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New Year's in Charleston

Program Number: 20693RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/27/2014 - 1/1/2015; 12/27/2015 - 1/1/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Price starting at: $1,399.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Embark on a holiday adventure that celebrates the New Year in the heart of Charleston and the Lowcountry! Revel in the festivities of New Year’s Eve as you dine in and enjoy the ambiance of the Historic District. Marvel in the architecture of Charleston’s Historic District — and admire its holiday finery — during an expert-led walk. Experience the Lowcountry’s plantation history during field trips to Middleton Place and Boone Hall Plantation, and delight in holiday traditions at the historic Nathaniel Russell and Edmondston-Alston Homes. Clap and sing along at the Circular Church to Civil War songs, spirituals, gospel, jazz, some Gullah, and Gershwin.




Highlights

• Spend New Year's Eve on St. James Island at the Holiday Festival of Lights before enjoying a dinner at the Mills House attending a celebration at Marion Square in historic Charleston.
• Experience the history of plantation life during a field trip to Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark situated on the Ashley River.
• Marvel in the artistry of sweet-grass baskets during a demonstration by a local Gullah artisan.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles. Cobblestones, stairs in historic buildings, getting on/off coach bus.




Date Specific Information

12-27-2014, 12-27-2015

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



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 Wyndham Grand Hotel
  Charleston, South Carolina 5 nights
 The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Mills House Wyndham Grand 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 4 pm. Road Scholar Orientation is 5 pm. You will be staying at The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Hotel check-out is 12 noon. You will be staying at The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available at the hotel for a cost of $20-$22 per day. The parking deck is owned by the city of Charleston and is the only parking available for this hotel. This 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, SC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Taxi/Shuttle Service - Charleston International Airport
phone: 843-767-7007

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

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

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

12 miles

   

Option 1: The meter fare for taxi departure from the Airport is $2.15 per loaded mile with no additional charge for the first two passengers. For each passenger in excess of two, a fee of $12.00 per passenger per trip will be charged. Option 2:The shuttle rate for Downtown Charleston is $12.00 per passenger and departs within 15 minutes. The shuttle is a shared ride and makes multiple stops. Option 3: Fixed rate for Airport vicinity is $9.00/passenger, not to exceed $27.00 per trip.

 

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

 
Driving Directions
  Charleston: Interstate 26 to Mills House Hotel Travel on Interstate 26 until you reach the Meeting Street Exit, 221 B. 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, Welcome Dinner
(Saturday, December 27)
   
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: From 4:00pm.

REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby area to pick up your arrival packet with your name badge and the up-to-date schedule we’ll review during orientation. 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. Thanks for your understanding.

ORIENTATION: 5:00pm. We’ll gather in the designated meeting room for an informative overview of the program to come plus an opportunity to greet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session. We’ll review the schedule, answer any questions you may have, and discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, and emergency procedures. (If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the hotel front desk.)

You are about to embark on a holiday learning adventure planned to present the distinctive history, heritage, and delectable flavors of Charleston and the Lowcountry amid customs and traditions of the season. What better place to ring in the new year!

 Dinner: Dinner will be served in the private dining room reserved for Road Scholar.
 Evening: 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 choose to go for a walk on your own, the Mills House is ideally located for exploring the city’s renowned historic attractions.
   
