|Welcome to Washington DC! At 6 pm, meet with your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome drink.
|Monuments & Moving Memorials Visit Mount Vernon, the restored home of George Washington. Tour the house and gardens and visit the museums. On a sightseeing tour, see many of Washington DC's famous landmarks, including the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam and Korean War Veterans Memorials, with stops for photos at the White House and Capitol Hill. Try our optional dinner tonight at one of Washington's favorite restaurants, followed by an illumination tour of the monuments. (B) TOUR HIGHLIGHT A LEGEND SLEPT HERE The Virginia mansion estate of America's first president, George Washington's Mount Vernon is one of the most iconic 18th-century homes in America. The patriot and president renovated the home, and it grew to 10 times the size of the average home in colonial Virginia. George Washington began running Mount Vernon in 1752, and slowly enlarged the dwelling to create the 21-room residence we see today. Washington oversaw each renovation, advising on design, construction, and decoration; reflecting his growing status as a Virginia gentleman and ultimately as the leader of a new nation.
|U.S. History & Heroes Travel south to Fredericksburg, known for its role in both the American Revolution and the Civil War. After an orientation tour, enjoy a bit of free time to explore the historic district. Next, visit Waterman's Museum, whose mission is to demonstrate the role Chesapeake Bay watermen. From pre-colonial to modern times, the watermen played a great role in shaping our nation. Continue to Williamsburg for a 2-night stay. (B)TOUR HIGHLIGHTHISTORIC SITE Williamsburg is a historic treasure you'll love exploring. After English settlers founded the colony in 1632, it became the center of political events in Virginia leading to the American Revolution. History lovers are drawn to restored Colonial Williamsburg, part of the Historic Triangle with Jamestown and Yorktown - where America was born.
|The Birthplace of America This morning, enjoy an exclusive [LF] performance from Sylvia Tabb-Lee, a professional historian. Visit the nearby Jamestown Settlement for a guided tour to learn about the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Then, enter Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area, where costumed villagers add to the authenticity. Stroll down its quaint streets, browse through the historic trade shops, and see the Public Gaol. Also, be sure to stop at Raleigh Tavern, the meeting place for Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other patriots. This evening, enjoy a Colonial-style dinner at a famous local Tavern for the chance to engage in a recreated supper experience savored by 18th-century patriots. (B,D)LOCAL FAVORITE HISTORIC MOMENTS Join renowned historian actor Sylvia Tabb-Lee for a fascinating and moving performance in Williamsburg that illuminates and inspires insight into the experience of slaves in American history. In keeping with her philosophy of 'Each One, Teach One; Each One, Reach One,' Tabb-Lee is a wealth of information and inspiration in sharing the trials and triumphs of African-American history. TOUR HIGHLIGHT HISTORIC SITE When the Virginia Company settlers landed at Jamestown to establish an English colony 60 miles from the Chesapeake Bay in 1607, they faced enormous challenges and hardships in a dramatic experience of disease and famine. Within the wooden fort here was England's first permanent colony in North America and it planted the seeds for the United States of America to grow. Hear the dramatic details of this insurmountable venture with a tour led by an expert guide, including the legend of Captain John Smith, the dark, starving winter of 1609, and the story of Pocahontas - all part of the thrilling story of America's birthplace.
|Historic Figures First stop is Richmond, Virginia's capital and once the capital of the Confederacy. Visit St. John's Church, where Patrick Henry proclaimed, 'Give me liberty or give me death!' Next, visit Thomas Jefferson's estate at Monticello. Spend the evening in Staunton, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. (B)TOUR HIGHLIGHT ICONIC FOOTSTEPS Visit the home of America's third president and principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, at his grand estate at Monticello. Stroll its beautiful gardens and explore the majestic mansion designed by Jefferson himself. Learn about the history of this plantation with a Local Guide.
|Shenandoah National Park
|Complex Views Visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, located at the 28th president's birthplace. Gain a better understanding of the life and times of President Woodrow Wilson, his impact on the world, and his relevance today and for the future. Then, journey to beautiful Shenandoah National Park. (B,D)TOUR HIGHLIGHT NATURAL WONDERS Travel to the spectacular expansive vistas of Shenandoah National Park along the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Enjoy photo stops and panoramic vistas from Skyline Drive en route to the historic Skyland Resort, established in the late 1800's.
|Hallowed Grounds Follow the same route as Lee's army during its invasion of Pennsylvania. In West Virginia, visit Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, where John Brown and his 'army of liberation' staged their fateful raid on a U.S. Arsenal. Continue across Maryland to Gettysburg National Military Park. Tour Gettysburg and hear your Local Guide vividly recount the Battle of 1863. A Colonial-style candlelight dinner tonight at the elegant [LF] Dobbin House Tavern, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (B,D)LOCAL FAVORITELOCAL TASTES Be transported back in time to the early days of America with a Colonial-style candlelight dinner at Dobbin House Tavern. This elegant Gettysburg restaurant is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. A notable address in Gettysburg! TOUR HIGHLIGHT ACCOMMODATION SPOTLIGHT Stay overnight at the historic Hotel Gettysburg, established in 1797. President Lincoln honed the immortal words of his Gettysburg Address just steps away from the hotel, and nearly a century later, the hotel served as President Dwight Eisenhower's National Operations Center.
|Pennsylvania's Past & Present Enjoy an exclusive [LF] presentation by one of America's heroes of the 19th century in a performance by Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia. Travel through Lancaster County past Amish farmland to Valley Forge National Historic Park and continue to Philadelphia, where your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner on the historic Moshulu ship. Launched in 1904, she has had a long and exciting career on the seas and is now considered one of Philadelphia's best restaurants. (B,D)LOCAL FAVORITE ICONIC FIGURES Learn about the epic and incredible life of America's 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant, with a dramatic portrayal of the Civil War general and his wife, Julia. Get a sense of the man and legendary commander of the President Lincoln's Union Army. Hear about this iconic figure's life and legacy as a war hero, abolitionist, and president. TOUR HIGHLIGHT LEGENDARY LIVES Visit Valley Forge National Historic Park to see the camp where Washington and his troops endured the harsh winter of 1777-1778. See the Memorial Arch, the Grand Parade, and the Washington Memorial Chapel.
|Lovers of Liberty Sightseeing this morning features the 'City of Brotherly Love' famed historic treasures, including the Liberty Bell. Your vacation ends with a motorcoach drop at the Philadelphia International Airport or Washington DC tour hotel for those with post-nights. Schedule departing flights from Philadelphia International Airport after 1:30 pm. (B)TOUR HIGHLIGHT HISTORIC SITES The Liberty Bell bears a timeless message: "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land unto all the Inhabitants Thereof" where it rang out from Independence Hall to summon lawmakers to work and the citizenry to gather for news. Benjamin Franklin noted while writing a letter, "Adieu, the bell rings, and I must go among the grave ones and talk 'politicks.'" Go beyond the iconic crack to learn how this State House bell was transformed into an extraordinary symbol of civil rights. And while no one living today has ever heard the bell ring freely due to its cracked surface, it still resounds with a message of freedom and hope.