It is time to plan your spring home touring. Between the middle of March and the first of May homes throughout the south are open to visitors to raise money for worthy causes. Historic Beaufort Foundation’s third Architect’s Tour March 19th is showcasing houses by local architects on St Helena Island, Distant Island, Polawana Island and Cane Island. Historic Charleston Foundation’s Festival of House and Gardens has unique daily tours in private homes and gardens from March 16th through April 24th. The 81st annual Savannah tour of Homes and Gardens is March 31th through April 3rd and the Garden Club of Savannah’s Secret Garden tour is April 22nd and 23rd.
There are several home and garden tours that are a short drive from Beaufort County. Madison, Georgia has over 100 restored antebellum homes and local lore says that the town was declared too beautiful to burn by General Sherman. Visit Madison for their spring tour, May 5th through 7th to find out if Sherman was right about Madison. Macon, Georgia has a Secret Garden Tour and Historic Interiors tour May 2nd through 4th.
The French Heritage Festival Home, Gardens and Church tours is in Abbeville, South Carolina on April 18th. Abbeville was founded in 1785 by French Huguenots and one of its first settlers was Patrick Calhoun, father of John C. Calhoun the seventh vice-president of the United States.
The Inman Park neighborhood was Atlanta’s first planned community and garden suburb developed in the late 1880s. The spring celebration includes a home and garden tour, bands, arts and craft show and a not to be missed parade. The festival is April 29th through May 1st. Another Atlanta neighborhood, Druid Hills features a master plan designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and neoclassical architecture by the historic Atlanta firm Ivey & Crook who practiced between 1923 and 1967. The Druid Hills tour is April 22nd through 24th.
Hollin Hills House and Garden Tour is April 22nd through the 24th in Alexandria, Virginia. This mid-century modern neighborhood was developed by Robert Davenport, the father of Beaufort artist Rebecca Davenport. The development was very unusual in that each house came with a landscape plan. The houses were located to maximize the privacy of each house.
The biggest house tour in the country is the Historic Garden Week in Virginia. The tours from April 23rd to the 30th will feature over 250 private homes and gardens open on 33 separate tours in six regions of the state, The Shenandoah Valley, Northern Virginia, Chesapeake Bay , Southwest Virginia, Richmond and Coastal Virginia.
Natchez, Mississippi spring pilgrimage started March 5th and lasts until April 5th. Natchez claims to have more antebellum houses than any other city in America. It is located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River ninety miles north of Baton Rouge. Another town not to be missed is Eufaula, Alabama named after the Creek Tribe word for high bluff. Eufaula is on the Chattahoochee River on the Alabama - Georgia state line. The Eufaula heritage association was formed in 1965 to prevent the loss of historic properties and their spring pilgrimage is March 31st through April 3rd.
Home and garden tours are a great way to get a peek into private homes and support preservation and other good causes.