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Savannah’s Rich Heritage, Remarkable History and Memorable Music

Program Number: 11376RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/29/2013 - 10/4/2013; 10/5/2014 - 10/10/2014; 10/12/2014 - 10/17/2014; 10/19/2014 - 10/24/2014; 10/26/2014 - 10/31/2014; 11/2/2014 - 11/7/2014; 2/22/2015 - 2/27/2015; 3/1/2015 - 3/6/2015; 3/8/2015 - 3/13/2015; 3/22/2015 - 3/27/2015; 3/29/2015 - 4/3/2015; 4/12/2015 - 4/17/2015; 4/19/2015 - 4/24/2015; 4/26/2015 - 5/1/2015; 5/3/2015 - 5/8/2015; 5/10/2015 - 5/15/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/2/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/9/2015; 10/11/2015 - 10/16/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/23/2015; 10/25/2015 - 10/30/2015; 11/1/2015 - 11/6/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Price starting at: $995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Signature Cities
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    

Part demure Southern belle, part New Orleans jazzman, Savannah is where graceful plantation homes, charming public squares and stately live oaks stand alongside lively blues venues and gothic cemeteries filled with ornate headstones and eccentric ghost hunters. In some ways dignified and in others playful, the city is uniformly beautiful and goes out of its way to embody Southern hospitality and charm. Hit the streets and squares of Savannah to discover what makes the city special, from lowcountry geography to Civil War history and a mosaic of residents past and present.


• Uncover colorful history from generals to ghosts during museum visits and expert-led walks through the historic district.
• Relax to the rhythms of yesteryear as you pay tribute to Savannah native Johnny Mercer during a private recital of his music.
• Taste distinctive Savannah flavors during an interactive cooking class with a noted chef.

Activity Particulars

Walking two miles on city streets, some uneven; stairs at museums, historic houses; getting on/off buses.

Program #11377 Savannah History, Mystery and Music offers many of the same educational elements, at a lower price with lodgings at a midtown motel.

Date Specific Information

9-29-2013, 10-5-2014, 10-12-2014, 10-19-2014, 10-26-2014, 11-2-2014, 2-22-2015, 3-1-2015, 3-8-2015, 3-22-2015, 3-29-2015, 4-12-2015, 4-19-2015, 4-26-2015, 5-3-2015, 5-10-2015, 9-27-2015, 10-4-2015, 10-11-2015, 10-18-2015, 10-25-2015, 11-1-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Coordinated by Armstrong Atlantic State University.


One of the world’s most beautiful cities, with the largest National Historic Landmark District in the U.S., this is Savannah. Residents celebrate their culture, creativity and distinctive cuisine amid Revolutionary and Civil War battle sites, elegant architecture, lush parks, and more than 20 city squares.

First-class hotel in the heart of Savannah’s historic district.

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

A native of Savannah and a 14th-generation Southerner, Paul Blatner has the distinct honor of being the co-founder and first curator-director of the Savannah History Museum. He holds master’s degrees in American studies and museum studies from the Smithsonian Institution Program at George Washington University, and is an avid antiques dealer. Paul’s colorful wit combined with his knowledge of Savannah’s past have made him a favorite instructor with Road Scholar participants for over 15 years.
Darin Sehnert

A native of southern California, Chef Darin Sehnert pursued his culinary studies in hotel and restaurant management from California State Polytechnic University, and graduated with honors from Johnson & Wales University. He has been a chef in London’s theater district, at Walt Disney World, and the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Darin has also served on the faculty of the School of Hotel & Restaurant Management at Cal Poly Pomona, and has conducted culinary programs with Le Cordon Bleu-Paris.
Jamie Keena

Jamie Keena is a singer of old songs. His repetoire includes folksongs of America and the British Isles, patriotic airs, and “songs written to order” by Tin Pan Alley composers. He received a B.A. in music from the College of William and Mary, and studied voice for five years. Jamie has researched the roots of popular song classics and the development of the music industry. He accompanies his singing with guitar, banjo, and ukelele, and also plays the fife, hammered dulcimer, and concertina.
Christopher Hendricks

Chris Hendricks is a native of Winston-Salem, N.C., and stayed there to be educated at Wake Forest University, where he majored in history and English. He went on to graduate school at William and Mary and specialized in Colonial American history. At William and Mary, he held an apprenticeship in historical archeology, and worked for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Chris taught for a year at the University of Alabama in Huntsville before coming to Armstrong in 1993.
Scott Hodges

A native of Hodges, S.C., Scott has an intriguing family history in the town dating back to the 1750’s. While attending William and Mary College, Scott’s life-long love of colonial history and fascination with theatrics found direction at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. His passion for living history led him to develop several historical characters during his work at the Scott Fort King George State Historic Site, and he now offers these programs to organizations throughout the Southeast.
Kim Polote

