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Savor Charleston's Culinary History, Heritage and Delectable Flavors

Program Number: 19280RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/10/2013 - 3/15/2013; 10/19/2014 - 10/24/2014; 2/15/2015 - 2/20/2015; 3/8/2015 - 3/13/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Price starting at: $1,249.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Food & Wine
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Taste the flavors of the Lowcountry during this culinary immersion into the history and cuisine of South Carolina. Rub elbows with some of Charleston’s top chefs as you explore this historic city and its most notable restaurants and take part in a private cooking demonstration that will introduce you to the techniques of Lowcountry cooking. Discover how Charleston’s cuisine has evolved over the past 300 years as you sample the specialties of local eateries and culinary landmarks.




Highlights

• Learn the art of Lowcountry cooking from expert chefs in entertaining, hands-on presentations in a state-of-the-art demo kitchen.
• A field trip to the Charleston Tea Plantation — located on picturesque Wadmalaw Island — offers a look at the only tea plantation in the U.S and Angel Oak Tree.
• Soak up the history of Charleston at sites like the Palmer House, the Battery and the City Market.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day, some uneven terrain. Bicycle taxi -seats two people- available (your cost) for those who would like to ride instead of walk. Must be arranged ahead of time.



Coordinated by Center for Educational Adventure.




Charleston (South Carolina)

Founded in 1670, Charleston is an old colonial city brimming with museums and historical attractions. In its early days, it was a cosmopolitan trading center whose wealth is on display today in the well-preserved architecture and cultural institutions. Picturesque tree-lined streets and a lovely coastline make it a tourist Mecca.



Accommodations
Luxury hotel located in the heart of Charleston's historic district. Blending opulent accommodations, historic ambiance and modern convenience, this hotel treats you to true southern hospitality and is the only hotel included in the city’s prestigious Museum Mile.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Ruth Miller

Ruth Miller, a graduate of Duke University, has lived all over America and journeyed throughout the world. As a Charleston historian and excursion leader, she enjoys tying local history into the American story and worldwide events. Ruth is the author and co-author of numerous books, including “Charleston Charlie — A Family Activity Book for Kids of All Ages,” “Touring the Tombstones,” and “The Angel Oak Story.” She is a member of the South Carolina Historical Society and the National Trust.
 
Darryl Stoneworth

Darryl Stoneworth, along with wife Angela, has been selling home-crafted sweetgrass baskets in the Charleston City Market since May 2009. If you happen by his stand, you'll know Darryl by his omnipresent smile. The couple is also constructing their first roadside basket stand along Highway 17N in Mount Pleasant, N.C. The town has renamed and dedicated this stretch of the highway in tribute to the hamlet's sweetgrass basket makers.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   The Mills House Hotel
  Charleston, South Carolina 5 nights
 The Mills House Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Mills House Hotel is a gem among historic Charleston hotels. Blending opulent accommodations, historic ambiance and modern convenience, our luxury Charleston hotel treats you to true southern hospitality, the same hospitality we showed our first guest over 150 years ago. With our recent multi-million dollar restoration, our historic Charleston hotel has recaptured its original splendor, and we're eager to share it with you. Located in the heart of Charleston, The Mills House is the only hotel included in the city's prestigious Museum Mile, and there's no shortage of lively Charleston attractions nearby: Dock Street Theatre (0.0 mile) King Street Antique District (0.0 mile) The Market Place (0.0 mile) Waterfront Park (0.0 mile) College of Charleston (0.5 mile) South Carolina Aquarium (0.5 mile) The Battery/Historic District (0.5 mile) After a day amidst the storied sights of downtown, return to the Mills House where we stand apart from other Charleston, SC luxury hotels by combining a lush, Victorian atmosphere with modern appeal. From our thoughtfully-appointed Charleston, SC accommodations to state-of-the-art meeting space and exquisite service, we continue to exceed our legendary reputation. History and luxury await! Join us at The Mills House Hotel, a Conde' Nast Traveler Gold List Hotel, and stroll the halls once walked by General Robert E. Lee and President Theodore Roosevelt.
  Contact info: 115 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401 USA
phone: 843-577-2400
web: www.millshouse.com
  Room amenities: 2 phones with voicemail Bathtub Cable/Satellite color TV Coffee and tea makers Connecting rooms Crib upon request Free morning newspaper delivered to room Hair dryers High speed Internet access In-room pay-per-view movies Iron/board Nightly turndown service Private bathroom Rollaway bed/cot Work desk with lamp
  Facility amenities: Housekeeping & Laundry Services Daily Housekeeping Dry Cleaning Pickup/Laundry Same Day Dry Cleaning Concierge Desk to help w/tour plans Entertainment & Recreation Outdoor Pool Hotel Shops Newsstand Gift Shop Business Services Copying E-mail & Internet Facsimile PC available Printer High Speed Internet Access Public Space Data Services Wireless Data Connection Miscellaneous Concierge Services Ice Machine Safety Deposit Box available at Front Desk A/C Public Areas Dedicated Lounge (or 24 Hour Lounge) Porter/Bellman Fitness Center Outdoor Pool Parking Daily Self Parking Fee: $20.00 (USD) Valet Parking Available: $22.00 (USD) County operated garage adjacent to the hotel self parking $20.00 per night There is a 6 feet 7 inch vehicle height limitation in all garages
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: call hotel for rate Group rates are not available during times outside of the Road Scholar program week. For early arrival or late stayovers, call the hotel directly.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: call hotel for rate Group rates are not available during times outside of the Road Scholar program week. For early arrival or late stayovers, call the hotel directly.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check-in is from 4:00 pm. You will be staying at The Mills House Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Hotel check-out is by 12:00 pm. Program concludes after morning presentation. You will be staying at The Mills House Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
County operated garage adjacent to the hotel self parking $20.00 per night and is not included in your program cost.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Charleston, South Carolina
  Nearest city or town:  Mt. Pleasant and Beaufort, SC
  Nearest highway: I-26
  Nearest airport:  Charleston, SC
  From End of Program
  Location: Charleston, South Carolina
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Charleston

