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America's Founding History

(Tour code: AHG17)A Journey Through American History

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.

Tour Highlights
  • Washington with guided tour
  • Guest Speakers in Charlottesville and Washington
  • The first settlement of Jamestown
  • Yorktown and Colonial Williamsburg
  • Charlottesville
  • The Hallowed Ground
  • The history of the Civil War in Lexington
  • Monticello
  • The Battle of Gettysburg including guided tour and guest speaker
  • Historic Philadelphia
What’s Included (Full details)
  • Standard Class Rail
  • 11 Nights' Hotel Accommodation
  • Return Scheduled Flights
    Upgrades Available

Itinerary & Map

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Departure Times

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.

Capitol Building, Washington DC
Days 1-2

To Washington DC

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. This evening we enjoy dinner and a talk from a guest lecturer.

The White House, Washington
Day 3

At leisure in Washington DC

Today you are free to discover more of Washington at your own pace. The Smithsonian Institute, on the popular National Mall, is home to no less than 19 different museums, galleries and even a zoo. You could also spend some time at the You could also spend some time at the peaceful Lincoln Memorial.

Williamsburg House
Days 4-5

Williamsburg and the Historic Triangle

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, 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. Our last stop today is 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; there are many authentic buildings here to explore including a blacksmiths and armoury, the Governor's Palace, and a traditional 1766 coffeehouse.

Civil War Flags
Day 6

The American Civil War

This morning we travel to Lexington, for a visit to the former home of Jonathan 'Stonewall' Jackson, a confederate brigadier general during the American Civil war, who earned his nickname of 'Stonewall' for his fearless nature. Our tour of his restored house focuses on his civilian career as a Virginia Military Institute professor, as well as his softer side as a devoted family man. We then walk to the Lee Chapel and Museum which is located on the campus of Washington and Lee University, where Robert E Lee was once president. Here we visit the final resting place of the famous confederate general himself, with its life-size, white marble edifice. The museum contains many articles about Lee's life, including his role in the university's history. Later we continue to pretty Charlottesville for a two-night stay. This evening we take a talk from our guest speaker and enjoy dinner.

Customers
Day 7

Monticello & Charlottesville

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 then free to explore Charlottesville, with its tree-lined streets of early American architecture.

Gettysburg
Day 8

Through Hallowed Ground to Gettysburg

Leaving Charlottesville, today we travel towards Gettysburg. Our journey takes us along Route 15, a notable area known as the 'Journey through Hallowed Ground', a scenic region is 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. It is also the birthplace of no fewer than nine US presidents. Later we arrive in 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 story of this remarkable land to life.

Gettysburg
Day 9

Gettysburg

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 four months following the battle, the Gettysburg address.

Independence Hall, Philadelphia
Days 10-11

Philadelphia

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. Make the most of a day at leisure on Day 11 to discover more of this diverse city, and the role it has played in shaping the USA as we know it today. Perhaps take the opportunity to revisit the National Park, also known as 'America's most historic Square', and see the iconic Liberty Bell. You could also experience the Benjamin Franklin Museum.

Flights
Days 12-13

The journey home

Today we have some free time in Philadelphia before traveling to the airport to join our flight to London, arriving on Day 13.

Guest Speakers

Guest Speakers

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 on life in the presidential hub, and how the city has been shaped since becoming the theatre of American politics and a powerhouse famed throughout the world. Our talk in Charlottesville on Day 6 then provides an insight into Virginia and the historical events that have influenced the region throughout the ages.

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