Facebook   Twitter   Road Scholar Network   Pinterest   YouTube  
Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel,
the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975.

Online Chat Offline
Call (800) 454-5768

New extended hours!
Now open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. ET

Create an account                             Forgot your password?

Log in to see all you can do with your online Road Scholar account.


Charleston’s Plantations and Stately Homes

Select a Date



and receive your



E-Photo Book:

Top 10 Learning Experiences Around the World

Find A Program

Search By:




Homes & Gardens

Price Range

$700 - $1000

Start Date

End Date

More Options

Road Scholar
Program #19402RJ

Enroll Here
Add to Your Wishlist
6 Days | 5 Nights
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Patty from Landisville, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/11/15 - 10/16/15
This was our first RS experience and it was wonderful! We enjoyed ourselves while learning so much about the history, architecture and people of Charleston. The field trips were varied and fun, from historic plantations to sampling moonshine! We would have never seen or learned as much on our own. Our group leader, Earnest Shealy, is a treasure and his informative, visual lectures prepared us for what we were going to see. He knows so much and is known to so many in the area. Our guides at the historic sites were so pleased to see him and gave us extra attention because of that. Larry was a gracious host at the retreat facility. So caring and good-natured. It couldn't have been a better experience. We're signing up for another RS trip next month!

mary from Naperville, IL Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 05/03/15 - 05/08/15
This program "Charleston's Planations and Stately Homes" has it all - intensive architectural details and history of the area. The group leader, Ernest Shealey was phenomenal in his lectures on the area. Also helpful was his self-published pamphlet on the basics of architecture. The excursion to two homes: Nathanial Russel House and the Aiken-Rhett House were very impressive. Especially, the later showed in detail how remodelings were elegantly done. Also, it did have the slave quarters intact and this was an important visit as well. A few other "stops" on the tour (non-architecturally) were also well-received. The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens were fascinating with their swamps replete with alligators! Also, two segments on the sweetgrass basket weaving by artisans both at Angel Oak Tree and at our Center were excellent. It was a fine way to purchase these lovely baskets at a fair trade price. Lastly, kudos to the Coastal Restreat Center for exemplifying true Southern hospitality and fine food. Larry Hamrick was a most gracious host along with staff and volunteers. Also, the setting, barely a block from the ocean was great. So, as long a you don't mind not being in the heart of Charleston (Isle of Palms is about 20 miles outside) and you love architecture, history, and natural history of the area, this could be your trip!

Eileen from Ann Arbor, MI Number of programs attended: 27
Date attended: 04/19/15 - 04/24/15
This program could be used as a model of what a good RS program should be. Each day was filled with learning and adventures, all executed with perfect timing and coordination. Larry and Margie were excellent hosts who are dedicated to being sure that our stay at the Coastal Retreat Center was comfortable and enjoyable. The accommodations were simple but clean and comfortable, and the food was very good. It was nice to have a choice of entrees at almost all meals. Many of us took advantage of the Isle of Palms location of the Retreat Center, enjoying sunrise visits and late afternoon walks on the beautiful beach that is only a five minute walk from the front door. Ernest was both our coordinator and main presenter; his enthusiastic presentations on architecture and history were followed by field trips that allowed us to see all the details and concepts that he had talked about. The presentations on plantation life and sweetgrass basket weaving and our evening trip to experience the Praise House were excellent additions to the architecture themes. Charleston is a beautiful, historic city, and we were given many opportunities to experience the building restorations and preservations in the city itself and at a plantation outside the city. The visits to the Tea Plantation and Distillery were fun additions to the main agenda. If you would like to see pictures from our program, please visit https://charlestonroadscholar.shutterfly.com.

John from Oakland, CA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 04/19/15 - 04/24/15
A well organized informative program... Both Ernest and Larry do a great job... an additional benefit is the location right on the beach

Edna from Seattle, WA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 04/19/15 - 04/24/15
For Road Scholar only, not for the website: I wish you wouldn't mail out so many brochures. I gather that you want to feature certain programs beyond the big comprehensive brochures. I know I can request less, but then I sometimes miss something. I wouldn't mind quarterly brochures.

Martha from Hamburg, PA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 04/19/15 - 04/24/15
The historical lectures were of the highest quality, and our hosts at the Coastal Retreat Center were full of warmth and humor. Plus we brought our bikes and greeted the dawn every day by riding on the beach.

Larry from Malone, WI Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 03/08/15 - 03/13/15
Pleasurable experience with knowledgeable instructor named Earnest!

Jean from Los Gatos, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/12/14 - 10/17/14
This program was extremely interesting and informative. The cultural, architectural and historical information presented was outstanding. This program was a very enriching experience for my friend and me. Bravo to Ernest and his team.

Maureen from Coldwater, MI Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 03/08/15 - 03/13/15
Delightful and highly expert program leader in Earnest, Isle of Palms Retreat Center was comfortable and delightful with Larry in the lead, the content was varied and interesting. This program is a good one.

Zima from Brooksville, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/20/14 - 04/25/14
This program is great fun, and has a lot of new things to learn. Our tours were both fun,and we got to see the areas we learn about in class, come to life! Good walking shoes is a must! And the days will fly by, with so much to see and learn. The days end with good friendship chats, and peaceful nights!

Sharon from Eden, MD Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 03/23/14 - 03/28/14
You will be able to immerse yourself in the Southern charm and hospitality of one of the most beautiful cities in the country as you learn fascinating details about the architecture of some of its outstanding homes and public buildings. Lectures and tours strike a perfect balance in this program.

Cyndi from Brunswick, MD Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 03/09/14 - 03/14/14
This was a wonderful wonderful program. Staying at the Lutheran retreat gave my sister and I a rest from TV - plus we had palm trees outside our windows for privacy and beauty. The ocean was right across the street. Ernest was over the top wonderful and was overfilled with excitement and knowledge about the beautiful architecture in Charleston. Our days were filled with wonderful choices, including visits to the only American Tea farm and a winery - as well as a Praise program given by African Americans preserving this from the bad slave days. The weather was perfect for me - 60's. Larry and his wife were wonderful hosts of the retreat center - and everyone who attended were fascinating and fun! (Sorry - not with it enough technically to share pictures). Cyndi White

Please enter your email:

Providers click here

Upload Your Photos and Videos
Add A Photo
Click on images to see larger view
"Beautiful architectural details" Uploaded By: Patty
"Beautiful architectural details" Uploaded By: Patty

"Lots of fun at the tea plantation!" Uploaded By: Patty

"Pineapple fountatin by the waterfront" Uploaded By: Patty

"The trip to Drayton Hall was one of the trip highlights." Uploaded By: Julie

Upload a picture

You can upload a jpg, jpeg, png, or gif file.
The maximum file size is 4 mb.

Upload a video

Select Video Host (Instruction)

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
15 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
8 Expert-led lectures
7 Field trips
1 Performances


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

Support Lifelong Learning

Our educational adventures are made possible by donors like you

Please support lifelong learning here

Free Catalog | Refer a Friend | Gift Certificates | Press | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Careers | Contact Us

© Elderhostel, Inc. 2016
11 Avenue de Lafayette | Boston MA 02111 | Toll-Free 1-800-454-5768