20644
South Carolina/Georgia
A Southern Coastal Journey: Charleston, Savannah, Jekyll Island & More
From the plantations of Charleston to the mansions of Beaufort, from the cuisine of Savannah to the glamorous history of Jekyll Island, come learn the story of these southern cities.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20644RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
2,599
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12 days
11 nights
22 meals
11 B 4 L 7 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Charleston, South Carolina
D
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Available from 4:00pm. PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to register with the program staff at our desk in the lobby beginning at 5:00pm. You will receive your arrival packet containing the most up-to-date schedule and program information that we will review during our orientation session after dinner. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of any changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding! This program is a Road Scholar "Flex" program. It is different from other programs with more opportunities for you to dine out and explore on your own. Several meals have been excluded from the program cost and you will have a large block of free time for personal independent exploration. We hope you enjoy this "Flex" program and highlights of each of the cities we visit this week. We look forward to having you.

Dinner: Dinner will be at the Mills House in an appointed room just for our group. You'll enjoy the Mills House where the delicious food and atmosphere welcome visitors and locals alike.

Evening: ORIENTATION: You'll have an informative overview of the program to come plus an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session. We’ll review the updated schedule, answer any questions you may have, and cover responsibilities, safety guidelines, and emergency procedures. (If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the hotel front desk.) The remainder of the evening is yours to begin getting to know one another, walk around the neighborhood, or relax in the hotel. You are about to embark on a very special learning adventure, seeing first hand how history lives on in the present, from stately homes in historic Charleston to extraordinary Lowcountry plantations. Charleston is and always has been a place of spectacular contradictions. Known as the “Holy City” because of its many houses of worship, this was one of the few cities in colonial America to protect religious diversity. Yet it was also part of an ante-bellum society that benefited from slavery and became wealthy as a result. You’ll have opportunities to ponder these contradictions as we explore and learn about magnificent dwellings, often adorned with graceful gardens, and the lives of the people who lived and worked there.

DAY
2
Charleston History, Historic District Field Trip
Charleston, South Carolina
B
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast in the Barbadoes Room at the Mills House.

Morning: PRESENTATION: A local historian — the co-author of "A Witness to History: Charleston's Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon" — will provide an introduction to Charleston and the Carolina Lowcountry. This introductory history of Charleston will prepare you for the field trips we will take during your stay starting with the first field trip through historic downtown Charleston after lunch.

Lunch: Lunch is on your own at the City Market Place. We will meet up after lunch for our field trip of the historic district with our historian from the morning presentation.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Charleston Historic District. Get an orientation to the interior city of Charleston as we begin our exploration of great houses and gardens. You will be visiting the 1680/s French Huguenot Church. a National Historic Landmark. It is the third church to be constructed on this site. Completed in 1845, it was the first Gothic Revival building constructed in Charleston, and is an excellent example of the versatility of local architect Edward Brickell White. This motor coach field trip involves getting on and off and walking up to 3 blocks along the battery. Our field trip will also include a visit to the Citadel.

Dinner: Dinner will be on your own or you may choose to join others for dinner at a mutual agreed upon restaurant led by the coordinator.

DAY
3
Middleton & Magnolia Plantations, Sweetgrass Baskets
Charleston, South Carolina
B,L,D
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast in the Barbadoes Room at the Mills House.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark situated on the Ashley River, a carefully preserved 18th-century plantation that has survived revolution, Civil War, and earthquake. During our field trip, you'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, and the plantation stableyards, as well, as the rice fields.

Lunch: Enjoy a delicious Lowcountry buffet at Middleton Plantation.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Magnolia Plantation, founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, 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. As you ride through the landscape, guides bring its history to life. While riding on the nature tram, you will view a row of slave cabins to 19th century rice ponds and a Native American ceremonial mound that evoke the plantation’s complex past. Learn about its rich history as you experience the beauty of the house and gardens.

Dinner: Dinner will be enjoyed at the hotel.

