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Fall 2019 Excursions

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The Department of Academic & Community Outreach would like to announce our most recent excursions planned for the upcoming semester.


Local Excursions

We will depart from the parking lot on the right side of the Coastal Carolina Science Center (301 Allied Drive, Conway) for trips that are located north or west of Myrtle Beach. We will depart from the Coastal Carolina Science Center and pick up at the Litchfield Education Center 45 minutes later for destinations to the south of Myrtle Beach. For the convenience of those living along the north Strand, we will offer a pickup at the intersection of U.S. 17 Bypass and S.C. 544 for southbound trips. Details about the trips, including departure, will be emailed seven to 10 days prior to the excursion. No refunds will be given for cancellations made within one week of the date of the trip. We encourage early registration since many of our excursions fill up fast. *Asterisks* indicate a stop for lunch, but unless noted otherwise, meals are not included in the excursion fee.

Tuesday, Sept. 24

CCU Campus Tour

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CCU Campus

$6.50 for lunch, tour is free

Meet us at the Coastal Education Center, 290 Allied Drive, Conway at 11:45 a.m., and we will ride over to the Hicks Dining Hall where you can help yourself to a wide variety of cuisines and eat all you want for the discounted cost of $6.50. After our lunch, we will take a customized walking tour of Coastal Carolina University and enjoy a talk by Nick DeStefano on the history of this institution. Transportation to and from campus is included in this walking tour. Activity Level 4

Wednesday, Sept. 25

Bulls Island Morning Tour

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*This trip has been cancelled.

Bulls Island Morning


Coastal Expeditions will drop us off directly at one of the most secluded and pristine beaches in the world of shelling and birding. This will give us the chance to connect with nature as we explore the island for four hours with a guide. Seven miles of Bulls Island’s beach are part of the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline on the East Coast and allow for unparalleled shelling, beach combing and exploring. Our journey will begin with a 50-minute naturalistled boat tour of the saltmarsh estuary and will last a total of five hours. Bring a lunch, water, sunscreen and snacks. Activity Level 5

Thursday, Sept. 26

Yawkey Wildlife Center

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Yawkey Wildlife


Learn about Tom Yawkey and the history of this area as you tour by bus to what is now a habitat for migratory birds, eagles, alligators and hundreds of species of wildlife. The beaches that are part of this land are considered excellent nesting locations for the threatened loggerhead sea turtle. Activity Level 1

Friday, Sept. 27

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

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*This trip has been cancelled.

NC Aquarium


Visit the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher for a self-guided tour where you can see its rays, sharks, eels and turtles. Meet a rare albino alligator named Luna and a rescued bald eagle named Maverick. Activity Level 3

Wednesday, Oct. 2

Kayaking on the Lynches River, Florence, S.C.

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Lynches River


Join us for a 2.5-hour kayaking tour down beautiful Lynches River. This tour includes your boat, paddle and life jacket. This scenic paddle flows through tall cypress trees and around scenic areas untouched by mankind. It’s a trip you are sure to enjoy! Lunch afterward (not included). Activity Level 4

Thursday, Oct. 3

Capt. Rod’s Boat Tour, Georgetown, S.C.

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*This trip has been cancelled.

Capt Rod Tours


Join Paige Sawyer aboard Capt. Rod’s for a private two-hour boat tour where you’ll relax on shaded deck seating. Listen, watch and learn about the nature and history of America’s oldest settled areas, a place where history lives in harmony with the natural world. Vistas of estuary and salt marshes surround you; perhaps a dolphin or a sea turtle will swim alongside the boat, while bald eagles, terns, pelicans, herons and egrets dance on the wind. Lunch afterward (not included). Activity Level 2

Friday, Oct. 4

Calabash Dolphin Tour

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Climb aboard the Calabash Fishing Fleet for a two-hour dolphin adventure cruise, which includes views of the island and the Intercoastal Waterway as we head out to sea through the Little River inlet. We will follow the shrimp boats, so the dolphins will be abundant as they wait eagerly for yummy bites that slip out of the nets when the shrimpers raise them to their boats. You will enjoy the activity of the dolphins for about an hour before heading back to the Calabash dock. Activity Level 3

Tuesday, Oct. 8

Walking Tour of Georgetown with Paige Sawyer

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Georgetown SC


Take a leisurely stroll underneath canopied live oaks that line Georgetown’s historical district and learn about pre- Revolutionary, antebellum and 19th century structures that have made Georgetown one of the best-kept secrets on the East Coast. Listen as history comes alive as Paige Sawyer narrates a walking tour through Georgetown’s historical district that was laid out in 1729. Then, enjoy lunch in one of the many fine restaurants that line Front Street. Lunch not included. Activity Level 5

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Pecan Trail in Florence, S.C.

