Escorted Trip - Spotlight on Savannah 
March 27-31, 2023





With Margo McDonough, Owner,
Blue Skies Travel Center &
Horticulturalist Jaime Whitcomb

Starting at just $1,599!
Limited spots available -- call 302-893-4571
or email: margo@blueskiestravelcenter.com 

Savannah is a magical city and there's no better time to visit than when the flowers are in bloom and festivals are a daily happening. (We will be visiting during the Savannah Music Festival.)

We will enjoy a Historic District trolley tour, City Market, a dessert tour, Tybee Island, a dolphin cruise, and a morning when you can choose to tour the First African Baptist Church or the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum.

Gardeners will love that horticulturalist Jaime Whitcomb will be joining us! Together we'll explore the magical gardens of Savannah and discuss ways to translate the beauty of what you see into fresh ideas for your garden.  You’ll learn about plants that grow in the South that also can add a pop of color to your Northern garden, best plants for cutting flowers, and top plants to encourage pollinators. 

Partnering with Collette on this fully escorted trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Itinerary:

Day 1

Welcome to Savannah, a coastal city built on Southern hospitality and charm. It’s known for manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages and antebellum architecture. Its historic district is filled with cobblestoned squares and parks such as Forsyth Park shaded by oak trees covered with Spanish moss.

Our group will have a private welcome meet-up with Margo and Jaime, in which we will take a short walking tour near our centrally located hotel. Jaime will talk about Savannah's legacy as a garden city, which is firmly rooted in its beginnings as an agrarian experiment. Let’s see how many of Savannah’s 22 urban squares and parks we can visit before the week is over! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2

This morning, take in the ambiance of the “Old South” with a trolley tour highlighting Savannah's sprawling Historic District, where your guide will narrate the history and culture of your surroundings. The stately mansions, beautiful squares and romantic riverfront promenade will capture your heart as you travel along the cobblestone-paved streets and beneath moss-draped oaks.

Afterwards, you’ll have time on your own in City Market for lunch. A hub of Savannah since the 1700’s, City Market is a place to stroll, dine, and shop. Save room for dessert after lunch, because you’ll get a taste of Savannah’s sweet side. You’ll stop with our Collette tour director at both a family-owned confectioner and an ice-cream shop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later, you may opt to join Jaime and Margo for a private walking tour of some of Savannah’s most enchanted gardens.  See gardens hidden behind the iron gates of some of the city’s finest homes and view public areas such Forsyth Park. During this guided tour focused on the rich history and significance of Savannah gardens, you will learn how and why these spaces were used to understand the climate of Savannah and how they paved the path for creating public gardens in the early British American colonies.  Here you will learn about garden design and plant identification as you explore and get to know this lush, green city better.    

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 3

Start your day off your way, because this morning it’s your choice! Discover the strength and spirit of the First African Baptist Church during a guided tour. Part of the community since 1773, you’ll learn about the storied history of this church and its congregation, from the Civil War to Segregation on to today -OR- visit the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, displaying scrimshaw art and objects of the Era of the Atlantic Trade.

 

Who’s ready for a road trip? Some may wish to relax after the busy morning but if you’re game, join Jaime and Margo for an outing to the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, which is located about 20 minutes outside of town.    

The gardens are a top Savannah attraction that serves as a museum of plants, a tranquil escape and a living classroom. Among the gardens to enjoy include the Woodland Shade Garden, White Garden, Water Garden, Garden for All Abilities, Orchid House, Mediterranean Garden, Rose Garden and Judge Arthur Solomon Camellia Trail. Numerous cold-hardy palms, bamboo species and camellia species are highlights in the botanical collection.

This evening, perhaps you’ll choose an optional tour to dine at a local restaurant followed by a musical variety show at the historic Savannah Theatre.

Breakfast included.

Day 4 

Today, we’ll head to the Pin Point Heritage Museum located in the Moon River District in Savannah’s Low Country. From today’s residents, hear the cultural story of the Gullah-Geechee community founded in 1890 by freed slaves and what it was like to grow up here, the importance of the surrounding marshes and rivers and what the future holds.

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards, set out for nearby Tybee Island, one of Georgia’s barrier islands and a favorite vacation spot since the late 1800’s. You’ll have time to relax, enjoy the coast and the vibrant downtown. You’ll leave Tybee Island by boat, taking a scenic cruise past lighthouses and the imposing Fort Pulaski. Keep your eyes on the water, because you’ll be looking for pods of dolphins. They love diving and playing in the wake of the boat, so be sure to have your camera ready.

Tonight, you’ll sit down with your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner, to swap stories of your time in Savannah.

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 5

After breakfast, bid farewell to the southern charm of Savannah. Margo and Jaime will be departing today but group members can choose to continue on Collette’s optional three-night extension to Charleston, which is priced at $899 based on double occupancy. Please ask for details.   

Breakfast included.

Hotel:

The DeSoto Savannah (4 nights)

As much a part of Savannah as city squares and Spanish moss, The DeSoto blends the elegance, history, and charm of one of America’s oldest cities with a playful dose of Southern spirit. Step inside this downtown Savannah hotel for foie gras and fried green tomatoes, or meet on the back porch for a “Sip & Stroll” walking tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Price per person for March 27-31: 4 nights lodging, tours and activities as described above, meals as listed above: 

$1,599 per person, land rates, based on double occupancy. 

$2,099 per person, land rates, based on single occupancy. 

$1,569 per person, land rates, based on triple occupancy.

Travel protection $249.

Ask me for airfare pricing.

A deposit of $300 per person is due upon reservation. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Final payment due by January 26, 2023.

Ready to book? Call Margo McDonough at 302-893-4571 or use this link to reserve your spot now:

 https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/1124630

 

About Your Group Trip Coordinator 

Margo McDonough started Blue Skies Travel Center in 2016, after earlier stints in the travel industry for such companies as J.P. Morgan Chase.  She has planned and escorted two trips for OLLI,  a Paris to Normandy river cruise in October 2018, facilitated by special guest expert Professor Ray Callahan, and a trip to the Tournament of Roses Parade in December 2019.

McDonough is a member of the American Society of Travel Advisors, is fully insured, and is supported by host agency Uniglobe Travel Center and Virtuoso, a luxury travel consortium.  Much like OLLI members, she has a passion for lifelong learning and is currently studying for a doctoral degree at West Chester University.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Your Special Guest Horticulturalist

Jaime Whitcomb is a garden expert with a passion for travel.  Jaime earned a BS in botany and plant and soil science and has more than 25 years of experience spanning public gardens, wholesale growing, and retail garden centers.  She has extensive knowledge in ornamental landscape plants with a focus on plant health, perennials and gardening in small spaces. Jaime translates her knowledge into user-friendly tips and advice for both the avid and novice gardeners.

 

 

This tour is brought to you by Blue Skies Travel and is not sponsored or affiliated with the University of Delaware Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Rates, availability and all terms and conditions subject to change until booking.

As you are planning your vacation, and before finalizing any booking with Blue Skies Travel, check for travel warnings and alerts. These are available through

sites like the U.S. State Department 

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html

and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/travel.

trip map