Day One: (D)
Today we will arrive at the airport where our professional Tour Guide and deluxe motorcoach will meet us. We will check into our Washington, DC area accommodations for a four-night stay. After a welcome dinner, we will be treated to an illumination tour of the city. We will see many of the capital’s famous monuments highlighted with spotlights that accentuate their beauty.
Day Two: (Cont. B)
A day of exploration awaits us in our nation’s capital! Washington, DC has a dizzying array of attractions, including museums, tours of federal buildings, shops and restaurants. Today as we tour Washington, DC, we will see the White house, the Capitol Building, the towering Washington Monument, the contemplative Lincoln Monument and the scenic Jefferson Memorial We will have an opportunity to pause at the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials as well as the newly dedicated World War II Memorial to honor those who fought for the cause of freedom. Adjacent to the Capitol is the US Supreme Court, the Library of Congress (where the Gutenberg Bible is exhibited) and the original Supreme Court chamber. Near the Capitol is the 1907 era beaux-arts Union Station, opened then as an elegant gateway for trains to arrive into our nation’s capital. Continuing to function as a train station and metro station (home to Amtrak), it also houses 120 upscale retail shops, theaters, restaurants and cafes. A wonderful place to visit for lunch on our own! You can also see the new US Postal Museum, which exhibits a rare collection of airmail planes, stagecoaches, stamps and letters. The afternoon we will have some free time in DC- our tour guide will have plenty of suggestions for us. Dinner is on our own this evening.
Day Three: (Cont. B, L)
This morning we will travel to nearby Virginia at the site of the Robert E. Lee estate to visit Arlington National Cemetery, which contains the graves of more than 250,000 U.S. soldiers. Arlington Cemetery has become synonymous with the honor and reverence of those who have served their country in the armed forces. Here you will visit the Maine Memorial, the Kennedy Gravesites and the Tomb of the Unknowns featuring the Changing of the Guard. Next we will visit Old Alexandria with its tree-lined, cobblestone streets and architecture that span the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. This afternoon we will be treated to a special lunch at Gadsby’s Tavern. The atmosphere of early America is found in this 18th-century hotel; which was the setting for brilliant society balls in the 1700's, meetings of patriots, and receptions of several presidents of the United States. We will visit Mount Vernon, the estate of George and Martha Washington which sits majestically on the banks of the Potomac. We will tour the meticulously restored house as well as the grounds.This evening we will have an opportunity to enjoy dinner on our own.
Day Four: (Cont. B, D)
Today will be dedicated to the exploration of the Smithsonian, made up of a large variety of separate museums. Many of these museums are positioned on the National Mall. We may opt to visit one or a number of these museums, including the National Air and Space Museum, housing collections that span from the Wright Brothers flight to the modern space program; the National Museum of Natural History, home to a dinosaur hall and a butterfly exhibit. If you prefer art – there are a number of choices: the National Portrait Gallery, Freer Gallery of Art or perhaps the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. A visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will be on the agenda for the afternoon. This somber and moving museum tells the story of the Holocaust through artifacts, films, photos and oral histories. It will certainly be a visit you will not forget. If the museum collection doesn’t appeal to you it’s a wonderful time to pursue your favorite interests. Take advantage of the excursions on the Old Town Trolley Tours as it loops around the city with pick up and drop off times throughout the day. This evening we will enjoy a wonderful farewell dinner.
Day Five: (Cont. B)
This morning we will have the luxury of time to pack our bags, enjoy some last minute sights and visit The National Cathedral. Gothic architecture, its construction started in 1907 but was not completed until this decade! Towering 676 feet above sea level it will afford us the best panoramic view of Washington, DC available. As we bid farewell to the District of Columbia with its history and heritage, we will hold a reverence four our heritage close in our hearts and minds.