Charleston & Savannah
Springtime Southern Charm
Revel in the warm hospitality and rich history of America’s Deep South on this tour of two beautiful cities. First visit the coastal city of Charleston, South Carolina. Magnificent homes with stunning architecture are numerous throughout the historic neighborhoods of Charleston, and seeing them first hand blooming with vibrant azaleas, camellias and climbing roses is certain to delight! See the historic parts of the city on a carriage ride and tour the grand Magnolia Plantation with enormous oaks draped with Spanish moss. Visit the only tea plantation in North America and see how tea leaves are harvested and processed. Take the option to visit Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, and enjoy a dinner cruise along beautiful Charleston Harbor.
Shrouded in Spanish live oaks and a veil of mystique, Savannah radiates elegant and romantic charm. Boasting the country’s largest National Historic Landmark area, the city is home to restored mansions clustered amid 22 park-like squares. Explore the old city squares on a narrated tour onboard an open-air trolley and hear the stories of Savannah. Enjoy a private wine and cheese reception at the historic Davenport House. In addition to a sightseeing tour and visits to several attractions, you’ll have time to explore the city on your own. Culminate your time in the city with a culinary class of highest caliber and learn to make all of your favorite low country favorites. The southern charm exudes from these two delightful cities—let’s go!
Note: This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking is required. Some of the most unique sightseeing can be restrictive to motorcoaches, especially in historic areas.
Sun, April 2: Arrive in Charleston, South Carolina. The first stop will be a welcome lunch for some delicious upscale Lowcountry cuisine. Experience the city by carriage ride and see the historic downtown district and the mansions, gardens, churches, and parks that make her famous. Check in to the Courtyard Marriott Charleston Historic District for two nights. (Meal: Lunch)
Mon, April 3: This morning take a tour of the beautiful grounds and see how tea leaves are harvested and processed at the Charleston Tea Garden, the only tea plantation in North America. View acres of tea plants as far as the eye can see, learn first-hand how tea is made during an informative factory tour, ride a trolley through the tea fields, stop by the greenhouse to learn how tea is grown, and help yourself to all of the samples of iced or hot tea you can drink. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure to do some shopping or visit some of Charleston’s historic homes, such as the Aiken-Rhett and Nathaniel Russell houses. Spend your evening on a Dinner Cruise touring the beautiful Charleston Harbor. (B,L,D)
Tue, April 4: This morning head to Magnolia Plantation. Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, the plantation has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our country from before the American Revolution. It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry and the oldest un-restored public gardens in America. After exploring the magnificent gardens, tour the Plantation House and learn the history of plantation life and Drayton family ownership; then take a guided tram tour of the plantation’s diverse landscapes, lakes, marshes, and woodlands. Have the option to visit Patriot’s Point Naval & Maritime Museum, a unique museum located on the Charleston Harbor with the World War II aircraft carrier, USS Yorktown as its centerpiece. Get a behind the scenes look at the Captain’s Quarters, The Anchor Room and access into a B-25 airplane that has not been available to the public in more than a decade!* Otherwise enjoy an afternoon at your leisure to explore the city. In the evening move on to Savannah, Georgia and check into the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District for three nights. Located steps from River Street and City Market — it is ideally situated for easy independent exploration. (B)
Wed, April 5: In the morning board an open-air trolley for a narrated tour of historic Savannah. Savannah boasts over 1,700 restored buildings, each with its own story to tell. See the Civil War era Green-Meldrim House, which once served as General Sherman’s headquarters, the infamous Mercer-Williams House, where the controversial events described in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil played out and the Andrew Low House, home to the founder of Girl Scouts USA, Juliette Gordon Low. The tour concludes at City Market. Wrap up your first day in Georgia with a tour of the Davenport House. The stately Federal-style home, built by master carpenter Isaiah Davenport for his household, provides a glimpse into 1820s domestic life in the urban port city. Following your tour enjoy a wine and cheese reception in the garden. (B)
Thu, April 6: Today take an entertaining hands-on culinary class; teaching the flavor and flair of “down home” Low Country cuisine! Sip on some wine and dine on your creations with your fellow travelers. Then have plenty of free time to explore Savannah! Stroll around Forsyth Park, home of popular monuments and the famed Forsyth Park Fountain erected in 1858 and one of the most photographed images in the city. Savannah is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (the founder of the Girl Scouts), and her home is open for tours. If you’re a maritime buff, don’t miss the extensive collection at The Ships of the Sea Museum. Finally, gather for a special Farewell Dinner to conclude your last night in the city. (B,L,D)
Fri, April 7: This morning savor your last moments in this beautiful city before transferring to the airport for your afternoon flight home. (B)
*The guided tour included with the optional visit to Patriot’s Point requires climbing of ladders/stairs and is not recommended to those with mobility challenges.
Courtyard Charleston Historic District. Newly renovated and located in the heart of Charleston’s Historic District, the hotel is adjacent to famed Marion Square. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker, refrigerator • complimentary WiFi Internet access • restaurant • bar • outdoor pool • fitness center.
Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Historic District. Set in the heart of the historic district, the Hilton Garden Inn is situated one block from River Street, City Market and historic Broughton Street. Highlights: in-room coffee maker, microwave and refrigerator • complimentary WiFi Internet access • restaurant • bar • room service • heated outdoor pool • whirlpool.
* Prices subject to change due to fuel surcharge.