Charleston, South Carolina – Southern Hospitality in the Lowcountry
Price Starting at $3,495.00
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Drink in the atmosphere of the Old South when you visit Charleston. Wrapped in the trappings of long storied histories this city showcases Southern culture and charm. Venture to Charleston, the sparking point for the conflagration that was the Civil War. Move through narrow cobbled lanes, past colonial churches, public buildings and mansions of the merchants that built this elegant city. The taste of the Lowcountry fills your palate with flavors of regional dishes and the nose with the mix of salt air, sea grass and oak.
Degree of Difficulty –
Arrive in Charleston, located on a peninsula that separates the Ashley and the Cooper Rivers. Within walking distance of your elegant lodgings, you will enjoy exclusive boutique shopping on King Street and the College of Charleston, the 10th oldest university in the United States, founded in 1770 and whose founders include signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at the Swamp Fox, your hotel’s historic restaurant. Your menu will feature classic Southern cuisine created by executive chef Simon Andrews and chef de cuisine Daniel James. Perhaps you’ll select the farmer’s market dinner, which combines farm fresh sustainable ingredients showcasing Charleston’s cuisine.
Centrally located in downtown Charleston, the Francis Marion Hotel first opened in 1924 as the Golden Age of railroads, radio and grand hotels, and the Charleston Renaissance were in full bloom. Meticulously restored in 1996 with a $12 million National Trust for Historic Preservation award winning restoration, the Francis Marion Hotel now combines 1920’s style and grace with 21st century comfort, just off Charleston’s Marion Square. THE FRANCIS MARION HOTEL.
Tour the venerable streets of Charleston, fwith expansive antebellum mansions, cobbled lanes, and extensive flower gardens which fill the air with sweet fragrances. You will also see a prodigious number of churches which has earned Charleston the nickname “The Holy City”. Highlights will include the College of Charleston, King Street, City Market, the French Quarter, Broad Street, South of Broad neighborhood, and Mrs. Whaley’s Garden. Broad Street bisects the Charleston peninsula, and the area that lies on the southern tip features neighborhoods whose streets are lined with palatial antebellum mansions. Walk to the intersection of Broad and East Bay Street where you will find the Old Exchange Building and the Provost Dungeon. These historic edifices are a testament to the importance of trade in the founding of Charleston. Excavations related to the renovation of the Dungeon have uncovered the original fortifications of Charles Town which helped to protect the fledgling settlement from pirates. The 19th century neoclassical Nathaniel Russell House, once belonging to local merchant Nathaniel Russell, is filled with art and antiques and set amid spacious formal gardens. It is a national historic landmark and is widely recognized as one of America’s most important neoclassical dwellings. After lunch at Magnolia’s, cruise to Fort Sumter on an island in the Charleston Harbor. Along the way you may see dolphins as they glide alongside the ferry. THE FRANCIS MARION HOTEL.
Today you venture off the peninsula and along the Ashley River to Middleton Place Plantation to breathe in the myriad of scents emanating from its 65 acres of landscaped gardens. Experience a look at 18th and 19th century plantation life with costumed craftspeople and historic animal breeds in the Plantation Stable yards, and enjoy lunch at the plantation. You will also visit the 18th century Drayton Hall Plantation, located directly across the Ashley River from North Charleston, in the “Lowcountry.” Construction of Drayton Hall began in 1738 and continued into 1744. It has survived and has been virtually untouched for three centuries despite earthquakes, hurricanes and two wars. It is not restored and it is left in its original state to give visitors a better feel of the 18th century America. THE FRANCIS MARION HOTEL.
Today is devoted to Museums. Gibbes Museum of Art houses an extensive collection. The Hunley Submarine Museum showcases the Confederate submarine, the Hunley, which was sunk by Union forces in 1864 and lay off the coast of Charleston for over 100 years. She was found in 1995 and recovered in 2000 with the help of the US Navy. The submarine was transferred to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, a high-tech lab designed for the conservation and excavation of the vessel. The Hunley proved to be quite the time capsule, containing a wide array of artifacts that has taught people much about life during the American Civil War. End your touring at the Magnolia Cemetery which first opened in 1850. Today, Magnolia Cemetery continues as one of the best and most beautiful examples of rural and Victorian cemetery design in the United States. The “who’s who” of Charleston and South Carolina history is buried here, including the sailors recovered from the Hunley. Your afternoon is at leisure to enjoy Charleston on your own. Finish your evening with a delicious farewell dinner. THE FRANCIS MARION HOTEL
This is your last morning in Charleston. Enjoy breakfast and then make your way to the airport for your return flight home. Take with you the feeling of the moist Lowcountry air on your skin, the smell of moss and roses, and the salty wisps of sea fed breezes.
Extend two extra nights to experience more of the Lowcountry sophistication, with a visit to Savannah, a charming and idiosyncratic city. Situate into your historic environs located within the beautifully preserved antebellum area of Reynolds Square and enjoy dinner at The Olde Pink House, an 18th century culinary landmark in Savannah. Let the misty past of Savannah seep into your pores on a tour of the city. Ambulate through Savannah’s Historical District, taking in some of its famous squares and cemeteries and board a boat for a cruise along the Savannah River. Sup at Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons restaurant and afterward, take a ghost tour of what is purported to be America’s most haunted city. End your stay with a visit to the iconic Southern Bonaventure Cemetery, replete with oak trees that drip with Spanish moss and the weathered headstones of such permanent residents as the first Governor of Georgia, Edward Telfair, and poet Conrad Aiken. ANDAZ SAVANNAH.
Prices vary by season and package. Please inquire by phone at (800) 627-1244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and a pricing estimate.
Maximum group size: Although there’s no limit we suggest a maximum of 30 travelers.
YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES:
- Superior accommodation at hotels as indicated in the itinerary (or similar).
- American breakfast daily. All other meals as specified in itinerary.
- The tour is led at all times by an experienced driver/guide. In addition, step-on local guides will join the group as specified.
- Transportation is in 15-passenger maxi-vans. A maximum of 9 travelers per minivan will be accommodated.
- Airport transfers.
- All Park and admission fees.
- All applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling.
- Complimentary luggage tags.
Charleston, and the extension city of Savannah, are party cities, and popular year-round. However, in the Spring, the magnificent azaleas, magnolias, peach blossoms, and dogwoods are in full bloom, and it’s a sight to behold. Summer is quite humid and sticky, and winter is mild with day temperatures in the low 60’s, cooling to as low as the 30’s in the evening. Generally, the most touristy months are April, May, and October.
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