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The Revolutionary War, Lowcountry Traditions and Culture, the Joys of Celtic and American Folk Music

Program Number: 8747RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/23/2014 - 2/28/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Price starting at: $698.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Topic; History & Culture; African American Studies Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

Activity Particulars

Minimal walking and standing on this program.

Coordinated by Coastal Retreat Center.

Battle for Freedom: The Revolutionary War in SC

America’s fight for independence comes to life as a charismatic presenter in authentic military clothing leads you through tales of revolution from both sides of the line. Learn about weapons, battles, the “Swamp Fox” fashion and Colonial life.

The Gullah Experience on the Sea Islands

Explore firsthand the history, folklore, and crafts native to coastal South Carolina. Learn the poignant stories of the Gullah people (descendants of enslaved West Africans), whose culture and influence impact South Carolina even today. See a sweet-grass basket-making demonstration.

The Joys of Celtic and American Folk Music

Enjoy the delightful sounds of Celtic and American folk music from a classically trained husband-and-wife duo, proficient in a wide variety of musical instruments, as they share their knowledge of this music through live performance and classroom discussions.

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.

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 County, SC 5 nights
 Coastal Retreat Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Coastal Retreat is operated by South Carolina Lutheran Retreat Centers. The center is situated about 150 yards from the Atlantic Ocean with public beach access. Enjoy the sea breeze on our outdoor covered deck, peruse the daily newspaper or play cards in our comfortable lounging areas. Indoors or out, you'll savor the unique escape that comes from this lowcountry beach retreat. Free parking provided for guests. The Isle of Palms is a barrier island, residential in nature, about 15 miles north of downtown historic Charleston SC. The Isle of Palms is considered as prime real estate along the East Coast. There is currently no pharmacy or grocery store on the island, but there are major shopping areas about five miles away in Mount Pleasant.
  Contact info: 2101 Palm Blvd
PO Box 224
Isle of Palms, SC 29451 USA
phone: 843-886-4630
  Room amenities: Each room has it's own private shower bath, along with individual climate controlled heating and air conditioning. There are also table top mini fridges in each room perfect for storing small snacks and medicines. Bed and bath linens, soap, provided. Participants kindly make their beds upon arrival and strip them at departure. Fresh linens are available upon request throughout the week.
  Facility amenities: Lounge areas are located on first and second floors. One television located in the lounge on each level, with cable access and DVD capabilities. Free long distance telephone and Wireless Internet access available in lounge on the first level.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Check out time: 10:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Coastal Retreat Center Sunday at 4 PM You will be staying at Coastal Retreat Center that night.
  End of Program:
Coastal Retreat Center Friday at 11:30 AM You will be staying at Coastal Retreat Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
On site at no charge.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Isle of Palms, Charleston County, SC
  Nearest city or town:  Mount Pleasant and Charleston
  Nearest highway: Highway 517 is the Isle of Palms Connector; Hwy. I- 526, known as the Mark Clark Expressway; and Interstate 26.
  Nearest airport:  Charleston International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Isle of Palms, Charleston County, SC
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Charleston Airport to Coastal Retreat Center


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Mount Pleasant Shuttle
phone: 866-223-7226
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Approx $70 for up to 2 people (price subject to change)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


half hour (30 minutes) 




21 miles


This is our recommended taxi/shuttle service to take if you are looking to get your own private shuttle from the airport to the Coastal Retreat Center. Call to reserve prior to your arrival. Mount Pleasant Shuttle service will arrive any time you request. Courteous, prompt, and safe drivers. Cost is approx $65 for up to two people, one way, not including tip. Additional people will cost extra. Discuss pricing and payment with MPS. There are other taxi services available from airport.

Driving Directions
  North (via Highway 17 South from coastal SC/Myrtle Beach/Grand Strand) Take Highway 17 South to the junction of Highway 517 (the 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 the intersection. Turn left onto Highway 517 (Isle of Palms Connector) and continue through the traffic lights, over the Intracoastal Waterway bridge/causeway. At the base of the bridge is a traffic light. Turn left and stay in the left lane. You will see a large Methodist Church ahead. Follow this road (Palm Blvd.) as it bends to the right then back to the left. As soon as the road bends back to the left, the retreat center will be the first driveway on your left. A brick crosswalk is located immediately before the entrance to the center parking lot. The retreat center is adjacent to the Methodist property.
  North (via I-95 N or S, I-77 S, or I-26 E) Take I-26 EAST toward Charleston, to Exit 212C. Enter onto I-526 E (Mark Clark Expressway) toward Mount Pleasant.Continue about 10 miles to the Hiwahway 17 NORTH (Exit 29) ramp. At the foot of the ramp is a traffic light. Get into the center lane. Continue straight across Highway 17 following Hungry Neck Boulevard (the road that you are on) as it bends to the left. At the third traffic light, turn right onto Highway 517 (Isle of Palms Connector). The connector will cross over a causeway and an intracoastal waterway bridge, onto the Isle of Palms. At the foot of the bridge, take a left at the traffic light. Stay in the left lane. You will see a large Methodist Church (painted white) ahead. Follow this road (Palm Boulevard) for about 1/4 mile as it bends to the right and then quickly back to the left. A brick crosswalk will be located immediately before the left turn entrance to the retreat center parking lot. The retreat center is adjacent to the Methodist Church property.
  South (via Highway 17 North from Savannah) Take US Highway 17 Noth, crossing the peninsula of Charleston. Follow US Highway 17 North toward Mt. Pleasant, across the Arthur Ravenel cable-stayed bridge. After crossing the bridge, bear right onto Highway 703 (Coleman Boulevard). Continue to follow Highway 703, staying right as the road turns into Ben Sawyer Boulevard. Continue to follow 703 (now Ben Sawyer Boulevard) across the Ben Sawyer Bridge. After crossing the bridge, turn left and continue on Highway 703 across the small Breech Inlet Bridge and onto the Isle of Palms. Continue straight on 703 to the intersection of 517 and 703. At the light continue straight. You should see a large Methodist Church (painted white) ahead. Follow this road (Palm Boulevard) as it bends to the right then back to the left. A brick crosswalk is located immediately before a entrance on your left into the retreat center parking lot. The retreat center is adjacent to the Methodist Church property.
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 and Greetings/Orientation and Official Welcome
(Sunday, February 23)
 Afternoon: Registration begins in Coastal Retreat Center lobby. Coffee, tea, water, fruit, snacks provided upon arrival.
 Dinner: Guests may choose from two entrées for dinner after the first day. Catered meals receive rave reviews, especially the seafood fare. Dietary restrictions accommodated.
 Evening: Road Scholar coordinator and resident manager offer you a warm Southern welcome, along with orientation to the retreat center and program. Enjoy fellowship with other participants.
Accommodations: Coastal Retreat Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Revolutionary War and Music Presentations/Bus Excursion to Historic Charleston/Gullah Culture
(Monday, February 24)
 Breakfast: Copies of local paper and USA Today available each morning.
 Morning: Revolutionary War historian and re-enactor wears period uniforms as he recounts the various battles during the Revolutionary War in South Carolina. During the second presentation a husband and wife duo educate and perform with a variety of instruments from Renaissance to Celtic to contemporary American folk music.
 Lunch: A variety of soups, salads, sandwiches, and cookies are served. Menu varies daily.
 Afternoon: Receive a comprehensive three-hour overview of historic Charleston by a licensed guide. Learn about The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and the Charleston Visitors Center, with rest stops at each of these sites. Group will also tour historic St. Michael's Episcopal Church at the famous "Four Corners of Law" in downtown Charleston. This excursion will whet your appetite for sights to see during free periods.
 Dinner: All meals are eaten at the retreat center. Our chef knows how to please.
 Evening: The history of enslaved West Africans during the 17th and 18th centuries in the SC Lowcountry and Sea Islands is described. Learn about the origins of the Gullah people and their unique language with our engaging presenter who worked with the College of Charleston's Avery Institute. Also learn about the role of slaves in South Carolina's cash crops rice and indigo and how these affected the culture of the Gullah people.
Accommodations: Coastal Retreat Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Revolutionary War and Music Education/Free Afternoon/The Gullah Experience
(Tuesday, February 25)
 Breakfast: "Early Bird" coffee is available after 6:15 AM.
