Only a few spots remain for the Captiva Island Historical Society’s Historic St. Augustine Getaway.
Set for Jan. 9-12, the trip is limited to 50 people and eight openings were left as of Aug. 23.
Founded as a Spanish outpost in 1565 — more than 50 years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock — St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied colonial settlement in the United States, according to the CIHS. Cost is $500 per person for the trip package. Highlights of the package include:
– CASA MONICA RESORT & SPA
Lodging will be at the historic Casa Monica Resort & Spa. From its ornate chandeliers to exquisite tapestries and extraordinary art galleries, the iconic hotel is immersed in rich history and storied secrets. Originally built in 1888, it is nestled in the heart of the Historic District and within walking distance to sights such as the famed Nights of Lights and Castillo de San Marcos. Scheduled activities include an opening reception and cocktail party with a historic St. Augustine character on the night of arrival and a private tour. A complimentary continental breakfast will be served each morning.
– PRIVATE TOUR OF FLAGLER COLLEGE
Learn about Henry M. Flagler, Standard Oil co-founder, railroad tycoon and Florida’s “Father of Tourism” during a personal tour of Flagler College — the former Ponce de Leon Hotel — built by him in 1888. It was the most luxurious hotel in the country at the time. It was built during the Gilded Age and features Tiffany stained glass windows, a 68-foot domed ceiling, Edison electricity and, of course, ghosts. One of the oldest cities in the United States, no historic building is complete without a ghost or two. Among those said to haunt the former hotel is Flagler’s mentally ill wife, Ida Alice, who stares at a panel wall that used to display a portrait of her husband. A suicidal mistress of Flagler’s is said to dangle from a chandelier on the fourth floor of the girls’ dormitory, and Flagler himself is said to stroll the corridors and surprise students from time to time.
– NIGHT OF LIGHTS
Walk out the door of the Casa Monica to view what National Geographic called the most impressive holiday lights display in the world. The Annual Nights of Lights dazzles the city as some 3 million lights adorn every corner of the Historic District from November through January. The city has been celebrating the event for 26 years. Nights of Lights traces its origins to the traditional Spanish practice of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays.
– PRIVATE TROLLEY TOUR
A one-of-a-kind trolley tour of the Historic District. An on-board historian will describe the buildings of the past and share the local legends.
– CRUISE THE WATERS
Take a 75-minute scenic boat cruise to experience a unique water view of the city and its historic land marks. The cruise will take in the historic waterfront, lighthouse, Castillo de San Marcos and more.
– COCKTAIL SUPPER AT VILLA ZORAYDA MUSEUM
Enjoy cocktails and a menu of heavy appetizers in the stunning Villa Zorayda Museum, a historic Gilded Age masterpiece built in 1883 by Franklin W. Smith as his winter residence. Smith implemented Moorish Revival architecture inspired by the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. In addition to the museum’s dazzling architecture, it is the home to an impressive and unique art collection original to the museum, with over 109 years of family ownership (1913-2022). An informal tour will be conducted.
– LEGENDS & LIARS TOUR
A custom historic tour with individual guides taking smaller groups to approximately 10 historical locations in Old Town. After presenting a short history of the site, the guide will state a “facts” and the participants record whether they think it is true or false. At the conclusion, the groups gather back in the hotel lobby and determine which group had the most correct answers. Prizes may even be involved.
Participants must book their stay at the special room rate of $199 per night, plus fees.
Transportation to and from St. Augustine is the responsibility of participants.
For more information or to register, visit http://www.captivaislandhistoricalsociety.org/events/st-augustine-trip.