Born and raised in Savannah, GA, Kim Polote has emerged as Savannah's foremost entertainer. A full-time singer, she has appeared on national television with her accompanist David Duckworth, and has performed with Harry Connick, Jr. She is the only Savannah native ever to win the gold medal for the annual American Traditions Vocal Competition hosted by the Savannah Music Festival. Kim headlines The Kim Polote Trio, which also includes talented musicians David and Alisha Duckworth.
David Duckworth

David Duckworth has been a full-time musician in Savannah since 1992, working as a pianist and a record producer. In this time, he has been one of the city's most prolific producers of jazz recordings. David’s music has been featured on PBS and Georgia Public Radio, and he has traveled to perform in New York and Paris several times. David, along with Kim Polote, and his wife Alisha, make up the musical group, The Kim Polote Trio.
Alisha Duckworth

Alisha has performed the upright bass regularly in venues such as the Mulberry Inn, City Market, the Johnny Mercer Festival, and numerous other locations throughout coastal Georgia and South Carolina. She has been making music with her husband David since she met him in 1992 as his guitar student, and can be heard playing great music around town and performing as the third member of extremely talented The Kim Polote Trio, along with David and Kim.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
  Savannah, GA 5 nights
 Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Hilton’s Serenity Bedroom Collection. 246 newly renovated guestrooms with beautiful views of Historic Savannah. All rooms have windows that open. Free wireless Internet access in guestrooms and lobby. 32-inch flat screen TVs and MP3 docks. Luxurious Peter Thomas Roth bath products. In-room Cuisinart coffee maker and Lavazza coffee. Ample work space and ergonomic chair. “Print to Desk” service from guestrooms. Valet dry-cleaning/laundryIn-room newspaper delivery. Ironing boards. Hair dryers. Elevators. Lounge. Luggage hold. Room service. Safety deposit box.
  Contact info: 15 East Liberty St.
Savannah, GA 31401 USA
phone: 912-232-9000
  Facility amenities: Pool - rooftop (outdoor) swimming pool & deck. Pool-side cabanas. Full-service restaurant. Bar and lounge Coffee shop/Café featuring Starbucks. Gift Shop. Guest activity/recreation desk. Fitness room. Automated teller machine (ATM). Concierge desk.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Bathroom: King rooms have shower only. Double rooms have shower/tub combo. Rooms w/ HC-accessible baths (roll-in showers) have only 1 bed (double, queen, or king - very limited avail.); not available for same-gender roommates. Grab-bars installed in all types.
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Varies w/ season. Call hotel directly for current rates at 912-443-2021. Subject to availability and Road Scholar rate is not available outside of program dates.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Varies w/ season. Call hotel directly for current rates at 912-443-2021. Subject to availability and Road Scholar rate is not available outside of program dates.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 p.m. hotel check-in; 5:00 p.m. in lobby for Road Scholar registration. You will be staying at Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 a.m. hotel check-out; Program ends after morning class around 10:30 a.m. You will be staying at Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Signing an Armstrong Atlantic State University Waiver of Liability/Hold Harmless Agreement is required in order to participate in the program. This form is mailed or emailed with the welcome materials and is to be mailed back to the university before the program begins.
  Parking availability:
Valet parking is required at the hotel for a discounted rate of $15.00 per day (at participants' expense) with in/out privileges.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Savannah, GA
  Nearest city or town:  Tybee Island, Georgia
  Nearest highway: Interstate 95.
  Nearest airport:  Savannah International Airport (SAV), Savannah, GA.
  From End of Program
  Location: Savannah, GA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Savannah Historic District


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
phone: 877-243-2050
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


25 - 30 minutes, depending on traffic 




Approximately 18 miles


$30 round trip. Advanced reservations required. This shuttle serves the Historic District and Hilton Head Island only. There is no free public transportation from the Savannah/Hilton Head Int'l Airport. Website:

Driving Directions
  From Interstate I-95 north or south bound: Exit at 99A (I-16 east), follow to the end where it feeds into Montgomery Street. At the first stop light turn right onto Liberty Street. Follow for 5 blocks to the DeSoto Hilton which will be on your right hand side.
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: Check-in, Registration, and Orientation at the Hotel
(Sunday, September 29)
 Afternoon: Afternoon check-in at the hotel is at 4 p.m. and Road Scholar registration is in the lobby between 5-6 p.m.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel meeting room where orientation will take place following the meal.
 Evening: Orientation - meet and greet fellow participants and go over the week's itinerary.
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Savannah's Historical Splendor/Entertainment
(Monday, September 30)

Note: An active afternoon of walking and riding to and from field trip and lunch locations over uneven terrain.

