On this vacation, discover the South at its finest as you travel through Georgia and South Carolina! Begin your trip in Atlanta with a city sightseeing tour and free time to explore on your own. Experience Myrtle Beach’s 60-mile-long “Grand Strand,” and visit the famous Brookgreen Gardens, a National Historic Landmark located on an old rice and indigo plantation. In Georgetown, see where the first permanent settlers arrived in the early 1700s. Tour the historic district of Charleston, one of the last bastions of the Old South, and encounter the preserved pre-Revolutionary character of picturesque Beaufort on a carriage ride. Next up: trolley tours of Savannah and Jekyll Island and a visit to St. Simons Island, home to one of Georgia’s last working lighthouses. Return to Atlanta for an overnight and the perfect ending to your Southern adventure trip. With an ideal balance of free time and guided tours, this vacation gives you the flavor of the South.
Day #1 Atlanta. Welcome to Atlanta! Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.
Day #2 Atlanta. A morning tour focuses on the downtown area and the elegant and traditional residential neighborhoods. Highlights include the Georgia State Capitol, Peachtree Plaza, Olympic Village & Stadium, and CNN’s headquarters. Visit the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s Historic Site, which contains his birth home and burial site. Later, see the MARGARET MITCHELL HOUSE & MUSEUM, the birthplace of Gone With the Wind. The rest of the day is free to explore Atlanta. (CB)
Day #3 Atlanta–Harlem–Columbia. Head east today, with a stop in Harlem, Georgia, to visit the LAUREL & HARDY MUSEUM, a tribute to the great comedy team of British-born Stan Laurel and his American partner, Oliver Hardy. Continue to Columbia, South Carolina, a special place of grace and charm. Visit the SOUTH CAROLINA STATE MUSEUM, where the past and present come alive. A turn-of-the-century country store and schoolhouse are just few of the many artifacts found at the museum. Afterward, a visit to the STATE HOUSE will open your eyes to the abundant historical and cultural timeline of Columbia. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (CB)NOTE:May 8 Departure – South Carolina State House is closed due to the state holiday Confederate Memorial Day on May 10.
Day #4 Columbia–Myrtle Beach. On through the Palmetto State as we drive the Lakes and Blackwater Rivers area. This afternoon, reach the white sandy shores of exciting Myrtle Beach and the 60-mile-long “Grand Strand.” The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy this resort. Relax at the pool, shop for souvenirs, or perhaps join our optional outing to the “Carolina Opry.” This award-winning show blends music, comedy, and dance—from Broadway, country, and classic pop to rock ’n’ roll, gospel, and bluegrass.
Day #5 Myrtle Beach–Georgetown–Charleston. First stop this morning is famous BROOKGREEN GARDENS, a National Historic Landmark located on an old rice and indigo plantation. Your guided tour features more than 550 pieces of art comprising the world’s finest outdoor collection of American figurative sculptures. Your admission includes a GUIDED CRUISE along the rice fields that are now home to alligators, waterfowl, and ospreys. Later, drive through historic Georgetown, where the first permanent settlers arrived in the early 1700s. Many of their buildings are still in use today. This afternoon, a guided tour of Charleston, one of the last bastions of the Old South. The city is world-renowned for its charm, splendid architecture, colorful homes and gardens, shady tree-lined streets, and fresh sea air.
Day #6 Charleston. This morning, visit MAGNOLIA PLANTATION & GARDENS, which was founded in 1676 by the Drayton family and is still operated by their heirs today. On the site is a 50-acre garden with more than 900 varieties of camellias, more than 250 types of azaleas, and hundreds of other flowering plants. The remainder of the day and evening are at leisure to explore more of this quaint town on your own. Perhaps stroll through Charleston’s Old City Market, which sells everything from local specialties to souvenirs. This evening, join an optional dinner cruise aboard the Spirit of Carolina.
Day #7 Charleston–Beaufort–Savannah. Enjoy a morning break at picturesque Beaufort, a town that has conserved much of its pre-Revolutionary character. Enjoy a CARRIAGE RIDE through narrow, oak-lined streets past the former homes of wealthy cotton growers. Make your way to historic Savannah, America’s first planned city. On our included TROLLEY TOUR, visit City Market, Forsyth Park, Mercer House, Madison Square—where General Sherman concluded his “March to the Sea”—Colonial Park Cemetery, and River Street. Your evening is at leisure to enjoy this Southern town.
Day #8 Savannah. A full day at leisure. Shop on cobblestoned River Street or stroll among the many squares surrounded by elegant homes and majestic gardens. Visit the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, where you learn of Savannah’s important role in maritime history and view models of famous ships, or visit the First African Baptist Church, the oldest African-American church in the United States and which played an important part in the Underground Railroad. (CB)
Day #9 Savannah–Golden Isles–Jekyll Island. This morning, drive down the coast to the Golden Isles and visit St. Simons Island, home to one of only three working lighthouses in Georgia. Afterward, enjoy a TROLLEY TOUR of Jekyll Island’s Historic District, a cluster of 19th-century mansions. This “club” was formed by some of America’s most prominent families who at one time controlled one-sixth of the world’s wealth. Your tour features a visit to two restored properties. (CB)
Day #10 Jekyll Island–Macon–Atlanta. Today, arrive in Macon, the heart of Georgia and the historical crossroads of the South. During your time here, visit the restored properties and learn about the preservation of these significant homes. Return to Atlanta. (CB)
Day #11 Atlanta. The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Atlanta International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore the Georgia capital further with a variety of exciting optional activities. (CB)