Excursion to Charleston


  • Travelers arrive in Charleston, and check in to The Vendue (or wherever they may be staying).
  • From the hotel it is a delightful 10-minute walk through beautiful old Charleston to Nathaniel Russell House Museum, c. 1808. Here we will be greeted by representatives of the Historic Charleston Foundation, as well as local members of the American Antiquarian Society. Cocktail reception will include a private behind-the-scenes curatorial tour of the museum with a special focus on fine and decorative arts in the Historic Charleston Foundation’s collection.


  • Morning guided walking tour of the Old and Historic District for overview of architecture, gardens, and history with access to several private gardens and/or houses.
  • Food for Thought Luncheon and lecture at Historic Charleston Foundation, 40 East Bay Street.
    “The Charleston Renaissance: Art and Life in the Carolina Lowcountry, 1900-1940.” In the early twentieth century, descendants of wealthy rice and cotton barons and newcomers from “off” came together as a small community of talented artists to document and preserve Charleston’s changing culture. The result was an invaluable collection of paintings, poems, operas and early jazz music. It was the time of Alfred Hutty, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, Dubose Heyward and the Jenkins Orphanage Band. Harlan Greene, Head of Special Collections at the College of Charleston, will illustrate this remarkable period of rebirth.
  • Private cocktail reception on the verandah of The William C. Gatewood House, 21 Legare Street.
    Continually in private hands since its construction in 1843, Gatewood House is a classic Greek revival “sideyard” house designed by architect Col. E. B. White. Your host Sarah Horton, the current owner of the home, purchased it some years ago and with her husband undertook a significant, five-year preservation restoration. It was resurrected to its historical glory by the architectural team of G.P. Schafer, in whose book, The Great American House, Gatewood House is featured. Prof. David Shields, AAS member and former AAS fellow, will speak about Nat Fuller, the greatest chef of 19th-century Charleston and an enslaved African American who served the Gatewood family at this residence.
  • Travelers’ choice for dinner on their own.


  • Motor coach transportation out to a private tour of two Lowcountry plantations, Drayton Hall and Middleton Place, both distinct examples of the unique vernacular architecture of the Lowcountry and its stunning gardens. Tour features historically appropriate lunch on site.
  • Private behind-the-scenes curatorial tour of the Aiken-Rhett House Museum, c. 1820.
  • AAS member and former Councilor, Richard W. Thaler, hosts a cocktail reception for guests at his elegant townhouse on Tradd Street in the center of Historic Charleston.


  • Charleston Library Society experience—tour, special collections focus, possible lecturer—TBD.
  • Tour the Gibbes Museum of Art at your leisure.
  • Afternoon free for shopping, visiting art galleries or museums and strolling through the Old & Historic District. King Street is home to a number of antiques shops, art galleries, and specialty stores. In the French Quarter guests will find charming architecture, art galleries, and the Dock Street Theatre, America’s first ‘purpose-built’ theatre.
  • Professor David Shields and Chef Forrest Parker create a one-of-a-kind historically appropriate meal in celebration of the Antiquarian Society's trip to Charleston. Heirloom foods and recipes will make for an unforgettable evening. This dinner will be presented at The Vendue, making it convenient for guests staying there.


Travelers depart – or stay on for additional self-directed adventures.


$1,250 per person based on 20 participants. A few events cannot accommodate more than 20 people, so please be sure to register early! (We will make accommodations for as many people in addition to the 20 as we are able.)

The cost of ground transportation to the plantations, admission fees, tours, and the meals named in the itinerary are included.
$450 of the total $1,250 will count as tax deductible contributions: $200 to the Historic Charleston Foundation and $250 to the American Antiquarian Society.

A deposit of $250 is due to AAS by Friday, January 26th

Make checks payable to American Antiquarian Society. Address checks to Matthew Shakespeare, American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury Street,
Worcester, MA 01609-1634


make an online payment, using the "make a payment" link below when making payments for the AAS Charleston, SC excursion.


AAS has reserved a block of rooms at the discounted price of $249 per night at The Vendue, 19 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC. Once a deposit is received we will provide the reservation name, and travelers can book their stay directly with the hotel at (843) 577-7970.


Several airlines fly to Charleston, and Jet Blue has daily non-stop flights from Boston to Charleston.

Terms of Use, Statement of Privacy, Shipping and Return Policies
Credit cards held outside of the United States may be declined. Please check with your bank /credit card company if you encounter a problem as some banks require prior approval for international transactions. Thank you.

Quick Links
Catalog | Login | Digital A-Z

Mon, Tu, Th, Fri: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wed: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Facebook logoBlog logoTwitter logoInstagram logo