 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: In this morning's lecture, discuss the fascinating aspects of Savannah's history that shaped her southern culture.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a charming local restaurant, The Gryphon, which occupies a former apothecary store.
 Afternoon: An expert-led, walking adventure of the Historic District; seeing museum homes and beautiful sites in the city will give true sense of Savannah's long journey.
 Dinner: Savor a delicious dinner with the group at Vic's on the River, located in a beautiful old cotton warehouse overlooking the Savannah River and historic River Street.
 Evening: After a long, busy first day, there will be no formal activity after dinner, leaving plenty of time to linger over the evening meal.
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Savannah's Notable People, Places, and Pastimes
(Tuesday, October 1)

Note: An active morning of walking to and from field trip and lunch locations over uneven terrain.

 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Discover some of Savannah's notable people and places with a visit to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. Meet the Gordons - a prominent, early Savannah family that made lasting impact on our historic city.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a very popular, local southern restaurant - a true Savannah institution - featuring "family-style" service and an abundance of true southern fare.
 Afternoon: Visit with General James Oglethorpe - from the pages of journals, diaries, and letters of that time period, Gen. Oglethorpe comes to life and relays the first years of the "Georgia Experiment."
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant.
 Evening: Spend the evening learning from one of our outstanding History professors about colonial architecture that can be seen throughout the historic district as well as entertainment customs of days long ago.
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Savor Savannah's Southern Culinary Delights and Ponder Life and Death in 19th Century Savannah
(Wednesday, October 2)

Note: An active morning and afternoon of walking to and from field trip and meal locations over uneven terrain.

 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Low country cooking with a popular local chef: experience an interactive cooking class at the 700 Cooking School in The Mansion on Forsyth Park.
 Lunch: Lunch with the chef: enjoy the results of the morning cooking class.
 Afternoon: In a late afternoon field trip to the Isaiah Davenport House, discover how Savannah's citizens dealt with devastating Yellow Fever epidemics in early days.
 Dinner: Enjoy a relaxed-paced dinner with your fellow participants at a local restaurant filled with character and ambiance.
 Evening: Because of the late afternoon program, there will be no formal activity after dinner, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the evening meal.
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Memorable Mercer Music and Free Afternoon/Evening
(Thursday, October 3)


 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Delight in an entertaining musical presentation featuring the melodic and lyrical charms of Savannah's own Johnny Mercer!
 Lunch: Lunch in the hotel meeting room or a local restaurant within walking distance of the hotel.
 Afternoon: Free time: explore the beautiful historic district and all it has to offer on your own after lunch.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own: try a restaurant that wasn't included on your Road Scholar schedule this week.
 Evening: Evening at leisure to relax, enjoy an activity on your own, or prepare for your journey home.
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Popular Songs in America and Program Wrap-Up
(Friday, October 4)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Enjoy a final musical lecture/ presentation by our talented musician/ historian and then bid farewell to your fellow participants and coordinator.
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

Savannah in the Time of Peter Tondee: The Road to Revolution in Colonial Georgia

Author: Carl Weeks

Description: Fictional account of Savannah's first 50 years from Oglethorpe to Independence

A Black Woman's Civil War Memories

Author: Susie King Taylor Weiner

Description: Reissue of a 1902 book by a nurse/teacher/former slave-memoirs of a black woman around the time of the Civil War.

Civil War Savannah

Author: Derek Smith

Description: Glimpse into the lives of the men and women who forever will be associated with Savannah through the wartime deeds.

Lady From Savannah: The Life of Juliette Gordon Low

Author: Daisy Gordon Lawrence

Description: Story of the founder of the Girl Scouts and her remarkable family. Available form the Girl Scouts.

The Complete Stories: Flannery O'Conner

Author: Flannery O'Conner

Description: Native Savannian who won the 1971 National Book Award for Fiction. Thirty-one tales depicting the humorous, of near tragic conditions of life in the Deep South during the fifties.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Author: John Berendt

Description: Referred to in Savannah as "The Book"-non-fiction, adult language-account of a local antique dealer, Jim Williams', four (!) trials for the same murder in the 1980's-also a Clint Eastwood movie released in 1997.

Spectres and Other Strange Tales/Savannah

Author: Margaret W. DeBolt

Description: Good dose of regional history and insights into the lives of people living in and around Savannah for decades-and of course-local legends/ghost stories.

A Guide to the Georgia Coast, The Georgia Conservancy

Author: Suzanne McIntosh

Description: Natural, historical, cultural, and recreational sites along the Georgia coast are described in detail. Includes driving maps and directions.

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

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