Road Scholar : Home
New Year’s in Atlanta

Program Number: 19020RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/27/2012 - 1/1/2013; 12/27/2015 - 1/1/2016; 12/27/2016 - 1/1/2017;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Price starting at: $999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays; History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Winter’s chill is no match for the warm Southern hospitality of Atlanta during the holidays. Experience traditions old and new amid light displays and historic homes decorated for the season, and gain an appreciation for the city’s arts and culture during expert-led daily field trips. Examine exemplary architecture in plantation homes, and spend New Year's eve celebrating the Botanical Gardens festival of lights. On a visit to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum attend an expert led lecture, enjoy the Japanese Gardens & have lunch at the Carter Center.Along the way, savor culinary delights on field trips throughout the week.


• In the historic district of Roswell, explore Bulloch Hall and Archibald Smith Plantation — two outstanding architectural examples bedecked in holiday finery.
• On a visit to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum attend an expert led lecture, enjoy the Japanese Gardens & have lunch at the Carter Center.
• Visit award winning exhibitions, museums, the historic Swan Mansion and gardens on the unique campus at the Atlanta History Center which houses one of the largest collections of Civil War artifacts in the U.S.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile; stairs in historic properties. Getting on and off motor coach.

Date Specific Information


The 1940's Radio Hour is an unabashed exercise in nostalgia, set in the days before television and the Internet, when radio represented the major media connection for all Americans. The action is set in a radio studio, shortly before Christmas 1942, during a broadcast on station WOV (V for "victory") by The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade. The company performs a garland of '40s hits and morale-boosting support-our-troops messages—as well as commercials for Pepsi-Cola, Sal Hepatica, and other products of the day. Come and enjoy this delightful holiday musical.


Included in program is admission to the special exhibition, Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna's Imperial Collections, at the Atlanta High Museum, featuring 100 artworks and artifacts amassed by the Habsburgs. View works by such masters as Correggio, Giorgione, Rubens, Tintoretto, Titian and Velázquez.

Coordinated by Center for Educational Adventure.


Atlanta is rich in culture, history and diversity. Museums and cultural attractions abound, from an excellent botanical garden to the plaza dedicated to the 1996 Olympic Games held here.

Innovative new hotel in Buckhead section with heated outdoor pool.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Carol Burton, Group Leader

Carol Burton attended Dalton State College, where she began her 16 years as a Road Scholar coordinator with its Center for Educational Adventure. Married to her childhood sweetheart, she grew up in Hampton, Va., and moved to Georgia in 1970. Carol said she was born with a love for animals and volunteers with her local humane society.
Don Erdman, Jazz

Don Erdman has been active in the Atlanta musical community since 1982. He has toured internationally with Brenda Lee and done regional tours with Johnny Mathis, Lou Rawls, and Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme. In the late '80s, Don was the featured soloist at a Hamburg, Germany club, opening the door for European and Asian tours with his own band, Hotlanta Dixieland Jazz. Don has studied with jazz greats James Moody and Eddie Daniels.
Linda Randall, Gone With the Wind

After retiring from a career with IBM that spanned over 35 years, Linda has redirected her efforts into community support activities. Although a "Yankee" by birth having grown up in Vermont, Linda has incorporated her passion for Atlanta history, performing arts and literature and shares her enthusiasm by volunteering at multiple venues including the Atlanta History Center, Swan House, the Margaret Mitchell House, the Fox Theatre and the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
Gail Bell, Group Leader

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Gail Bell has been involved in the city’s business, civic and cultural community for many years, and has seen Atlanta grow to its present importance on the international stage. Gail loves connecting with visitors from around the world and has enjoyed her own travels from Egypt to Europe, Australia to China, and almost all 50 states. In addition to her 20 year career as an educational excursion leader, Gail has an interior decorating business and is an author escort.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
  Atlanta, Georgia 5 nights
 Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Hyatt Place is an exciting and innovative new select service hotel offering more of what is important to today's travelers. Our guests enjoy a spacious guestroom with a 42" high-definition flat panel television, our signature Hyatt Grand Bed, a plush Cozy Corner oversized sofa sleeper that is separated from the sleeping area, and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi internet access throughout the hotel. The innovation extends beyond the guestroom. The Gallery is a warm and open area that features a self-registration kiosk, an intimate coffee and wine café, a TV den and an e-room with free access to a public computer and printer. Guests at Hyatt Place will also enjoy a continental breakfast each morning and can purchase freshly prepared menu items 24 hours a day. Premium espresso drinks, beer and wine are also available at the Gallery Café. Hyatt Place does not accept pets. Service animals are always welcome.
  Contact info: 3242 Peachtree Road, N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30305 USA
phone: 404-869-6161
  Room amenities: Air Conditioning (In Room) Newspaper (Free) Refrigerator Iron Telephone Television (Cable/Satellite) Non-Smoking Rooms Television Daily Maid Service Coffee Maker
  Facility amenities: About Hyatt Place Gallery The Gallery blends contemporary décor with distinctive architecture, stylish furnishings and unexpected touches to create an atmosphere of casual hospitality. About Hyatt Place spacious guestrooms Our spacious guestroom features contemporary décor with stylish furnishings including plush Hyatt Grand Beds™, state-of-the-art media and work center with a 42" high-definition flat panel television that easily integrates with laptops and other electronic devices, a comfortable Cozy Corner oversized sofa-sleeper, wet bar and bathroom vanity upgraded with granite countertops. About Hyatt Place food & beverage Hyatt Place offers an innovative approach to food service. Complimentary continental breakfast buffet is inclusive every morning. Additionally, signature menu items are available for purchase day and night, including hot breakfast entrees and specialty espresso coffee drinks. Our unprecedented approach to food services includes a cashless food center with a kiosk for touch-screen ordering along with card swipe technology. This allows guests to use their room key to charge orders to their room folio. About Hyatt Place technology Guests will enjoy complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access available throughout the hotel and registration kiosks for easy check-in/check-out service. The updated guestroom media centre is equipped with a high-definition 42" flat panel high-definition television that easily integrates with laptops and other electronic devices such as portable DVD or mp3 players
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for hotel rate. For early arrivals or late stayovers, please contact the Hyatt Place Sales Coordinator at 404-869-6161 ext. 5154, and tell her you are with Road Scholar for the special rate.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for hotel rate. For early arrivals or late stayovers, please contact the Hyatt Place Sales Coordinator at 404-869-6161 ext. 5154, and tell her you are with Road Scholar for the special rate.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Road Scholar Registration begins at 4:00 pm with orientation at 5:00 pm. You will be staying at Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after morning presentation around 10:30 am at the hotel. You will be staying at Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
There is no charge for parking. Parking is located in a parking deck directly behind the hotel with elevators on each floor.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Atlanta, Georgia
  Nearest city or town:  Atlanta
  Nearest highway: I-85
  Nearest airport:  Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Atlanta, Georgia
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Atlanta, GA


From Airport




Public Transportation
Marta-Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
phone: 404-848-5000


Per Person/One Way:


$2 - $5 approximately
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30 minutes 




20 miles


Arriving air travelers should follow the Ground Transportation signs to MARTA. The entrance to MARTA's Airport Station is located inside the western end of the airport's main terminal. Faregates are just a few feet from the baggage claim areas. Take the Red Line from airport to Buckhead Station. When you arrive, call the hotel to pick you up. 404 869 6161 or walk three blocks. Marta website is:


Atlanta, GA


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
A-National Limousine Service
phone: 800-533-4859
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$20.50 per person one way or $37 per person round trip
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30 minutes from airport to hotel depending on traffic 




20 miles


1) You can always make a reservation on line at 2) Cash, and most major credit cards are accepted 3) The Atlanta Airport Shuttle Service is open from 6:00 AM to 12:00 midnight 7 days a week. 4) They request you make your reservation as soon as you book your flight and have your flight details, however we will accept walk ups at our airport booth. 5) You should depart to the airport 2 hours prior to domestic flights.

