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March 31 – April 4, 2014

Enjoy well-preserved architecture of historic homes, true Southern cuisine, and the distinct art community, and of South Carolina's oldest city with the Charleston: An Insider's View experience operated by National Trust Tours.

Enjoy four nights at the opulent Francis Marion Hotel, named after the Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, also known as "Swamp Fox." Built in 1924 and a member of Historic Hotels of America, the hotel is a Charleston landmark situated in the heart of the historic district and boasts rich architectural features without sacrificing luxury comfort.


  • Accommodations at the Francis Marion Hotel, a Historic Hotels of America member
  • Leadership of John Meffert, a native Charlestonian and long-time preservationist and historian
  • Visits to two exquisite private homes and gardens in Charleston’s historic quarter
  • Sample Southern barbecue at Middleton Place followed by a special behind-the-scenes tour of the spectacular house and gardens
  • An evening excursion to Bowen’s Island for an authentic and delicious Oyster Roast.
  • A special visit of the National Trust Historic Site Drayton Hall, a plantation home that has survived the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the earthquake of 1886
  • Special tours of Charleston’s most important historic house museums

Study Leader Information
Frequent study leader and historian, John Meffert is a long-time proponent of preservation. As former director of the National Trust's Southern Office, John now serves as a consultant on heritage conservation services in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, where he has also served as the director of the Preservation Society of Charleston preserving the historic resources of the city.

Tour Itinerary
March 31 - Monday - Arrivals in Charleston
After arriving in Charleston, transfer independently to the opulent Francis Marion Hotel, a member of the Historic Hotels of America. In the afternoon, meet with study leader and architectural historian John Meffert for an opening lecture and overview of the trip, before enjoying a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres during a welcome reception. Then continue the evening with Mr. Meffert on a casual stroll past several hidden gems of historic Charleston.

April 1 - Tuesday - Charleston's Historic Homes
Begin the full-day tour of Charleston's best historic homes at the stately Edmondston-Alston House, where family treasures, including silver, furniture, books, and paintings have remained in tact for over a century. Next, visit the double brick Heyward-Washington House, which was built in 1772, and houses a magnificent collection of Charleston-made furniture, including the priceless Holmes Bookcase. Following lunch at a popular local restaurant, enjoy a curator-led tour of the Gibbes Museum of Art. In the evening, experience a classic local tradition, an authentic Low Country oyster roast for dinner at Bowen's Island.

April 2 - Wednesday - Drayton Hall & Middleton Place
Spend the morning at the National Trust Historic Site Drayton Hall, a Georgian-Palladian style plantation home that has survived the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the earthquake of 1886. Continue to Middleton Place and enjoy a stroll through its spectacular gardens, then relax over a barbecue lunch featuring local dishes like ham biscuits, okra gumbo, she-crab soup, collard greens and Huguenot torte, all while enjoying the magnificent view of the plantation through the glass-paned porch. Venture behind the scenes for a closer look at the Middleton family collections during a tour of the historic house.

April 3 - Thursday - Private Access in Charleston
Start the day with a guided tour of the National Historic Landmark Nathaniel Russell House and its arts collection, formal gardens, elegant interiors, and neo-classical architecture. Continue to two magnificent private residences and/or gardens in old Charleston that are opened exclusively for the National Trust. Enjoy guided strolls through each beautiful property, and if the owners are available, meet them to discuss the joys and challenges of living in a historic property. Spend the afternoon and evening at leisure before bidding farewell to Charleston with a memorable dinner in a local restaurant

April 4 - Friday - Departures
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring independently to the airport for return flights home.

Special Offer!
Mention Historic Hotels of America when booking your tour and receive three $100 gift certificates, each good toward a $100 refund when you book through and stay for at least two-nights at a Historic Hotels of America hotel.*

To book a tour please contact our tour VIP desk at +1 202 772 8000 or

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*Maximum of one $100 certificate may be claimed for a refund with a minimum two night stay booked through following the return of your tour and completion of your hotel stay. The refund will be issued within 45 days of the completion of your stay upon submitting a Great Experiences & Tours $100 refund application. Refund application must be submitted with a copy of your hotel folio receipt, the original confirmation number from your booking on, and the Certificate number issued to you for booking your tour through Historic Hotels of America. Certificates issued are a promotion only valid toward future reservations made through and do not have any cash value. One certificate may be used per room per two night or longer stay at the same hotel. Eligible rates include rates publicly available at time of booking. Reduced rates, rooms included in another travel or tour package, employee rates, advance purchase rates, and certain last minute sale rates are not eligible for this promotion.