South Carolina
Charleston’s Plantations and Stately Homes
Immerse yourself in the uniquely American story of Charleston as you learn about plantation life, traditional cuisine, historic architecture and the Civil War.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19402RJ
6 days
Starts at
Special Offer
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5B 4L 5D
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At a Glance

Absorb the beauty and depth of Charleston’s stately homes and lowcountry plantations as you delve into their histories on exclusive, expert-led explorations of historic houses, plantation and gardens. Learn the uncensored story of slave life during onsite lectures, and examine the many influences that gave Charleston its grand downtown structures.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two hours a day over narrow, uneven, flagstone-paved sidewalks and cobblestone streets; some standing; no elevators in historic homes.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Compare the Aiken-Rhett House in its unrestored state with the beautifully restored 19th-century Nathanial Russell House.
  • Enjoy a look into — and tasty sampling of — modern plantation life at Charleston Tea Plantation, containing America’s only tea garden, and enjoy a visit to other historic Plantations in the area.
  • Enjoy an exploration of Charleston’s Historic Battery, viewing the exteriors of stately homes built before, during and after the Civil War.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: The unique experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a single room to yourself for only $100 more (for many programs). Lodging is at a retreat center several miles outside of Charleston. For accommodations in Charleston’s historic district, please see Program #19403.
Featured Expert
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Gayle L Goudy
Dr. Gayle Goudy specializes in American architecture, particularly of the 20th century. As an art historian with expertise in architectural history and a background in design, she believes that "art" has a wide scope and encompasses advertisement, industrial design, fashion, and the built environment, as well as the traditional fine art disciplines of painting and sculpture. Gayle has a B.F.A. in industrial design from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in the history of art and architecture from the University of Oregon.

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

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Gayle L Goudy
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Brian Simms
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Ann Caldwell
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Suggested Reading List
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