Day 2: Charleston
Start discovering the city with the Historic City Market, one of the nation's oldest public markets and the city’s cultural heart. Continue to St. John the Baptist Church, a neo-Gothic structure built to replace the previous cathedral, which was lost in the devastating 1861 fire. A couple of blocks down is the promenade along the seawall washed by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers where they form Charleston Harbor. The park, bordered by some of Charleston's grandest stately homes and mansions, became a public garden in 1837 and offers a spectacular view of Fort Sumter. One block from the park is Charleston Robert W. Roper House, considered one of the most significant Greek Revival homes in Charleston. In fact, the imposing mansion was the first to grace this side of the Charleston Battery when it was built in 1838 for the cotton planter. Now, walk to East Bay Street to see the “Rainbow Row”, formed by 14 houses each painted in a different color, and continue to the Waterfront Park, a place where tourists and locals gather to relax and enjoy the unusual Pineapple Fountain and views of Charleston Harbor. Then, walk to the Old Slave Mart Museum, in the French Quarter, set inside the building where slaves were auctioned prior to the Civil War. Try one of the several excellent restaurants around and return to your hotel for overnight
Day 3: Charleston (26 miles)
This morning visit Drayton Hall, an 18th century Palladian-style mansion, located on the Ashley River just 15 miles outside of Charleston that has the distinction of being the only home to survive both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. In the afternoon head to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, just outside Charleston, the only garden in the State honored with this distinction of "America's Most Beautiful Gardens". Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation unfold before it from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond. Overnight in Charleston
Day 4: Charleston [Fort Sumter, Patriots Point]
Today, our focus will not be on the magnificent houses, but, instead, on monuments of several wars.
Walk to Charleston Water Taxi and take the ferry to Fort Sumter where the American Civil War began on April 12, 1861. After the fort’s tour, take the ferry to Patriots Point Historic District, where you can board the carrier USS Yorktown that served the United States Navy in World War II and Vietnam. Then take the ferry back to the Charleston pier. Use the rest of the day to complete you visit discover the food style you most like and shop at the many downtown stores.
Day 5: Charleston [Yemasee, Wadmalaw] (152 miles)
Drive 1 hour to Frampton Plantation House in Yemassee, SC, a beautiful home land that has the distinction of being gifted to the Frampton's by the King in the 1700's. In 1865, General Sherman’s troops burned the plantation house and all the farm buildings that stood on this site. In 1868, John Frampton rebuilt the present charming Lowcountry farmhouse. Drive back towards Charleston to reach the historic and beautiful Wadmalaw Island where the Charleston Tea Plantation was built on a 127-acre property. Take one of the available tours and enjoy as much tea as you like as this is the only place in North America that grows tea. And they grow 320 varieties of it! Another 20-minute drive to return to downtown Charleston.
Day 6: Charleston (31 miles)
This morning drive 12 miles towards Mt. Pleasant to visit Boone Hall Plantation Gardens, founded in 1681 by Englishman Major John Boone on the banks of Wampacheone Creek. Live oak trees in two evenly spaced rows whose massive, moss-draped branches meeting overhead and forming today’s natural corridor symbolize southern heritage. After the visit, drive back to Charleston for a tour of McLeod Plantation Historic Site, established in 1851, that has borne witness to some of the most significant periods of our nation’s history. The plantation’s important 37-acre heritage site has been carefully preserved in recognition of its cultural and historical significance. The grounds include a riverside outdoor pavilion, a sweeping oak alley, and the McLeod Oak, which is thought to be more than 600 years old. Return to Charleston for overnight.
Day 7: Charleston [Georgetown, McClellanville] (136 miles)
Today will be a bit crowded as we have 3 houses in the program. The first, Mansfield Plantation in Georgetown, 66 miles from your hotel, was built in 1718 on a 500-acre plot of land. Today, the plantation covers nearly 1,000 acres and is recognized as "one of the most architecturally intact rice plantations in South Carolina”. The house has been featured in numerous television shows and most notably, was one of the locations where Mel Gibson's "The Patriot" was filmed. Twenty minutes to the south is Hopsewee Plantation, built in 1735, was the birthplace and residence of Thomas Lynch, Jr, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Five minutes apart is Hampton Plantation State Historic Site in McClellanville. Tucked away in the remote last vestiges of a colonial-era rice plantation the site is both bucolic and evocative. The plantation’s Georgian-style mansion and well-kept grounds serve as an interpretive site for the system of slavery that helped build such plantations into the greatest generators of wealth in early American history. They also tell the story of the freed people who made their homes there for generations after emancipation. Visitors can explore the mansion, wander the plantation grounds and look out upon Wambaw Creek. Drive 46 miles to Charleston for overnight.
Day 8: Charleston, Hometown (30 miles)
On your way to the airport drive 15 minutes to visit Middleton Place. South Flanker, the surviving portion of the once three-building residential complex, is the House Museum and was built in 1755 as gentlemen's guest quarters and a business office. Tour the house and, if your flight schedule permits, take the optional tour. Then, drive another 15 minutes to the airport to drop-off your car and board your flight back home.
Option: The Beyond the Fields tour
Introduces visitors to the institution of slavery and the lives lived by enslaved Africans and African Americans – both slave and free - who labored at Middleton Place and other plantations throughout the South.
Note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions some of the attractions in this itinerary may be closed. Check before planning your trip.