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A Cultural Christmas Feast in Historic Charleston

Program Number: 14327RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/8/2013 - 12/13/2013; 12/7/2014 - 12/12/2014; 12/14/2014 - 12/19/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Price starting at: $662.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

Experience time-honored holiday traditions and a unique cultural legacy in "America's Most Historic City." Get caught up in Charleston’s particular brand of holiday spirit on a visit to a working plantation, at the Festival of Lights on James Island and at a theatrical Christmas production in historic downtown. Enjoy Christmas music through the centuries with live performances, observe traditional sweetgrass basket sewing and admire the architectural heritage of Charleston with a historian.




Highlights

• Experience the Holiday Festival of Lights on James Island, featuring millions of lights, carols, gingerbread houses, a life-size greeting card display and more.
• Walk with an architectural expert through Charleston’s Battery to analyze the exterior features of elegant Colonial and antebellum homes.
• Visit the working Boone Hall Plantation to explore the grounds, take in the holiday-decorated home and reflect on the plantation system’s ignoble history in the slave cabins.



Activity Particulars

Minimal walking and standing on this program.



Coordinated by Coastal Retreat Center.




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
Beachside retreat center on Isle of Palms barrier island, several miles outside of Charleston with excellent Southern meals.
Meals and Lodgings
   Coastal Retreat Center, Isle of Palms/Charleston
  Isle of Palms/Charleston 5 nights
 Coastal Retreat Center, Isle of Palms/Charleston
Type: Conference Center
  Description: The Coastal Retreat Center is a two-story brick building on the Isle of Palms, and is about 150 yards from the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. Bedrooms, dining room and classroom are all in the same building. The retreat center is just 15 miles north of downtown historic Charleston, SC. The Isle of Palms is a barrier island, residential in nature and a popular beach destination. The island currently does not have either a pharmacy or a grocery store, but major shopping areas are located approximately five miles away in Mt. Pleasant.
  Contact info: 2101 Palm Blvd.
PO Box 224
Isle of Palms, SC 29451 USA
phone: 843-886-4630
web: www.sclrc.com/coastal
  Room amenities: Each room has climate controlled heating and air conditioning. Clock radio, comfortable chairs, private shower bath. Bed and bath linens, soap, provided.
  Facility amenities: Lounge areas on first and second floors. One television with cable channels and DVD components available on each level in the lounge areas. Wireless internet connection available in first floor lounge and dining areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Check out time: 11:30 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration Begins Sunday at 4pm. Dinner is served at 6pm. You will be staying at Coastal Retreat Center, Isle of Palms/Charleston that night.
  End of Program:
Program concludes Friday with Lunch served at 11:30am You will be staying at Coastal Retreat Center, Isle of Palms/Charleston the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
On-site parking available free of charge. Can accommodate motor homes, but phone in advance if bringing a very large motor home, to assure parking space.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Isle of Palms/Charleston
  Nearest city or town:  Mount Pleasant and Charleston
  Nearest highway: Interstate 26, Mark Clark Expressway I-526, and US Highway 17
  Nearest airport:  Charleston International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Isle of Palms/Charleston
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Charleston Airport to Coastal Retreat Center

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Coastal Retreat Center Shuttle
phone: 843-886-4630
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$20
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

Half hour (30 minutes) 

 

Distance:

 

21 miles

   

The Coastal Retreat Center reserves a shuttle to pick up reserved participants at the Charleston Airport at 4pm. The shuttle service is named Mount Pleasant Shuttle. This is an optional shuttle service. There is only ONE shuttle that we provide for $20 per person and it picks up its passengers at 4pm. Call the Coastal Retreat Center at 843-886-4630 to reserve your spot. Other transportation arrangements can be made by individual participants with taxi or shuttle companies.