Evening: Learn about Charleston's Sweetgrass Baskets and the materials used to make these works of art. Brought to the area by slaves who came from the west coast of Africa, basket making is an ancient African art form in this country, which has been passed on from generation to generation. Skilled craftsmanship and long hours are involved in making these baskets. Even for the most experienced basket maker, a simple design can take as long as 12 hours. A larger more complex design can take as long as two to three months. Learn the art of sweetgrass basket making and the history of Gullah sweetgrass baskets. N Hands-on experiences: 1

DAY
4
Edmondston-Alston & Nathaniel Russell Homes, Farewell Dinner
Charleston, South Carolina
B,D
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast in the Barbadoes Room at the Mills House.

Morning: This morning is your time to revisit any sites that you may have wanted to spend more time but decided to go back on your own or take in some new sites that were not a part of this program. We will have a list of attractions in the historic district and they are all within walking distance of your hotel. This will be your last day in Charleston so enjoy the time you have left doing the things you want to do most. You may also want to check the official Charleston Visitors Bureau website to see what's on: www.charlestoncvb.com.

Lunch: Lunch will be on your own to enjoy the many outstanding restaurants of Charleston...all within convenient walking distance to your hotel.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: The first field trip will take you to the Edmondston-Alston home. Built for shipping merchant Charles Edmondston c.1825, this house on Charleston's High Battery was acquired in 1838 by Charles Alston, owner of three rice plantations on the fertile Waccamaw Neck. It is an outstanding example of a planter's town house, where the Alstons enjoyed the social season and summer breezes of the city, avoiding the malarial rice plantations. Since it has never passed out of the family's ownership, it is richly appointed with original furniture, tableware, and even Charles Alston's library and gun. The second-story piazza affords a breathtaking view of Charleston Harbor. The second home to view this afternoon is the Nathaniel Russell Home. Since 1808, visitors have admired the grand Federal townhouse of Charleston merchant Nathaniel Russell. Set amid spacious formal gardens, the Nathaniel Russell House is a National Historic Landmark and is widely recognized as one of America’s most important neoclassical dwellings. The graceful interior with elaborate plasterwork ornamentation, geometrically shaped rooms and a magnificent free-flying staircase are among the most exuberant ever created in early America.

Dinner: Dinner will be at the popular Eli's Table Restaurant, a local favorite nestled in the Charleston Peninsula. Savor some of Charleston's distinctive coastal cuisine. This will be our final night together in Charleston and we will toast it with a special farewell dinner.

DAY
5
Beaufort By Carriage, Arrive Savannah
Savannah, Georgia
B,D
Holiday Inn Express Savannah-Historic District

Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast in the Barbadoes Room at the Mills House.

Morning: Depart Charleston, SC for Beaufort, SC. Relax and enjoy an expert led field trip in Beaufort, SC by carriage. Beaufort entered its golden era about 1800, when Sea Island cotton debuted, and many of Beaufort’s loveliest mansions were built by the wealthy owners of cotton, indigo, and rice plantations. By the 1800s, Port Royal -- the Town incorporated in 1874 -- also had found peace and prosperity. It even boasted a Navy yard, but an 1893 hurricane and economic calamities later brought hard times. Today, reminders of the area’s colorful history abound in architecture preserved with loving care and folkways honored across generations. The entire downtown Beaufort area is designated a historic district. Architecture from many grand cultures and eras includes French, Colonial, Spanish-American, and Revolutionary origins. At least 90 significant homes, forts, churches, cemeteries, inns, and other buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Field trips: 1

Lunch: Delight in the small historic village of Beaufort by the sea while you savor the coastal cuisine from a selection of local restaurants on your own. No need to hurry or wait for a group for lunch. You can be assured that the food will be fresh and the company you keep is your choice. We are happy to make suggestions for restaurants or go with a group of friends.

Afternoon: Relish the afternoon in a relaxed atmosphere in the tiny village beside the intracoastal waterway. Sit and enjoy the ships that pass or go in and out of the shops on mainstreet. We will continue our journey to Savannah by motor coach in mid afternoon.

Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel or at a selected restaurant in Savannah.

Evening: The evening is yours to unwind from the day of activities and look forward to your first day in Savannah. You are in the heart of Savannah within easy walking distance of the many squares of Savannah.

