Be a part of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War on this tour that takes you to some of the famous battlefields and historic national treasures so prominent in America’s history. Step back in time in Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the new world, and Colonial Williamsburg, where costumed villagers reenact life in 18th -century Virginia. See the meeting place for Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other patriots, and enjoy a colonial-style dinner at a local tavern, where you’ll experience a recreated supper experience savored by 18th-century patriots. Visit Richmond and St. John's Church, where Patrick Henry proclaimed, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Tour Jefferson's beautiful and imposing estate, Monticello, as well as George Washington’s restored home, Mount Vernon.Visit the sites of many famous battles, including Yorktown Historical Battlefield Park, where the British surrendered to Washington’s troops in 1781, bringing the American Revolution to a successful conclusion. Experience a reenactment of the epic Battle of Gettysburg. Continue exploration at Valley Forge for a behind-the-scenes tour, and see where Washington and his troops endured the harsh winter of 1777-1778. Also visit Harper’s Ferry, where abolitionist John Brown and his “army of liberation” staged their fateful raid on a U.S. arsenal. Your tour will also visit Washington DC and Philadelphia—with sightseeing tours highlighting the famous landmarks in each city.You’ve heard about the famous battles in American history—now’s your chance to see where some of them took place and to see a reenactment. You’ve heard about many of the historical landmarks in America’s oldest cities—now’s your chance to visit them. It’s a trip of a lifetime!
Day #1 Arrive in Washington DC. Welcome to Washington DC! At 6 pm, meet with your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.
Day #2 Washington DC. This morning’s sightseeing features many of Washington DC’s famous landmarks, including the LINCOLN, VIETNAM, KOREAN, and WORLD WAR II Memorials. Take a guided tram tour of ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, where you’ll see the KENNEDY GRAVESITES, the TOMB OF THE UNKNOWNS, and ARLINGTON HOUSE, the Robert E. Lee Memorial. Then visit FORD’s THEATRE where President Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. The remainder of the afternoon is free to pursue your favorite interests. Maybe visit the Smithsonian Institute, Georgetown, the National Cathedral, or other prominent monuments and museums. Try our optional dinner tonight at one of Washington’s favorite restaurants, followed by an illumination tour of the monuments. (B)
Day #3 Washington DC–Mount Vernon–Yorktown–Williamsburg. This morning we visit MOUNT VERNON, the restored home of George Washington. Tour the house and gardens, and visit the gravesite. Then, visit YORKTOWN HISTORICAL BATTLEFIELD PARK, where the British surrendered to Washington’s troops in 1781, bringing the American Revolution to a successful conclusion. Your evening is free. (B)
Day #4 Williamsburg. Excursion to Jamestown Settlement. 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)
Day #5 Williamsburg–Richmond–Monticello–Shenandoah National Park. 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.” Journey to Charlottesville to tour MONTICELLO, Thomas Jefferson’s estate with its beautiful gardens and imposing mansion designed by Jefferson himself. Enjoy photo stops and panoramic vistas from Skyline Drive in beautiful SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK, where you will stay for the night. (B,D)
Day #6 Shenandoah National Park–Luray Caverns–Harpers Ferry–Gettysburg. This morning, visit LURAY CAVERNS. Discovered more than 130 years, it has been renowned as one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. See the cathedral-sized rooms with ceilings 10 stories high, towering columns, shimmering draperies and crystal-clear pools. You’ll also experience the haunting sounds of the world’s largest musical instrument, The Great Stalacpipe Organ. We then follow the route as Lee’s army during its invasion of Pennsylvania. In West Virginia, visit HARPERS FERRY, where John Brown and his “army of liberation” staged their fateful raid on a U.S. Arsenal. Continue across Maryland to Gettysburg. This evening, enjoy a Colonial-style candlelight dinner at the elegant [LF] DOBBIN HOUSE TAVERN, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (B,D)
Day #7 Gettysburg. Battlefield Tour & Re-enactment. Today, witness the 150th Gettysburg Anniversary National Civil War Battle RE-ENCACTMENT, the single largest and one of the most pivotal military engagements ever fought on American soil. Thousands of re-enactors from across the nation and around the world will be staging the battle reenactments for this very special reenactment. Visit the camps, learn about Civil War medicine, music, weapons and daily life during the conflict that defined our nation and saved the Union! Also spend some time exploring the newly renovated museum and cyclorama. Later this evening, enjoy an exclusive [LF] PRESENTATION by one of America’s heroes of the 19th century—Ulysses S. Grant.
Day #8 Gettysburg–Valley Forge–Philadelphia. This morning, travel through Lancaster County past Amish farmlands to VALLEY FORGE. Take a tour of the national historical park, the camp where Washington and his troops endured the harsh winter of 1777-1778. See Washington’s headquarters, the Grand Parade, and the Washington Memorial Chapel. Continue to Philadelphia, where your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. (B,D)
Day #9 Philadelphia. This morning your sightseeing focuses on the important buildings of this historic city, the birthplace of the nation. Major attractions include the LIBERTY BELL and INDEPENDENCE HALL. Continue to the Philadelphia Airport for guests with homebound flights (please schedule flights from the Philadelphia Airport after 1:30 pm). For passengers who would like to return to Washington DC, the motorcoach transfers to the Capital Hilton at no additional cost. (B)