Road Scholar : Home
Savannah’s Rich Heritage, Remarkable History and Memorable Music

Program Number: 11376RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/12/2015 - 4/17/2015; 4/19/2015 - 4/24/2015; 4/26/2015 - 5/1/2015; 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; 2/21/2016 - 2/26/2016; 2/28/2016 - 3/4/2016; 3/6/2016 - 3/11/2016; 3/20/2016 - 3/25/2016;
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.




Highlights

• 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.




Date Specific Information

4-12-2015, 4-19-2015, 4-26-2015, 5-10-2015, 9-27-2015, 10-4-2015, 10-11-2015, 10-18-2015, 10-25-2015, 11-1-2015, 2-21-2016, 2-28-2016, 3-6-2016, 3-20-2016

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



Coordinated by Armstrong State University.




Savannah

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.



Accommodations
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.
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 guest rooms with beautiful views of Historic Savannah. All rooms have windows that open. Complimentary wireless internet access in public areas of the hotel (lobby, bar, restaurant) as well as in all guest sleeping rooms. 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 guest rooms. Valet dry-cleaning/laundry. In-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
web: www.desotohilton.com
  Room amenities: Please note: This hotel does not have any refrigerators available for reservation/personal use. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  Facility amenities: Pool - rooftop (outdoor) swimming pool & deck. 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. Connectivity Station in the lobby with 2 Macs and 2 PCs with complimentary internet and printing services. Valet parking (only - no self-parking) at a discounted rate, at participants' expense, of only $16 per day (with in/out privileges daily).
  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: Hotel's regular seasonal rate. Please call the hotel directly at 912-443-2021 Mon.-Fri. between 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST. Additional nights before and/or after the program are subject to availability and the hotel's seasonal rates. Hotel staff won't have specific program participant information earlier than 4 weeks prior to any program start but can still arrange additional reservations if space is available; the hotel fills quickly during popular travel seasons, so please call as early as possible to book additional nights.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Hotel's regular seasonal rate. Please call the hotel directly at 912-443-2021 Mon.-Fri. between 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST. Additional nights before and/or after the program are subject to availability and the hotel's seasonal rates. Hotel staff won't have specific program participant information earlier than 4 weeks prior to any program start but can still arrange additional reservations if space is available; the hotel fills quickly during popular travel seasons, so please call as early as possible to book additional nights.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check-in is available starting at 4:00 p.m.; registration with group leaders is in the lobby from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. You will be staying at Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after morning class around 10:30 a.m. Hotel check-out is 11:00 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 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 Armstrong State University before the program begins.
  Parking availability:
Valet parking is required at the DeSoto Hilton and is at the participants' expense for $16 per day. In/out privileges with unlimited vehicle access are included. There is also a parking garage 1 block down the street for $0.50 per hour.
Transportation
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

 
 

Service:

 

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

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$20.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

25 - 30 minutes, depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

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: www.kshuttle.com/

 
Driving Directions
  From Interstate I-95 north or south bound to Savannah Historic District/DeSoto Hilton: Exit at 99A (I-16 east), follow to the end where it merges into Montgomery Street. At the first traffic light, turn right onto Liberty Street. Follow for 5 blocks to the DeSoto Hilton, which 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: Check-in, registration, dinner, and orientation at the hotel.
(Sunday, April 26)

Note: Please note: any element of this program schedule is subject to change without notice, due to unforeseen circumstances.



   
 Afternoon: Afternoon check-in at the hotel starts at 4:00 p.m. and Road Scholar registration is in the lobby between 5:00-6:00 p.m.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel meeting room where orientation will take place following the plated, served meal, which will include salad, entree, side, and dessert, along with iced tea and coffee.
 Evening: Orientation - meet and greet fellow participants and go over the week's itinerary in the hotel meeting room after dinner. If you arrive after orientation, please check with the front desk for your program materials.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Savannah's Fascinating Roots: Lecture and field trip with a brilliant History instructor, highlighting Savannah's multifaceted evolution over the past centuries.
(Monday, April 27)

Note: An active afternoon of walking to and from field trip and lunch locations over sometimes very uneven terrain. The distance may be up to 1.5 miles total, with very limited, short breaks at points in the field trip. There may be locations that require walking up and down several steps, including up into and down out of the trolley used for transportation.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a buffet-style breakfast, including a variety of hot and cold items and beverages, in the hotel restaurant, The DeSoto Grille. The timing and seating are flexible and individual, starting at 6:30 a.m. Set a breakfast date with some of your fellow participants or get an early start on your own, allowing for a before-class work-out in the fitness center or a morning stroll outside the hotel.
 Morning: In this morning's lecture, discuss the fascinating aspects of Savannah's history that shaped her unique, multifaceted culture.
 Lunch: Enjoy a light, plated lunch at a charming local restaurant, which occupies a former apothecary store.
 Afternoon: An expert-led, walking adventure of the Historic District, taking in beautiful sites and hearing stories that will give true sense of Savannah's long journey. Today's field trip will include a visit to the Massie Heritage Center, Georgia's first public school.
 Dinner: Choose between two distinctive yet equally delicious entrees (along with salad, side, dessert, iced tea, and coffee) during our seated dinner with the group, located at a restaurant in an historic building overlooking the bustling Savannah River and charming River Street. Specialty beverages are available for individual purchase if desired.
 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: The Birth of Savannah, A Deeper Look into Colonial Architecture and Customs, and Savor Savannah's Southern Culinary Delights : Spend the day "in the past" and the evening "in the kitchen."
(Tuesday, April 28)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a buffet-style breakfast, including a variety of hot and cold items and beverages, in the hotel restaurant, The DeSoto Grille. The timing and seating are flexible and individual, starting at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: 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." You're sure to be mesmerized by our talented and knowledgeable historic re-enactor, who portrays General Oglethorpe full-character with incredible accuracy!
 Lunch: Seated lunch with your fellow participants, served in the hotel meeting room between presentations.
 Afternoon: Spend the afternoon with our outstanding History professor - who makes learning fun - discovering the "ornate details" of colonial and other types of architecture that can be seen throughout the Historic District; we'll also gain insight into entertainment customs of days gone by.
 Dinner: Enjoy the "fruits" of the evening cooking class, savoring the flavors of what is prepared this evening at the cooking school.
 Evening: "Low-country cooking" with our renowned local chef - receive valuable tips via Chef Darin's vast experience and humorous wit while learning how to prepare popular local and regional specialties in a fun, interactive format. Shrimp and grits with red-eye gravy are the stars of the menu tonight, among other delicious dishes you're sure to appreciate!
   