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Amtrak
phone: 800-872-7245
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call Amtrak for pricing
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Approximately 20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

10 miles

 

Charleston, SC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Piedmont Limo and Car Service
phone: 843-813-1958
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximate rate from airport to hotel is $30 for taxi for two people
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

12 miles

   

Another taxi service recommended is Metro Limo. They can be contacted at 843-572-5083. The airport website is www.chs-airport.com. Additional ground transporation information can be located here.

 
Driving Directions
  Charleston: Interstate 26 to Mills House Hotel Travel on Interstate 26 until you reach the Meeting Street Exit, 221B. Continue on Meeting Street for 2 miles until you reach the corner of Meeting Street and Queen Street. The Mills House will be on your right.
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, Introductions & Getting to Know You
(Sunday, March 10)
   
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: From 4:00pm.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION: 5:00pm. After you have your room assignment and have dropped off your bags, please register with the Road Scholar program staff at our desk in the lobby beginning at 5:00pm. You’ll receive your arrival packet containing the most up-to-date schedule and program information that we’ll review during our orientation session after dinner.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: ORIENTATION: 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. Take the remainder of the evening to begin getting to know one another or just relax and prepare for tomorrow’s full day of activities. (If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the hotel front desk.)

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of any changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding!

You are about to embark on a wonderful new learning adventure that will involve savoring the culinary history, heritage, and delectable flavors of Charleston and the Lowcountry. You will discover how a unique cuisine has evolved over the past 300+ years while sampling delicious specialties from local eateries, markets, bakeries, restaurants, and culinary landmarks. As we dine out, keep mental notes and then jot down your "review" of the experience. Each participant will have an opportunity to share the review of your favorite culinary experience in the closing session.

