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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison Ford Director Tours 2014 – 2015 Travel Season

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On September 6th

      Edison Ford Director Tours have been a great program success for the past decade. Director Tours include our picks of great museums, gardens, historic sites as well as behind-the-scenes with directors, curators and specialists in the field. Most meals are included. We have carefully selected either private dining at the cultural site, a historic hotel, or notable restaurant.

The program costs include all travel arrangements, and tour fees. Edison Ford Members and Volunteers receive a special discount rate. RSVP to Cori Cramsey at ccramsey@edisonfordwinterestates.org.Spots are filling up quickly.

  • Asheville, NC – October 13 – 17, 2014

A hundred years ago, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone traveled to Asheville on one of their first camping experiences exploring America. In fact, the three “vagabonds” are pictured in the lobby of the historic Grove Park Inn, where we will stay. Today Grove Park is a Five Star hotel, spa and golf course. Besides behind-the-scenes tours at the hotel we will also take in Biltmore Estates, Garden, Winery and Village; the Southern Appalachian Highland Craft Guild Museum and the Blue Ridge Parkway; historic downtown Asheville and the Grovewood Museums and Gallery. For the golfers and spa enthusiasts, there will be time to enjoy both. The detailed schedule is on the following pages.

  • Naples, FL – November 8, 2014

The Naples Botanical Garden has been closed this summer preparing for the fall opening of the new Orchid Garden and other new gardens. This tour will include time with the designer Ellin Goetz, Director Brian Holley and landscape staff. Lunch and some quick shopping is planned at Tommy Bahama on 5th Avenue, to be followed by a private tour of Naples Bay with Pure Naples.

  • directors tours sept 2014 palm beachPalm Beach, December 6, 2014

Palm Beach is famous for its museums and gardens, and this tour includes both the Norton Museum of Art with its impressive collection of American, European and Chinese Art and the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens with its beautiful historic home and annual “Festival of Trees” in the garden. There will also be a quick spin down Worth Avenue, decorated for the holidays.

  • Redland and Homestead – January 17, 2015

directors tour sept 2014 homesteadRedland, Florida is an agricultural area near Homestead and metropolitan Miami. Redland includes countless nurseries, orchid farms, original clapboard homes of early settlers, u-pick-em fields and coral rock structures. Peacocks roam free and the area is a bird sanctuary. It is also home to The Fruit & Spice Park where we will enjoy fruit samplings and behind-the-scenes tours of the nurseries. We will also tour the orchid houses and ranches as well as winery and brewery sites for tastings.

  • directors tour sept 2014 bok towerLake Wales, Bok Gardens and Sanctuary, Pinewood Estate – February 28, 2015

Historic Bok Sanctuary & Gardens was designed in 1921 by Frederick Law Olmstead, for Edward Bok and his wife, financier and music lover. It was designed with 100 acres of gardens full of live oaks, camellias, azaleas and a spectacular 60 bell carillon tower. In February the gardens are ablaze with blooming azaleas and camellia. The tour will also include the adjacent Pinewood Estate, a beautiful Meditarean style mansion and gardens from the early 1900’s. Private lunch will be at Pinewood Estate.

directors tour sept 2014 lake wales

Pinewood Estate

  • Fort Lauderdale, Bonnet House & Gardens and Butterfly World, Coconut Creek, March 21, 2015

directors tour sept 2014 fort lauderdaleBonnet House was completed in 1920 on the narrow barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the town of Fort Lauderdale. This expansive Caribbean-style plantation house was designed and built for the artist Bartlett and his wife. Together they assembled an impressive directors tour sept 2014 fort lauderdale 1collection of paintings (including their own) and decorative pieces from their international travel. The day also includes Butterfly World, the largest butterfly park in the world with hundreds of butterflies, hummingbird and lorikeet aviaries and exotic plants throughout the ten acres. Lunch will be at Casablanca Café.

  • Sarasota, Lido Key and St. Armand’s Circle, April 18, 2015

directors tours sept 2014 sarasotaThis tour will be led by Fort Myers/Naples architect, Joyce Owens who will be joined by architects and trustees of the Sarasota School of Design Foundation which oversees the historic structures of the Mid Century Modern centuries of the 1950’s. The day will include a walking tour of Lido Key and a bus tour of favorite Sarasota buildings with lunch on St. Armand’s Circle at The Columbia Restaurant.

  • Director Tour – Asheville, NC, October 13 – 17, 2014

directors tour sept 2014 asheville colorsJoin Edison Ford for a Director Tour to Asheville, NC. Below is the information and a tentative agenda of our week in Asheville, NC. Edison, Ford and Firestone all were here a hundred years ago and we will follow their footsteps and stay in the same hotel.

Where to Stay: The Omni Hotel—Grove Park Inn

Reservation contact: Mackenzie Wheaten, Sales Manager: Mackenzie.Wheaton@omnihotels.com or 866-474-4953.

Flight Info: Allegiant Air

Flight Itinerary:

 Monday, October 13, 2014 – Depart Punta Gorda, FL at 12:30 p.m. – Arrive 2:20 p.m. in Asheville, NC

Friday, October 17, 2014 – Depart Asheville, NC at 3:00 p.m. – Arrive 4:35 p.m. in Punta Gorda, FL

Long term parking fees: $9 daily maximum, for more information visit http://www.flypgd.com/parking/

directors tour sept 2014 ashville biltmore

Tentative Agenda:

  • Monday, October 13, 2014 – Travel Day – Arrive at Grove Park Inn, Guided history tour of Grove Park Inn, Dinner on Sunset Terrace/Edison Room.
  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 – Day at Biltmore Estates – Trolley ride to Biltmore Estates, Behind-the-Scenes tour, Lunch at Stable Café; and time to enjoy Antler Hill Village, Winery and dinner at Cedric Tavern & Bistro.
  • directors tour sept 2014 grovewooddirectors tour sept 2014 antique carsWednesday, October 15, 2014 – Day at Grove Park Inn – Grovewood Gallery, Grovewood Café, Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum, Grovewood Studios, North Carolina Homespun Museum and time to enjoy Grove Park on your own.
  • Thursday, October 16, 2014 – Trolley tour of Downtown Asheville, on the Blue Ridge to Southern Highland Craft Guild and time at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center.



  • directors tour sept 2014 trolleyFriday, October 17, 2014 – Travel Day – Shuttle pick up at Grove Park Inn to Asheville Airport – Depart Asheville, NC at 3:00 p.m. – Arrive 4:35 Punta Gorda, FL.

Join us for a gathering on Thursday, October 9th at 6:00 p.m., in the museum for wine, cheese and highlights of the Asheville Director Tour.

Cost: Edison Ford Members and Volunteers $400; non-members $450

For further information or to make a payment with a credit card contact Cori Cramsey at 239-334-7419 or ccramsey@edisonfordwinterestates.org  or you can mail a check to: Edison & Ford Winter Estates P.O. Box 2368 Fort Myers, FL  33902

Cost Includes: Transportation to/from Asheville airport, private trolley services, private guided tours, private Behind-the-Scenes tours, and goodie bags.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations received on or before October 5, 2014 will receive a full refund.

For information on becoming a Member contact Darlene Hermey at dhermey@edisonfordwinterestates.org or 239-334-7419.


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