 
Driving Directions
  Coming from I-77 South, I-95 North or South, via I-26 Eastbound Take Interstate 26 East toward Charleston, to Exit 212C. Enter onto Interstate 526, (the Mark Clark Expressway), East to Mount Pleasant. Continue approximately nine miles to the Highway 17 North, (Exit 29) ramp. At the foot of the ramp is a traffic light. Get into the center lane. Continue straight (crossing Highway 17) following Hungry Neck Blvd. as it bends to the left. At the third traffic light, turn right onto Highway 517 (Isle of Palms Connector). This road will cross over a causeway and a bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, arriving at the Isle of Palms. At the foot of the bridge, get into left turn lane closest to center line. Take a left at the traffic light. Stay in the left lane, follow this road (Palm Blvd.) for about 1/4 mile. You will see a Methodist Church straight ahead (painted white). Follow Palm Blvd. as it turns to the right then back to the left. A brick crosswalk is located immediately before the left turn entrance to the retreat center parking lot. The retreat center is adjacent to the Methodist Church property.
  From Savannah, or other areas South of Charleston, using US Highway 17 North Take US Highway 17 N, crossing the peninsula of Charleston. Follow signs to cross over the new (2005) Arthur Ravenel cable-stayed bridge to Mount Pleasant. Follow US Highway 17 North to the intersection with Highway 517, the Isle of Palms Connector. Turn right, This Highway 517 (Isle of Palms Connector) will take you across a causeway and an Intracoastal Waterway bridge, arriving at the Isle of Palms. At the foot of the bridge is a traffic light. Get into the left turn lane closest to the center line. Take a left at the traffic light. Stay in this left lane (Palm Blvd.) You will see a Methodist Church straight ahead. Follow this road, Palm Blvd., as it turns to the right and then back to the left. A brick crosswalk is located immediately before the left turn entrance into the retreat center pariing lot. The retreat center is adjacent to the Methodist Church property.
  From upper coastal South Carolina, Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand areas using US Highway 17 South Take Highway 17 South to the junction of Hwy 17 South and Highway 517 (Isle of Palms Connector). This is a major intersection with traffic lights. Get into the far left turning lane. Signs for the Isle of Palms will be posted at this intersection. Turn left on to Highway 517 (Isle of Palms Connector) and continue through all traffic lights. Cross over the causeway and Intracoastal Waterway bridge. At the base of the bridge is a traffic light. Turn left at the light. You will see a Methodist Church straight ahead. Follow this road (Palm Blvd.) as it bends to the right then back to the left. The retreat center is the first driveway on your left after the road bends back to the left. A brick crosswalk is located immediately before the entrance to the retreat center parking lot. The retreat center is adjacent to the Methodist Church.
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: Registration/Official Welcome and Orientation
(Sunday, December 8)
   
 Afternoon: Registration begins at 4 p.m. in lobby. Coffee, tea, water, fruit, and snacks are provided upon your arrival at the Coastal Retreat Center.
 Dinner: Participants may choose from two entrees after the first day. Our catered meals receive rave reviews. Seafood is a specialty. Kindly let us know of dietary restrictions at time of your registration.
 Evening: A warm Southern welcome awaits you at 7 p.m. when we will have orientation to our facility, the program schedule, and enjoy fellowship with other participants.
   
Accommodations: Coastal Retreat Center, Isle of Palms/Charleston
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Bus tour of Historic Charleston/ Architecure/ Music/ Wine Social
(Monday, December 9)
   
 Breakfast: 7:45 a.m. Breakfast. Several copies of the local "Post and Courier," "USA Today," are available each morning. You may order a personal copy of a paper.
 Morning: Two morning classes. At 8:30 a.m. Presentation on Charleston Architecture with an engaging architectural historian. At 10:30 a.m. we begin our program of History of Christmas Carols with a husband and wife duo providing an educational look at music as well as live performances! Half an hour break between classes.
 Lunch: The lunch menu usually consists of soup, sandwiches, and salads, with fresh fruit always available.
 Afternoon: A professional bus tour of the historic Charleston area departs at 1 p.m. from our center. There are stops at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, Charleston's oldest church building St. Michael's Epsicopal Church, and the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Rest stops are included at these two locations. Enroute, licensed tour guides will give a comprehensive overview of historic Charleston and surrounding areas. This tour will whet your appetite for sights to see during free periods.
 Dinner: All meals are eaten in the dining room of the Coastal Retreat Center.
 Evening: We invite everyone down to the dining hall for a complimentary Wine Social. White and Red wine will be served along with non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice. Enjoy the company of your fellow travelers while you unwind from the day with a relaxing glass of wine.
   