   
Accommodations: The Mills House Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Presentation On Charleston and The Carolina Low Country, Lunch At Husk, Historic District Field Trip, Dinner Out
(Monday, March 11)
   
 Breakfast: South Carolina’s famous Low country breakfast is featured at this elegant and historic restaurant in the Barbadoes Room. Menu items include: Low Country Shrimp and Grits, Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, and a host of other selections including bacon and sausage, eggs cooked many different ways with yummy omelette's and fresh fruit daily. Start your morning in grand Southern style
 Morning: PRESENTATION: A local historian — the co-author of "A Witness to History: Charleston's Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon" — will provide an introduction to Charleston and the Carolina Lowcountry. This introductory history of Charleston will prepare you for the field trips we will take during your stay starting with the first field trip through historic downtown Charleston after lunch.
 Lunch: Part of what makes this program special is experiencing some of Charleston's characteristic eateries. Lunch today is at a favorite local restaurant called Husk.Diners at Husk view an open, collaborative kitchen, where chefs freely interact with their guests, and personally deliver food to tables, but the work begins well before a pan begins to heat. Brock and Grimes exhaustively research Southern food—its history and provenance—and in the process reconstitute flavors and ingredients lost to time. They grow much of their own produce on the restaurant’s garden, and concentrate on heirloom grains and vegetables that once flourished in the region, but were lost to 20th-century industrial agriculture. Then they take what is fresh and available today, or even this hour, and transform it into an evolving menu. Seasonal bounty comes in waves, however, and what they can’t use immediately is preserved, pickled, smoked, and saved.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Charleston Historic District. Get an orientation to the interior city of Charleston as we begin our exploration of great houses and gardens. Among those we visit is the PALMER HOME on the Battery, one of Charleston's most famous houses, built in 1848 by John Ravenel, whose son designed the "Little David" , the first semi-submersible vessel. This private home is now operated as a bed-and-breakfast by third-generation owner, Frances Palmer. The house is furnished and decorated with antiques dating back two hundred years. In addition to learning about all this fascinating history, enjoy light refreshments. You'll also see the Palmer House private garden as well as other private gardens as we walk through the historic area. At the end of the day, sit back and relax an enjoy the culinary lineup of Southern Classics that can be downed in front of a private garden worthy of an aristocrat. Alcoholic beverages on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner is out at one of Charleston's Gullah Cuisine Restaurants. Savor the experience and remember to make mental notes you can jot down later for a "review" of the dinner. Virginia's on King specializes in upscale interpretations of traditional Southern fare. Each plate, prepared with the freshest, local ingredients, is a reflection of family recipes and Southern cooking traditions.
 Evening: EVENING: Continue socializing with newfound friends after returning from an evening of dining. You are in the heart of the historic district where walking is a great way to see the neighborhood.
   
Accommodations: The Mills House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Sweetgrass Baskets, A Taste of Charleston, Dining Renaissance
(Tuesday, March 12)
   
 Breakfast: South Carolina’s famous Low country breakfast is featured at this elegant and historic restaurant in the Barbadoes Room. Menu items include: Low Country Shrimp and Grits, Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, and a host of other selections including bacon and sausage, eggs cooked many different ways with yummy omelette's and fresh fruit daily. Start your morning in grand Southern style
 Morning: PRESENTATION: A morning demonstration and a history of sweet grass baskets will be presented. Baskets will be available for viewing the finished product and are also available for purchase. TASTE OF CHARLESTON PROGRESSIVE SAMPLES: The best way to taste your way through Charleston's culinary lineup is to get ready for a morning of visiting several different restaurants with a sampling from each one. This field trip allows you to see the renovated buildings that have been turned into popular restaurants. When you finish tasting you will have had your lunch. It is a great way to experience several of the top restaurants of Charleston. You may decide to go back and dine with them.
 Lunch: Lunch will be the culmination of tasting at several well known restaurants.
 Afternoon: Take time to visit the City Market and take in an historic home or the Charleston Museum as you spend time on your own exploring the many options located in the historic district that surrounds your hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner out at selected restaurant picked especially for this culinary program. Eli's Table offers a menu that includes worldly flavors while using fresh and local ingredients. Named after the owner of Charleston Hospitality Group's son Eli, the restaurant is sentimental for many reasons. With the flair Chef Scott has brought to Eli's Table, guests are treated with a new way to savor their favorite classics. Tantalize your taste buds and join us at Eli's Table.
   
