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A portrait of American history, this trip mixes the modern bustle of Washington, D.C., the simple Amish life of Lancaster County, and landmarks from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. You'll enjoy Insider moments like standing on the battlefield as a foremost expert of the Civil War talks of the people behind the Gettysburg battle. Painting a picture of the war cries and cannons that ripped through the tranquil landscape before you, they share incredible details that bring this eerie setting to life. We also meet another local in Washington, D.C., who talks about the history and the modern day happenings of America's capital city, as they reveal some of its most iconic monuments and memorials.
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Welcome to Washington, D.C. Check into your hotel and spend the afternoon relaxing or set out on your own to take in some highlights of the nation's capital city. At 6 p.m., gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.
Immerse yourself in the proud heritage of a nation, joining a Local Specialist to view the White House, the striking Washington Monument and the National Mall, stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol building. Reflect on the country's most turbulent days at the Lincoln Memorial and the somber World War II memorial. This afternoon, enjoy some free time to chart your own course through America's capital city.
From the nation's capital, travel to the home of its first president, George Washington, on the banks of the Potomac River in Mount Vernon. Visit the Yorktown Victory Center and watch Revolutionary War history come to life. Delve even further into America's past upon arriving in Williamsburg—settled in 1638 as Middle Plantation. This evening, head to a local tavern for a delicious Regional Meal.
Before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Captain John Smith and his hardy band of 104 settlers established the first permanent English settlement in the New World—Jamestown. With the insight of your guide, you'll find out how rough life was for the early colonists when they came to America in 1607. Walk through the life-size re-creations of the colonists' crude fort, explore the mock-up Native American Powhatan village and climb aboard a replica of one of the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia. Then, fast forward to the 18th century to spend the rest of the day in Colonial Williamsburg, Britain's largest colony in the New World from 1699 to 1780. Chat with blacksmiths, take in a fife and drum parade, even engage in some politicking with a costumed Federalist in the town square. This afternoon enjoy a riveting cultural presentation by Sylvia Tabb-Lee, a Cultural Insight.
Visit the very spot where George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were inspired by Patrick Henry's fiery “Give me liberty or give me death” speech when you visit St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. For a more genteel window into Jefferson's life, explore Monticello (translating to “little mountain”), his neoclassical Italian estate perched atop a hill. Continue to Charlottesville where you have the afternoon to explore the city. Relax this evening over dinner.
Bid farewell to Charlottesville and travel through Shenandoah National Park on the way to Gettysburg. Here you'll immerse yourself in the narrative of the U.S. Civil War. Visit the incredible Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, home to the breathtaking Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama painting.
Cannons blazing, trumpets sounding, the blue and the gray—join your Local Specialist at the site of one of the Civil War's most pivotal battles. The events at Gettysburg—where General George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia—turned the tide in the Civil War. Just four months after the historic struggle, the battlefield was also the backdrop for Abraham Lincoln's call for “a new birth of freedom” in his famed Gettysburg Address. A short drive takes you from war to the peace of Lancaster's traditional Amish agricultural community. Spend some time among their verdant fields and clapboard farmhouses before arriving in Philadelphia, site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Stay in the heart of the city's historic district, within walking distance of dozens of landmark buildings. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow American history enthusiasts for a festive Farewell Dinner.
Walk in the footsteps of Benjamin Franklin in one of the foremost cities of American history. Begin with a visit to the National Constitution Center—an interactive museum tracing the history of the U.S. Constitution and the effects it has had around the world. Then explore Independence National Historic Park, home of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Return to Washington, D.C.
This is the end of your escorted tour but it doesn't have to be the end of your adventure. Perhaps you may wish to extend your stay and include a visit to New York for a few days or maybe fly down to Florida and relax on one of its sunny beaches.
Call the USA travel specialists at Bon Voyage to discuss your perfect Historic Highlights - Trafalgar Escorted Tour.