Get picked up at home and whisked off to your departure point (within 50 miles).
Meals included: 8 breakfasts, 4 dinners
Uncover the absorbing history of colonial America and the American Civil War on a tour of its eastern cities and landmarks.
Fly to Washington DC where on arrival transfer to your hotel. This evening join your travelling companions and Tour Director for a welcome drink.
Get to know America's capital city on a guided tour of its most iconic sights, including the exterior of the White House, Capitol Hill and Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of President John F Kennedy. This afternoon, sightseeing begins at Mount Vernon, the period restored home of George Washington, the first US President. Tour his elegant neoclassical mansion and admire it's gardens, whose woodlands and meadows roll down to the Potomac River.
Today, head to Yorktown Historical Battlefield Park, the site of the British army's surrender to Washington's troops in 1781 - a defeat that ultimately secured the independence of the US. Continue to Historic Williamsburg for two nights.
Visit colonial Williamsburg and enjoy an exclusive presentation by a historian specialising in 18th century America. Then drive to the Jamestown Settlement where outdoor museums chart the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Afterwards, return to Colonial Williamsburg's Historic District. This charming area boasts carefully restored 18th century mansions, homes and shops where costumed guides and actors tell the story of the American Revolution. Stroll the quaint streets, browse the shops, see the public gaol and visit the Raleigh Tavern the meeting place of founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. This evening enjoy a colonial style dinner at a tavern that recreates the typical supper experience of the patriots.
Leave Colonial Williamsburg behind and travel to Staunton. First stop is Richmond, Virginia's captial and once the capital of the Confederacy. Visit St. John's Church, where Patrick Henry proclaimed, 'Give me liberty or give me death'. Continue, to Monticello. Thomas Jefferson's estate with its beautiful gardens and imposing mansion designed by Jefferson himself. Spend the evening in Staunton, nestled in the foothills of Blue Ridge Mountains.
Continue to the beautiful Shenandoah National Park, home to cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas and a wildlife haven. Enjoy photo stops and panoramic vistas from Skyline Drive that snakes through the Shenandoah.
Trace some of the route of General Lee's army during its invasion of Pennsylvania to the West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry. Standing where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers meet, this was where John Brown's 'Army of Liberation' staged their fateful raid on a US armoury. Afterwards, continue across Maryland to the Gettysburg National Military Park for a guided tour. Spend some time where the 1863 battle took place as your guide explains how the fighting raged over three days, followed by a visit to the Gettysburg museum and Cyclorama. Finish the day with a Colonial-style candlelit dinner at Gettysburg's elegant historic Dobbin House Tavern, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This morning enjoy an exclusive presentation on one of America's heroes of the 19th century, Ulysses S Grant. Then, drive through the Amish farmlands to Valley Forge. Take a tour of this national historic park where General George Washington and his troops camped during the harsh 1777-1778 winter. Visit Washington's Headquarters, The Grand Parade and the Washington Memorial Chapel before travelling to Philadelphia. This evening the Tour Director hosts a 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.
The 'City of Brotherly Love' is also the birthplace of American Independence. Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of America's fourth largest city, taking in landmarks such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the scenic atmosphere of Independence National Historic Park. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
Gettysburg Special Feature: 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. Nearly one hundred years later, the hotel served as President Dwight Eisenhower's Operations Centre
Accommodation as stated or similar
The tour was changed from the advertised itinerary, so we did not get the advertised free afternoon in Washington. The explanation that it is better to go to Mount Vernon in the afternoon to avoid school groups seemed reasonable, but where did that extra time go? If we had not booked the 2 day extension so we had extra time in Washington at the end, we would have been very disappointed. It was very tiring having to get up at 6 am most days in order to have breakfast and get cases ready to be collected early in the morning, and departing mostly at 8.15 a.m. The group size was bigger than advertised which meant it felt a little cramped and took a long time getting everyone on and off the coach. (Only one exit). This was by no means a "luxury" coach, just standard, no refreshments other than cold bottled water sold by the driver although it did have a small loo. And thankfully air-conditioning as it was very hot weather. We would have wished for longer to look round in several of the historical places and less time in others (We were taken to a shopping place for almost an hour and a half. It is supposed to be a history tour!) There were several included dinners, but the meals were rather "samey". Not much choice. The starter was always salad. Just the sort of quality you might expect to get for a cheap group Xmas meal. The hotels were of reasonable quality and well situated. With most tips and many meals included there was not a lot of extra spending. Most of the local guides were very good and entertaining. The majority of the group of 47 were American with about a dozen Aussies, one from Canada / NZ and we were the only Brits. Overall it was enjoyable but all felt quite rushed to fit it all in.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for-like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We've been creating unforgettable holidays since 1994. We are a member of ABTA and all our flight-inclusive holidays are fully protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme.