The Uncommon Florida Tour starts in downtown Tallahassee, just a few blocks from Florida’s Capitol. The tour begins on the Capital Cascades Trail and quickly connects to the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, Florida’s first rail trail heading south toward Wakulla, one of the world’s largest and deepest freshwater springs and the nearby historic lodge. Next, the tour gets onto the Coastal Trail and passes through rustic coastal towns and fishing villages and the last remaining stretch of unspoiled Gulf Coast beaches. On this secret getaway tour you will be on or near water every day and you will experience the absolute gem of old and wild Florida - a Florida that most visitors never experience.
We average about 25 miles a day and have the chance to take a river boat tour as well as kayak or canoe on one of Florida’s most pristine rivers, the Wakulla.
- 5 nights lodging
- 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
- Area-knowledgeable and cycling expert tour guides
- Gratuities for included meals and accommodations
- In-ride drinks and snacks
- Van support
- Turn-by-turn directions with free use of Ride With GPS app
- Airfare/transportation to and from Tallahassee
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry
- Gratuities for Tour Leaders
- Trip Insurance (Please purchase!)
- Pre-& post-trip hotel, if desired (Saturday / Friday nights NOT included)
- Bike rental
Day 1 - Sunday
We'll meet and get acquainted at 4:00 p.m. at our hotel, the AC Hotel by Marriott Tallahassee Universities at the Capitol. After getting rental bikes fitted and everyone prepared for tomorrow's ride, we'll go to dinner at a newly renovated restaurant located in Cascades Park right across the street from the hotel.
Day 2 - Monday
20 miles - We'll start our week of cycling on Florida's very first Rail Trail, the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, which we'll connect to after jumping on the Capital Cascades Trail in the park. Our destination is Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, home to one of the world's largest and deepest fresh water springs. The year-round 70 degree sapphire-blue water and the ancient cypress swamps support manatees, alligators, and a host of diverse wildlife.
You will feel like you’ve travelled back in time when you first enter the 1930s Spanish style lodge - our overnight stay - which is located next to the springs. The lodge features period furniture, original elevators, colorful painted ceilings depicting old Florida, and much more.
Boat tours are available at the river; attractions include majestic bald cypress trees, elegant wading birds, toothy alligators as well as the actual location where some Tarzan movies were shot. Or you can swim in the spring and jump off the high platform!
Day 3 - Tuesday
22 miles - This morning we take back roads to return to the St. Marks Trail and then link to the onto the newly built Capital City to the Sea Trail (Coastal Trail).
We eat lunch, then those who care to can hop on canoes and kayaks for a down-stream trip on the Wakulla River. You may see all manner of birds like anhingas (the “snake” bird), egrets, and herons, and may experience mullet jumping and turtles sunning. Manatees are common on this stretch of the river and occasionally they will glide gently to our boats. Alligators may be seen, but they keep to themselves along the banks. After our river journey, we finish our ride to our hotel.
For dinner, we'll go to Angelo’s Seafood restaurant, an iconic "Forgotten Coast" restaurant right on the shore of Ochlockonee Bay.
Day 4 - Wednesday
35 miles - Today we proceed to the tiny fishing village of Carabelle, and will spend a large part of the day cycling along the shore of Apalachicola Bay, where we can see St. George Island in the distance. We cycle through the town of Panacea, which boasts the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory, a hands-on marine museum and sanctuary.
Our lodging for the evening is either at the Old Carabelle Hotel or The Moorings of Carabelle, where we can see the fishing boats and hear the sounds of the harbor.
Day 5 - Thursday
22 miles – Today we cycle to the historic fishing town of Apalachicola, but first take a short detour to visit the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Nature Center where we can learn about the River and Bay and their important ecosystem for fishing and oystering.
We will have time to explore Apalachicola with its beautifully restored historic downtown filled with eclectic boutiques, unique eateries, and art galleries tucked into brick, tin-roofed warehouses. We will dine on freshly caught fare from the Bay and Gulf. Tonight we stay at the iconic Gibson Hotel built in 1907 during Apalachicola’s lumber and shipping boom. In 2018, it was completely renovated to reflect its original charm and is on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Day 6 - Friday
25 miles - Today is a day of impressive bridges. We first cycle back over the Apalachicola River and then south across Apalachicola Bay to get to St. George Island, where we'll have a chance to put our toes in the water and catch some rays. We'll cap our week with lunch at the beachfront Blue Parrott Grill and then reluctantly load into the van and head back to Tallahassee.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
The trails on this tour are paved and there is a substantial amount of road riding, albeit on quiet, two lane roads. The trails are suitable for all bicycles. The topography is mostly quite gentle and the riding is pretty easy, with just the one longish day at 35 miles.
Suggested bicycle: Touring bikes, road bikes, hybrids
Suggested tire size for this tour: 28mm – 38mm (or larger)
- $2,475 per person (based on double occupancy)
- $400 – Single Supplement (extra price to have your own room)
- $150 – Bike Rental (helmet and bike bag included)
- 50% of the total is a required deposit due upon registration.
- The remainder is due 60 days prior to departure date.
- You will receive an email invoice for the balance due 90 days prior to departure date
- Please review Senior Cycling's Cancellation Policy here.
- Please purchase Trip Insurance. Especially at our age, even though no one expects or wants it, health issues arise and accidents happen.
- At Travelinsurance.com you can get quotes for coverage from several different providers and get all your questions answered about different levels of coverage, such as "Cancel For Any Reason (COFR)" polices and Pre-Existing Condition waivers. Allianz Travel Insurance and TravelGuard by AIG are also well-known companies with reasonable rates. Please check it out and protect your travel investment.
Your Travel Plans
If you are flying, you fly into Tallahassee International Airport, which is less than 7 miles/a 15 minute Uber/Lyft ride from our hotel.
If you are driving we meet you at our hotel and return you there at the end of the trip. Parking at the hotel for the week will entail modest additional cost.
Your Lodging Plans
For this tour, 5 nights lodging from Sunday through Thursday night are included, with the tour concluding mid-afternoon Friday with a 90 minute van ride back from Apalachicola to Tallahassee.
If you plan to bring your own bike and it is a non-standard bike such as a recumbent, E-bike or tandem, you will need to discuss transport issues with me before you register for this trip. Space in the trailer is limited and we may or may not be able to accommodate. Email: email@example.com
Bike rental is available at $150 for this trip (Select the Add-on option). A helmet and bike bag are included with bike rental.