DAY
6
Savannah By Trolley, Juliette Low Birthplace, Forsyth Park
Savannah, Georgia
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Express Savannah-Historic District

Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the designated breakfast area of the hotel. Start the day off right with a hot breakfast that features pancakes, eggs, bacon, assorted breads, pastries, fruits, coffee and juices.

Morning: All aboard the trolley for an expert led field trip of Savannah. Hear and see the history as we get on and off the trolley for close up looks and entrances into historic sites.

Lunch: Lunch will be at the historic and lovely Elizabeth on 37th, one of the most popular eating establishments in Savannah. The simple elegance of the 1900's Southern Mansion sets the perfect atmosphere for a wonderful Southern Coastal experience.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Discover the fascinating story of how Juliette Gordon Low, multi-talented, quirky and severely hearing impaired, founded the Girl Scouts in 1912, and became one of the most significant American women of her time. A National Historic Landmark, the Wayne-Gordon House, completed in 1821, is an outstanding example of Regency architecture. Saved from demolition by the Girl Scouts, the house has been returned to its 1886 glory. Authentically furnished with family pieces and 19th-century decorative art, the room arrangements and collections interpret the lifestyle of a fascinating Savannah family. FIELD TRIP: Cathedral of St. John The Baptist - Immigrants fleeing turmoil in Haiti and France established Savannah's first parish, the Congregation de Saint Jean-Baptiste, near the end of the 18th century. To accommodate a growing Catholic population, half a trust lot on Liberty Square was reserved as a building site for the small frame church of Saint John the Baptist. The first Bishop of the Diocese of Charleston (1820), which encompassed all of Georgia, was Bishop John England, and he placed the cornerstone of the new brick church. Hear what has happened since then and see a stunning cathedral. FIELD TRIP: In 1733, the lands around Forsyth Place [now Forsyth Park] comprised much of the designated 5-acre Savannah garden lots of colonial Savannah, Georgia's earliest British and European settlers. Architectural treasures around Forsyth Park include Hodgson Hall, housing the Georgia Historical Society and the former Telfair Hospital for Females, created in 1886 through the estate of Mary Telfair, the longest operating women's hospital in the United States. A stroll through the 30-acre Forsyth Park offers a true Savannah-style southern postcard view, with Spanish moss hanging from huge old live oaks. The trees form a tunnel that frames the park's 1858 fountain, patterned after that in the Place de la Concord in Paris.

Dinner: Dinner will be at The River House Seafood Restaurant which is located in an 18th century restored cotton warehouse. Enjoy ships passing by as you dine at one of Savannah's unique River Street restaurants.

DAY
7
Old Fort Jackson, Free Afternoon & Evening
Savannah, Georgia
B
Holiday Inn Express Savannah-Historic District

Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the designated breakfast area of the hotel. Start the day off right with a hot breakfast that features pancakes, eggs, bacon, assorted breads, pastries, fruits, coffee and juices.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: We will venture out in the morning for Fort Jackson. The fort protected Savannah during the War of 1812 and served as the headquarters for the Savannah River defenses during the Civil War. Confederate troops garrisoned the fort and protected Savannah for most of the war. The city and Fort Jackson finally fell to Union forces in December 1864 when General William Tecumseh Sherman ended his famous "March to the Sea" in Savannah. A history of the many stages of the fort will be presented by a soldier and a firing of the canon will salute visitors and pay honor to the memory of the soldiers of Fort Jackson.

Lunch: Lunch will be on your own. Group Leader will help you with suggestions.

Afternoon: We will go back to the hotel and regroup and then go from there on your own exploration of Savannah. Our Savannah hotel's location is perfect for exploring Historic River Street, City Market, Savannah Civic Center, Savannah College of Art and Design and the Savannah History Museum.

Dinner: A list of restaurants will help you select your evening's culinary delight. Join a group or the coordinator or try your own on a night out in Savannah. We will research the local entertainment and let you know the offerings ahead of time in case you decide to venture out on your own. Dinner is on your own but does not have to be alone.

DAY
8
Depart Savannah, Jekyll Island Club Hotel & Village
Jekyll Island, Georgia
B,L
Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the designated breakfast area of the hotel. Start the day off right with a hot breakfast that features pancakes, eggs, bacon, assorted breads, pastries, fruits, coffee and juices.