Driving Directions
  I-75/I-85 Northbound Take I-75/I-85 Northbound through Downtown Atlanta. Take I-85 North (It exits on the left hand side). From I-85 North, take exit 87 - GA 400 North. On GA 400 North, take Exit 2 - Lenox Road/Buckhead. Take a LEFT off the ramp, following signs to Piedmont Road. Take a LEFT at the 2nd light onto Piedmont. Get in the far right hand lane. Go less than a mile and make a RIGHT onto Peachtree. Hotel is on your right, immediately past the Piedmont/Peachtree intersection. There is a "Rooms To Go" store on your right at the intersection. As soon as you turn onto Peachtree, you will see your hotel next to "Room To Go" on the right.
  Southbound I-85 Take Exit 88 toward Cheshire Bridge Road/Lenox Road/GA 400. Take a right off exit ramp heading North. Continue on Lenox Road approx. 2 miles. Proceed to Peachtree Road, turn left heading south past Lenox Mall on your left and continue to intersection of Peachtree and Peidmont. Your hotel will be on your right after the Peachtree and Piedmont intersection. It is right beside the huge Rooms To Go store that sits on the corner of Peachtree and Piedmont.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival & Check-in, Registration & Orientation, Get Acquainted, Jazz Presentation
(Thursday, December 27)
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK IN: You may check into your hotel beginning at 4:00 pm.
PROGRAM REGISTRATION: Please register with the Road Scholar program staff at our desk in the lobby. Your coordinator will be in the lobby area to welcome you and give you your name badge and packet of information between 4 and 5 pm. Orientation is at 5:15 pm followed by dinner at 6:00 pm. You'll have an informative overview of the program to come plus an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session. We'll review the updated schedule, answer any questions you may have, and cover responsibilities, safety guidelines, and emergency procedures.
 Dinner: Dinner will be catered in our hotel conference room at 6:00 pm.
 Evening: Get the low-down from local performers who will also entertain you their stories and music....some holiday, some from times gone by. Jazz musicians will entertain you after dinner. Review the origin of jazz as you listen to jazz performers in your conference room.
Accommodations: Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: A Southern Trilogy: Bulloch Hall, Archibald Smith Plantation, Barrington Hall/Lunch in Roswell/Gone With The Wind
(Friday, December 28)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be catered in the conference room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: We'll board the motorcoach for a ride into the magic and wonder of the holiday season in the historic district of Roswell, about 25 minutes northeast of Atlanta. Roswell boasts 640 acres of Civil War era homes, churches, and historic site including many on the National Register of Historic Places. We will explore three plantation homes that serve as outstanding examples of the architecture and culture of a bygone age: Bulloch Hall, Barrington Hall and Smith Plantation Home. As you enjoy seasonal decorations, learn what life was like when the world turned a bit slower. N Field trips: 1
 Lunch: Lunch in Roswell.
 Afternoon: Life on a plantation and holiday traditions will continue as you make your way through three plantation homes and gardens.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: Gone With The Wind Linda Randall, volunteer with the Atlanta History Center and Swan House Mansion will present the facts of the fiction "Gone With the Wind". She will reveal interesting facts about the author, Margaret Mitchell and her life in Atlanta, GA.
Accommodations: Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Atlanta History Center, Swan Mansion & Gardens, Swan Coach House, Fanfare Dining, Cirque du Soleil - Totem
(Saturday, December 29)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be catered in the conference room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: We’ll explore Swan House, an elegant, classically-styled mansion named for the swan motif that appears indoors and out. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it built in 1928 for Edward and Emily Inman, heirs to a cotton brokerage fortune. The house was designed by well-known and influential Atlanta architect Philip Trammell Shutze, who adapted Italian and English classical styles in the house and its gardens. In 1966, the Atlanta Historical Society purchased the Swan House and most of its original furnishings, that range from eighteenth-century antiques to twentieth-century objets d’art.
With its Christmas trees, lights, and holiday decorations adorning the beautiful outdoor double staircase, Swan House is ready to receive you as a guest and welcomes you to learn what life was like on this 33-acre estate in the heart of Atlanta.
 Lunch: We’ll have lunch at the Swan Coach House Restaurant, where you can enjoy tasty treats in one of the beautifully decorated rooms.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: At the Atlanta History Museum — part of the Atlanta History Center and one of the largest history museums in the nation — you’ll learn about the region's people, from its earliest settlers to the international city of today, as we explore award-winning signature exhibitions. Depending on what is scheduled at the time of your program, we’ll also take in seasonal offerings.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: See Cirque du Soleil - Totem, at Atlantic Station in Atlanta. As one person was quoted: "Cirque du Soleil steals your heart" TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations. Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.
Accommodations: Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Atlanta by Motor Coach/Free Afternoon/Holiday Dinner Outing, Atlanta Botanical Gardens "Garden Lights Holiday Nights" Show
(Sunday, December 30)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Explore Atlanta by motor coach with stops at significant locations. You will be getting on and off with interior visits at some locations.
 Lunch: You are on your own for lunch. Your coordinator will have a list of places you might want to visit on your free afternoon in Atlanta.
 Afternoon: FREE AFTERNOON: Take this time to pursue your own personal interests. Your local coordinator will be happy to assist you in making decisions about where to go and what to see. The hotel provides free shuttle service within a two-mile radius of the hotel. Atlanta beckons with all of the sparkle and festivities of the holiday season!
 Dinner: Dinner will be at a favorite restaurant called Brio's. We will enjoy fellowship and holiday lights plus soft music before attending the Holiday Light Show at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
 Evening: Atlanta Botanical Gardens "Garden Lights Holiday Nights" Show: Glimmering with more than 1 million lights, the show blankets the Atlanta Botanical Garden's 30 acres in every shimmering color under the rainbow. New sparkling attractions include "Liquid Lights", spectacular lighting effects casting an icy cool vibe in the Cascades Garden, while "Starry Night Walk", inspired by Van Gogh's famous painting, features dozens of swirling stars twinkling along the walkway through the camellias. The Great Lawn is transformed into "Orchestral Orbs" - a one-of-a-kind topiary light show choreographed to holiday music. Find enchanting frog elves (frelves) hidden along the paths and listen for Unlikely Sounds of the Season in the Fuqua Conservatory.
Accommodations: Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: High Museum of Art, Lunch at Shout/Atlanta Symphony Performance
(Monday, December 31)

