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 (4.71)
Program No. 19402RJ
6 days
Starts at
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Isle of Palms, Charleston County, SC
Coastal Retreat Center

Dinner: A delicious dinner welcomes you to your new home away from home in the charming South Carolina Lowcountry.

Evening: Introductions and Orientation. This session will give you an overview of your week of learning ahead and give you a chance to meet your fellow explorers! After orientation you are invited to watch an optional hour long video about Charleston and the Lowcountry.

Historic Charleston & Plantation, Gullah Presenter
Isle of Palms, Charleston County, SC
Coastal Retreat Center

Breakfast: Breakfast is served at 8:15 am. Self serve coffee will be available by 7am daily for early risers!

Morning: After a delicious breakfast, we will board the bus to travel over the beautiful rivers and bridges of Charleston and take the 25 minute drive downtown. Together, we will enjoy a comprehensive overview of historic Charleston by a licensed guide. During this narrated bus trip, you'll learn about the history behind the stately homes found on the downtown peninsula. This excursion will whet your appetite for sights to see on foot later in the week.

Lunch: Enjoy a light picnic lunch while at the plantation.

Afternoon: Delight in the beauty and history of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation unfold before it from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond. It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry, and the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1870 to view the thousands of beautiful flowers and plants in its famous gardens. You'll experience the beauty of its gardens along with its rich history, delight in a guided plantation house tour, peek at the replicated slave cabins, and other outlying areas. If time permits, we will venture next door to the historical Drayton Hall, a stark contrast architecturally and a living example of restoration to original form and style of the period.

Dinner: Enjoy a delicious dinner when you return to Coastal Retreat. Participants are offered a variety of options appealing to the most selective of palates. Delicious meals are catered by a local caterer known for superb local cuisine selection.

Evening: A local Gullah Presenter will take us into the world of Gullah with stories and antidotes sure to delight. The unique Gullah/Geechee language is indigenous to the Coastal areas having developed through slavery from a blend of African tongues combined with the English language. If possible, we will also see a first hand demonstration of the Official South Carolina Craft of Sweetgrass Basket making, a trade as precious and historical as the Gullah Heritage itself.

Angel Oak, Tea Plantation, Vineyards, Architecture
Isle of Palms, Charleston County, SC
Coastal Retreat Center

Breakfast: Early bird coffee is always ready by 7am, and at 8:15 guests will delight in locally inspired dishes, along with fresh fruit, juices, milk, hot coffee, tea.

Morning: This morning, relax on the comfortable luxury coach as we embark across the beautiful Cooper and Ashley Rivers to Wadamalaw Island. Our day full of adventure starts 45 minutes later at the famous Angel Oak Tree, the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River. The Angel Oak is believed to be over 1,500 years old and stands 65 ft high with a canopy providing 17,000 sq feet of shade. Second, we will explore the Charleston Tea Plantation! This modern day plantation is thriving in the lowcountry and is America’s only tea garden. Plantation tour and tea tasting included.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking a picturesque setting at the Charleston Tea Plantation.

Afternoon: Our last stop of our trip will be the former Irvin House Vineyards, now known as Deep Water Vineyards. This modern day vineyard produces SC Muscadine and Scuppernine Wines, and also Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. Local wine or liquor tasting will be available and souvenir glass included. A lovely cheese and crackers afternoon snack with some non alcoholic beverages will also be provided.

Dinner: Coastal Retreat will welcome us home for another delicious dinner. After an adventurous day, you'll be ready for a tasty meal.

Evening: The delightful Christina Rae Butler shares her stories of preservation and research into the local architecture and city structure.

Nathaniel Russell and Aiken-Rhett Homes, Walking Tour
Isle of Palms, Charleston County, SC
Coastal Retreat Center

Activity note: Walking Tour will last about 2 hours over uneven cobblestone streets and sidewalks of Historic Charleston, and house tours have several stair cases to climb. Wear comfy shoes and be ready for exercise!

Breakfast: Start your day out right with a complete breakfast with a variety of offerings at 8:15. Early Bird Coffee is always ready by 7am, and a Keurig is available at all hours.

Morning: Another beautiful drive takes us to historical downtown Charleston. This morning allows us the opportunity to walk where history was made as we embark on a comprehensive walking tour of the historical downtown. If time permits, a tour of the amazing floating spiral staircase and other advanced architectural features of the time will show guests the wealth displayed at the former family home of international Slave Trader Nathaniel Russell.

Lunch: Together we will enjoy a light lunch at the Noisy Oyster, featuring local fare and Carolina Red Rice.

Afternoon: Enjoy the open air Market of Downtown Charleston on your own, before we all go to Aiken Rhett Home which features its authentic stables and dependency quarters right in the heart of the City of Charleston. Begun circa 1818, this house reflects the changing tastes of the mid-nineteenth century through a series of spectacular remodeling. The home of one family from 1825 until the 1970's is kept in a state of preservation with many of its original furnishings in place. With its dependencies, slave quarters and stables intact, you will see a unique view of life in historical downtown Charleston. Afterwards, Scholars are personally invited into the Single House of Dr. Biemann and Janelle Otherson as they share typical Charleston afternoon treats along with tales of working with the Board of Architectural Review of the City Charleston.

Dinner: Return to Coastal Retreat and our chef will have your meal prepared!

Evening: After dinner, enjoy a quiet evening after a very busy few days. The beach or local neighborhoods welcome a luxurious walk, books or puzzles bacon your mind, or just relax on the upper deck rocking chairs and enjoy coastal breezes.

Boone Hall, Free Time, and Closing Celebration
Isle of Palms, Charleston County, SC
Coastal Retreat Center

Breakfast: Breakfast is served at 8:15 am to get you ready for your day of adventure!

Morning: Our morning outing takes us to the nearby working plantation of Boone Hall, right in the heart of Mount Pleasant, SC. The Authentic Slave Cabins and beautiful gardens along with the Gullah Theater add to the splendor of the plantation home. A tractor tour of the fields where produce is actively cultivated will show us one of the ways Boone Hall remains as a thriving plantation beloved by local residents.

Lunch: Experience a picnic lunch together at the Butterfly Cafe of Boone Hall.

Afternoon: After the tour, enjoy some free time on your own. You may relax, walk the beach, or venture on your own to local sights.

Dinner: Tonight's supper will initiate our final evening together. Enjoy local fare served with low country style and hospitality.

Evening: Our Closing Celebration brings us together for fun and fellowship. Entertainment comes to us via the humorous and talented Bart Saylor, sure to be a highlight of the week!

Turtle Team Volunteer Presentation, check out, lunch
Isle of Palms, Charleston County, SC

Breakfast: A full breakfast will be offered up with lots of variety.

Morning: A visit from a volunteer with the South Carolina Turtle Teams shares with you the efforts to preserve the nesting habitats of the Loggerhead Turtle. Next, you will have an hour to pack up your rooms, remove used linens, and gather your belongings for departure. Check Out is 10:30am.

Lunch: Safe Travels everyone! Take Out lunch will be provided at 11:30 for anyone interested.

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback