LifeTides Institute



The antebellum enclave of Beaufort, South Carolina, springs to life off the typewriter of hometown author Pat Conroy (“Prince of Tides”) and in Tom Hanks’ feet running down a highway in “Forest Gump.” But just 30 minutes northwest at the LifeTides Institute, where a dutiful educational mission has drawn Road Scholars for nearly 20 years to a 350-acre marsh island at the head of a river leading to Port Royal Sound and the Atlantic Ocean, the allure and scent of the South is anything but fiction. In a “Best BBQ in the World” program, a delectable smokiness wafts from the BBQ pit. You can smell the salt creek as your kayak slides past tall marsh grass. The freshness of sunrise fills the nostrils as your binoculars hone in on a Roseate Spoonbill breakfasting. Here in the Lowcountry, you’ll see why learning and sensory gifts go hand in hand.


Thirty minutes from 300-year-old Beaufort’s antebellum charm and nestled on a 350-acre marsh island near the headwaters of the Broad River, the LifeTides Institute hosts Road Scholars in a community of comfortably appointed cottages with their own master suites (2-4 suites per cottage). Each cottage bedroom contains two queen-size beds with private baths, and has a shared living room, with full kitchen, washer & dryer and porches overlooking a beautiful marsh. There are ceiling fans and air-conditioning in all cottages. Freshly prepared meals are served buffet-style in a main dining facility, paying homage to local and organic ingredients. 


The area's nature trails offer ample opportunities to see wildlife in the nearby woods, including up to 250 species of birds. The beautiful coastal marsh setting is a kayaker’s dream. Road Scholar can enjoy a walk amid nature or find many places to sit and read a good book or have some quiet time amid the glorious natural setting.

Good to Know
  • Limited Internet access in common areas.
  • No TVs in cottages.
  • Due to the nature of this Retreat, single-occupancy lodging is an additional $420.


This is a Road Scholar Retreats program. Our Retreat programs offer a tranquil respite from daily life in locales that lend themselves to outdoor exploration, reflection, or study. The accommodations may be basic in nature, but the facilities offer communal spaces to gather and to relax. During the week, opportunities usually exist for some combination of light exercise, a locally sourced meal, or evening entertainment.