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Pecan Trail


Get on your walking shoes because we have a fun-filled day waiting for you! We’ll begin this trip in Bishopville to see Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Gardens. Pearl’s property contains more than 300 individual plants and has been listed as one of the top 100 gardens in the world. Following the trip to the topiary, we’ll enjoy an appetizer at Red Bone Alley, which features deliciously innovative Southern cuisine using local ingredients when possible. From there, it’s on to the Pee Dee State Farmer’s Market, featuring a 45,000-square-foot shed filled to the brim with local fruits, produce, plants, jams, sauces and more. Our lunch will be at Julia Belle’s down-home eatery that serves delicious Southern cuisine. Next stop will be Young Plantations where you’ll discover and taste all of the scrumptious flavored pecans your heart desires! Finally, we’ll make a stop in downtown Florence where you can choose between visiting the Florence County Museum, the Waters Gallery, Local Motive Brewing or the many boutique shops. Before leaving Florence, we’ll have a farewell coffee treat at Dolce Vita Café & More. All meals and snacks included. Activity Level 4

Thursday, Oct. 10

CCU Production of “Bright Star”

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Bright Star


Coastal Carolina University’s Department of Theatre has invited us to attend the production of “Bright Star,” a musical written and composed by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell and set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in 1945-46. We will have dinner at the Rivertown Bistro in Conway, attend the 7 p.m. opening show and afterward chat with the director, Adam Pelty, and some of the cast. Dinner not included. Activity Level 1

Friday, Oct. 11

Birds of Prey, Awendaw

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Awendaw Birds of Prey


Join us for a guided tour at the Center for Birds of Prey, including a flight demonstration. Witness a falcon dive at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. Listen closely as an owl coasts past your head without making a sound. Watch as trained hawks and vultures soar with wild raptors above the center’s flying fields. Activity Level 3

Tuesday-Thursday, Oct. 15-17

Greenville, S.C.

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*This trip has been cancelled.

Greenville SC

$575/double, $699/single (Registration deadline Sept. 30. No refunds after Sept. 30)

Join us in experiencing all that Greenville has to offer! On our way, we will stop at the Little Mountain Antique Mall for lunch, allowing some time for shopping at this eclectic shop. Once in Greenville, we will take a driving tour of this vibrant town and its historic neighborhoods. Greenville is known for its art in public places with at least 100 pieces located throughout the city. Greenville’s downtown is situated along Park Falls on the Reedy River, where you will be able to enjoy the views of the lush gardens and waterfalls, walk the suspension bridge and even have time for shopping. During our stay we will have a “Lunch with the Artists” tour; this meal will be at Larkin’s on the River, one of Greenville’s outstanding steak houses. Our tour will continue with a visit to Artist Crossing which has 15 artists in private studios offering gem stones, scarves, custom jewelry making, wood carving and paintings. We will end our time in Greenville with a visit to the Upcountry Museum that sits at Heritage Green in downtown Greenville and proudly promotes the rich history of the Upcountry's 15 counties. Activity Level 4

Friday, Oct. 18

Riverbanks Zoo, Columbia, S.C.

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Riverbanks Zoo


The Riverbank Zoo and Gardens, home to more than 2,000 fascinating animals, is also one of the nation’s most beautiful botanical gardens. We will have a special “operating conditioning” tour, which includes memorable and eye-opening demonstrations. The zoo features 170 acres that include dynamic natural habitats, scenic river views and a spectacular valley that overlooks significant historical landmarks. Please plan for a full day of activity in Columbia. Lunch can be purchased at the zoo and we’ll stop for a nice dinner before arriving home. Lunch and dinner are not included. Activity Level 5

Tuesday, Oct. 22

Behind the Scenes of the Hobcaw Barony, Georgetown, S.C.

