20734
Savannah
A Savannah Christmas Season Celebration
Absorb the sights, sounds and tastes of Christmas in Savannah as you enjoy a “Holiday Tour of Homes,” sample seasonal cuisine and attend a show at one of the nation’s oldest theaters.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20734RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,149
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6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 3 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Savannah, Georgia
D
Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District

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

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over 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, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In our private meeting room at the hotel, enjoy a plated meal with iced tea, coffee.

Evening: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Savannah History, Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens
Savannah, Georgia
B,L,D
Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley, walking up to 1.5 miles, steps, periods of standing, uneven terrain.

Breakfast: In the hotel’s DeSoto Grille, hot buffet breakfast with juice, coffee.

Morning: Our Group Leader, who is also a local expert, will provide an overview of Savannah with emphasis of Christmases past. In 1864, one of the most extravagant Christmas gifts given in local history occurred when General Sherman presented the surrendered city to President Lincoln. Like so much in Georgia’s oldest city, the pace of Christmas celebrations is more relaxed than in colder climes. The author of “Jingle Bells” moved here from chilly Massachusetts. The season is a time when historical heritage and contemporary festivities meet and mingle with lovely displays, bright lights, delicious foods, and traditional Southern conviviality.

Lunch: At a charming local restaurant in the Historic District, we'll enjoy a light plated lunch that includes an entrée and dessert as well as iced tea, coffee and water.

Afternoon: We’ll depart the hotel for a walking and trolley field trip exploring the Historic District, including a visit to historically significant museum home, the Green Meldrim House. Learn about many of the fascinating aspects of Savannah’s history with special emphasis on Christmases past and other celebrated holiday traditions.

Dinner: We'll ride together via trolley to a restaurant located on Savannah's storied River Street, overlooking the impressive Talmadge Bridge for a plated dinner featuring a choice between 2 tempting entrées, salad, side dish, dessert, plus coffee, iced tea, and water.

Evening: We’ll continue our evening together with a short ride "over the river and through the woods" to the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. We'll delight in the amazing "December Nights and Holiday Lights" display, strolling along the garden paths, taking in the various holiday light decorations, & sipping hot cocoa with enchanting carols providing the evening's soundtrack.

DAY
3
Moravian Customs, Holiday Tour of Homes, Theater Musical
Savannah, Georgia
B,L,D
Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, steps, periods of standing, limited restroom availability. Private homes are not handicapped-accessible; wheelchairs not permitted.

Breakfast: In the DeSoto Grille.

Morning: Lecture/class by our professor of History on a group of early Savannah settlers, the Moravians, and their Christmas customs - some you may have heard of but never realized their origins.

Lunch: In the DeSoto Grille.

Afternoon: Now one of the city’s most popular and prestigious events, the “Holiday Tour of Homes” began when notable Savannahian, Jim Williams — of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” fame — opened his lavish home in 1974. The event has since expanded to include a variety of houses, each decorated according to the owner’s personal preferences and traditions. This “intimate visit with residents of Savannah’s Historic District” takes you inside private residences not open to the public at any other time. We’ll walk as a group to several of the homes; the interiors are self-guided. Gain an appreciation for Savannah’s other nickname, Hostess City of the South.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Tonight we'll walk as a group a couple streets over from the hotel to attend a long-running, popular holiday musical celebration at the Historic Savannah Theatre. During this 2-hour performance, filled with holiday glitz and glitter, the theatre is transformed into a perfect holiday picture, sharing memories of the Christmas standards that you know and love. Sprinkle in a little comedy and audience participation for the greatest event of the season.

DAY
4
Historic House Museum, Free Afternoon & Evening
Savannah, Georgia
B
Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District

Activity note: Walking up to 1.5 miles, two flights of stairs at historic home, uneven pavement.

Breakfast: In the DeSoto Grille.

Morning: We will visit the Isaiah Davenport House, a historic museum home for a presentation on holiday customs of the time period & the former residents, presented by expert guides in period costume & featuring the house decorated as it would be during a Christmas season of the time period.

Lunch: 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 and give directions.

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 and give directions. You might like to visit River Street or City Market with its regional arts and crafts exhibitors and local entertainment.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure. Want to see more of the Historic District? Consider a carriage ride to enjoy all of the outdoor holiday decorations on display. Or just enjoy the company of new Road Scholar friends.

DAY
5
Savannah's Houses of Worship, Annual Holiday Book Reading
Savannah, Georgia
B,L,D
Hilton Savannah DeSoto Historic District

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley, walking up to 1.5 miles, uneven pavement.

Breakfast: In the DeSoto Grille.

Morning: This morning, we'll walk as a group a few blocks from the hotel to explore Savannah's diverse houses of worship, learning more about the various religions that established Savannah's deep spiritual roots. We'll also pay a visit to the Congregation Mickve Israel, which will have special significance, since our holiday program occurs very near to Hanukkah this year.

Lunch: Enjoy a plated meal at a local restaurant in the district, featuring a selection of sandwiches, along with a side dish, drink, and dessert.

Afternoon: This afternoon we’ll take part in a special annual reading of a beloved Christmas story, "A Christmas Memory" at the childhood home of beloved Savannah author, Flannery O'Connor.

Dinner: We'll enjoy a plated dinner with choice of entree and including a side, dessert, and tea, coffee, or water at the hotel or a local nearby restaurant.

Evening: Tonight, we'll linger over our final dinner together, enjoying each other's company as we prepare to say farewell tomorrow.

DAY
6
Musical Entertainment, Program Concludes
Savannah, Georgia
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out is by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: In the DeSoto Grille.

Morning: With a talented local performer-entertainer, enjoy a holiday musical performance this morning and also learn a little bit of history behind some of the season's most iconic songs. If you are so inclined, you may want to join in and sing along with some familiar tunes. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!