Accommodations: Coastal Retreat Center, Isle of Palms/Charleston
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Explore Charleston!/Festival of Lights on James Island
(Tuesday, December 10)
   
 Breakfast: Hot or cold breakfasts available, with fresh fruits, juices, hot coffee, tea, available.
 Morning: 8:30 a.m. Historic Charleston Architecture, a preservation gem. 10:30 a.m. History of Christmas Carols, with professional musicians. Half hour break between classes.
 Lunch: A light lunch is served.
 Afternoon: After lunch, you are free to explore the Charleston area from 1-6 p.m. Take advantage of the many cultural offerings of Charleston, nearby plantations, or the beach across the street from the Retreat Center. The internet site "www.charlestoncvb.com" will preview many unique places to visit and things to do during your free time. At the visitors bureau on Monday afternoon you will find many brochures and booklets with a huge amount of helpful tourist information. Wireless internet connection is available in our dining and downstairs lounge areas.
 Dinner: Dinner is served at 6 p.m.
 Evening: Find the holiday magic in the millions of sparkling lights and hundreds of displays at the Holiday Festival of Lights on James Island. The Festival includes an enchanted 3-mile driving tour, and there are exciting opportunities available including marshmallow roasts, two dazzling gift shops, carols, lakeside lights, walking trails, carousel rides, gingerbread houses, life-size greeting card display, and more! We will be departing from the retreat center for the Festival of Lights promptly following dinner.
   
Accommodations: Coastal Retreat Center, Isle of Palms/Charleston
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Architectural Walking Lecture of Historic Downtown Homes/Dining on Sullivan's Island/Sweetgrass Basket Demonstration
(Wednesday, December 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served at 7:45 a.m.
 Morning: 8:30 a.m. Continue your journey through Charleston Architecture with this morning presentation. At 10:30 a.m., musicians delight with their skill and knowledge of Christmas music through the ages.
 Lunch: Lunch is served at 12 noon.
 Afternoon: Guided by an expert architectural historian, participants will walk for approximately an hour in the lower peninsula of Charleston viewing the exteriors of elegant colonial and antebellum homes that draw visitors from around the world.
 Dinner: Tonight we will travel to "Sullivan's" resturant on the neighboring island, Sullivan's Island. Here you will enjoy a variety of fresh seafood, poultry, steak, and lowcountry favorites.
 Evening: Sweetgrass baskets are a major part of the history of the lowcountry. This craft came to the SC Lowcountry from the enslaved West Africans who used the baskets as tools for working in the rice fields. Today the baskets are elaborate works of art that have been deemed the SC "state craft". See a demonstration and narrative about these baskets. Baskets will be available for purchase.
   
Accommodations: Coastal Retreat Center, Isle of Palms/Charleston
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Boone Hall Plantation/An evening of Charleston Theatre
(Thursday, December 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast begins at 7:45 a.m.
 Morning: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Musicians for one hour. Leave at 9:45 a.m. for holiday tour of Boone Hall Plantation. Boone Hall Plantation is one of America's Oldest working Plantations. You'll experience the holiday decorated plantation home, slave cabins, and exploring the grounds.
 Lunch: 12 Noon lunch is served.
 Afternoon: Free time will be provided this afternoon. You can choose to stay at the Boone Hall Plantation or explore Charleston on your own!
 Dinner: Dinner is early today, at 5:30 p.m.
 Evening: We will attend a 'Charleston Stage production' in a downtown Charleston theatre. Exact performance schedules are to be announced. Participants will be notified by mail about the title and content of the Theatrical production.
   
Accommodations: Coastal Retreat Center, Isle of Palms/Charleston
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Presentation and Closing Concert/Lunch and Farewell
(Friday, December 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served at 7:45 a.m.
 Morning: 8:30 a.m. Morning presentations including an hour long Closing Music Concert by your Christmas Music instructors. You'll be sure to leave this program with a song in your heart! Check out of rooms per instructions of resident director.
 Lunch: Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. in the dining room. "To Go" boxes available after 11:30 a.m.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Isle of Palms/Charleston Historic Charleston
Check the web site for the Charleston Area Convention and Vistors Bureau. There are many links from this web site that will give you a wealth of information about Historic Charleston, historic sites and recreation for your scheduled free time periods. If you plan to be in the area before and/or after the Road Scholar program week of your choice, the internet is a valuable resource for finding interesting things to do around Charleston. For additional information, visit www.charlestoncvb.com
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.

What’s included in this Road Scholar program?



Except for the occasional meal on some programs, Road Scholar programs are all-inclusive. That means there are no extra “options,” no passing the hat for tips and no surprises. From lectures and field trips to gratuities and accommodations – the price you pay up front is the price you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:


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