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Seeing Washington is on many Americans’ travel wish lists and you can make your trip even more memorable by visiting during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival marks the anniversary of the original gift of 3,000 cherry trees by the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington, D.C. in 1912. Each year since, the festival continues to recognize the friendship between the U.S. and Japan.
Witness up-close the Cherry Blossom Parade, the festival's largest public event. From reserved grandstand seating, applaud the parade's smart-stepping marching bands, floats encrusted with flowers and pirouetting dancers decked out in colorful costumes. You may also choose to enjoy other festival activities, including free concerts on the mall, lantern lighting, dances and races.
Our nation’s history blossoms at other major D.C. sights as well. You’ll visit Arlington National Cemetery, the Library of Congress, and the National Mall museums and memorials, including the new Pentagon Memorial honoring the victims of 9/11. Explore the new Gettysburg Museum and the historic Gettysburg Battlefield with a professional Civil War guide before sitting down for dinner in an 18th-century inn. Also enjoy a tour of George Washington's home at Mount Vernon, a nighttime Illuminated Monuments driving tour, and a free day to explore Washington’s many attractions at your leisure.
• 6 nights at Hyatt Place Washington/US Capitol
• Meals - Daily breakfast, 1 lunch and 4 dinners
• Events - Grandstand seating at the Cherry Blossom Parade
• Guided Tours of D.C. area sights:
- Washington D.C. city tour that includes the capital’s most famous memorials
- Nighttime Illuminated Monuments Tour
- Gettysburg Museum and Battlefield Tour with a professional Civil War guide
- George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon
• Visits to: Washington National Cathedral, National Museum of American History, Arlington Cemetery, United States Capitol and Visitor’s Center, U.S. Library of Congress, National Museum of the Marine Corps and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (some visits subject to change)
Note: Pre-tour and post-tour nights may be available. Inquire at time of booking. This itinerary involves quite a bit of walking and standing for extended periods each day so be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes.
Day 1 – Arrive in Washington, D.C.
Arrive in Washington, D.C. and transfer on your own to the hotel. The tour escort will be available in the hotel lobby to assist with check-in and answer questions from 12noon-6pm today. After check-in, the remainder of the day is free for you to relax.
Accommodation: Hyatt Place Washington US/Capitol – 6 nights
Day 2 – Mount Vernon, Monuments & Illuminated Monuments Tour
After breakfast, depart for a visit to Mount Vernon, the estate of George Washington. If you haven’t been to Mount Vernon since 2006, you’ll have several new areas to visit, including the Ford Orientation Center and the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, two facilities with 25 galleries and theaters.
Enjoy lunch at Mount Vernon Inn followed proceeding to Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Depart for a photo opportunity outside of the White House then take a tour of the many memorials on the National Mall, including the World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial, to name just a few. After a family dinner at Carmine’s, enjoy an Illuminated Monuments Tour before returning to the hotel.
Day 3 – Gettysburg Museum and Battlefield
Today, visit Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, home to Gettysburg Battlefield and the Gettysburg Museum. Gettysburg is the site of one of the most important battles of the Civil War. While at the museum, watch the film A New Birth of Freedom before enjoying a private curator talk at the newly restored, massive “Battle of Gettysburg” Cyclorama painting – the largest painting in the country. The center features a breath-taking panorama of Picketts charge measuring 356 by 26 feet. A sound and light program recreates scenes of the fighting.
After lunch on your own at the museum cafe, meet a professional Civil War battlefield guide for an in-depth tour of Gettysburg Battlefield. Then visit the Dwight D. Eisenhower Home & Farm, our 34th President’s home before enjoying dinner at the Fairfield Inn 1757, one of only five inns in America that has been in continuous operation since the 1700s.
Day 4 – Cherry Blossom Parade & Arlington National Cemetery
After breakfast, enjoy your reserved grandstand seats at the annual Cherry Blossom Parade! The Cherry Blossom Festival marks the celebration of the original gift of 3,000 cherry trees by the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington, D.C. in 1912. The celebration includes a massive parade, which navigates down Constitution Avenue from 7th Street towards the Tidal basin. The parade is the largest public event of the festival and combines some of the event’s best entertainment into one particular show, including several free concerts on the mall, lantern lighting, dances and races.
After the parade, enjoy lunch on your own today at the Reagan Building/International Trade Center Food Court– just named "DC's Best" food court by Frommer's. The food court has many dining options, 1,000 seats and an ultra-clean setting. In the afternoon, visit the Arlington Cemetery, America’s shrine to valor and sacrifice. Tram tickets are included for your visit. Depart and drive through Old Town Alexandria. Alexandria was a once thriving seaport for the young American nation. Dinner is included before returning to the hotel.
Day 5 – Free Day in Washington, D.C.
Today you are free to explore Washington D.C. on your own. Your tour escort will assist with any questions you may have before dropping you at the National Mall. There is so much to do Washington such as visiting The Smithsonian Institutions, the museums at the National Mall, the National Air & Space Museum and the National Archives, to name a few.
Day 6 – United States Capitol
After breakfast at the hotel, tour the outside of The Supreme Court Building before heading to the Capitol Visitors Center. We will then proceed to the United States Capitol where the Congress meets to write the laws of our nation and where presidents are inaugurated. Visit the United States Library of Congress before lunch on own at the Capitol Visitors Center.
Later drive along Embassy Row en route to tour the Washington National Cathedral, which is the 6th largest church in the world. Stop at Jefferson Memorial, Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. A farewell dinner will follow at Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place. Walk through the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and drive by the Marine Corps War Memorial before returning to the hotel.
Day 7 – Depart Washington, D.C.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport on your own for your flight home. Your tour escort will be available today at the hotel to assist with any check-out needs.
Limitations & Restrictions
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to availability at time of booking, and may change without notice. Single supplement may apply. Except for packages including air transportation, unless stated otherwise, airfare, taxes and government fees are not included. Offers valid for new bookings only. Member Benefits are per person and apply to first and second traveler only. Member Benefits are available only with advertised fare and are subject to change without notice. Your travel arrangements may be modified or canceled subject to the travel providers’ policies. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. We make every effort for accuracy at time of printing but reserve the right to correct errors. AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip protection insurance. Except for packages including air transportation, fares may not reflect additional fuel supplement or port charges and vary by provider.
CST #1003968-80. Registration as seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.