Cruise the famous Skyline Drive, visit America’s most popular National Park, explore the subterranean marvels of Luray Caves, walk in the footsteps of President’s Washington and Jefferson – and go on the fabled guided
illumination tour of D.C monuments.
Day 1 - Arrive Baltimore, MD
This morning we depart on our journey through history. Our overnight is at the Days Inn Inner Harbor, Baltimore. After checking into the hotel, the remainder of the day is yours to explore. Baltimore has plenty of attractions that beckon like the National Aquarium, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the quirky Walters Art Museum. If you work up an appetite, you are in the right place because Baltimore has been named one of the top ten U.S. cities for food lovers by several national publications.
Day 2 - Jefferson's Monticello
After breakfast, we depart for Monticello, the plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. This neo-classic estate that sits atop a lofty hill was designed and redesigned, built and rebuilt for more than forty years. Jefferson called it his “essay in architecture.” The estate is surrounded by gardens that are a botanic showpiece, a source of food, and an experimental laboratory of ornamental and useful plants from around the world. A recently opened exhibit, “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty.” follows the story of six enslaved families that lived and worked here.
This afternoon, we will visit Poplar Forest, Jefferson’s private retreat, and plantation. We will tour this meticulously restored home and learn about the people, both free and enslaved that lived here.
This evening we check in to our hotel in in Lynchburg, VA. Dinner is included this evening. (B,D)
Day 3 - Shenandoah Valley
This morning after breakfast, we will travel to Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia where we tour the Lee Chapel & Museum, which is the final resting place of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. We will also tour the house museum of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. The museum interprets Jackson’s life as a professor, church leader, businessman, husband, and community leader during the decade he lived in Lexington and taught at the Virginia Military Institute before the American Civil War. There will be time for lunch, on own, before traveling along Skyline Drive through Shenandoah Valley. This National Scenic Byway traverses the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains and goes through the heart of Shenandoah National Park. The stunning beauty of this drive along with some of the world’s most diverse displays of flora and fauna make this trip unforgettable. Tonight we will check into our hotel in Harrisonburg, Virginia before enjoying dinner. (B,D)
Day 4 - Luray Caverns - Washington, D.C.
After a hearty breakfast, we find ourselves winding our way through the beautiful landscape of Shenandoah Valley to Luray Caverns, the largest in the eastern United States. Our guided tour along lighted paved walkways takes us through cathedral sized rooms ten stories high filled with towering stone columns and crystal-clear pools. A highlight is the Great Stalacpipe Organ that makes the stalactites sing by tapping them.
This afternoon we travel to Washington, D.C. where we will check into the Holiday Inn Capitol, conveniently located on Capitol Hill. After freshening up, we will have dinner at Theismann’s, an upscale neighborhood favorite in business since 1975. After dinner, our local guide will meet us and take us on an illumination Tour of the monuments of Washington D.C. (B,D)
Day 5 - Depart Mount Vernon, VA
Today our journey continues, after breakfast, as we head to Mount Vernon, the beloved home of George Washington, the first president of the United States. The estate sits on the banks of the Potomac River amid 500 acres of rolling fields and beautifully manicured lawns. Washington lived here for forty years and at the time of his death in 1799, the plantation expanded from 2,000 acres to 8,000 and the house from six rooms to twenty-one. Today, the grounds remain largely as Washington intended. The tomb of George and his wife Martha Washington lies to the south of the mansion. The view you see today from the Piazza is the largely the same view as in Washington’s time and is a peaceful place for a moment’s reflection. Enjoy lunch, on own, in the café, before our services end. (B)