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Discover the charm of Savannah as you visit historic monuments, enjoy a concert of Johnny Mercer’s music, try your hand at southern cooking and uncover this grand city’s roots.
Rating (5)
Program No. 11376RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,699
Georgia

Signature City Savannah

Discover the charm of Savannah as you visit historic monuments, enjoy a concert of Johnny Mercer’s music, try your hand at southern cooking and uncover this grand city’s roots.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,699
Program No. 11376 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 26 - Oct 1, 2021
Starting at
1,699
Oct 10 - Oct 15, 2021
Starting at
1,699
Oct 24 - Oct 29, 2021
Starting at
1,699
Nov 7 - Nov 12, 2021
Starting at
1,699
Feb 20 - Feb 25, 2022
Starting at
1,699
Mar 6 - Mar 11, 2022
Starting at
1,699
Mar 20 - Mar 25, 2022
Starting at
1,699
Apr 3 - Apr 8, 2022
Starting at
1,699
Apr 24 - Apr 29, 2022
Starting at
1,699
May 15 - May 20, 2022
Starting at
1,699
Sep 11 - Sep 16, 2022
Starting at
1,699
Oct 2 - Oct 7, 2022
Starting at
1,699
Nov 6 - Nov 11, 2022
Starting at
1,699
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 26 - Oct 1, 2021
Starting at
2,189
Oct 10 - Oct 15, 2021
Starting at
2,189
Oct 24 - Oct 29, 2021
Starting at
2,189
Nov 7 - Nov 12, 2021
Starting at
2,189
Feb 20 - Feb 25, 2022
Starting at
2,189
Mar 6 - Mar 11, 2022
Starting at
2,189
Mar 20 - Mar 25, 2022
Starting at
2,189
Apr 3 - Apr 8, 2022
Starting at
2,189
Apr 24 - Apr 29, 2022
Starting at
2,189
May 15 - May 20, 2022
Starting at
2,189
Sep 11 - Sep 16, 2022
Starting at
2,189
Oct 2 - Oct 7, 2022
Starting at
2,189
Nov 6 - Nov 11, 2022
Starting at
2,189

At a Glance

Like a graceful Southern belle, Savannah is where charming public squares and stately live oaks stand alongside meticulously restored, historic homes and enchanting cemeteries with ornate headstones. In some ways dignified and in others playful, the city is uniformly beautiful and goes out of its way to embody Southern hospitality. Hit the streets and squares of Savannah to discover what makes the city special, from Lowcountry cuisine to Civil War history and a mosaic of residents, past and present.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles on city streets, some uneven; stairs at museums, historic houses; getting on/off buses.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • 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.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
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.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Darin Sehnert
Darin Sehnert View biography
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.
Profile Image of Christopher Hendricks
Christopher Hendricks View biography
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.
Profile Image of Kim Polote
Kim Polote View biography
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.
Profile Image of David Duckworth
David Duckworth View biography
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.
Profile Image of Alisha Duckworth
Alisha Duckworth View biography
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.
Profile Image of Larry Smith
Larry Smith View biography
Larry is a native Savannahian and retired teacher with extensive experience teaching history, including several years as Heritage Education teacher for Savannah-Chatham County Schools. In this position, he planned and implemented educational programming for teachers and students on topics like Savannah's city plan, architecture and historic cemeteries. He has written for various publications and is the author of "Savannah's Historic Public Schools" (2004: Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC). Larry and his wife Lisa Beth have two sons and three grandchildren. They reside in Richmond Hill, GA.
Profile Image of Joyce Harvison
Joyce Harvison View biography
Joyce Harvison epitomizes Savannah and Southern hospitality. A native of Savannah, Joyce has worked for the last 30+ years in Savannah's Historic District, first as an insurance agent, and the last 16 years as a Director of Groups/Charters with a local trolley company showing off the city’s best sights to visitors from near and far. She revels in showing family, friends and visitors the best possible time, and hidden gems when they visit her home town. She has two daughters and three grandchildren.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts
by Stacy A. Cordery
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.
Rebels, Saints, and Sinners: Savannah's Rich History and Colorful Personalities
by Timothy Daiss
Since its founding in 1733 by James Oglethorpe, the city of Savannah has experienced many triumphs and disasters. Its citizens have endured hurricanes, fires, and epidemics, and they have dealt successfully with social injustice and political corruption. Savannahians have also experienced both sides of war-winning as colonial rebels in the American Revolution and losing as Confederate patriots in the Civil War-and they have welcomed many heroes and stars to their city such as George Washington, Elvis Presley, and Shoeless Joe Jackson. In Rebels, Saints, and Sinners, Timothy Daiss tells the story of Savannah through captivating anecdotes about the city's past-a past full of intriguing characters and astonishing twists of fate. This book offers a wealth of detailed historical research presented in easily accessible prose, and it is a must-read for history buffs, travelers, educators, and anyone else interested in America's greatest cities.
Saving Savannah - The City and the Civil War
by Jacqueline Jones
In this masterful portrait of life in Savannah before, during, and after the Civil War, prize-winning historian Jacqueline Jones transports readers to the balmy, raucous streets of that fabled Southern port city. Here is a subtle and rich social history that weaves together stories of the everyday lives of blacks and whites, rich and poor, men and women from all walks of life confronting the transformations that would alter their city forever. Deeply researched and vividly written, Saving Savannah is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the Civil War years.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
by John Berendt
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.
Slavery and Freedom in Savannah
by Daina Berry (Editor, Contributor), Leslie Harris (Editor, Contributor), Jonathan M. Bryant (Contributor), Bobby J. Donaldson (Contributor), Jacqueline Jones (Contributor), Timothy Lockley (Contributor), Susan O'Donovan (Contributor), Janice Sumler-Edmond
"Slavery and Freedom in Savannah" is a richly illustrated, accessibly written book modeled on the very successful "Slavery in New York," a volume Leslie M. Harris coedited with Ira Berlin. Here Harris and Daina Ramey Berry have collected a variety of perspectives on slavery, emancipation, and black life in Savannah from the city’s founding to the early twentieth century. Written by leading historians of Savannah, Georgia, and the South, the volume includes a mix of longer thematic essays and shorter sidebars focusing on individual people, events, and places.
The Complete Stories: Flannery O'Conner
by Flannery O'Conner
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.
Savannah Style: Mystery and Manners
by Susan Sully
Savannah is a city of mercurial history and enigmatic charms. Home to cotton barons, shipping magnates, antiques dealers, and tireless preservationists, it has helped define Southern elegance, manner, and style for more than two centuries. From the slightly faded grandeur of the Second Empire baroque Thomas Levy House, filled with antique maps, prints, books, and other curiosities, to the phantasmal, Proustian decor of the high style Greek Revival Knapp House, the 20 houses featured in this book express the city's alternating moods of decadence and decorum. Quite often, a serene exterior-- designed in a Georgian, federal, or restrained Greek Revival style-- will relinquish its polite composure to an ingenious play of interior whimsy or flight of decorative fancy. Elegant town houses designed by William Jay, John Ash, Isaiah Davenport, and William Gibbons Preston, gracious plantation manors, and unpretentious summer cottages are featured in detail in word and image. A delightful foreword by John Berendt acts as an informative addendum to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and an excellent introduction to this book.
A Guide to the Georgia Coast, The Georgia Conservancy
by Suzanne McIntosh
Natural, historical, cultural, and recreational sites along the Georgia coast are described in detail. Includes driving maps and directions.
Spectres and Other Strange Tales/Savannah
by Margaret W. DeBolt
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.
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6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 3 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Savannah, GA
D
Embassy Suites by Hilton Savannah