Note: Crooner and pianist extraordinaire Tony DeSare and his trio ring in the New Year with Michael Krajewski and the Orchestra for an evening of great American standards, from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Porter and Prince(!).

 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: During our guided exploration at the High Museum of Art, we’ll take in their special holiday exhibitions and/or activities. The High — founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association — is the leading art museum in the southeastern U.S. with more than 11,000 works in its permanent collection. The High is notable for its extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African-American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, African art, and photography.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at a popular restaurant called Shout. Great food and holiday chatter will be the order of the day.
 Afternoon: We have saved part of the afternoon for some down time before the evening New Year's activities.
 Dinner: We will dine at Fanfare in the Woodruff Arts Center before our concert. Conveniently located on the balcony level of the Woodruff Arts Center just steps from Symphony Hall, Fanfare offers a sumptuous three-course meal with buffet-style fine dining. Beverages other than tea, water, or coffee are on your own but are available with your dinner.
 Evening: Crooner and pianist extraordinaire Tony DeSare and his trio ring in the New Year with Michael Krajewski and the Orchestra for an evening of great American standards, from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Porter and Prince(!). A surprising and thoroughly enjoyable way to celebrate the New Year! PRESENTATION: Jazz in Atlanta. Did you know that Atlanta has one of the most exciting jazz scenes in the country? The list of native-born jazz musicians is full of notables from Ida Cox (b. 1896) to Wycliffe Jordan (b. 1967).
Accommodations: Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: The Battle of Atlanta, Program Concludes
(Tuesday, January 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served at the hotel.
 Morning: An historian and author of several books on the Civil War will present, The Battle of Atlanta: Turning Point. The Battle of Atlanta was a battle of the Atlanta Campaign fought during the American Civil War on July 22, 1864, just southeast of Atlanta, Georgia. The fall of Atlanta was especially noteworthy for its political ramifications.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Atlanta: Then and Now

Author: Michael Rose

Description: Atlanta Then and Now is a captivating chronicle of history and change since the dawn of the camera age. It pairs historic photographs, many over a century old, with specially commissioned views of the same scene as it exists today showing the evolution of Atlanta.

Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: A Saga of Race and Family

Author: Gary M. Pomerantz

Description: A fascinating tale of two cities told through the rise of two of Atlanta's most illustrious political families...highly significant in what it reveals about ambition, hard work, success, and race relations.

Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement

Author: Tomiko Brown-Nagin

Description: The Civil Rights movement that emerged in the United States after World War II was a reaction against centuries of racial discrimination. In this sweeping history of the Civil Rights movement in Atlanta--the South's largest and most economically important city--from the 1940s through 1980, Tomiko Brown-Nagin shows that the movement featured a vast array of activists and many sophisticated approaches to activism. Long before "black power" emerged and gave black dissent from the mainstream civil rights agenda a new name, African Americans in Atlanta debated the meaning of equality and the steps necessary to obtain social and economic justice. This groundbreaking book uncovers the activism of visionaries--both well-known legal figures and unsung citizens--from across the ideological spectrum who sought something different from, or more complicated than, "integration." Local activists often played leading roles in carrying out the integrationist agenda of the NAACP, but some also pursued goals that differed markedly from those of the venerable civil rights organization. Brown-Nagin discusses debates over politics, housing, public accommodations, and schools. She documents how the bruising battle over school desegregation in the 1970s, which featured opposing camps of African Americans, had its roots in the years before Brown v. Board of Education.

My Life With Martin Luther King, Jr.

Author: Coretta Scott King

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