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This expanded and unique three-hour tour of Hobcaw Barony offers much more access than we have enjoyed in the past. With stops at the North Inlet salt marsh, the grounds of Bellefield Plantation, Friendfield Village, and the main floor of Hobcaw House, participants have a chance to spend more time at each location than offered on the daily tour. Activity Level 3

Friday, Oct. 25

Tobacco Museum, Mullins, S.C.

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Tobacco Museum


Mullins State Tobacco Museum’s collection includes four centuries of tobacco artifacts that illustrate how tobacco affected the economics and societies of the rural South. Located onsite, a reconstructed tobacco barn and market allow visitors to the museum to immerse themselves in the sights, stories and smells of South Carolina tobacco history. Enjoy a guided tour plus some free time to explore at your leisure. We will stop for lunch (on your own) between the lecture and the museum visit. Activity Level 3

Tuesday, Oct. 29

“Exploring the Gullah Culture” at Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant, S.C.

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Boone Hall Gullah


Boone Hall Plantation is the only plantation in South Carolina Lowcountry that offers a live presentation of the unique Gullah culture of the African slaves. This educational and entertaining program takes place at the Gullah Theater. Lunch afterward is not included in the excursion fee. Activity Level 4

Wednesday, Oct. 30

Bulls Island Afternoon Tour

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Bulls Island


Coastal Expeditions will drop us off directly at one of the most secluded and pristine beaches in the world of shelling and birding. This will give us the chance to connect with nature as we explore the island for four hours with a guide. Seven miles of Bulls Island’s beach are part of the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline on the east coast and allow for unparalleled shelling, beach combing and exploring. Our journey will begin with a 50-minute naturalist-led boat tour of the saltmarsh estuary and will last a total of five hours. Bring a lunch, water, sunscreen and snacks. Activity Level 5

Friday, Nov. 1

Rice Museum, Georgetown, S.C.

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Rice Museum


This unique museum in Georgetown traces the history of rice cultivation in the state and provides an in-depth look at how the plants were grown and how this crop transformed the South. The museum features dioramas that clearly depict the dykes that allowed farmers to control the flooding of their fields. It also offers an informative video, “The Garden of Gold,” which gives a historical overview of rice in America. Our tour of the Rice Museum will include admission to the Old Market and Kaminski Hardware Buildings, which date back to 1842. Activity Level 3

Thursday, Nov. 7

Painted Lady Bonsai and New Hanover County Arboretum, Wilmington, N.C.

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Painted Lady Bonsai


Our first stop of the day will be with Ronnie Sellers, from the Painted Lady Bonsai, who will demonstrate his skills and share his vast knowledge about the bonsai tree with us. His business houses the largest bonsai nursery in North Carolina. Located on his property are hundreds of Tokonome, Houtoku, Chinese pots, mudmen, Chinese imported trees and a variety of Japanese maples and Satsuki azaleas. Following our visit to the Painted Lady Bonsai, we will stop for a delicious lunch at the Pilot House, located on the river in Wilmington. The cost of lunch is not included in the excursion fee. We will finish our day at the New Hanover County Arboretum. This beautiful seven-acre location serves as a “horticultural laboratory” for on-site Cooperative Extension staff. The arboretum has many special features, including a Japanese garden with a teahouse and winding stream, a sweeping perennial border surrounding one of the largest water gardens in North Carolina. Activity Level 4

Friday, Nov. 8

Freewoods Farm

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Freewoods Farm


Step back in time and experience Freewoods Farm. Located in the Burgess community of Myrtle Beach, this 40-acre living farm museum replicates life on small Southern family farms owned and operated by African-Americans from 1865 to 1900. The workers use mules and plows to plant and wood to cook; make sausage and syrup; soak and cure hams; and harvest tobacco by hand. Activity Level 3

Tuesday, Nov. 12

Southport, N.C.

