Road Scholar : Home
New Year’s in Atlanta

Program Number: 19020RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/27/2013 - 1/1/2014; 12/27/2015 - 1/1/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Price starting at: $1,049.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays 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. Attend a performance of the Nutcracker presented by the Atlanta Ballet at the famous Fox Theatre. 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.
• Delight in the Atlanta Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker at the renown Fox Theatre
• 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.

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, two queen-size beds, living room, kitchenette, heated outdoor pool.

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

Bill began his career playing the jazz banjo at various clubs in the San Francisco area, including the famous Red Garter. He has performed in locations spanning from Florence, Italy to the 1964 New York World's Fair and Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Bill has enjoyed playing with noted artists including Joe Darensburg, George Probert, "Smokey" Stover, Nick Fatool, Bob Haggart, Eddie Miller, Johnny Mince and many more.
Don Erdman

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

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

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:
Hotel check-in begins at 4:00 pm. Road Scholar group leader will check - in participants anytime after 4:00 pm. Orientation begins 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
Atlanta Airport Shuttle
phone: 877-799-5282
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
(Friday, 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 5:00 pm followed by dinner at 6:30 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 6:30 pm.
 Evening: After dinner the evening is free to visit with newfound friends or retreat to your room to prepare for a full day of activities the next day.
Accommodations: Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Bulloch Hall, Archibald Smith, Plantation, Lunch in Roswell, Battle of Atlanta
(Saturday, December 28)

Note: Walking on uneven terrain on gravel and fine crushed pebbles around plantation homes in Roswell. Walk to dinner is across the street from the hotel where participants stay.

 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 two plantation homes that serve as outstanding examples of the architecture and culture of a bygone age: Bulloch Hall and Archibald Smith Plantation Home.The gracious and elegant Bulloch Hall was built in Roswell, Georgia in 1839 by Major James Stephens Bulloch one of Roswell’s first settlers and grandson of Governor Archibald Bulloch, and his wife Martha Stewart Elliott Bulloch, daughter of General Daniel Stewart. The dining room of Bulloch Hall was the setting on December 22, 1853 of the wedding of their youngest daughter, Mittie Bulloch, to Theodore Roosevelt (Sr.). For over 150 years, the Smith’s Plantation Home has stood the test of time as The Civil War was brought to its front steps, and all around it, the small mill village of Roswell erupted into a bustling metropolitan suburb. Perfectly preserved are the Smiths two-story farm house, complete with outbuildings, including slave quarters, a cook house, corn crib, barn, carriage house, well, and spring house. Enjoy seasonal decorations on your self guided visit to each home.
 Lunch: Lunch in Roswell at The Fickle Pickle. What came first, pickles or people being fickle? Well, for chef - proprietor Andy Badgett it was kind of a tie. In 2003, Andy was in a fickle state of mind and closed his ultra fine dining restaurant “Asher” and turned it into The Fickle Pickle, a southern café and deli. The Fickle Pickle is located in a cozy 1890's Victorian house in the heart of Historic Roswell, Georgia.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time after lunch visiting the shops and meeting the locals before heading back to Atlanta. We should be back to the hotel around 3:00 pm.
 Dinner: Dinner at a popular local restaurant called Gordon Biersch . It is just a walk across the street from your hotel.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: The Battle of Atlanta
Accommodations: Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Free morning, Afternoon at High Museum of Art, Dinner Out, Jazz Performers
(Sunday, December 29)

Note: Walk to dinner is about 1/2 block.

 Breakfast: Breakfast will be catered in the conference room.
 Morning: 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! The hotel shuttle will transport people within a two mile radius of the hotel, which includes the Atlanta History Center for anyone wishing to spend more time at the history center. If you decide to go to the Georgia Aquarium or Coca Cola Museum, you will need to secure a taxi and the hotel will be happy to call for you.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: We will leave the hotel at 1:30 pm for the High Museum of Art. If you decide to skip the museum and continue your free time adventure, please let the group leader know. The motor coach will leave at 1:30 pm. 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.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at a local restaurant called Bricktops located 1/2 block from your hotel.
 Evening: Jazz presentation by local performers.
Accommodations: Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Atlanta History Center, Swan Coach House Lunch, Swan Mansion, Atlanta Botanical Garden Night Holiday Christmas Lights
(Monday, December 30)

Note: Atlanta History Center and campus involves walking in a museum where exhibits are on one floor. Lunch at Swan Coach House is about a 1/2 city block walk on the campus of the Atlanta History Center. Swan Mansion is about 1/2 block walk from Coach House. The entire days walk will be around 2 miles. Atlanta Botanical Gardens is a walk through the gardens and can be shortened if a person cannot do the entire walk, which is approximately 3000-4000 foot or 3/4 mile.

