The political heart of America is your gateway to a memorable encounter with the Land of the Free and how it came to be so. After checking in to your hotel, enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore the museums, memorials and monuments of Washington, D.C. This evening, you'll join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception to kick-start your journey.
Roam the corridors of power, oak-lined avenues and noble tributes to America's famous sons and daughters, as you explore the nation's proud heritage today. View the White House, striking Washington Monument and National Mall, stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol building. Reflect on the country's darkest days at the Lincoln Memorial and somber memorials to World War II and the Vietnam War. The rest of the day is free to chart your own course through America's capital city.
Tread in the footsteps of America's first president, visiting Mount Vernon, the former home of George Washington. Delve into the history of the American Revolution at the Yorktown Victory Center, experiencing first-hand the dramatic "Siege of Yorktown". We'll continue to Williamsburg, founded in 1638 as Middle Plantation, and the former capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. This evening, we'll enjoy a Regional Dinner.
Pay tribute to the brave men and women who gave up their homeland to establish a New World. This morning, we venture to Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America, where we'll gain insights into the trials that marked the lives of early 17th century colonists. Walk through the life-sized re-creations of the colonists' crude fort, explore the mock-up of the Native American Powhatan village and climb aboard a replica of one of the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia. We fast forward a few centuries and spend the rest of the day in Colonial Williamsburg, once Britain's largest colony in the New World. Chat with blacksmiths, admire a fife and drum parade, and perhaps even engage in some politicking with a costumed Federalist in the town square. This afternoon, we 'Dive into Culture' and meet Sylvia Tabb-Lee who will bring America's slavery history to life.
Visit St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia-the very spot where George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were inspired by Patrick Henry's fiery "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. Continue to Charlottesville, where you'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Then, visit Monticello, the neoclassical Italian estate where Jefferson once sought a quieter existence. The rest of your day is free.
Journey through the rolling hills of the Shenandoah National Park en route to Gettysburg where we'll delve into the devastation of a four-year civil war pitting North against South. We explore the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, where our visit 'Makes a Difference' by contributing to their efforts to preserve the battlefield. This evening, indulge in a festive Regional Dinner at the "most haunted" 19th century Dobbin House, keeping an eye out for Uncle Abe who may grace the group with his presence.
Cast your mind back to the pivotal, yet tragic day on which Pickett led his charge on Gettysburg. Join a Local Specialist who will bring to life the events at Gettysburg which turned the tide in the Civil War. Just four months later, the battlefield served as the backdrop for Abraham Lincoln's call for "a new birth of freedom" in his famed Gettysburg Address. We'll journey to the City of Brotherly Love and site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence next. Stay in the heart of Philadelphia's historic district, within walking distance of dozens of landmark buildings. This evening, we'll join our Travel Director and fellow American history enthusiasts for a Farewell Dinner.
Gain insights into the history of the U.S. Constitution and the effect it has had around the world during this morning's tour through Philadelphia. We'll explore the UNESCO-listed Independence National Historic Park and see its famous cracked bell whose inscription has inspired so many to "proclaim liberty". The final stop on our journey is Washington, D.C., where we'll transfer to either Dulles International Airport, Ronald Reagan National Airport or to the Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown for guests extending their stay.