Accommodations: The Mills House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Low Country Cooking Demo/Lunch/Free Afternoon and Evening
(Wednesday, March 13)
   
 Breakfast: South Carolina’s famous Low country breakfast is featured at this elegant and historic restaurant in the Barbadoes Room. Menu items include: Low Country Shrimp and Grits, Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, and a host of other selections including bacon and sausage, eggs cooked many different ways with yummy omelette's and fresh fruit daily. Start your morning in grand Southern style
 Morning: DEMONSTRATION: Learn the artistry of Lowcountry cooking from expert chefs in an informative and entertaining presentation in a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen. Get the secrets of good taste while enjoying generous tastings of regionally-based recipes and sipping a glass of wine. Today you will have A Taste of the Low Country, the most popular cooking demonstration. Afterwards, you'll enjoy the food that has been cooked just for you.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the cooking school - Charleston Cooks! You will also love their kitchen store!
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore the city on your own. We will be happy to help you in planning your afternoon activities. Some suggestions: City Market, plantations outside Charleston, Charleston museum, historical homes open to the public, Fort Sumter.
 Dinner: Dinner will be on your own to experience the restaurant of your choice. We will make suggestions for restaurants within walking distance to the hotel and other restaurants as well. You will need to book in advance to assure seating for a particular restaurant you may have your heart set on.
 Evening: Free evening to explore on your own or just take time to sit and enjoy the moment.
   
Accommodations: The Mills House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Tea Plantation/Tomato Shed Lunch/Angel Oak/Dinner Out
(Thursday, March 14)
   
 Breakfast: South Carolina’s famous Low country breakfast is featured at this elegant and historic restaurant in the Barbadoes Room. Menu items include: Low Country Shrimp and Grits, Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, and a host of other selections including bacon and sausage, eggs cooked many different ways with yummy omelette's and fresh fruit daily. Start your morning in grand Southern style
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: We will visit the Charleston Tea Plantation, home of American Classic Tea, the ONLY tea grown in America. It is located on picturesque Wadmalaw Island in the heart of South Carolina's Lowcountry. Its grounds include 127 acres of Camellia Sinensis tea plants, a working Tea Factory and a charming Plantation Gift Shoppe.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the Tomato Shed Cafe, owned by the Ambrose Family. This popular local restaurant is a delightful and fun place for a tasty lunch right from the farm. The Ambrose Farm participates with the community in the Community Supported Agriculture which is a partnership of mutual commitment between a local farmer and the people who consume his/her fresh produce, creating a bond between the farm and the community supporting it. Members purchase a "share" of the farm's anticipated fresh, highest quality food grown the safest most organic method possible. This partnership offers the perfect win/win situation to Members and their families by giving them the best quality, freshest, widest variety of sustainable grown produce and ensures the survival of the local family farm's future by guaranteeing the farmer a fair economic return for his efforts. You will visit the Stono Market place before or after your lunch. It is located at the same place where you will have lunch. This is a very popular lunch spot that only the locals know about. We found it when doing research for our culinary program.
 Afternoon: With the culinary group in mind, we have added a visit to the Irvin House Vineyard because of its popularity and we don't want you to miss a thing. For $4.00, not included in your program cost, you can taste all 5 of our varietals and will receive a complimentary wine glass to remember your time at the vineyard. This 48-acre winery and vineyard is the only domestic winery in Charleston. Irvin~House Vineyards is also the home to Firefly Distillery. Created in 2008 by Scott Newitt and Jim Irvin, the distillery currently produces the following spirits. •Firefly Vodka •Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka •Firefly Sweet Tea Raspberry Vodka •Firefly Sweet Tea Lemon Vodka •Firefly Sweet Tea Mint Vodka •Firefly Sweet Tea Peach Vodka •Firefly Skinny Tea •Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon •Firefly Southern Lemonade (only available at distillery, not in stores) •Sea Island Gold Rum •Sea Island Spice Rum •Sea Island Java Rum •Southern Accents Liqueurs Not into tasting? The vineyard offers walking trails, a petting zoo, a garden, large pond, winery, Firefly distillery and gift shop. After leaving the vineyard and on the way home we will stop over at the Angel Oak Tree, the oldest living live oak tree ever recorded. The Angel Oak is a Southern live oak tree located in Angel Oak Park on Johns Island, one of South Carolina's Sea Islands. It is estimated to be in excess of 1500 years old, stands 65 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and shades with its crown an area of 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2). The Angel Oak is thought to be one of the oldest living organisms east of the Mississippi River. It has survived countless hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and human interference.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at a special restaurant set up just for Road Scholar. It will be our farewell evening and we will enjoy the company and the fine dining.
 Evening: Our evening will be saying farewell to our fellow travelers and enjoying stories about our week adventure in Charleston.
   