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:00-6:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table across from the front desk in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, program materials, and other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In the hotel restaurant onsite, 39 Rue de Jean, we’ll have a plated dinner including salad, entrée, side dish, dessert, coffee, iced tea, water.

Evening: Orientation. Immediately following dinner in the restaurant, the Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. We will have an expert local historian as our primary lecturer and educational resource. We will do a lot of walking in this program and use a trolley or a mini bus that has 4 steps up/down. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, engaging in available activities on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local conditions/circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Savannah History, Battlefield Presentation
Savannah, GA
B,L,D
Embassy Suites by Hilton Savannah

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley. Walking approximately 8 blocks; climbing steps & navigating uneven terrain.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a full breakfast featuring a very wide variety of hot and cold items, along with coffee, tea, juice, and water with fellow participants before starting the day.

Morning: Our expert history professor will enlighten us on the first years in the 13th colony as experienced by our new country's earliest citizens. The colonial era extended from the founding of Georgia in 1733 until the Revolutionary War. The last of the original thirteen colonies, its early experience was markedly different from the rest.

Lunch: We'll have a catered buffet lunch in the hotel meeting room together before our afternoon activities.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will walk together approximately three blocks to the site of the Revolutionary War battlefield where the infamous "Siege of Savannah" took place in 1779. We'll learn about that harrowing event, when French and American forces along with foreign national mercenary soldiers attempted to retake the city from British control, from a local expert in period costume. Later, back at the hotel, we will continue our study of Savannah history with a late afternoon lecture presentation in the meeting room with our own history expert.

Dinner: At a dining establishment located on Savannah's famous River Street, our plated dinner includes a salad, choice between two savory entrées, side dish, and dessert as well as iced tea, coffee, water. Other beverages will be available for individual purchase if desired.

Evening: At leisure. After a long, busy first day there will be no formal activity after dinner, leaving plenty of time to relax over the evening meal and get better acquainted with each other. We’ll ride back to the hotel together via trolley.

DAY
3
History cont'd., Cathedral, Owens-Thomas & Davenport Homes
Savannah, GA
B,L,D
Embassy Suites by Hilton Savannah

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley. Walking up to 1.5 mile with breaks; periods of standing indoors and out; climbing up to 3 flights of stairs in historic homes (no elevator).

