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OLLI Excursions


2016 Spring Excursions

Join us on a series of Southern historical, cultural and natural history excursions. Fee includes van, driver, guide and entrance fees; lunch extra. Vans depart from Conway and/or Litchfield and Myrtle Beach. Students will be called with specific departure/return times, but plan on a full day. Activity Level: 1 (moderate) to 5 (extensive). Registration required one week in advance; refunds for cancellations made a week prior or if a replacement is found.


Jan. 23 (Sat.)

XHIST 457 L01

Fee - $60

Charleston Aquarium and Turtle Hospital

This is the only South Carolina hospital for sick and injured sea turtles. Here we will learn about current patients and the extraordinary care provided for these endangered creatures. Afterward, we'll tour the Charleston Aquarium. Lunch will be at Fleet Landing.

Activity Level 2



Jan. 29 (Fri.)

XHIST 457 L03

Fee - $60

South Carolina State Museum

We will enjoy four floors of South Carolina's diverse and exciting history through fascinating displays on dinosaurs, prehistoric fossils, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, African-American history and more. You'll find South Carolina art featured across all four floors of exhibit galleries and you won't be able to miss the giant prehistoric megalodon shark replica. Lunch will be at the museum.

Activity Level 3

Feb. 6 (Sat.)

XHIST 457 L04

Fee - $55

Hunley Museum

The first successful combat submarine, the Hunley, was not air-conditioned nor automatic and was built for people about 5 feet tall. She is an important part of Civil War history and was the first submarine to sink an enemy ship. Immediately afterward, she disappeared. Why? What happened? The tour will answer some of the questions and give real insight into the times.

Activity Level 3

Feb. 17 (Wed.)

XHIST 457 L05

Fee - $50

Camden: Springdale Race Track

Camden has the distinction of being the oldest inland city in South Carolina. We will tour the Springdale Race Course, home of the spring Carolina Cup and the fall Colonial Cup steeplechase events. The racetrack is also home to a racehorse museum. We will also tour the town and discuss famous, historical figures from Camden.

Activity Level 5

Mar. 2 (Wed.)

XHIST 457 L06

Fee - $45

The Grove Mansion

This 7,000-square-foot Victorian mansion exemplifies Marion's unique history. Part historic treasure, part museum, this is a working homestead with each room furnished with décor original to the house. It is one of the best documented properties in South Carolina; you can follow the lives of the outstanding people who lived here, hear the unusual story of the relationships between the Montgomery family and the African-Americans who served at The Grove, and examine the artifacts and photos from the Montgomery sons who participated in both world wars. The proprietors dress in period clothing to give tours. Lunch will be at Webster Manor in Mullins.

Activity Level 3

Mar. 11 (Fri.)

XHIST 457 L07

Fee - $60

Middleton Place

Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and home to America's oldest landscaped gardens. Centuries-old camellias bloom in the winter months; azaleas flower on the hillside above the Rice Mill Pond in the spring. During the summer, kalmia, magnolias, crepe myrtles and roses accent the landscape which is beautiful all year round. The gardens have been planned so that something is in bloom throughout the year. Lunch will be at the restaurant on the ground.

Activity Level 5

Mar. 12 (Sat.)

XHIST 457 L08

Fee - $50

Skirmish at Gamble's Hotel

Located near Florence, the Skirmish at Gamble's Hotel is more than a Civil War battle re-enactment. You will get an idea of what it was like to live in the 1860s in the South as there are "sutlers" (merchants selling historically appropriate wares), soldiers, food and cooking demonstrations, as well as a field hand's cabin to view. The home may be open for tours and there may be skilled craftsmen demonstrating historically appropriate crafts. The weather may be cold or warm; please check the weather and bring appropriate clothing as the battle takes place no matter the weather. Please bring a chair for sitting.

Activity Level 5

Mar. 16 (Wed.)

XHIST 457 L09

Fee - $55

Bellamy Mansion Museum

This is one of North Carolina's most spectacular examples of antebellum architecture and is a mixture of neoclassical styles. After lunch at Elijah's Restaurant on the waterfront, we will walk the harbor, walk and see the old Cotton Exchange, a shopping complex consisting of more than eight historical buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Activity Level 5

Mar. 30 (Wed.)

XHIST 457 L10

Fee - $70

Captain Rod's Plantation Boat Tour

On this tour, we'll go up the Waccamaw River in Cap'n Rod's boat. We'll see lovely plantation homes, live oaks and avian wildlife in its natural habitat.

Activity Level 2

Apr. 2 (Sat.)

XHIST 457 L11

Fee - $60

Millford Plantation

Considered by many to be the finest example of Greek revival residential architecture in America, Millford Plantation was begun in 1839 and finished in 1841. Surrounded by live oaks, magnolias and green lawns, Millford seems as though it might be part of a dream. Visitors must still drive on dirt roads and through moss-draped forests to reach the idyllic plantation.

Activity Level 4

Apr. 8 (Fri.)

XHIST 457 L12

Fee - $55

Pear Fryar Topiary Garden and the Button Museum

Pearl Fryar has created a fantastic topiary garden. These living sculptures are the result of a great deal of love and horticultural knowledge. Many plants were rescued from compost piles at local nurseries and have thrived, becoming wonderful, perhaps abstract, shapes. Dalton Stevens' insomnia is to thank for this delightfully whimsical unique treat. He has sewn or glued button on anything that he could, from his guitar to his hearse. In addition to his fascination with buttons, he is also a musician. While there is no charge for admission to either place, a donation is sincerely at both.

Activity Level 4

Apr. 15 (Fri.)

XHIST 457 L13

Fee - $60

Charleston Churches

Charleston is known as the Holy City because it was one of the few places in the original 13 colonies that practiced religious tolerance. From the beginning, the city was a melting pot for people of all faiths, especially those who had been persecuted elsewhere because of their religious beliefs. We will visit First Scots Presbyterian, First Baptist, French Protestant (Huguenot), St. Michael's Episcopal and St. Philip's Episcopal Churches. While there is no charge for admission, a donation is sincerely appreciated at each church.

Activity Level 4

Apr. 20 (Wed.)

XHIST 457 L14

Fee - $40

Magnolia Cemetery

Now one of the most famous cemeteries in our state, Magnolia Cemetery was designed during a rural cemetery movement that crossed from Europe to America. It is the oldest public cemetery in Charleston, founded in 1849. Charlestonians would come to Magnolia to picnic, play and visit the dead. The cemetery continues as one of the best and most beautiful examples of rural and Victorian cemetery design in America.

Activity Level 5

Apr. 28 (Thurs.)

XHIST 457 L15

Fee - $30

Anne Tilghman Boyce Coastal Reserve and Waites Island

The Anne Tilghman Boyce Coastal Reserve, including Waites Island, is located on the northeast coast of South Carolina, just above Cherry Grove beach. The reserve is an outstanding example of an underdeveloped complex of ocean frontage, fresh and saltwater marshes, tidal creeks, and upland woods. We will have a field workshop led by a marine science educator. Dress appropriately for being outside, bring sunscreen and water. Please bring a plastic bag or two as well so as to be able to pick up any litter so we can help protect this lovely reserve.

Activity Level 5

May 4 (Wed.)

XHIST 457 L16

Fee - $55

Chareston Tea Plantation and Angel Oak

Located on Wadmalaw Island, visitors learn firsthand how tea is made during an informative factory tour. We will also take a trolley ride through the tea fields, have lunch at the Tomato Shed Restaurant and visit the Angel Oak tree which is more than 1,000 years old.

Activity Level 3