Myers and transfer you to Naples for old-naples-6the opening “stretch your legs” ride.   Naples, known as the Paradise Coast, is known for its beautiful white sand beaches, golf courses, fishing, boating, water sports, arts and culture and spectacular sunsets.

  • Fly to Fort Myers International Airport
  • Transfer to Naples, Florida
  • Build Bikes or get fitted for you rental bike
  • Stretch your legs ride (20 miles)
  • Lodging: Naples Bay Resort
  • Dinner: Group Reception

Day 2 (Monday)

DSC_0034The Everglades National Park is one of the largest remaining wildernesses in the United States.  It is a very important park for many reasons, so much so that it has been designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance.  Everyone needs to visit the Everglades and you will have the opportunity DSC_0027to ride from the Ernest Coe Visitor Center to the Flamingo Visitor Center.   From the Flamingo Visitors Center we will take a Backcountry boat tour through the Everglades see crocodiles, alligators, manatees, a variety of bird species and Mangrove forests.

Day 3 (Tuesday)

DSC_0051Key Largo to Marathon, 55 miles. Today the Overseas Highway leads us through Islamorada, Indian Key, Long Key State Park, and, finally Marathon. We’ll ride across several of the relatively new, bike-friendly bridges that link the Keys (there are 37 bridges from Key Largo to Key West).   As you ride you will hear the ocean and the birds, smell the fresh sea air, and see some of the special sites unique to the Keys. The route allows you to stop along the way to see the sites.

 

Day 4 (Wednesday)

This is the layover day so everyone can explore and enjoy the laid back vibe of the Florida Keys.  There will be an option for a group to ride to the Big Pine Key,  home to the National Key Deer Refuge, a large expanse of mostly undeveloped pinelands where the diminutive Key Deer live and No Name Key, an undevelopDSC_0044ed Key.   The other group will venture off to the The Turtle Hospital, the world’s only licensed veterinary hospital dedicated to the treatment of sea turtles, and Dolphin Research Center, a not-for-profit education and research facility.   Others may opt to go snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding or take advantage of the many hammocks that can be found near the resort.

Day 5 (Thursday)

7-mile-bridge-2-bikesEveryone will depart from Marathon and head to Land’s End: Key West.    The first part of the trip will be on the Seven Mile Bridge,  one of the longest segmental bridges in the world and the centerpiece of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway that winds throughout the entire island chain.  It is pretty amazing experience to see the horizon far in the distance on both sides with nothing but beautiful turquoise ocean.  It is stunning.   The route will pass through the Bahia Honda State Park, known for it’s beautiful beaches.   You are now officially in the Lower Keys,  an oasis of islands with DSC_0003-XLintriguing names such as Summerland Key, Big Torch and Little Torch Keys, Cudjoe Key, Sugarloaf Key, Big Coppitt Key.   You will end at Mile Marker 0, the southern most point in the United States and is closer to Cuba than it is to Miami.   Key West offers palm-lined streets with gingerbread mansions and tin-roofed conch houses were home to Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams  and Jimmy Buffett, a few of the famous people who discovered solace and inspiration in the island city whose Bahamian and Cuban heritage in large part was inspired by Bahamian wreckers, commercial fishermen, spongers and Cuban cigar makers. It is a diverse, eclectic town that is a joy to explore.

  • Ride to Key West (53 Miles)
  • Lodging: Key Lime Inn
  • Dinner: On own

Day 6 (Friday)

s3.reutersmedia.netThe is a layover day in Key West.  There is just so much to see so everyone will be given the day to go in whatever direction they choose to explore Key West.   There is great history, art, water sports, shopping and food.  Key West is easy to maneuver by bike or foot.  The group will gather for one final celebratory dinner at one of Key West’s many restaurants.

Day 7 (Saturday)

Guests will have the option of flying out of the Key West Airport or taking a ferry from Key West to Fort Myers.   Guests can take a early morning boat or a late afternoon boat if they prefer spending a bit more time in Key West.   Luggage and non-rental bikes will travel in the vans to Fort Myers.

Tour Dates:
November 12 – 18, 2017

Fee: $3,295 (Single Supplement $850)

Includes:

  • 7 days/6 nights
  • Full van support
  • Professional Ride Leaders
  • Primal Wear CST Jersey
  • 5 Breakfasts, all lunches & 3 dinners
  • Hydration & nutrition along the route
  • Admission to Everglades National Park & Everglades Bike Tour
  • Ferry to Fort Myers
  • All airport transfers in Fort Myers
  • Option & additional:
    • Bike rental and helmet
    • Admission to Turtle Hospital & Dolphin Research Center

Does not include:

  • Transportation to and from the tour including airfare, or train travel
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Alcohol during meals
  • Ride Leader gratuity

Interested in talking about this trip or receiving the full itinerary?   Fill in the following form and we will get it to you!

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