Visit Charleston, a city steeped in history, heritage, and culture. Tour the Historic District and visit the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, and its Cadet’s Chapel where students worship. View White Point Garden, part of the Old Walled City, Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor, Rainbow Row, and the beautiful houses along The Battery. Tour Drayton Hall, the only plantation house on the Ashley River to survive both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars intact. The main house of this National Historic Landmark remains in nearly original condition, serving as an eloquent testimony to the preservation of America’s heritage.
Explore Beaufort, located in the heart of the South Carolina Low Country, and enjoy the striking architectural variety of its 18th and 19th-century houses. Savor a special meal served family-style at the famous Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House in Savannah, Georgia’s “first” city. You will experience natural beauty, rich history, good old-fashioned Southern hospitality and more as you tour Savannah’s historic district and browse its unique shops and boutiques. Conclude your trip with a memorably entertaining show at the Historic Savannah Theater.
The sequence of touring and days may be altered to adjust to religious holidays, special closings of sites, air schedule changes, etc. Hotels listed subject to availability. Meal inclusions may vary by departure.
Day 1 – DALLAS/CHARLESTON
Today we fly from Dallas to Charleston. Upon arrival we are met by our tour director and coach and transfer to our hotel, Hawthorn Suites, for check-in. Tonight we enjoy a delicious fresh seafood dinner at Hyman’s in historic Charleston. (D)
Day 2 – CHARLESTON
Welcome to beautiful Charleston, a city steeped in history, heritage and culture. After breakfast, our tour begins at the Charleston Visitor’s Center, where we have the opportunity to see the original plan of The Walled City. We learn about all the firsts of this great city: the First Chamber of Commerce, the First Museum, the First Pharmacy, and The First Municipal College. We visit The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, and have the opportunity to visit the Cadet’s Chapel where they worship. Continuing on we see the Joseph P. Riley Stadium, named in honor of the longtime Mayor of Charleston and home to the Charleston River Dogs; we travel on to The Battery, one of Charleston’s most historic sites. We view White Point Garden, part of the Old Walled City, Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, and Rainbow Row, and take some time to explore the beautiful mansions and gardens of The Battery. The next stop is The Four Corners of Law: God’s law, City law, County law and Federal law. We visit St. Micha
el’s Episcopal Church, the oldest church edifice in South Carolina. The tour concludes at The Customs House. Following a luncheon buffet at Middleton Plantation, we tour Middleton Place, one of South Carolina’s most enduring icons –proud survivor of the American Revolution, the Civil War, changing fortunes and natural disasters. For over two and a half centuries, these graciously landscaped gardens have enchanted visitors from all over the world. Following our visit here, we take some time to browse the extensive offering of merchandise at the City Market. We return to the hotel to relax and freshen up prior to dinner this evening (on your own) in the Historic District. (B,L)
Day 3 – FORT SUMTER/SAVANNAH
This morning we board a ferry and cross Charleston Harbor to visit Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Following our tour, we stop for lunch (on your own) and then continue to Savannah where we check in to the ClubHouse Inn & Suites. Dinner this evening is at highly acclaimed The Lady & Sons. Having won multiple awards, today Paula Deen and her sons all host shows on The Food Network. After dinner we have some time to explore Savannah’s historic district prior to returning to the hotel. (B,D)
Day 4 – SAVANNAH
Experienced travelers are drawn to Savannah because of its natural beauty, rich history, and good old-fashioned Southern hospitality. After breakfast, our tour begins at the Savannah Visitors Center and History Museum. This restored train station, more than 100 years old is a perfect setting for beginning of our tour of The Hostess City of the South. Laid out in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe, it is the first Master Planned community in America. Our tour includes some of Savannah’s famous monuments which are dedicated to its leading citizens, such as the Juliette Gordon Low House. We visit the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and then have time for lunch (on your own) and browsing the eclectic shops, antique galleries, and boutiques along River Street. This afternoon we visit the Owens-Thomas house. Built between 1816-1819 and considered one of the finest examples of Regency-style architectural style in the nation, it contains original furnishings from the Thomas Family. Learn the stories of slaves who liv
ed and worked in Savannah. Following the
tour, we have time to refresh and relax at the hotel prior to dinner. We drive through the Lowcountry on our way to dinner at Barbara Jean’s, uniquely specializing in both seafood and made-from-scratch, home-style cooking. This evening we are treated to entertainment at the Historic Savannah Theatre’s show “Return to the 50s.” Return to America’s most beloved decade of music – from the rock and roll classics of Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Elvis to the sensational harmonies of DooWop. It’s a “blast from the past” complete with side-splitting comedy. (B,D)
Day 5 – JEKYLL ISLAND/ST. SIMON’S ISLAND
Following breakfast, we tour Jekyll Island. Founded in 1886, it was the win
ter retreat for some of America’s most elite families, such as Morgan, Astor, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and Pulitzer. Here on this small barrier island off Georgia’s coast, they shaped a private world of grand cottage residences around a Queen Anne-style clubhouse. Much of that world has been lovingly preserved and faithfully restored in the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District. We enjoy lunch at the Jekyll Island Club, and continue this afternoon to the largest of Georgia’s fabled Golden Isles, St. Simon’s Island. First called San Simeon by 16th century Spanish explorers it continues to reveal to present day visitors the remarkable beauty and fascinating history of this place. On the north end of the island is the hauntingly beautiful Christ Church built in 1736. On its grounds is the spot where John Wesley, the father of Methodism, first preached, and a wooded cemetery where many of the Island’s earliest settlers are buried. Stop at the St. Simon’s Lighthouse, which consists of four structures including an 1872 brick lighthouse, keeper’s dwelling, 1890 oil house and a Victorian gazebo. This is one of only five surviving light towers in Georgia and the most visited one. There will be Eugenia Price highlights and those interested can see her grave at Christ Church cemetery. Take some time this afternoon to stroll among the specialty shops of Pier Village, and then enjoy dinner on your own at any of the numerous restaurants in the St. Simon’s pier area. We return to Savannah for overnight. (B,L)