Island Hopping – From Palmetto to Peach

Enjoy the Best of the South Carolina and Georgia Coastlines, including: Charleston, Beaufort, Savannah, and Jekyll Island. Explore Magnolia Plantation and Garden, the Port Royal Maritime Center, and the historic city of Beaufort. Tour Saint Simon's Island and Jekyll Island. Embark on an Eco-boat Tour and experience beautiful surroundings on a Horse and Carriage Tour. This, and so much more awaits on your Island Hopping Excursion!

Duration
8 Days /7 Nights

Group size

Customization
Available!

Tour Pricing Estimated Inclusions: 7 nights' hotel accommodation; 7 breakfasts; 2 lunches; 4 dinners; admissions, entrance, and guide fees as stated in the itinerary, including taxes & gratuity. Except gratuity for guide fees is not included on adult tours unless otherwise requested.


Highlights Include:
  • Magnolia Plantation and Garden
  • Horse Drawn Carriage Ride
  • Charleston City Market
  • Wine Receptions on Antebellum Porches
  • Low Country Boil
  • St. Simon Island Tour
  • Jekyll Island Tour

Day One: 
  • Arrive in Charleston at the stately Magnolia Plantation, the oldest major public garden in America, it is also America’s oldest man-made attraction, having been open to the public annually since the late 1860s. The Nature Train is a 45-minute tram tour of the Plantation's diverse landscapes - lakes, woodlands, marshes, and rivers - while guides describe plantation history and wildlife. As the tour travels beyond Magnolia's historic gardens and lawns, guides interpret the extensive flora and fauna. Alligators, turtles, herons, egrets, and other native animals are often viewed in abundance. Dating from 1760, the Magnolia Plantation House is the third structure to grace the Plantation grounds. After the second house was burned by General Sherman’s troops during the Civil War, this home was dismantled and brought by barge on the Ashley River from nearby Summerville, South Carolina, after the war and erected on the burned-out ground floor walls of the second house. The present living and dining areas as well as the distinctive Victorian water tower were added in the late 1800s.
  • Enjoy free time in the Gardens of Magnolia Plantation, America’s oldest garden spanning three centuries. See the Long White Bridge, The Barbados Tropical Garden, The Horticultural Maze, and the Biblical Garden. Enjoy lunch on own and free time at The Charleston City Market spanning four blocks and home to more than 300 vibrant entrepreneurs. Sweet grass basket weavers can be seen in every building, along with local artists, jewelry, tapestry, souvenirs, church dolls, afghans, rugs, rice, beans and sauces, local candies, and cookies and much more.
  • Take a Horse Drawn Carriage Ride through historic Charleston, South Carolina. Rich in over 300 years of history, Charleston is one of the most beautifully preserved historic and architectural treasures in the nation. Significant and lovely structures, beautiful gardens, and centuries-old homes grace the narrow streets. Church bells toll the hour as history unfolds around each and every corner.
  • Visit the Edmondston-Alston House, a historic, Federal-style home showcasing architecture, furnishings, and family artifacts. Constructed in 1825, the house was ideally situated to provide a vantage point from which General P.G.T. Beauregard could observe the fierce bombardment of Ft. Sumter on April 12, 1861, signaling the start of the Civil War. And on December 11 of the same year, the house gave refuge to General Robert E. Lee the night a wide-spreading fire threatened his safety in a Charleston hotel. It has magnificent views of Charleston Harbor. Enjoy a glass of wine on the porch of this historic house!
  • Enjoy dinner included at The Charleston Crab House, family owned and operated for over 27 years, using the freshest ingredients available. Enjoy fresh local seafood and watch the sunset with amazing water views of Wappoo Creek and Wappoo Creek Bridge.
Day Two: 
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel then depart for downtown Beaufort with free time to shop the unique and independent boutiques, artisan shops, and restaurants located here.
  • Beaufort has a very comfortable and walkable downtown with no chain retail shops or restaurants.
  • Enjoy lunch on your own while visiting, then take a Horse Drawn Carriage Ride through historic downtown Beaufort, South Carolina. Named "the South's Best Small Town" by Southern Living Magazine, true southern hospitality is key in Beaufort. Travel back in time through the historic Point neighborhood where you will learn about occupation and Reconstruction after the Civil War. You will see the homes portrayed in several Hollywood movies, the Prince of Tides, the Big Chill, the Great Santini to mention a few.
  • Learn about Beaufort’s Civil War History. See Antebellum and Victorian Architecture as well as Hollywood movie sites.
  • Enjoy a fun filled tour of The Kazoo Factory where you will make your own Kazoo!
  • Enjoy a Welcome Drink and Reception on an Antebellum Porch overlooking the River while enjoying the sunset. Step inside the historic home for a delicious Chef’s Choice dinner.
Day Three: 
  • Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel then depart with GUIDE. We’re off to Catch the Spirit of The Islands onboard our Convertible Sprinters with 60-degree unobstructed panoramic views. Travel the beaches and backroads inaccessible on a full size motorcoach while we discover what makes this area so unique. Roll back the retractable roof once we pull off the main roads. Enjoy the beach as the beach should be enjoyed! Smell the earthy marsh and salty tidal air, soak in the sunlight, and enjoy the fresh air breezes.
  • This morning we “Journey from Slavery to Freedom” catching the spirit of island life, its unique history, and it's Gullah Heritage. Visit The Praise House, Pat Conroy's Grave, a Slave Cemetery, & The Penn Center. Next, we are off to do a little beachcombing at an undisturbed and beautiful barrier Island. See the lighthouse, learn its history and climb, if you dare! Walk the beach while learning about the unique eco-systems of this area, an Audubon and turtle preserve. Explore this Island that was the location of the Viet Nam Beach Scene where Forrest Gump carried Bubba to safety.