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Located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, Southport has been a popular location for the film industry. Founded in 1792 as Smithville, this small town was a favorite hiding place for pirates. We’ll have a guided tour through Southport and a self-guided tour through the Maritime Museum and the Old Brunswick Jail Museum. Before leaving beautiful Southport, we’ll drive down to the waterfront to have lunch (not included in excursion fee). Activity Level 4

Thursday, Nov. 14

Charleston’s Alleys and Hidden Passages

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Charleston Alleys


We will begin our day in downtown Charleston, arriving around noon to lunch at one of the many restaurants downtown. You will have two hours to either dine or shop before we start our walking tour. The two-hour guided tour offers a magical view into the often over-looked side of Charleston: alleys and hidden passages. We will walk along the cobblestone, brick and stone streets, and take a step back in time where we can truly appreciate the city’s charm on a more intimate and inviting scale. Activity Level 5

Friday, Nov. 15

Cotton Museum, Bishopville, S.C.

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SC Cotton Museum


The South Carolina Cotton Museum is located in Lee County, historically the heart of the South Carolina cotton country. Hundreds of years ago, the boll weevil nearly destroyed the cotton crops (eating the plant, not the cotton). A map at the museum shows the bugs’ relentless year-by-year march across the South. The museum displays a full-size sharecropper’s shack, still a very common sight in the 1950s, cotton mill machinery, and some miniature versions of the 19th century cotton gin and cotton press, built by a local man. Activity Level 3

Thursday, Nov. 21

Conway Glass and Lunch at the Rivertown Bistro

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Conway Glass


“This is so much fun, and the teacher is so knowledgeable!” These are the words of an OLLI@CCU student who joined the excursion last year. Come learn about glassblowing, then watch as other students blow glass, and finally, blow your own beautiful glass ornament. Conway Glass offers many glass products designed, manufactured and assembled on site. Lunch will follow at the Rivertown Bistro, located in downtown Conway. Lunch is included in the fee. Activity Level 2

Tuesday, Dec. 3

Darla Moore Botanical Garden Tour and Wreath-making Demo, Lake City, S.C.

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Darla Moore Botanical


A guide will lead us through this spectacular garden nestled among the fields of corn and soybeans in the rural Pee Dee region. The garden, a careful blend of exuberant plant displays, bounding meadows and enduring vistas of grey-green pines, is an innovative research center with educational and community outreach programs. There will be plenty to see despite winter’s approach, including snapdragons, pansies, chrysanthemums and marigolds. After touring the gardens, we will watch Rebecca Turk, director of education and events, show us her method of creating exquisite wreaths for the holidays using unique greenery, berries and pine cones. Afterward, we will drive to Lake City for lunch on your own. Activity Level 4

Friday, Dec. 6

Enchanted Airlie Gardens, Wilmington, N.C.

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Airlie Gardens


Take a slow-paced stroll through beautiful Airlie Gardens in the evening hours and enjoy more than 1 million festive lights, holiday flowers and musical entertainment. This event, voted one of the Southern Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events, continues to please visitors year after year. Enjoy the lovely decorated gardens, warm up with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, or shop with some of the local vendors. This event is guaranteed to get you ready for the holiday season. Activity Level 4

Tuesday-Thursday, Dec. 10-12

Candlelight Tour of Biltmore Estates, Asheville

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Biltmore Estate Candlelight

  1. C. $599/double, $725/single (Registration deadline Oct. 18, no refunds after Oct. 18)

Board the motor coach in Conway as we head to Ashville, N.C., for a lovely two-night stay at the DoubleTree Inn. Included in the price are two chef’s breakfasts, a two-day admission pass to the Biltmore Estate, including both a candlelight and a daytime visit, and a delicious buffet dinner at the beautiful Deer Park Inn. You’ll get the chance to view the lovely gardens and conservatory as well as Antler Village, where retail shops and the Biltmore Winery offer excellent shopping and tasting opportunities. Activity Level 4

*Excursions marked with an asterisk are part of our new series on Critters and Crops, combining a lecture with a day trip. You may sign up for the lecture, the excursion or (preferably) both.


Frequent Flyer Program

OLLI members who take 10 or more excursions with us during the fall semester will be rewarded with a day trip of their choice (priced under $100) during the spring semester. It pays to travel with OLLI@CCU!