 Morning: The Revolutionary War in SC story continues. Presenter also addresses british customs that helped to mold American culture! You will find him charming and knowledgeable. During second presentation, musicians educate about early Celtic and American music.
 Lunch: Our light lunches include cookies for your dessert. Fresh fruit always available.
 Afternoon: After lunch, you are free to explore the Charleston area. Check out the web site: "" for local sights, tours, gardens. You may enjoy walks on the beach, which is about 150 yards from the retreat center.
 Dinner: Tonight we will visit Sullivan's Restaurant, known for its exceptional seafood selection, for dinner this evening! Enjoy being served with the finest southern hospitality!
 Evening: Gain a deeper understanding of the Gullah people through a documentary titled "God's Gonna Trouble the Water." Hear the stories of those working to preserve the culture and legacy of the Gullah people.
Accommodations: Coastal Retreat Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Morning Presentations/Choose your afternoon adventure/Dinner at Sullivan's/Gullah Storytelling
(Wednesday, February 26)
 Breakfast: You may choose a hot or cold breakfast, along with juices, fresh fruit, coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
 Morning: Story of Revolutionary War in SC from the British side is presented in authentic manner. Musicians continue to engage their audiences in delightful ways.
 Lunch: Enjoy "deli" type sandwiches, fresh fruit, salads.
 Afternoon: After lunch, you will have the option of your afternoon adventure. Choose from a variety of activities including a historic downtown house museum, taking a ferry boat to explore Fort Sumter or meet the marine life at the SC Aquarium. Transportation and admission fees are provided.
 Dinner: The chef has a delicious meal waiting for you.
 Evening: Experience more of the Gullah language and culture with a lively storytelling session with our dynamic Gullah presenter! Be enlightened and entertained as you discover the folklore and spirit of the Gullah people. You'll also be delighted to learn about the flavorful foods that are signature dishes of the lowcountry that originated with the Gullah people.
Accommodations: Coastal Retreat Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Revolutionary War in SC, Music/Educational Excursion/"Graduation" and Entertainment
(Thursday, February 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is always good, especially when prepared by our resident director.
 Morning: Historian continues to capture his audience with accurate descriptions of impact of the Revolutionary War in SC. Musicians are able to delight participants even if they aren't especially music lovers.
 Lunch: Lunch is ready when morning presentations are over.
 Afternoon: Staff arranges an educational trip to a local historic place of interest, such as Fort Moultrie and the Charles Pickney Historic Site. If you prefer to have a free afternoon to explore Charleston on your own, you may do so as well. Then, return to the retreat center for a Sweetgrass Basket Demonstration and Narrative. Learn the history of sweetgrass baskets of the Gullah people, and see a basketmaker demonstrate this unique craft that was handed down from her parents. The Sweetgrass baskets were once used as a working tool of the slaves, but has transformed into a treasured lowcountry artform.
 Dinner: Enjoy another fine meal at the Coastal Retreat Center.
 Evening: All of your hard work has paid off, and we will celebrate your week of lifelong learning with a "Graduation Celebration!" After graduation you will enjoy special entertainment. Then, to top off a special evening, make your own ice cream sundae at our ice cream bar as we gather for fun and fellowship.
Accommodations: Coastal Retreat Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Program Conclusion/Lunch and Farewell
(Friday, February 28)
 Breakfast: Some like a brisk morning walk on the beach before breakfast.
 Morning: Morning presentations are for one hour, beginning at 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM. Check out of rooms between 9:30 and 10:30 AM. Turn in keys, evaluations. All participants must be out of rooms by 10:00 AM. For those using public transportation, a secure area is provided for baggage.
 Lunch: Lunch will be served at 11:30 AM. However, you may request a "To Go" box and take lunch with you. "To Go" boxes not available until 11:30 AM. Good luck and safe travels to all!
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
  Isle of Palms, Charleston County, SC Historic Charleston SC
Charleston charms about three million visitors a year, and is one of the top travel destinations in North America. Charleston is a world-class tourist destination, filled with elegant colonial and antebellum mansions. Significant Revolutionary and Civil War battles were won and lost here. Art, history, famous gardens, beaches, historic sites too numerous to mention, along with fabulous recreation opportunities, will draw your attention and capture your heart. You will have opportunity to pick up brochures at the retreat center or at tourist information at Charleston Visitors Bureau when our tour bus stops there on Monday afternoon. You may also wish to explore the web for various free time suggestions. A good place to start is the South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism agency at: For additional information, visit
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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