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Package details include
Nothing beats learning about the past while standing in the very places where history was made. Follow the epic story of American democracy in New York, where a local guide takes you to landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Greenwich Village and Central Park. In Philadelphia, see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Not only was the Declaration of Independence signed here but this is also where the Declaration of Independence was drafted.
Travel to Lancaster where you’ll learn first-hand about the Amish way of life on a tour and dinner with an Amish family. Drive along the famous Skyline Drive to Gettysburg Battlefield and Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s 18th century home, before arriving in Colonial Williamsburg. Tour some of Williamsburg’s 88 restored buildings as costumed re-enactors help bring the customs of 1770 to vivid life.
Depart for Washington D.C. where you’ll enjoy two full days. Explore the countless treasures of the Smithsonian Institution, including the Apollo 11 Command Module and the Hope Diamond. Visit Mount Vernon, the beloved 18th century plantation home of the first U.S. president, George Washington. And see the memorials on the National Mall and the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
• 9 nights in superior hotels: 2 nights in New York City; 2 nights in Lancaster, PA; 1 night in Shenandoah National Park, VA; 2 nights in Williamsburg, VA and 2 nights in Washington D.C.
• 14 meals - Daily breakfast and 5 dinners
• All on-tour transportation by deluxe motor coach
• Services of a professional tour manager
• Comprehensive sightseeing
• Hotel to hotel luggage handling
Day 1 – Arrive in New York City
Arrive in New York and make your way to the hotel for check-in. Get ready to explore America’s heritage, history and scenic horizons on this in-depth tour of the eastern United States.
Accommodation: Sheraton New York – 2 nights
Day 2 – New York City
Engaging Experience: Meet your fellow travelers this morning for a welcome breakfast at the famous Ellen’s Stardust Diner. Then embark on a Big Apple tour with a local guide. You’ll see Greenwich Village, the Wall Street district, Little Italy, Chinatown, the Empire State Building, Central Park, Chelsea Market and other time-honored landmarks. This afternoon, discover “the city that never sleeps” at your own pace.
Day 3 – Philadelphia & Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Travel to Philadelphia and embark on a tour of "the Birthplace of a New Nation" which highlights the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Independence Hall is rich in heritage as the location of both the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the drafting of the Constitution.
Continue on to the Amish Country of Lancaster, the second largest Amish community in America. Engaging Experience: Tonight, enjoy a cooking demonstration on making a local favorite—apple dumplings—before sitting down to dinner.
Accommodation: Eden Resort Hotel or Cork Factory Hotel - 2 nights
Day 4 – Amish Country of Lancaster
Visit Wheatland, the gracious Federalist home of James Buchanan, the 15th U.S. President. (Note: Admission to Wheatland may not be available at all times; on these occasions you will visit Eisenhower Farm.)
Sample the true taste of Amish Country with a stop at the Kitchen Kettle Complex where small batches of jams, jellies and relishes are handcrafted daily. Engaging Experience: A local guide introduces you to the fascinating history and traditions of the Amish people during a tour of their farmlands. As you learn more about their self-sufficiency and peaceful lifestyle, you will understand how their "life apart" is an expression of their religious faith and dedication.
Tonight, enjoy a traditional dinner of local specialties and the chance to learn more about Amish customs firsthand when members of the local Amish community join you for dinner. (Note: The members of the local Amish community may not be available on all dates; on these occasions we will include dinner at a local establishment.)
Day 5 – Gettysburg & the Shenandoah Valley
Journey to Gettysburg, site of the Union victory that marked a turning point in the Civil War. A guided tour of the site illuminates those three historic days in 1863 and the decisive battle that changed the course of American history forever.
Travel to Shenandoah National Park via the famous Skyline Drive, along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where scenic expanses of Shenandoah Valley wilderness extend in all directions. Tonight you’ll overnight inside the park! (Note: On occasion, particularly at the beginning or end of the season - March and late October through November - your accommodations may be outside of Shenandoah National Park if park accommodations are not open or available. This will be be reflected in the tour price.)
Accommodation: Skyland Resort or Holiday Inn Charlottesville – 1 night
Day 6 – Charlottesville and Williamsburg
Visit Monticello, the beautiful home and gardens of Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was not only the third U.S. President and author of the Declaration of Independence, but he was also an accomplished inventor and true "Renaissance man."
This afternoon, arrive in the historic town of Williamsburg. Engaging Experience: Tonight, begin your journey into Revolutionary-age America by dining in a Colonial Williamsburg tavern specializing in colonial fare.
Accommodation: Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel – 2 nights
Day 7 – Colonial Williamsburg
Begin the day by viewing Story of a Patriot, a short film which introduces you to Colonial Williamsburg, one of the largest and best living history museums in the world. Costumed re-enactors populate the streets and buildings, bringing the customs and sentiments of 1770 to life. Tour Governor’s Palace and Gardens before enjoying time to independently wander the cobblestone streets and explore some of the 88 historic buildings.
Day 8 – Williamsburg to Washington, D.C.
Engaging Experience: Today visit Mount Vernon, the beloved home of the first U.S. president, George Washington. Wander the beautiful plantation grounds he adored and tour the home, filled with 18th century artifacts.
Engaging Experience: Then, travel to Washington, D.C. where you will explore the Smithsonian Institution’s countless treasures, containing the largest and most extensive collection of artifacts in the world, such as the fabled Hope Diamond and the actual Apollo 11 Command Module.
Accommodation: Doubletree Crystal City or Omni Shoreham Hotel – 2 nights
Day 9 – Washington, D.C.
This morning, a guided tour of America’s capital affords you wonderful views of the Capitol building, the White House, monuments and museums. Your first stop will be the White House Visitor Center where you will gain insight into the many transitions this historic residence has undergone. Continue your tour with a stop at the moving World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. Your tour ends with a photo stop at the U.S. Capitol building.
This afternoon, visit Arlington National Cemetery to view the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Kennedy grave sites. Toast the end of a wonderful trip this evening at a farewell dinner.
Day 10 – Depart for home
This morning after breakfast, your tour comes to an end.