A garden connoisseur’s tour of Savannah & Charleston

Stroll through 330 years of fascinating history and rich culture, while getting an exclusive peek behind Savannah & Charleston’s garden gates

Forsyth Park, Savannah

Behind The Garden Gate—Savannah & Charleston tour
March 19–26, 2017
3 nights in Savannah, 4 nights in Charleston

Experience southern charm and hospitality while exploring secret gardens, elegant homes, magnificent plantations, hidden alleys, and quaint, picturesque cobblestone streets with Eve Rickenbaker of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and Susan McLeod Epstein of the Preservation Society of Charleston.

The tour is offered by UW Botanic Gardens in partnership with Earthbound Expeditions, a fantastic local company which organizes domestic and international excursions that explore gardens, ecology, culture and community. Past UW Botanic Gardens tour offerings have included trips to Cuba, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

Live oak, Magnolia Place, Charleston, South Carolina

On the Behind the Garden Gate tour, you’ll spend three nights in Savannah, GA and four nights in Charleston, SC, with a stop at Beaufort, SC along the way. The guided journey will take you to some of the oldest churches, homes and gardens in America, strolling through 330 years of fascinating history and rich culture with fellow garden enthusiasts.

The trip starts in historic Savannah, where you’ll tour live oak shaded squares, the gardens of several historic houses and Forsyth Park. Your day continues at the Scarborough House Ships of the Sea Museum. Built in 1819 for one of the owners of the Savannah–the first steamship to cross the Atlantic–the museum features an award winning garden. After a night in Savannah you’ll take a coach ride to the Wormsloe Plantation, an elegant home that once belonged to Noble Jones, one of the first settlers of the city. Your next day’s journey to Charleston includes a stop in Beaufort, a unique Lowcountry experience where you’ll tour one of the town’s outstanding gardens.

Historic Downtown - Savannah, Georgia

The first full day in Charleston will features a walking history and garden tour, followed by a visit to Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. The next day, we will visit the Ashley River Historic Plantations, including Drayton Hall and Middleton Place. Drayton Hall remains in nearly original condition. Never modernized, the home provides an unmatched look at colonial living and creative craftsmanship. Carefully preserved Middleton Place is an 18th century plantation that has survived revolution, the Civil War, and earthquake. A final day is spent exploring private gardens in Charleston, as well as the home and gardens of Nathaniel Russell, a Rhode Island merchant who spent $80,000 on this building before 1809.

Space is limited, so reserve soon to join fellow garden enthusiasts for an exclusive experience.

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Magnolia Place bridge - Charleston, South Carolina