Accommodations: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Overview of Charleston and Carolina Lowcountry, Historic District Field Trip, Sound of Charleston Performance
(Sunday, December 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the Barbados Room is an extravaganza of tasty delights, from local specialties such as shrimp and grits to a variety of eggs and omelettes, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, cereal, and fresh fruit. The delectable assortment will be offered either as a buffet or you may order off the menu. Dining is in the Barbados Room or the beautiful courtyard (weather permitting).
 Morning: PRESENTATION: History & Holiday Traditions. Festive decorations, culinary wonders, and delightful holiday customs lead to New Year’s when Charleston joins the rest of the world ringing out the old and ringing in the new. An expert local historian — co-author of “Charleston's Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon” — will provide an overview of Charleston and the Carolina Lowcountry, emphasizing the craftsmanship and architecture of the homes decked in holiday finery.
 Lunch: Lunch will be out at a popular restaurant next to the City Market.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Charleston Historic District by motor coach. See the neighborhood dressed in holiday finery and go behind the scenes at an historic house to meet the family and enjoy a cup of cocoa. The Palmer Home on the Battery is one of Charleston's most famous houses, built in 1848 by John Ravenel. This private home is now operated as a bed-and-breakfast by third-generation owner, Ms. Frances Palmer. The house is furnished and decorated with antiques dating back two hundred years. As you walk along the historic streets of the Battery, you’ll learn about architectural wonders and local holiday traditions. Discover the Four Corners of Law, City Hall and the Battery. Visit The Citadel of the 21st Century where cadets remain true to the vision which includes the core values of integrity, honesty, and responsibility. Summerall Chapel is a place of sanctuary, a safe haven away from the constraints and stresses of cadet life. Secondly, it is of course a place of worship. We will sit in the chapel for the history depending on availability.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel.
 Evening: EXTRACURRICULAR ENTERTAINMENT: The Sound of Charleston, presented at the historic Circular Congregational Church (founded circa 1681, current building completed 1892). Enjoy professional performers bringing to life authentic music from throughout the city’s history, ranging from the classical era and the founding of one of America’s first musical organizations, the St. Cecilia Society (1766), through Civil War songs, spirituals, gospel, jazz, some Gullah, and Gershwin. You’ll hear commentary that illuminates the context, words, and meanings of the music. Clap and sing along during this special and memorable journey through Charleston's rich musical heritage.
   
Accommodations: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Middleton Place Plantation Field Trip plus Low Country Buffet, Sweetgrass Baskets
(Monday, December 29)
   
 Breakfast: Another breakfast extravaganza in the Barbados Room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Middleton Place. This National Historic Landmark situated on the Ashley River is a wonderfully preserved, 18th-century plantation that has survived revolution, Civil War, and earthquake. During our field trip, you'll learn that it was the home of four generations of the distinguished Middleton family. We'll explore the house museum, the gardens, and the plantation stableyards as you learn about the people who lived at Middleton Place for more than three centuries. The historic house will be decorated for the holidays much as it would have been in earlier eras.
 Lunch: Lunch will be a special Lowcountry buffet at Middleton Place featuring hearty holiday foods served during the plantation era.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP continues: Amid festive period decorations, the House Museum presents an extraordinary collection of original portraits, furniture, silver, china, documents and other objects that belonged to and were used by Middleton family members which reflect their interests, tastes and resources. The collection includes portraits by Benjamin West and Thomas Sully; fine Charleston and London-made silver; a pre-revolutionary breakfast table made by Thomas Elfe, Charleston's most celebrated cabinetmaker; a rare facsimile copy on silk of the Declaration of Independence, and first edition works by Mark Catesby, John James Audubon and other significant artists and authors.
 Dinner: Another delicious dinner is served at a popular local restaurant.
 Evening: DEMONSTRATION: Sweetgrass Baskets. Protected by state law, Sweetgrass Baskets have been a local tradition for nearly 400 years, brought from West Africa by slaves and originally used for collecting rice and cotton in plantation fields. These baskets made from local grasses were also used to carry food from the kitchen building to the plantation main house in preparation for "bringing in" the New Year. Sweetgrass baskets today are used for a variety of purposes, and the craft is regarded as an art form proudly upheld by Gullah artisans. A local resident demonstrates the weaving of baskets starting with the soaking of the grass up to the completion of the basket.
   
Accommodations: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Boone Hall Plantation Field Trip, Gullah Culture, Free Afternoon and Evening to Explore on Your Own
(Tuesday, December 30)
   
 Breakfast: A bountiful repast is provided again in the Barbados Room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Boone Hall Plantation. Boone Hall is one of America's oldest working, living plantations — and reputedly, the most photographed — where you can imagine what plantation life was like there in the 1800s. The spectacular avenue of moss-draped live oak trees was planted in 1743 and today forms a magnificent, intertwined, overhead corridor. The classic mansion and grounds display their holiday finery, featuring Christmas trees adorned with locally-made decorations, wreaths of magnolia leaves, and beautiful arrangements.