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Notable People, Places, and Pastimes: From the founder of the Girl Scouts to Savannah's Master Builder, prominent past residents' stories and life experiences are revealed today.
(Wednesday, April 29)

Note: An active morning and afternoon of walking to and from field trip and meal locations over very uneven terrain. Up to approximately 1.5 miles total at a comfortable pace with stops in between. There is no elevator at the Davenport House; participants must be able to climb and descend up to 3 flights of stairs during the visit. There may be locations that require walking up and down several steps, including up into and down out of the trolley used for transportation.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a buffet-style breakfast, including a variety of hot and cold items and beverages, in the hotel restaurant, The DeSoto Grille. The timing and seating are flexible and individual, starting at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: Discover one of Savannah's most influential former families with a visit to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace this morning. Walk as a group to the beautifully preserved building that the Gordons called home; an expert-led visit of the home will help you get to know better this prominent, early Savannah family that made such a lasting impact on our historic city and beyond.
 Lunch: Enjoy a seated, casual lunch, including a choice of sandwiches, a side, dessert, and iced tea or coffee at a lovely inn and restaurant in the Historic District filled with history, charm, and even a ghost story or two!
 Afternoon: A late afternoon walking field trip to the Isaiah Davenport House; on-site experts will reveal a detailed look into the fascinating aspects of 19th century Savannah people and events, especially as related to urban slavery. We'll gain a better insight into the stark juxtaposition of life for the privileged and free as opposed to the disadvantaged and enslaved.
 Dinner: Enjoy a relaxed-paced, plated dinner offering a choice between three entrees along with a salad, side, dessert, iced teal and coffee at a local establishment situated directly on the Savannah River, with breathtaking views of massive cargo ships occasionally passing by just outside the windows! Adult and specialty beverages are available for separate purchase by participants if desired.
 Evening: Because of the late afternoon program, there will be no formal activity after dinner, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the evening meal with new friends, chatting about all of the exciting things you've experienced so far as well as planning for tomorrow!
   
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Memorable Mercer Music and Free Afternoon/Evening: Enjoy lyrics and melodies that shaped early American music then venture out into Savannah on your own for the rest of the day and evening.
(Thursday, April 30)

Note: Feel free to ask your group leader for activity and dining suggestions on your free time today.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a buffet-style breakfast, including a variety of hot and cold items and beverages, in the hotel restaurant, The DeSoto Grille. The timing and seating are flexible and individual, starting at 6:30 a.m
 Morning: Delight in an engaging and entertaining musical presentation featuring the songs of Savannah's own Johnny Mercer, performed by an outstanding trio of singer/musicians. Between songs, you'll learn about the man behind the music, the life behind those timeless lyrics!
 Lunch: Buffet-style lunch in the hotel restaurant, DeSoto Grille is included today. Flexible timing and individual seating from the end of morning presentation until 2:00 p.m., so participants can better plan the rest of their free afternoon and evening.
 Afternoon: Free time: explore further the beautiful Historic District and all it has to offer on your own after lunch, or perhaps venture out into the surrounding areas to take in sights and points of interest not included in the program.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own: try a restaurant that wasn't included on your Road Scholar schedule this week. Many great dining establishments offering a variety of cuisines are within walking distance of the hotel. Your group leader will be happy to provide suggestions and directions. There is also a hotel concierge onsite to recommend free-time dining and entertainment options.
 Evening: Evening at leisure to relax, enjoy an activity on your own, or prepare for your journey home. Take in a show at the Historic Savannah Theater, just over a block away, or stroll down to City Market or River Street and pick up some pralines to bring home!
   
Accommodations: Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Popular Songs in America and Program Wrap-Up: Learn while you listen to some instantly-recognizable songs then say good-bye to your group leaders and fellow participants.
(Friday, May 1)

Note: Program ends around 10:45 a.m. after morning class. Hotel check-out is at 11:00 a.m.



   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a buffet-style breakfast, including a variety of hot and cold items and beverages, in the hotel restaurant, The DeSoto Grille. The timing and seating are flexible and individual, starting at 6:30 a.m
 Morning: Learn the stories "behind the music" with our final lecture/performance by a talented balladeer/music historian - you might even be inclined to sing along to a few songs you know by heart! Finally, bid farewell to your fellow participants and coordinator. Thanks for joining us and have a safe journey home!
   
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.



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.



Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts


Author: Stacy A. Cordery


Description: An in-depth biography of the multi-talented Savannah native and founder of the Girl Scouts. Available on Amazon.com and the J.G. Low Birthplace.





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