13431
Georgia/South Carolina
On the Road: Historic Homes and Gardens of Georgia and South Carolina
Grand homes in Atlanta, historic plantations in Charleston, cobblestone streets in Beaufort and pristine gardens in Savannah — you’ve got a lot to explore on this learning adventure.
Rating (5)
Program No. 13431RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,499
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9 days
8 nights
21 meals
8 B 7 L 6 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Atlanta, Georgia
D
Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta

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

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table 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, 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: 6:00 p.m. In the hotel meeting room, we’ll have a buffet dinner with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase at the hotel bar.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Travel and transfers will be via private motorcoach unless noted otherwise. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. 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
Carter Center, Tullie Smith Farm, Swan House, GWTW
Atlanta, Georgia
B,L,D
Hyatt Place Buckhead Atlanta

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach.Walking between homes and Atlanta History Center approximately 500 yards; paved and unpaved pathways. Walking up to 1/2 mile in Japanese Gardens at Carter Center; paved walkway.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the buffet offers a rotating variety of choices such as breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, French toast, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, bagels, breads, pastries, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: At the Carter Center, a member of the staff will provide insights into the Center's commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering in the world. The Carter Center, in partnership with Emory University, is a non-governmental organization working to improve the lives of people in more than 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy and human rights; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. We’ll then have an expert-led exploration of the museum of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. We’ll be able to see photographs and historical memorabilia from the Carter presidency (1976-81), an exact replica of the Oval Office, and gifts received by the Carters. The permanent exhibit of significant events during Jimmy Carter's life and political career includes photographs with interpretative text as well as the Nobel Peace Prize he received in 2002 “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.” We will also have time to walk through the Japanese Garden on our own. We’ll then ride to Swan House and the Swan Coach House.

Lunch: At the historic Swan Coach House, we’ll have a plated lunch. Prior to relocating to its current location, members of the Forward Arts Foundation had the building that once served as the carriage house remodeled and enlarged. An art gallery is now an integral element.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll visit the historic Swan House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and an Atlanta landmark. Built in 1928 for Edward and Emily Inman, heirs to a cotton brokerage fortune, the house was designed by well-known and influential Atlanta architect Philip Trammell Shutze. We will also have access to a farm house built in the 1840s by the Robert Smith family. Tullie Smith Farm is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally located east of Atlanta, outside the city limits, the house survived the near-total destruction of Atlanta in 1864. The farm complex was moved to the Atlanta History Center's campus in 1969 and serves as a tangible reminder of the rural past in a metropolitan area where agriculture has essentially disappeared.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: An expert from the Atlanta History Center will join us to discuss one of the most famous books in American history — “Gone With The Wind” — and share information about its author, Margaret Mitchell. We read its expression of what has been called the personification of Southern romanticism differently today. But since its publication in 1936 and the movie version in 1939, GWTW has kept its place in the popular imagination.

DAY
3
City Excursion, Botanical Garden, Transfer To Charleston-SC
Charleston, South Carolina
B,L,D
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach.The drive from Atlanta to Charleston is about 300 miles, approximately 5 hours with a stop along the way. Walking at Atlanta Botanical Gardens approximately 1/4 mile; some uneven, paved terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll start the day with a motorcoach excursion through the city to see some of its highlights, then ride to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Covering more than 30 acres in the heart of the city, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is an island of horticultural delights. In addition to beautifully designed display gardens and woodlands, highlights include a 6,000 square foot orchid center, a conservatory with frequently changing displays, a tropical rotunda, a desert house, an outdoor collection with rose and hydrangea gardens, an edible garden, a children’s garden, a Japanese garden, and much more including water features and sculpture. We’ll have an expert-led exploration followed by independent time to see what you like at your own pace.

Lunch: Aboard the motorcoach en route to Charleston.

Afternoon: It’s a beautiful drive and we’ll see a movie along the way. Upon arrival, we’ll check in to our hotel.

Dinner: Hotel meeting room buffet.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to take a stroll along the historic streets, enjoy cocktails on the patio, or simply relax.

DAY
4
Charleston Field Trip, Free Afternoon & Evening
Charleston, South Carolina
B,L
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Driving on The Battery approximately 4 miles. Walking up to 5 blocks; paved surfaces, some cobblestones.