Accommodations: The Mills House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Wrap Up Session & Discussion of Charleston's Restoration And Preservation, Program Concludes
(Friday, March 15)
   
 Breakfast: South Carolina’s famous Low country breakfast is featured at this elegant and historic restaurant in the Barbadoes Room. Menu items include: Low Country Shrimp and Grits, Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, and a host of other selections including bacon and sausage, eggs cooked many different ways with yummy omelette's and fresh fruit daily. Start your morning in grand Southern style Y
 Morning: Hear from a member of Charleston's Preservation Society about Charleston's restoration and preservation and future plans.
   
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


A Short History of Charleston


Author: Robert N. Rosen


Description: A concise small history of Charleston that is easy to read and enjoyable.



A Witness to History: Charleston's Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon


Author: Ruth Miller and Ann Taylor Andrus


Description: The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon in Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the great buildings of Colonial America. Serving as city hall, customs house, post office and prison; as the British Headquarters during the occupation of Charles Towne and then host to a great ball honoring George Washington, the Exchange has been an eyewitness to America’s history. This stoic building-—designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975—-has been described as the best example of the dignity and ornament of the traditional English “exchange-town hall” design of the eighteenth century built in the United States. From within its Great Hall to deep below in the Provost Dungeon, the Exchange has played a vital role in American history. Andrus’ and Miller’s fast-paced and readable survey of the history and significance of the Old Exchange Building will appeal to visitor and serious historian alike.



Gullah Cuisine : By Land and by Sea


Author: Charlotte Jenkins


Description: Take a journey with Chef Charlotte Jenkins into her creative kitchen, and also into her life. Charlotte and her husband Frank grew up Gullah at a time when the Old Ways were giving way to the New Ways. They are of the generation that bridged those two worlds. Charlotte learned to cook Gullah the way her mama, her grandmamma and all the mamas that have come before her - by working alongside one another. But she also trained at Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute in Charleston where she adapted the traditional recipes to be more healthful. In1997, she and her husband Frank opened Gullah Cuisine in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. They are now widely acknowledged as offering the best of authentic Gullah cooking. Gullah Cuisine: By Land and By Sea brings Charlotte's wonderful recipes to you. But it does more than that - the book is a tale of connection, sharing a world the Gullah built. It features a narrative by critically acclaimed author William P. Baldwin, photographs by Pulitzer-prize-nominee Mic Smith and art by beloved Gullah painter Jonathan Green.



Hoppin' John's Low Country Cooking


Author: John Martin Taylor


Description: At rural oyster roasts and barbecues, in fancy Charleston restaurants and renovated townhouses, and on the pages of national magazines, the luxuriant cooking of the Carolina coast, known as the Lowcountry, has made a dramatic reappearance. This is the book that launched the culinary revival. John Martin Taylor, who grew up casting shrimp nets off Hilton Head Island, has collected a wealth of traditional and contemporary recipes that represent the region's best, from She-Crab Soup and Sweet Potato Pie to Shrimp and Grits and Sweet Watermelon Pickles. The result is a lyrical American cookbook and a travelogue to a unique way of life.



Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden


Author: Emily Whaley


Description: In conversation with William Baldwin. Emily Whaley's garden on Church Street in Charleston, South Carolina, may be the most visited private garden in the country. And no wonder. It is the life's work of a vibrant, sociable, opinionated, determined, forceful woman who has spent the last eighty-five years cultivating whatever life offered her. MRS. WHALEY AND HER CHARLESTON GARDEN captures and preserves Emily Whaley's distinctive voice and braces us with a clear understanding of how one might cultivate a practical personal philosophy alongside one's garden.



The Secret Gardens of Charleston


Author: Louisa Cameron


Description: A stunning tour with the owners of many of historic Charleston's most beautiful, but rarely seen, private gardens. Charleston gardeners--some working with noted designers, others relying on their own skills and creativity--are masters of fashioning intricate designs and plant selections to match the architectural beauty of this legendary city. This is a valuable resource for inner-city gardeners and an important tool for those involved in the restoration of older houses and gardens.





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