National and International Travel Opportunities with OLLI@CCU

Domestic and international trips offered through Collette or Premier World Discovery require earlier deadlines. More detailed brochures are available at our centers. The companies usually save 10-15 spots for our students, so early registration is recommended. Registration forms and payments should be sent directly to the tour company; they will notify us when we have reached capacity. CCU travel insurance ($2/day) is required for international destinations and will be the only payment made directly to us. Note: We have discovered that the tour companies have very few single accommodations, and more often than not, if you choose that option, they will place you on a waiting list. Find a friend at OLLI and explore the world together!

Premier World Discovery’s Costa Rica Adventure

Coasta Rica

Feb. 12-21, 2020, $3,675/double (Final payment due Nov. 29, 2019)

Highlights include: Poas Volcano National Park, coffee plantation visit, jungle crocodile safari cruise, Arenal Volcano National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Selvatura Park and hanging bridges, butterfly garden and hummingbird gallery, Carara National Park, orchid garden tour, Sarchi artisan village, and three multi-night stays including a two night coastal resort stay.

Collette’s Spain’s Classics & Portugal


March 11-24, 2020, $5,029/double (Deadline for registration Sept. 5, 2019; final payment due Jan. 11, 2020)

Highlights include: Lisbon, Fatima, Nazare, Obidos, Madrid, Royale Palace, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, flamenco show, Granada, The Alhambra, Valencia, paella experience, Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell.

Collette’s Magnificent Cities

Matthias Church

April 26-May 9, 2020, $5,029/double (Deadline for registration Oct. 21, 2019; final payment due Feb. 26, 2020)

Highlights include: Germany, Dresden, Czech Republic, Hradcany Castle, Austria, Schonbrunn Palace, Hungary, Matthias Church, Poland, Auschwitz and Warsaw.

CCU’s Joseph Fitsanakis presents Deep Blue: Experience the Real Greece


May 18-29, 2020, $5,599/double (Deadline for registration and initial deposit Oct. 1, 2019)

Joseph Fitsanakis, associate professor of politics, will guide us through his homeland, with three nights in Athens and the majority of time spent on Crete, visiting Rethymno and its folklore museum, the Fortezza Venetian castle, the Minoan Knossos and more.

Premier World Discovery’s Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park

Canadian Rockies

June 24-July 1, 2020, $3,445/double (Final payment due April 10, 2020)

Highlights include: three nights at one hotel in Banff, Head- Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Waterton Lakes National Park, Glacier National Park, 1930s Red Jammer Touring Cars, Going-to-the-Sun Highway, Kootenay National Park, Banff area tour, Moraine Lake and Valley of Ten Peaks, Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier, Peyto Lake, Icefields Parkway, and the Athabasca Glacier Ice Explorer.

Premier World Discovery’s Waterways and National Parks of the Pacific Northwest


Aug. 21-28, 2020 $3,175/double (Final payment due June 10, 2020)

Highlights include Mt. Ranier and Olympic National Parks, Seattle, Tacoma, whales and more.

Collette’s Danube River Cruise


Sept. 25-Oct. 5, 2020, $4,529-$7,329/double, depending on room

(Deadline for registration Jan. 20, 2020; final payment due May 28, 2020) Highlights include Füssen, Linderhof Palace, Oberammergau, Munich, seven-night Danube River cruise, Regensburg, Passau, Linz, Wachau Valley, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest.

Premier World Discovery’s Discover Thailand


Oct. 13-21, 2020

$3,395/double (Final payment due July 29, 2020)

Highlights include Bangkok city tour, Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha Temple, Thai dinner and dance experience, Silom village, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Kanchanaburi, Thailand-Burma Railway Museum and the bridge over the River Kwaia. An optional Chiang Mai extension is available.

Premier World Discovery’s Music Cities Christmas


Dec. 4-10, 2020

$2,745/double (Final payment due Sept. 18, 2020)

Visit Nashville, Memphis and Branson.



OLLI staff will indicate the level of physical activity for any excursion so that OLLI@CCU participants may judge the suitability of the trip or activity. The ratings are:

1. Easy – minimal level of physical activity, minimal walking and limited stairs or standing.

2. Moderate – walk up to a mile a day and/or stand for an hour or less

3. Active – walk as much as two miles a day, stand for more than an hour, or climb some stairs

4. Moderately Challenging – spend most of your day walking, sometimes over uneven terrain or climbing stairs, and/or standing for extended periods

5. Challenging – These are demanding programs, for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts and/or extremely active adults.