  • Lunch is a Low Country Shrimp Boil, AKA Frogmore Stew. “Hear the Rest of the Story” from a local storyteller and historical interpreter. Next, we will visit the Shrimp Docks, where your shrimp was harvested for our Low Country Boil today! Owned by a local shrimper, see how they catch from the sea with their nets, boats, and docks. Get a close-up experience of low country life and the history of shrimping on the island. Visit the docks and learn the history, heritage, and traditions of the commercial shrimping in the low country.
  • On the journey back to the hotel, time permitting, we will stop at a local farm market for a chance to purchase and take back some homemade culinary delights such as WEE Gumbo or pick a watermelon to enjoy at the hotel this evening.
  • Relax at the hotel before departing. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening along Beaufort’s Front Porch or opt to return to your hotel and rest.
Day Four: 
  • After breakfast and take a Eco-Boat Tour for a scientific exploration on the Chechessee River.
  • Next we’re off to Savannah where we’ll visit a 100-year old Gullah Geechee Community quietly isolated on the banks of Moon River (Yes, THAT Moon River!), and learn about the unique aspects of their oyster and crab aquaculture practiced for over a century. Lunch is served on the deck surrounded by incredible Marsh views! Here we will enjoy a BBQ lunch served by the regional cook off BBQ Master!
  • Today we’ll see one of the largest rows of Live Oaks and Spanish moss in the U.S. Colonial interpreters will tell the story of the Estate of Noble Jones (1702-1775). You will get to try your hand at Cricket on the original grass Crick-et lawn located here.
  • Enjoy Oyster Appetizers while the sun-sets from a porch nestled in the heart of Sandfly offering pan-oramic views of the waters of the marsh and tidal inlet. Move inside for window view seating and a dinner of locally sourced, fresh seafood.
  • Check into your historic district hotel in Savannah.
Day Five: 
  • Enjoy breakfast then head out for a 90 minute overview tour of Savannah followed by an all day Hop On Hop Off pass to enjoy the sites, shopping, and entertainment offered here. Enjoy lunch while visiting then see Riverwalk, City Market, tour one or many of the beautiful Savannah Homes, shop, and dine.
Day Six: 
  • After breakfast and check out we’re off to St. Simon Island where we will meet our guide to tour the island. The Village is made up of restaurants and many small shops offering everything, clothing, shells, antiques, books, local arts, and crafts. The Pier area has been the focal point of social and recreational activity since the 19th century when ferry boats operated regularly between St. Simons Island and the mainland.
  • Visit Fort Frederica, the site of the Battle of Bloody Marsh where the Spanish sought to capture St. Simons in 1742. Visit a National Monument,  see the ruins of the fortifications, barracks, and homes. A museum, film, dioramas, tours, and demonstrations bring the settlement vividly back to life. Tour Christ Church. The Christ Church congregation traces its origins to 1776, and to the very earliest days of St. Simons Island. The church is constructed of wood in the cruciform design with a trussed Gothic roof and steeple. The graveyard is a fascinating spot to trace island history through the members of the founding families who rest there. Today, this beautiful church with its magnificent stained-glass windows and heavily wooded grounds is one of St. Simons' most treasured landmarks.
  • Visit St. Simon’s Lighthouse and the Museum of Coastal History. First constructed in 1807 by James Gould on Couper's Point, this towering, 104-foot lighthouse was reconstructed in 1872 on the same site to replace the original which was destroyed by retreating Confederate forces in 1862. A beautifully restored 1872 lighthouse keeper's home complements the lighthouse. Next enjoy lunch on own in St. Simon.
  • Enjoy lunch on own and free time to stroll & shop downtown St. Simon's Island.
  • Check into the historic & luxurious Jekyll Island Resort. Dinner is included this evening at the resort. Since 1888, iconic families like the Vanderbilt's, Morgan's, Pulitzer’s, and Rockefellers’ were members of the Jekyll Island Club. They came for the winters by private rail cars and luxurious yachts. The days were filled with red-bug races on the beach, golf along the ocean, tennis on grass courts, and dinner lasted for hours in the Grand Dining Room.
Day Seven: 
  • Enjoy breakfast at the Resort then depart on a tour of Jekyll Island. Arrive at the Jekyll Island Museum and take a tram ride through the island’s 240-acre Jekyll Island Club National Historic Landmark District, getting a glimpse of the past while viewing historic Victorian cottages that accommodated the Clubs elite members.
  • Next depart on an exploration tour of the island. Lunch will be on own at guides discretion.
  • Explore the Georgia State Sea Turtle Center, an educational center devoted to the study, care & rehabilitation of sea turtles & their environment.
  • Jekyll Island has plenty to explore. Nature lovers and photo buffs find rare birds, sea turtle sanctuaries, and the remote beauty of Driftwood Beach. Historians devour the stories and architecture. Exercise fans swim, jog, hike, and bike on miles of uncrowded beach. And foodies find new favorites among the local seafood, imported wines, and craft spirits. Later enjoy dinner on own and return to Resort.
Day Eight: 
  • Enjoy breakfast at the Resort and then depart for home!

*Base rate does not include motor coach transportation, airfare, airport transfers, driver gratuity, guide gratuity, or any upgrades or add-ons unlisted from itinerary as stated. Personalized itineraries with custom pricing and/or additional transportation can be created and added based on client needs and upon client’s request. Estimated prices may vary based on day of arrival, time of year, and other conditions. MARS will customize quotes or personalize itineraries for FREE.


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