 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel.
 Morning: 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.
 Lunch: We’ll have lunch at the Swan Coach House Restaurant, where you can enjoy a tasty lunch in one of the beautifully decorated rooms. In 1965 a group of extraordinary women established the Forward Arts Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. These distinguished arts patrons, whose dynamic leadership was matched by their determination, transformed the carriage house of the Swan House estate into a thriving restaurant, gift shop and art gallery.
 Afternoon: 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.
 Afternoon: Attend Atlanta Botanical Gardens Holiday Nights/Holiday Lights. Garden Lights, Holiday Nights sparkles with new imagination! Imaginary Worlds brightens the glow of the third annual extravaganza featuring a million lights. Earth Goddess transforms into an icy vision of wintry radiance with twinkling lights weaving through her tresses. The Cobras are wrapped in red and white stripes, welcoming visitors as towering candy canes. Green lights trace hypnotic spiral patterns in the snakes' majestic hoods. Look for a harvest of illuminated corn, brilliant bugs and the grand Poinsettia Tree. Experience all of the spectacular light displays, the "Orchestral Orbs" - a one-of-a-kind topiary light show choreographed to holiday music - and listen for Sounds of the Radiant Rainforest in the Fuqua Conservatory.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at a favorite restaurant called Brio's. We will enjoy fellowship and holiday lights plus soft music after our visit to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Holiday Nights/Holiday Lights. Brio's message to you is: For the quality minded guest who wants to escape everyday life and enjoy "La Dolce Vita" - the Good Life- BRIO stands apart by bringing together passionate people, authentic food and genuine hospitality that allows our guest to "eat well and live well".
Accommodations: Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Motor Coach Tour of Atlanta, Fox Theatre Tour, Pre Concert Lecture, Atlanta Symphony
(Tuesday, December 31)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Explore Atlanta by motor coach with an expert guide who is also a native Atlantian. See the new and old Atlanta and hear the stories from a local person. Focus on historical buildings that go back to the days when Atlanta was reshaped after the Civil War and became the center of the New South. Atlanta is a world-class city with a fascinating history where the Old and New South meet on the famous Peachtree Street. Stopover at the famous Fox Theatre. The Fox Theatre, a former movie palace, is a performing arts venue located at 660 Peachtree Street NE in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia, and is the centerpiece of the Fox Theatre Historic District. When the Fox Theatre first opened, the local newspaper described it as having, “a picturesque and almost disturbing grandeur beyond imagination”. It remains a showplace that impresses theatre-goers to this day. The Fox features a four manual (or keyboard) 42-rank pipe organ nicknamed the "Mighty Mo". It was custom built for the Fox by M. P. Möller, Inc. in 1929 in Hagerstown, Maryland. With 3,622 pipes, it is the second-largest theatre organ in the country, behind the Wurlitzer at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and was the largest theatre instrument built by Möller.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at a popular restaurant called Six Feet Under. Great food and holiday chatter will be the order of the day.
 Afternoon: Relax this afternoon in preparation for many activities that go into the night. We will hear a pre concert lecture by Ken Meltzer, ASO Insider & Program Annotator.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at Table 1280 located at symphony hall. No rush and no fuss with traffic.
 Evening: ”Happy New Year as you enjoy the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, choral groups, pianist and more. It is a holiday pops evening of fun and celebration. The concert will end around 10:30 pm and anyone with the desire to stay up and see the new year in will gather at a restaurant across from our hotel and we'll toast in 2014. We will return to the hotel immediately after the Atlanta Symphony Concert....around 10:45 - 11:00 pm.
Accommodations: Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Breakfast, Program Concludes
(Wednesday, January 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served at the hotel.
 Morning: Program concludes after breakfast. Hotel check-out is by 12 Noon. We hope you have enjoyed this very special holiday learning adventure and will join us for other outstanding Road Scholar programs with the Center for Educational Adventure. Best wishes for all your journeys!
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.

Images of America - Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church

Author: Benjamin C. Ridgeway

Images of America - Buckhead

Author: Susan Kesslers Barnard

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