Morning: We will depart from Savannah, GA for Jekyll Island, GA, approximately 70 miles. away. The drive will take you along the marshes and estuaries that are such a big part of the ecology of the low country. Relax and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings on your short trip to Jekyll. Commentary along the way will fill in the blanks for any questions you may have.

Lunch: We will have lunch at the Courtyard at Crane. This is the largest of the private residences built by the Jekyll Island Club Members. Richard Crane, its owner, founded the Crane Company, which built fluid control equipment and plumbing fixtures. This company was the first to make colored bathroom fixtures. The Crane Cottage has 18 bathrooms, which was practically unheard of in the early 1900's.

Afternoon: EXPERT LED PRESENTATION OF JEKYLL ISLAND CLUB HOTEL: Learn about the Jekyll Island Club’s over 100 years of rich history, including stories passed down over time, when the hotel’s concierge conducts a tour of the Club. At the turn of the century, tycoons, politicians, and socialites flocked to Jekyll Island to revel in their own luxury and America's burgeoning wealth. Their exclusive club was described in the February 1904 issue of Munsey's Magazine as "the richest, the most exclusive, the most inaccessible club in the world." Its members included such luminaries as J.P. Morgan, William Rockefeller, Vincent Astor, Joseph Pulitzer, William K. Vanderbilt. Other names on the roster included Macy, Goodyear, and Gould. You are staying in what was "their" exclusive club hotel.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner on your own in the hotel or at one of the restaurants nearby. We will have suggestions for you like the Club Café, Jekyll Island Club Hotel's popular bakery-delicatessen. You may want to select the Grand Dining Room in The Jekyll Club Hotel which continues to be the scene of social gatherings and gourmet experiences and is beautifully restored in the Victorian mode. You may choose Latitude31 Restaurant and Rah Bar located in the front of the hotel on the wharf overlooking the intracoastal waterway. You will probably have a following of new found friends who will want to join you.

DAY
9
Millionaire's Village, Museum, GA Sea Turtle Center, Entertainment
Jekyll Island, Georgia
B
Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Breakfast: A full service breakfast will be at the hotel.

Morning: JEKYLL ISLAND MUSEUM: We will visit the Jekyll Island Museum where you can embark on a journey of discovery through exhibits, tours and programs that are adventures into a bygone era. See the informative film, actual photos of this time period, and meet your historian who will give you the history before boarding the tram for the millionaire homes. FIELD TRIP: With a guided tram tour of the 240-acre historic district that includes entry into two historic treasures, step into the past and into the millionaires' world. Fifty-three prominent Jekyll Island Club members created an exclusive gilded era island retreat for family and friends on Georgia’s coast. These empire builders shaped our nation’s future. What made them leave their retreat homes? Learn all about Jekyll Island history from an expert guide and historian. FIELD TRIP: Be amazed by a visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Through sea turtle rehabilitation, research and education programs, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will increase awareness of habitat and wildlife conservation challenges, promote responsibility for ecosystem health and empower individuals.

Lunch: Lunch is on your own. Escape to the activity that makes you happy on Jekyll Island. We will provide a list of activities and dining options that will fill your afternoon.

Afternoon: JUST A FEW OF THE SUGGESTIONS FOR FREE TIME ON JEKYLL: Enjoy a favorite pastime of 19th century guests at the Jekyll Club if you decide to play croquet on the front lawn. Enjoy high tea in the Riverview Lounge off the Grand Dining Room. A variety of teas, scones, French pastries, and tea sandwiches are the fare. Visit the art gallery housed in Goodyear Cottage at the south end of the historic district, just a short stroll from the hotel. Bike riding is one of the most popular activities on Jekyll Island! There are 20 miles of flat paths that circle the entire island. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is open to the public for touring and is located directly behind the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner is on your own. You will not have to rush back for a meal so savor the local cuisine of the island.

Evening: Welcome The Ring Shouters whose performance will include the lyrical Gullah language, spiritual songs, stories, and redemptive shouts passed down from the slaves on Georgia’s southeastern coast. The Ring Shouters participated in the Obama Presidential Parade in January, 2013. This is our final night on the island so sit back and relax on your final night on beautiful Jekyll Island, GA.

