The Five Rivers:

Exploring Georgetown, SC

  • Georgetown | Brookgreen Gardens | Huntington Beach | Hobcaw Barony


March 27 – 30, 2023


  • Guided touring of the ecosystems and history of the Hobcaw Barony
  • Brookgreen Gardens & Huntington Beach State Park
  • Georgetown's riverfront restaurants and cultural highlights
  • roads less traveled and hidden treasures in the Carolina Low Country

Trip Description

Large island tracts of private land . . . preserved in a natural state for decades . . . holding historic remnants of an earlier way of life, and miles of estuarine wildlife habitats . . .

It’s small group exploration time – in the Carolina Low Country!  Join regional historian, Chumley Cope, to plumb some of the best stories of the historic riverside town of Georgetown (SC’s third oldest community), and the rich watershed that gave rise to rice production, Gullah culture, and the post-Civil War establishment of “reproduction plantations” / hunting preserves by a northern elite.

We’ll spend three nights in Georgetown, explore quaint Front Street and Georgetown’s early residences and houses of worship as we discover the stories, architecture, and eateries of this quaint river city.  Enjoy guided tours of Hobcaw Barony – one of the state’s great private preserves (historic homes and villages, marsh, beach, and forest); and Sandy Island – a Gullah preserve.  We’ll also explore the story of New York-based sculptor, Anna Hyatt Huntington, and the establishment of the world’s first great sculpture park at Brookgreen Gardens (as well as the Huntingtons’ c. 1930 home, Atalaya Castle).

We’ll round out our adventures with delicious meals, warm fellowship, the “right pace,” and a few surprises to be uncovered along Low Country backroads.

We’ll travel by comfortable high-roofed van; the sign-up will be limited to 8 travelers. Join us!


Day 1

This morning, we’ll depart the “western Carolinas” for points “coastal!”  We’ll enjoy lunch in the Carolina Sandhills region, then descend along the old Black River Road to the Georgetown area.  We’ll check into our comfortable hotel in Georgetown . . . where there’s a distinct hint of salt in the air.

Dinner and overnight in Georgetown.

Day 2

This morning, we’ll visit Georgetown’s Rice Museum and the Prince George Winyah Church — among the oldest (and finest) in the state. After lunch, enjoying touring beautiful Brookgreen Gardens — the world’s first sculpture garden, established by New York-transplants, acclaimed sculptor Anna Hyatt and her husband Archer Huntington.  Later in the day, we’ll get a look at the couple’s nearby estate home — Atalaya — as well as good bird-watching and easy strolls with marsh and beach views at Huntington Beach State Park.

We’ll return to Georgetown for late-afternoon rest and relaxation and dinner.

Overnight, Georgetown.

Day 3

This morning, after breakfast, we’re off to explore the Hobcaw Barony.

We’ll get an orientation to this massive land-holding of the Bernard and Belle Baruch family, situated on the Winyah Neck, at the Hobcaw Visitor Center.  Then we’ll embark with guides into the property, which features estate homes, historic African-American villages and cemeteries, Atlantic coastal habitats, and huge estuarine habitats.

After our adventure in the Barony, we’ll return to Georgetown for lunch.  Enjoy Front Street, and the riverwalk along the Sampit River.

This afternoon, we’ll explore the rich natural spaces along the Santee River delta, and the Hampton Plantation (built adjacent to the rice-growing delta).

We’ll celebrate our good times together, and recount favorite tales of our adventure together this evening over dinner.

Overnight, Georgetown.

Day 4

We’ll make way for departure from Georgetown this morning.

Our return drive will track down the coast to the fishing village of McClellanville, then turn inland through dense pine forests to the Santee-Cooper Lakes.  This was Francis Marion — “Swamp Fox” — country, during the American Revolution . . . and stories abound.

We’ll return home later today, refreshed from our Lowcountry getaway!

Featured Experiences

What's Included

  • Comfortable transportation
  • Accommodation for 3 nights
  • Breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners
  • All activities / admissions per the itinerary
  • Guide and concierge service throughout the trip

Trip Price

$2,386 / person (double occupancy; single supplement, $385)

What's Not Included

Price does not include alcohol, or optional trip insurance.

..well-planned, from interesting and fun excursions planned each day, to comfortable lodging and transportation. Our trip leaders, Chumley and Khal, were impressive with their knowledge of each area we explored and gracious in their planning of every aspect of our trips.

Trip insurance safeguards your travel investment, your belongings, and most importantly, you. Though trip insurance is optional, we strongly encourage travelers to purchase trip insurance in the event you have to cancel or leave a trip for any reason. Please note, all trip participants should wait for confirmation from Explore Up Close that the trip has the minimum sign-up required to be a “go” before purchasing travel insurance. Please confirm with Explore Up Close before making any additional travel arrangements.

Once you have received confirmation from Explore Up Close, we recommend contacting a travel insurance provider directly to request a quote and compare pricing and features. You can find other providers that may fit your needs at, or we can gladly connect you with our travel agent.

This trip departs from Greenville / Spartanburg, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina. If you live elsewhere, please contact us to discuss travel arrangements, and we will look forward to assisting you!

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