Southern Charms: Savannah, Charleston & Hilton Head
8 days with Tauck Rating:
Day 1 Arrive Savannah, Georgia
Journey begins: 5:00 PM, Perry Lane Hotel. A transfer is included from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to the Perry Lane Hotel in the heart of Savannah. Join us this evening for a welcome reception and dinner at your hotel. (D)
Day 2 Savannah's historic treasures
Start the day off on a sightseeing trip of Savannah with a local guide, admiring the city's elegant architecture and geometric city design, featuring 24 park squares highlighted by live oaks draped with Spanish moss. One of the first planned cities in America, Savannah's National Historic Landmark District is the largest in the nation, and features more than 1,000 architecturally significant buildings. Next, engage in a hands-on culinary demonstration focusing on dishes representing the unique cuisine of the coastal Low Country region, followed by lunch. This afternoon's sightseeing excursion takes you to the Massie Heritage Center. Originally founded as the Massie School for needy children in the mid-1800s, the historic institution is now an interactive museum preserving Savannah’s rich cultural heritage and a living history resource for adults and children alike, featuring a 19th-century classroom exhibit. After some free time, head to a Tauck Exclusive celebration of the city’s Madeira wine traditions in the private gardens of the Davenport House Museum. Following dinner at the renowned 45 bistro in The Marshall House, a restored 1850s inn, spend the rest of the evening as you please in what's considered one of the country's most graceful cities. (B, L, D)
Day 3 The coastal Low Country & Fort Pulaski
Today you'll embark on a guided excursion through the Low Country region along the Georgia coast. Begin with an opportunity to experience firsthand the unique Gullah / Geechee culture that developed in the wetlands approaching the outlying Sea Islands of Georgia at the Pin Point Heritage Museum. Occupying a former oyster and crab processing factory in the community of Pin Point on the banks of the Moon River south of Savannah that offers amazing views of the wetlands, the museum's exhibits and multimedia presentations interpret the oyster fishing traditions and folkways of the residents of Pin Point – which for nearly a century survived as an isolated, self-sustaining Gullah / Geechee enclave founded by first-generation free people of color, whose lives were deeply connected to the water. Next, visit a key site of the Civil War, Fort Pulaski National Monument, an impressive brick fortress captured by Union forces in 1862. It was here that military history was forever changed during a Civil War battle that saw the introduction of "rifled cannons." Return to Savannah for a free afternoon and evening to spend as you wish. (B)
Day 4 On to Hilton Head Island
Before bidding Savannah farewell this morning, visit the city's National Museum of the Mighty 8th Air Force for a private tour of its exhibits chronicling the famed US Eighth Bomber Command's contributions to the Allied victory in World War II and beyond. You will enjoy lunch this afternoon at the Museum before heading to the Coastal Discovery Museum for a guided visit. Next, travel to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, boasting one of the most pristine marine estuaries on the east coast. Arrive at your oceanfront resort in Hilton Head... where you'll find miles of barrier beaches that are ideal for walking and beachcombing. Spend the afternoon as you please, and dine this evening at your leisure at the resort. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Back in time in Beaufort & Charleston
Take time for an early morning walk on Hilton Head's pristine beaches if you wish before setting off for historic Beaufort, where you’re joined by a local resident and guide for an in-depth look at the unique culture and heritage of island life. In Beaufort, "Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands," you'll view the timeless architecture of its National Historic Landmark District. Then head to Charleston, the lovely and historic first capital of South Carolina. A private boat cruise of Charleston Harbor this afternoon imparts a wealth of information about the city's centuries of maritime history. Your home for the next three nights is an elegant 150-year-old hotel, The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel, at the center of Charleston's historic district – and within walking distance of many of its architectural treasures. Dinner tonight is at your choice of several fine Charleston restaurants. (B, D)
Day 6 Charleston... Past and Present
A local guide takes you on a tour of Charleston to see centuries-old cobblestone streets and well-preserved homes representing a range of architectural styles from the Revolutionary War period to Antebellum mansions – classic Georgia, Federal, Adamesque, Greek Revival, Italianate and Victorian. Many of these homes surround very pretty "secret" walled gardens; additional highlights of the city's 789-acre historic district that you'll see include the famed military school known as The Citadel, and the Battery. The rest of the day is free to do as you please. Charleston is a great city to explore by foot, or you might decide to see it by horsedrawn carriage; other ideas are visiting the Gibbes Museum of Art, or Fort Sumter National Monument, where the first shot of the Civil War was fired in 1861. And of course there are many restaurants and cafés at which to enjoy the easy living this city is so well known for. (B)
Day 7 Grand plantations and gardens
Visit some of the finest historic plantations and gardens in America today. A morning trip takes you first to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for a tour of the magnificent Romantic-style garden – selected as one of "America's Most Beautiful Gardens" by Travel + Leisure; some sections of the gardens are more than 325 years old, making them the oldest unrestored gardens in America. Then it's on to one of the grandest of the notable Ashley River Plantations, Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark that is home to America's oldest landscaped gardens – truly a landscaping masterpiece. Tour its mansion built in 1755 and the stableyards – and of course the formal gardens – and enjoy lunch here today. Return to Charleston mid-afternoon, then join us this evening for a farewell cocktail reception and dinner at your historic hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Homeward bound
Tour ends: Charleston. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel to Charleston International Airport. Allow a minimum of two hours for flight check-in. (B)
All This Included
An unforgettable trip through coastal South Carolina and Georgia, places reminiscent of long-ago days of gracious Southern living... a rarefied world of plantations, 19th-century mansions, magnolias and live oaks hung with Spanish moss...
Explore National Historic Landmark Districts in Savannah, Charleston and Beaufort... visit Fort Pulaski... stay beachfront at Hilton Head Island... stroll through the gardens of Middleton Place... discover Savannah's beloved Madeira traditions on an exclusive private evening... a hands-on culinary demonstration focusing on dishes representing the unique cuisine of the coastal Low Country region... tour the islands off Beaufort, South Carolina... take a private cruise in Charleston Harbor... celebrate 300 years of history in Beaufort... and more. Tauck's Southern Charms journey is as refreshing as a cool glass of sweet tea!
Savannah: Perry Lane Hotel
Hilton Head: Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort
Charleston: The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.