Continuing our field trip, you’ll encounter the plantation’s eight remaining slave cabins and their unique exhibits presenting different themes of Black History. Get a sense of what slavery was like on a Carolina plantation, see different aspects of daily life, how the people worked and lived, their struggles, celebrations, and historical progression.

 Lunch: Returning to the hotel after the field trip, begin your personal independent exploration with lunch on your own, an opportunity to savor the local flavor you prefer. We'll offer suggestions for popular favorites.
 Afternoon: FREE AFTERNOON: Explore Charleston as you wish. We’ll provide you with a list of activities and sites you can visit on your own, and almost everything is within walking distance in the Historic District. You could also hop on a bike taxi, an environmentally friendly pedicab whose driver will take you anywhere in the district at a reasonable cost.
 Dinner: Indulge your taste preferences with dinner on your own. We’ll provide you with a list of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. If you have something very special in mind, you may want to make reservations well in advance.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Explore more of Charleston, enjoy some entertainment, spend the evening with new friends — the evening is yours to enjoy as you wish. We'll have a list of suggestions from current offerings.
   
Accommodations: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Nathaniel Russell & Edmondston-Alston Home Field Trips, Happy New Year Charleston!
(Wednesday, December 31)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy the extravagant breakfast in the Barbados Room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP:Compare and contrast the holiday ambience of two of Charleston's finest historic homes. 1. Nathaniel Russell - Since 1808, visitors have admired the grand Federal townhouse of Charleston merchant Nathaniel Russell. Set amid spacious formal gardens, the Nathaniel Russell House is a National Historic Landmark and is widely recognized as one of America’s most important neoclassical dwellings. The graceful interior with elaborate plasterwork ornamentation, geometrically shaped rooms and a magnificent free-flying staircase is among the most exuberant ever created in early America. The home is furnished with period antiques and works of art that evoke the gracious lifestyle of the city's merchant elite. Today the Nathaniel Russell House interprets the lives of the Russell family, as well as the African American slaves and artisans who were responsible for maintaining one of the South's grandest antebellum townhouses. 2. Edmonston-Alston - Of Charleston's many fine house museums, only the Edmondston-Alston House (constructed in 1825 and enhanced in 1838) commands a magnificent view of Charleston Harbor. From its piazza, General P. T. Beauregard watched the fierce bombardment of Ft. Sumter on April 12, 1861, signaling the start of the Civil War. And on December 11 of the same year, the house gave refuge to General Robert E. Lee the night a wide-spreading fire threatened his safety in a Charleston hotel.
 Lunch: We'll have a light lunch prior to some "down time" this afternoon in anticipation of the evening's festivities.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some quiet time or continue your personal independent explorations before our special New Year's Eve dinner event.
 Dinner: NEW YEAR'S EVE DINNER: Enjoy delicious fare at the Mills House. Launch your celebration of this special night with food and fellowship.
 Evening: SPECIAL EVENT EXCURSION: Holiday Festival of Lights More than two million enchanting lights adorn James Island County Park. Come experience the three-mile driving tour and see a wide array of dazzling designs for the holidays. Create your own light display at the Lakeside Lights activity center or take a leisurely stroll through the Enchanted Forest. The Festival of Lights was ranked on the 2006 AmericasBest.com Top 10 list. It gets better every year. HAPPY NEW YEAR CHARLESTON! Join new-found friends for independent explorations of what appeals to you. This city-wide, family-friendly program has something wonderful for everyone: comedy, many forms of music including classical, gospel and jazz, dancing, and much more. Everything takes place in and around Marion Square, about 4 blocks from the hotel. (If you prefer to ride, you can take the inexpensive and fun bike taxi, and we’ll be happy to call for you.) The celebration culminates with a fireworks display at 10:15pm. A list of other activities will be made available for those wishing to celebrate until after midnight.
   
Accommodations: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: New Year Departures
(Thursday, January 1)
   
 Breakfast: We'll gather for one last morning feast in the Barbados Room. Time to say farewell to Charleston -- at least for now -- and "until we meet again" to your new friends. Hotel check-out and departures by 11:00am.

We hope you have enjoyed this special holiday learning adventure and will join us for other delightful and rewarding Road Scholar programs in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys..and Happy New Year!

   
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.


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