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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 as you visit historic landmarks in New York City, including St. Paul’s Chapel in lower Manhattan where George Washington once worshipped. See where the Declaration of Independence was signed, visit Thomas Jefferson’s home of Monticello and stroll the cobblestone streets of Colonial Williamsburg. There will also be plenty of time for independent visits to the museums and landmarks that pique you and your family’s interests.
Begin in New York where a local guide takes you to time-honored 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 in Independence Hall 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.
Then depart for our nation's capital, Washington D.C. where you’ll enjoy two full days exploring the city’s many sights. Explore the countless treasures of the Smithsonian Institution, including the actual 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. Savor the cuisine of Washington, D.C. followed by a spectacular evening taking in the nation’s capital by twilight. Tour the memorials on the National Mall, visit the White House Visitor Center and view the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
• 9 nights in superior and first-class 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.
• 15 meals - Daily breakfast and 6 dinners
• All on-tour transportation by deluxe motor coach
• Services of a professional tour manager
• Dinner and Twilight tour of Washington, D.C. plus 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
Your journey begins at a welcome breakfast hosted by your tour manager at a NYC diner. Then a local guide leads you on a fascinating tour of the Big Apple. 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. Visit St. Paul’s Chapel in lower Manhattan, a place where George Washington once worshipped, and where recovery workers came for rest and care during their time at the World Trade Center site. 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.
Accommodation: Eden Resort Hotel Lancaster - 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.) Try 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 has been reflected in the tour price.)
Accommodation: Skyland Lodge Shenandoah Valley 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. AAA Complimentary Inclusion: This evening savor the cuisine of Washington, D.C. during dinner at a local restaurant before heading out for a spectacular twilight tour of our nation’s capital.
Accommodation: Doubletree Crystal City – 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.