This interesting and educational tour is packed with as much as possible to make your tour time worthwhile. We do our best to visit all the sites listed, but sometimes official events prohibit us from certain areas. We have learned that flexibility is the keyword on this tour. We always return with a bigger appreciation for our country, our forefathers, and our history.
Day 1: With anticipation and eagerness to learn more about the history of our Country, we board our comfortable motorcoach this morning. After a day of getting acquainted, we arrive east of St. Louis for our first night.
Day 2: Today we head east, crossing the southern edge of Illinois and Indiana and into Kentucky. Enjoy the neatly manicured horse farms in the beautiful rolling hills of Kentucky. We make it to West Virginia for our overnight stay. (B)
Day 3: There is more beautiful scenery in store for us today as we reach Virginia and see the Shenandoah Valley spread before us. We arrive at Monticello, the home of our nation’s third President, Thomas Jefferson, and the author of the Declaration of Independence. On our tour, we learn more about President Jefferson and the countryside which he loved so much. Our hotel for the next two nights is in Williamsburg, VA. (B, L)
Day 4: Today we visit the Jamestown Settlement, founded in 1607, thirteen years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. History comes alive at Colonial Williamsburg as we walk the same streets that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson walked and see where Patrick Henry made his impassioned plea for independence. The historic area includes completely restored 18th and 19th-century houses, shops, taverns, public buildings, and dependencies. Hear the echo of musket fire, the ring of the blacksmith’s hammer, and the high, pure strains of a fife, as you step back in time into this magnificent era of American History. After a full day of history, it’s back to the same hotel for the night. (B)
Day 5: For the next 4 days a local guide joins us, sharing highlights and knowledge about these historical areas. We visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps, a lasting tribute to U.S. Marines--past, present, and future. Situated on a 135-acre site, the Museum's soaring design evokes the image of the flag raisers of Iwo Jima and beckons visitors to this 120,000-square-foot structure. This afternoon we visit Mt. Vernon, President Washington’s home. Upon arrival, enjoy a tour of the mansion, which has been restored to its appearance in the last years of President Washington’s life. By late afternoon we reach our nation’s capital, Washington DC.
We start by visiting some of the many monuments on the National Mall. We may need to be flexible as things are always changing in this busy, working town. Overnight in the DC area for the next 4 nights. (B, L)
Day 6: This morning our local guide is with us as we start at the National Cathedral. It is an amazing place that many of you have seen on TV during numerous special services. Later we spend some time at one of the many Smithsonian Museums including the Holocaust Museum. We will have a picture stop at the White House before returning to the hotel for the night. (B)
Day 7: Today you will visit Smithsonian Museums of your choice. The Smithsonian Institute has many buildings of various interests. After visiting the museums, we head to Arlington National Cemetery. Our tour includes a tram tour of the Kennedy Gravesite, Tomb of the Unknowns, and the wreath-laying ceremony. We have a picture stop at Iwo Jima Monument on the way back to the same hotel for the night. (B)
Day 8: This morning, we find ourselves at the Capitol Building. We have requested a tour of the capitol, but do not know until closer to the time if we are permitted in. This afternoon we visit the Museum of the Bible and more Smithsonian’s. This is our last night in the DC area. (B)
Day 9: Leaving Washington DC this morning, we head north to Baltimore for a visit to Ft. McHenry where in 1814, the British tried to take the city. This is also where Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star Spangled Banner.” Next, we drive to Philadelphia to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Overnight is west of Philadelphia. (B)
Day 10: Today we tour the Gettysburg Battlefield with a licensed guide, who provides interesting information about the area, including the spot where the famous Gettysburg Address was given by President Lincoln. After lunch, there is time to explore the exhibits in the museum before continuing west for the night. (B, L)
Day 11: The National Veteran’s Museum in Columbus OH is our destination. This is the first and only memorial/museum where the stories of our veterans, their families, and the Fallen – across all branches of service and all eras of conflict –are told together. The rest of the day we head westward. Sit back and relax after so many busy days of interesting history lessons. Our last night out is east of St. Louis. (B)
Day 12: Today we set our sights on home reminiscing about the past two weeks in the Historic East. We feel a real gratitude for the early settlers and the people who had the vision and determination to build this great nation. (B)