Southern history and culinary discovery come together on this AAA EXCLUSIVE itinerary through Savannah and Charleston. These two magnificent cities are icons of the Old South and they still retain their historic elegance, grace and charm. You'll also sample the best of Southern cooking as you savor dishes both traditional and cutting-edge.
• Attend an informal trunk show featuring some of the South’s finest hats.
• Cruise at sunset to historical Tybee Island near Savannah.
• Savor an in-depth experience of Savannah’s culinary traditions.
• Enjoy an evening with "Charleston Cooks" cooking demonstrations.
You needn’t "rely on the kindness of strangers" to discover the glorious treasures of each of these Southern cities. This AAA EXCLUSIVE itinerary offers an in-depth look into the history and culinary traditions that make each so distinctive. Begin in Savannah, a coastal treasure trove of the Old South. A welcome dinner and reception bring history and southern cooking together as you sample Paula Deen’s famous cheddar biscuits and other delectable dishes at the elegant 19th century Metts-McNeal Mansion. Following dinner, an informal hat and trunk show introduces you to some of the South's finest women's hats.
Discover more Savannah history during your narrated trolley ride through the cobblestone streets of the historic district. A Low Country tour includes visits to Georgia's first plantation, an orphanage founded in 1734 still in operation today, and the Byrd Cookie Company, where Paula Deen often shops. Enjoy a sunset cruise to nearby Tybee Island, a beach retreat for generations of Southerners, where you'll dine in an historic raised Tybee cottage circa 1918.
En route to Charleston, discover the beauty of the country’s oldest public garden at Magnolia Plantation. You'll take a tram ride of the grounds among thousands of gorgeous flowers and plants before enjoying a gourmet box lunch at the plantation's pavilion. Continue your culinary discoveries at Charleston Cooks! This unique store offers hands-on cooking and wine pairing classes as well as tools, equipment and appliances for creating culinary magic. See Boone Hall Plantation, touted as "a must see stop on any trip to Charleston, SC" by NBC Daytime, then take a carriage ride through Charleston's historic district where century-old architectural gems now house antique stores and restaurants.
• 5 nights hotel accommodations: 3 nights in Savannah and 2 nights in Charleston
• Daily breakfast, 1 lunch and 5 dinners
• An informal hat and trunk show featuring some of the finest hats of the South
• Trolley Tour of Savannah’s historic district
• Low Country Tour and sunset cruise to Tybee Island with wine and cheese reception
• Magnolia Plantation Tour followed by evening attendance at Charleston Cooks!
• Boone Hall Plantation Tour and a carriage ride through Charleston’s historic district
Note: This tour involves a lot of walking for extended periods each day. Please bring comfortable walking shoes. Additional pre-tour and post-tour nights may be available. Inquire for rate and availability at time of booking.
Day 1 - Arrive in Savannah / Hat and Trunk Show
Arrive in Savannah, Georgia and check into your hotel. After meeting your fellow travelers, depart this evening for a private Welcome Dinner and Reception at the stately Metts-McNeal Mansion. The home is an elegant 19th century home with a grand colonnade overlooking stunning views of historic Forsyth Park. Please arrive no later than 4:00pm. Enjoy a traditional southern meal with all the trimmings. You'll have the opportunity to sample Lady and Son’s famous cheddar biscuits, the “Sisters of the New South’s” fried chicken and vegetables as well as savor Mrs. Wilkes famed banana pudding.
After dinner is cleared, delight in a presentation steeped in southern tradition as we learn about mysterious and historic language of the fan as well as enjoy an informal hat and trunk show featuring some of the finest hats of the South. See the love affair of Southern Women and their Hats!
Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Savannah - 3 nights
Day 2 - Savannah Historic District
Following breakfast at the hotel, board a Savannah trolley for a private tour through Savannah’s 2.2 square mile historic district. You will also see why Savannah is referred to as the “Garden of Good and Evil” as we explore the beautiful squares and hidden gated gardens of this truly spectacular city. The tour includes a visit to the Cathedral of Saint Johns which features a beautiful French Gothic design. Enjoy lunch on your own and free time in the market and on River Street. Make your way back to the hotel on your own. This evening, enjoy a group dinner at the Pirates House which is within walking distance of your hotel.
Day 3 - Low Country Tour / Tybee Island
Following breakfast at your hotel, we will ride along the bluff of the Isle of Hope which is adorned with some of the most charming homes and breathtaking views of Georgia's marshes and waterways. We then make our way to Georgia's first plantation where the eleventh generation still resides. Next we see the lifelong work of Reverend George Whitfield whose dream of a home and haven for orphaned boys became a reality in 1734 and is still in operation today. The chapel at Bethesda was the site of Mrs. Paula Deen's recent marriage to the love of her life, Michael. Visit Byrd Cookie Company, where Paula shops and often purchases cookies which are a key ingredient in many of her delicious recipes. Feel free to shop for some of the best tasting and delightful souvenirs the city has to offer. Have lunch on your own or return to the hotel to relax.
Gather in the hotel lobby around mid-afternoon to depart for historic Tybee Island, Savannah’s beach and playground. Arrive at Bull River for a sunset cruise with wine and cheese as you sail to Tybee Island. The island is only 3.5 miles long. We will dine in a historic raised Tybee cottage circa 1918 for a traditional Low Country Boil. Enjoy signature drinks upon arrival.
Day 4 - Savannah / Magnolia Plantation Tour / Charleston
After breakfast at the hotel, check out and depart for Magnolia Plantation. It is the oldest public tourist site in the Low Country and features the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1870 to view the thousands of beautiful flowers and plants in its famous gardens. The tour includes a tram ride of the grounds. A gourmet box lunch at Magnolia Plantation under the Pavilion will follow in the afternoon. (A typical box lunch includes homemade chicken salad on croissant, pasta salad, fresh fruit and homemade brownie. Bottled water and selected sodas.)
En route to your hotel, enjoy a riding tour of downtown Charleston. Then check-in and enjoy some time to rest and relax. This evening visit Charleston Cooks! This is historic downtown Charleston’s only teaching kitchen and retail shop celebrating the art of learning, sharing and enjoying exceptional cuisine.
Accommodation: Mill House Hotel - 2 nights
Day 5 - Boone Hall Plantation
After breakfast, visit Boone Hall Plantation, touted as “a must see stop on any trip to Charleston, SC” by NBC Daytime. Enjoy lunch on your own and free time to explore downtown. If you’re lucky you may get to see the locals making sweet grass baskets. You’ll have free time to shop and explore the market and Charleston’s famous King Street. This afternoon you’re treated to a carriage tour of the city. The only way to truly see the historic district is to walk or to see these architectural gems by carriage. Continue shopping or return to the hotel to rest and relax before our Farewell Dinner this evening at High Cotton Restaurant in the historic district.
Day 6 - Depart Charleston
Following breakfast depart for the airport for your return flight home.
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to availability at time of booking, and may change without notice. Single supplement may apply. Except for packages including air transportation, unless stated otherwise, airfare, taxes and government fees are not included. Offers valid for new bookings only. Member Benefits are per person and apply to first and second traveler only. Member Benefits are available only with advertised fare and are subject to change without notice. Your travel arrangements may be modified or canceled subject to the travel providers’ policies. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. We make every effort for accuracy at time of printing but reserve the right to correct errors. AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip protection insurance. Except for packages including air transportation, fares may not reflect additional fuel supplement or port charges and vary by provider.
CST #1003968-80. Registration as seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.