A Journey Through American History
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Discover some of the most pivotal moments in the history of the world's largest superpower, the USA. From the hardships of the pioneers, who came to colonise this harsh environment, through the Revolutionary and Civil wars, to the founding fathers and the creation of the US constitution. America's history may not be long, but it is most certainly captivating.
We fly from London to the political powerhouse of Washington D.C. On arrival we transfer to our hotel, the perfect base from which to explore the US capital.
On Day 2 we enjoy a guided tour of 'The District's', most famous landmarks including Capitol Hill, the largest historical residential district in Washington and instantly recognisable thanks to the distinctive Capitol Building. We also take in the Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defence, the Washington Memorial, one of the city's most iconic monuments, and Georgetown before continuing to Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of JFK.
Next is the world-famous White House, home to each serving President of the United States. Following the tour your afternoon is at leisure. Why not visit the incredible Smithsonian Institute? With different buildings dedicated to natural history and the history of air and space travel, these informative and interesting museums are an excellent way to spend an afternoon. This evening we enjoy dinner and a talk from a guest lecturer.
Today you are free to discover more of Washington at your own pace. You could also spend some time at the peaceful Lincoln Memorial, viewing both the enormous statue of one of America's most famous presidents and the spot where Martin Luther King Junior delivered his famous 'I Have a Dream' speech. Alternatively spend some time at the Washington Monument, located just east of the peaceful reflecting pool, going up to the top to see a marvellous view of the capital.
After a leisurely morning, we catch the Amtrak service from Washington's Union Station to Williamsburg in Virginia for a two-night stay. On Day 5 we immerse ourselves in America's pilgrim heritage as we visit the three areas that hold the densest concentration of colonial-era history in the US. We begin at Jamestown, the New World's very first permanent English colony, as well as being the capital of the old colony of Virginia and the 'birthplace of America'. Here we take a step back in time, as the year 1607 is brought to life through re-enactments and exhibitions at this living museum.
Next we continue to the nearby Yorktown Victory Centre, which is set in 1781. In this sixth year of the Revolution, the American and French armies have just won a decisive victory against the English, the last major land battle to take place during the war. On this momentous site, we delve into the expertly- chronicled revolutionary time line, allowing us to experience the daily lives of the soldiers, right up to the formation of a new, independent America
Today we head to the unique destination of Colonial Williamsburg, which has been meticulously recreated to look as it would in the 18th century. We have time to explore the 301-acre site, learning about the early struggles of the colonists struggling to make it in the New World. There are also many authentic buildings here to explore, including a blacksmiths and armoury, the Governor's Palace, and a traditional 1766 coffeehouse.
Our second stop today sees us visit the Richmond National Battlefield Park Civil War Visitor Centre. Exploring the fascinating history of one of the most crucial wars ever fought in America, where the 'United States' fought the majority southern 'Confederate states. This museum is packed full of exhibits and artefacts from the various battles and events which took place over the course of this 4 year long war, led by Abraham Lincoln on the one side and Jefferson Davis on the other.
Later we continue to pretty Charlottesville for a two-night stay. This evening we take a talk from our guest speaker about the area and enjoy dinner.
Today we visit Monticello, the plantation where Thomas Jefferson lived. This is one of the USA's most famous buildings, even featuring on the back of the nickel, and here we enjoy a guided tour around this striking house, which is still furnished as it would have been when the nation's third president resided here. We then have some free time to look around the various gardens before returning to Charlottesville, for a tour and tasting at a local winery.The rest of the afternoon is free to explore pretty Charlottesville, with its treelined streets of early American architecture.
Leaving Charlottesville, today we travel towards Gettysburg. Our journey takes us along Route 15, a notable area known as the 'Journey through Hallowed Ground', perhaps best known as a cradle of democracy in the USA. Many important political episodes and documents originated here - among them the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation, arguably three of the most important speeches and documents to ever come out of America. It is also the birthplace of no fewer than nine US presidents. Later we arrive into the old town of Gettysburg, where we spend two nights. This evening, we have dinner with a representative of 'The Journey through Hallowed Ground', society, following which they'll bring the important story of this remarkable land to life with an informative talk.
Often described as the turning point of the American Civil War, today we visit the battlefield of Gettysburg for a guided tour. Detailing the three days of fighting that resulted in a great many losses on both sides, we will learn about General Lee's retreat back to Virginia as well as visit the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum which focuses on the wellknown speech President Lincoln gave here following the battle, the famous Gettysburg Address, delivered to commemorate the soldiers that fell during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Today we travel by coach to Philadelphia, America's first capital and closely linked to the nation's founding history. Here we take a guided tour of some of the city's most important sites such as the Independence National Historical Park. It was here in the Independence Hall that the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were debated - and today this monumental site is home to the National Constitution Centre, an interactive museum which details the national significance of this fascinating area.
Today we transfer to Philadelphia Airport and join our flight to London, arriving on Day 12. Here your tour comes to an end.
This tour features a selection of guest speakers to enrich your experience and understanding of the USA. In Washington D.C., we enjoy a talk from a political correspondent on life in the presidential hub, and how the city is shaped by being both the cradle and theatre of American politics. Our talk in Charlottesville comes from a journalist and travel writer. During the evening we gain an insight into Virginia and the events that have made the region what it is today. On Day 8, we enjoy a talk from a representative of the society dedicated to the Hallowed Ground. The story of this politically-active region comes alive as famous events and their effects are recounted.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience with all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour:
A Journey Through American History