DAY
10
Departure for St. Augustine, Cathedral Basilica, Columbia Restaurant, St. Augustine Field Trip
St. Augustine, FL
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites St. Augustine Historic District

Activity note: Travel time today is one and a half hours or 77 miles. Walking around in the historic old town can be several blocks or as much as you want. Places to sit in restaurants or park benches. Trolley is open air with pull down shades if rain should occur.

Breakfast: Full service breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Depart for St. Augustine, FL, a two hour drive from Jekyll Island. An informative video will be played on the way. FIELD TRIP: Upon arrival into St. Augustine, Fl, we will visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, the oldest parish of a permanent European settlement on the North American continent north of Mexico.

Lunch: Upon entering the Old City, we will have an expert guide that will point out historical sites and facts. We will end up with lunch at the exquisite Columbia Restaurant in featuring Spanish cuisine. The century-old establishment first opened in Tampa by Casimiro Hernandez Sr. and then five subsequent restaurants were created. The award-winning cuisine is set in an atmosphere of beautifully Spanish designed rooms. During lunch, enjoy a presentation on Menorcan Culture. In 1768, over 1400 people left the Mediterranean and set sail for British East Florida. Among this group were Menorcan, Greek, Italian, Corsican, and French peoples. This was the largest single group of European settlers to immigrate as a single group to the New World. Hear their story from an expert.

Afternoon: ST. AUGUSTINE FIELD TRIP: On an afternoon trolley field trip of St. Augustine, the nation's oldest continually occupied European settlement, learn about the city on a trolley, which is the best way to see a large expanse without walking. From Native Americans, Spanish settlers, British soldiers and the occasional pirate to 18th century dilettantes, tycoons and eccentric millionaires, St. Augustine has been home to a wide range of cultures, which are still preserved through the city's historical sites. We will check into the hotel by 4:00 pm.

Dinner: We will dine at the historic restaurant called Raintree. As you walk up the path leading into this old house of more than twelve decades, you’ll feel the warmth of time and enjoy the decor that says, “welcome.” In the restaurant is a replica of the yacht that brought the owners to America. This century-old Victorian building is one of the last survivors of a period of development that began in this part of St. Aug

DAY
11
Castillo Di San Marcos Fort, Lightner Museum
St. Augustine, FL
B,D
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites St. Augustine Historic District

Activity note: The Lightner Museum is a self guided field trip. Walking at fort on uneven terrain. The parking lot and the fort's lower level, which includes the museum rooms, the theater, the bookstore and the restrooms, are wheelchair accessible. Most of the Park's pedestrian walkways are paved; however, those within the moat and covered way are sand and crushed shell stone. The Gun Deck Level can only be reached by stairs.

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: CASTILLO DI SAN MARCOS FORT We will visit the historical fort of Castillo de San Marcos, to see the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Located on the shore of Matanzas Bay in the city of St. Augustine, Florida, construction was begun in 1672, 107 years after the city's founding by Spanish Admiral and conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire. We will be accompanied by our own Road Scholar expert guide.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at your own leisurely pace. We have excluded the cost of this meal so that you might select from the many different restaurants in the Old City. Our group leader will be happy to assist you in making decisions.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP TO LIGHTNER MUSEUM: The Lightner Museum is a museum of antiquities, mostly American Gilded Age pieces, housed within the historic Hotel Alcazar building in downtown St. Augustine. Today it is home to one of the best collections of fine and decorative 19th century art in the country.

Dinner: We will dine at the historic restaurant called the Old City House. The Old City House, originally constructed in 1873, is an excellent example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. The coquina stone facade on the Old City House, was built from coquina found on the site, probably remnants from the Sentry station which existed here to guard the S-W corner of the walled city. Legend has it that a ghost of a Spanish Soldier still guards the archway, unaware that he was killed by the misfire of his own musket.

DAY
12
Program Concludes, Tranfers to Jacksonville International Airport
St. Augustine, FL
B

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Departures to Jacksonville, Fl after breakfast. We will take participants to the Jacksonville International Airport leaving by 9:00 am. Arrival in Jacksonville will be by 10:00 am.