Breakfast: In the hotel’s Barbadoes Room, choose what you like from the extensive breakfast buffet that features Lowcountry favorites such as Shrimp and Grits as well as corned beef hash, omelettes and other egg dishes, pancakes, French toast, fresh fruit, potatoes, bacon, sausage, ham, grits, biscuits, coffee, tea, water. Start the morning in grand Southern style.

Morning: Via motorcoach and walking, we’ll take a field trip with a local expert into the Charleston Historic District, a National Historic Landmark. A highlight is the French Huguenot Church, a National Historic Landmark. The first church was built in 1687; what we see today is the third structure on this site, completed in 1845. It was a time when services were scheduled to coincide with the arrival of Huguenot worshippers from surrounding plantations. The architectural style, Gothic Revival, was a specialty of the noted Charleston architect Edward Brickell White, with decorative elements reminiscent of great French cathedrals from the Middle Ages.

Lunch: At the hotel in a private room for our group, we’ll have a buffet lunch with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

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 stroll along peek into courtyards and gardens of private homes, visit the City Market, the Charleston Museum, or even Fort Sumter. There are numerous possibilities throughout the Historic District.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. We will have a list of restaurants within walking distance and the Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. Continue your personal explorations, attend a performance or other event from current offerings, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, or just relax.

DAY
5
Middleton Place, Magnolia Plantation, Gullah Culture
Charleston, South Carolina
B,L,D
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. The drive to Middleton and Magnolia is about 16 miles, approximately 1/2 hour. Walking at Middleton Place and Magnolia Plantation approximately 1 mile; paved and unpaved, uneven surfaces.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our next field trip is to Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark situated on the Ashley River. This carefully preserved 18th-century plantation has survived revolution, Civil War, and earthquake. Our expert will provide commentary aboard the motorcoach and give a presentation during the field trip. We’ll learn that it was the home of four important generations of Middletons, beginning with Henry Middleton, President of the First Continental Congress; Arthur, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; Henry, Governor of South Carolina and an American Minister to Russia; and William, a signer of the Ordinance of Secession. We’ll explore the gardens, the plantation stableyards, and see rice fields.

Lunch: In the Middleton Place restaurant, choose what you like from the delicious Lowcountry buffet.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll ride to Magnolia Plantation. Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, it has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation unfold from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond. It is the oldest public site open to visitors in the Lowcountry, with the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1872 to view the thousands of beautiful flowers and plants in its famous gardens. We’ll learn about Magnolia’s vivid and complex history as we experience the beauty of the house and gardens. While riding through the landscape on a tram, we’ll see sights that evoke the plantation’s past such as a row of slave cabins, 19th century rice ponds, and a Native American ceremonial mound.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet dinner with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: The Gullah people are offspring of the slave trade. Most prized among white rice planters were slaves “imported” from the so-called Rice Coast of what is today Sierra Leone. These were people who knew how to cultivate and harvest rice on Lowcountry plantations along the coast and barrier islands. Due to their relative isolation as well as interactions with other enslaved African people, they retained much of their heritage. The Gullah people developed a distinct dialect, virtually their own language that blends elements of Creole with Lowcountry English, handed down through the generations. We’ll enjoy an informative presentation and selection of songs performed by our expert that will entertain and delight us while providing insights into Gullah culture. Then prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
6
Beaufort, Transfer to Savannah
Savannah, Georgia
B,D
Holiday Inn Express Savannah-Historic District

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. The drive from Charleston to Beaufort is about 70 miles, approximately 1.5 hours. In Beaufort, getting into/out of a carriage.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll check out of the hotel and head to Beaufort. Upon arrival, we’ll go on an expert led field trip by carriage through the historic town. We’ll learn about history from the early 1500s to today, see many Antebellum and Victorian homes and other structures to appreciate their architecture, and hear about Beaufort folklore. Chartered in 1711, Beaufort is South Carolina’s second-oldest city after Charleston. It grew as a result of shipbuilding and then, with slavery, became a prosperous community of planters whose wealth derived from cotton, indigo, and rice plantations. Many of the lovely dwellings date from that era. After a series of devastating natural disasters that brought destruction and bad economic times, Beaufort made a comeback in the 20th century as a destination for vacationers. The entire downtown area is a designated National Historic Landmark.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like. We will have a list of restaurants to choose from and the Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: After spending some time in the historic district, we will drive from Beaufort to Savannah, where we will check in to our hotel.

Dinner: At a popular local restaurant, we’ll have a plated lunch with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Relax and unwind after a busy day of learning adventures. There are restaurants and other neat places around the hotel where you might like to gather with fellow Road Scholars for an after dinner beverage and conversation.

DAY
7
Savannah Field Trip, Dinner On Riverstreet
Savannah, Georgia
B,L
Holiday Inn Express Savannah-Historic District

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley. Walking less than 1 mile; paved and cobblestone surfaces.

Breakfast: In the breakfast area of the hotel, the buffet offers choices such as pancakes, eggs, bacon, assorted breads, pastries, fruits, milk, juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Spring is the perfect time to explore Savannah’s homes, gardens, and landmark squares. Our field trip will be led by a local expert. Of the 24 squares from General Oglethorpe’s original plan, 22 remain, shaded by magnificent live oaks and surrounded by homes, churches, and museums. Each is distinctive with a variety of fountains, memorials, and lovely landscaping. We’ll walk through squares that are essentially gardens themselves, as well as Forsyth Park, the largest in the Historic District. As we walk, we’ll peek into beautiful private gardens.

Lunch: At a favorite local restaurant situated in a mansion from the early 1900s, we’ll order plated meals from a select menu featuring contemporary Southern cuisine, regional specialties, and locally sourced foods. Beverage choices included coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Moving on, we’ll arrive at the Cathedral of St. John The Baptist, where a local historian will lead our exploration. We’ll learn about the history of the parish that grew from immigrants fleeing turmoil in Haiti and France near the end of the 18th century, and the cathedral itself, originally established as a small frame building. A magnificent brick building in French Gothic style was completed in 1876. Nearly destroyed by fire in 1898, it was rebuilt according to the original design and has been restored since to preserve and maintain its architectural and aesthetic integrity. Next, we’ll visit the Andrew Low House facing Lafayette Square that provides a look at the life of Savannah’s gentry in the 19th century. Low, born in Scotland in 1812, arrived in Savannah at the age of 17 and went to work for his uncle’s cotton export company. A few years before the Civil War, he had become the richest man in the city. His house was designed by one of the leading New York architects of the day in neo-Classical style with Italianate exterior features. The interior was opulently decorated. It remains one of Savannah’s foremost house museums. We’ll explore with a local expert.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Savannah By Trolley, Architecture & Squares Field Trip
Savannah, Georgia
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Express Savannah-Historic District

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley. The drive to Bonaventure Cemetery is 4 miles, approximately 15 minutes. Walking less than 1 mile; paved, cobblestone, and some grassy/dirt surfaces.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll continue our exploration of Savannah homes and gardens on an expert-led field trip by trolley. We’ll also visit historic Bonaventure Cemetery.

Lunch: At one of the city’s most popular restaurants, we’ll have a plated lunch with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. The building’s distinctive pink color was originally the result of red brick bleeding through white stucco that covered the surface; now it’s painted the same shade of pink. Construction on this beautiful Georgian mansion began in 1771 and was not completed until 1789. It is one of the few buildings that survived the fire of 1796, and local legend says it’s haunted!

Afternoon: As we explore and see more historic architecture, gorgeous gardens, and charming squares, we’ll understand why General Sherman spared Savannah on his devastating March to the Sea in 1864.

Dinner: At a popular local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends at our farewell dinner.

Evening: We’ll be joined by one of Savannah’s fine musicians who will give us a presentation on music of the Civil War era and instruments played during that time plus singing and playing. Then prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
9
Transfer To Atlanta, Program Concludes
Atlanta, Georgia
B,L

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. The drive back to Atlanta is about 250 miles, approximately 3.5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll check out of the hotel and board our motorcoach for the ride back to Atlanta. Along the way, we’ll watch the movie “Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil” based on the book of the same name by John Berendt, an adopted son of Savannah.

Lunch: En route, we’ll have boxed lunches with a sandwich, chips, cookie, and soda or water.

Afternoon: We expect to arrive in Atlanta by approximately 1:00 -1:30 p.m. We will drop off first at the Atlanta International Airport and then at Hyatt Place. 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!