Breakfast: Full breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: This morning, we'll continue our discovery of Savannah's people, places, and events on a walking and riding field trip via private trolley. Our local expert guide will lead us through the picturesque streets and squares of the Historic District, learning as we leisurely trek along. A stop at Savannah's iconic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist will be included in our journey.

Lunch: At a nearby restaurant in the Historic District, we’ll enjoy a plated lunch with a choice between sandwiches, soups, or salad combos along with dessert and a choice of non-alcoholic beverage.

Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll walk back to the hotel together for a short rest break before heading out for another adventure in the late afternoon. Once we've had a chance to freshen up, we'll regroup in in the hotel lobby; we will ride together via private trolley to visit two nearby historic homes once owned by prominent local families to obtain a comprehensive grasp of slavery and enslaved people during the 19th century. Our first stop will be the Owens-Thomas House, designed by prominent English architect of the period, William Jay. Beautifully preserved, the main house, gardens, and slave quarters will take us back in time to see life from two very diverse perspectives: the wealthy resident owners and the enslaved people forced to work and live there. Next stop on the field trip: the Isaiah Davenport House - during a special program designed exclusively for our group, we'll watch and listen as on-site experts reveal more experiences of 19th century Savannah people and events, especially as related to urban slavery. We'll gain further insight into the stark juxtaposition of life for the privileged and free as opposed to the disadvantaged and enslaved.

Dinner: We will travel via trolley directly from the Davenport House to a nearby restaurant, approximately six blocks away, where our plated dinner will include a salad, a choice between 3 tempting entrées, a side dish, and dessert along with iced tea, coffee, water; other beverages will be available for individual purchase if desired. Enjoy entertaining piano music as we dine as bonus entertainment.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy time to linger over the evening meal while socializing with fellow participants and your Group Leader. We’ll walk back as a group, but those who wish are welcome to return independently.

DAY
4
Telfair & Jepson Art Museums, Free Time
Savannah, GA
B
Embassy Suites by Hilton Savannah

Activity note: Walking approximately 10 blocks total with breaks; ability to climb several steps & navigate uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Full breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: We’ll walk approximately 5 blocks together, led by our Group Leader, to Historic Savannah's premier art museums. Telfair Academy is home to a substantial collection of 19th and 20th century American and European art showcased on various mediums; the building itself is a veritable work of art: a 2-story mansion from 1819 with a rich and fascinating personal history that compliments its priceless interior possessions. Jepson Center for the Arts is a masterpiece of modernism, featuring permanent collections along with limited-engagement, special exhibitions of talented artists and diverse subject matter.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. There are many local restaurants very close by our last field trip destination, including several in the City Market area and on Broughton Street, with a variety of menus sure to please every palate.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You might like to explore further in the beautiful Historic District or venture out into surrounding areas to take in sights and points of interest not included in our program.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You might like to try one of the many and varied dining establishments in the area we have not experienced. The hotel concierge can also assist you in deciding where to go.

Evening: At leisure. See and do more of what interests you most. City Market, River Street, or maybe a musical at the Historic Savannah Theater are calling your name!

DAY
5
Johnny Mercer Concert, Interactive Southern Cooking Class
Savannah, GA
B,L,D
Embassy Suites by Hilton Savannah

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley (3-4 steps). Riding approximately 2.5 miles and 20 minutes each way.

Breakfast: Full breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: At the hotel, we’ll delight in an entertaining musical presentation featuring the songs of Savannah's own Johnny Mercer, performed by an outstanding trio of a noted professional singer and musicians. Between songs, we’ll learn about the man behind the music and the life behind those timeless lyrics!

Lunch: Catered buffet meal in the hotel meeting room.

Afternoon: We’ll travel via trolley to a local cooking school for an interactive demonstration of Lowcountry cooking with opportunities to volunteer for hands-on participation. We’ll learn how to prepare popular local and regional specialties as Chef Darin gives us valuable tips — spiced with humorous wit — from his vast experience. The star of the menu is Shrimp and Grits with Red-eye Gravy, among other delicious, Southern-inspired dishes your taste buds will relish.

Dinner: In our special farewell dinner, we’ll enjoy the “fruits” of our cooking class labors, savoring the flavors of the meal we helped to prepare. Beverages include flavored iced tea, coffee, water; there will also be a limited selection of wines (by the glass or bottle) available for purchase if desired.

Evening: At leisure. We’ll linger over our final meal together, sharing favorite experiences before riding back to the hotel together.

DAY
6
Ships of the Sea, Program Concludes
Savannah, GA
B

Activity note: Walking approximately 6 blocks total; climbing two flights of stairs (no elevator). Hotel check-out by 12:00 p.m.

Breakfast: Full breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: We’ll have a final field trip this morning, walking together for a visit to the Ships of the Sea Museum. Located inside historic Scarbrough House is an impressive display of model ships, art, and maritime artifacts that weave together colorful yet true tales of life on the water. Step outside the gorgeous building and into a lovely and serene "city" garden. We’ll then bid farewell to new Road Scholar friends and our Group Leader. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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