Turn back time with a drive through history
14 Nights From €1659 (Per Person)
Fly Drive Holidays
District of Columbia||
New York City (New York) - Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) - Washington DC (DC) - Williamsburg (Virginia) - Richmond (Virginia) - Charlottesville (Virginia) - Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) - Amish Country (Pennsylvania) - New York City (New York)
Within the founding of any nation, there are a series of important events that stand out particularly as “history in the making.” This is especially true in the United States, which began over 200 years ago in totally virgin territory. No nation had ever been founded on the same principles, which appeared to some to be highly experimental. But it all worked. Today, you can stand in the room where American Independence was declared and imagine the courage and power these men felt, believing they were changing the world for the better. You can experience the silence of the battlefield where a monstrous battle determined the course of the Civil War and the future of the United States. Try to envision the cannons, chaos and carnage while the battle raged at Gettysburg. You can walk the streets that George Washington trod as a Virginia farmer and feel the pride of this little colonial town when he became President. Further south in Virginia, you can stand on the street corner where three of America’s founding fathers stopped to greet each other as lawyers long before each became President of the United States and visit Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home that has been declared a World Heritage treasure.
The more rural parts of your trip will be complemented by visits to New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, three of America’s premier cities, where history is a very integral part of modern life, and Colonial Williamsburg, which is history itself. Visit all this and more in one trip though the most historic region of the United States. Experience the momentous events, triumphs and wonders that shaped American history. As you travel through this amazing region, you’ll find the drives are short and pleasant and the scenery is beautiful. It’s a great way to put America’s most important history into perspective.
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Day 1: Arrive New York City
Few people know that New York City served as the first capital of the United States. The city witnessed the inauguration of George Washington as the first President of the United States while Washington, DC was still in the planning stages. The inauguration is only part of the remarkable history of New York, which also includes Ellis Island, where millions of new immigrants first set foot in the country, Ground Zero, the site of the September 11 attacks that forever changed the world, the Empire State Building, which represented a new trend in skyward buildings, and, of course, the Statute of Liberty. The American Museum of Natural History illustrates the geologic and geographic events that shaped the country.
Day 2: Explore New York City
You can spend another day exploring the sights and sounds of America’s most fascinating city. If you have visited New York before, we’ll provide you with information about new and interesting things to see and do.
Day 3: Philadelphia
Philadelphia also served as the United States Capital in the late 1780s while the new quarters were being developed in Washington, DC. In fact, the city fathers thought they could entice the government to stay, based on the familiarity from the Continental Congress and events surrounding the Declaration of Independence. The most historic square mile in Philadelphia surrounds Independence Park National Historic Park, home to the buildings where the new government was formed, the Liberty Bell and more. Beyond that, over 45 museums, historic sites, and other culturally important locations in Philadelphia are yours to explore.
Day 4: Philadelphia
Today you can spend another day exploring the city’s history, or seek out Philadelphia’s wonderful artistic resources. The Betsy Ross House, home of the seamstress of the first US flag, is in Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest intact street in America. The Franklin Institute illustrates the many achievements of its namesake. The Philadelphia Art Museum, the third largest in the US, has astounding originals and the Rodin Museum has more original works than anywhere outside France. When you’re ready for a break from the old world, explore Reading Terminal Market, a Philadelphia institution, which is full of fascinating shops, vendors, and eateries.
Day 5: Philadelphia to Washington, DC
Now, it’s on to the nation’s capital. If you have not visited Washington, DC before, we recommend the US Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and White House Visitors Center. If you have visited these attractions before, the National Mall is home to no less than 18 additional Memorials, Monuments and Smithsonian Museums.
Day 6: Washington, DC
Some other very interesting Washington, DC attractions include the International Spy Museum, the National Archives, which houses the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta, the National Cathedral, Arlington National Cemetery, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court Building, and the National Geographic Society. Take in a performance at the renowned Kennedy Center in the evening.
Day 7: Colonial Williamsburg
On your way from Washington, DC to Colonial Williamsburg, we highly recommend a visit to George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. The house, outbuildings, gardens and tombs are all open for touring. Williamsburg served as the Virginia State Capital from 1699 to 1780. Thanks to the careful restoration that began in 1926, visitors can walk the same streets that Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Patrick Henry strolled while discussing the fate of the new nation. Be sure to make time to visit Jamestown, the first English colony on the American continent, and Yorktown, where the American Revolution ended.
Day 8: Richmond
The Story of Virginia, housed in the Virginia Historical Society, is likely the best exhibit in the state. It tells the story of the development of Virginia in 10,000 square feet and 10,000 artifacts. These very interesting presentations enable you to put the entire story of the founding and development of the United States into context. This evening, look into Richmond’s lively arts and dining scene.
Day 9: Richmond to Charlottesville
Charlottesville was home to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe, the third, fourth and fifth Presidents of the United States respectively, who governed consecutively from 1801 to 1826. James Madison is also considered the Father of the US Constitution. Together, these three men likely had more impact on American freedoms than any other three individuals. Monticello, the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson, has been designated a World Heritage Treasure by the United Nations. It’s not to be missed.
Day 10: Charlottesville
Today there should be time to visit both the home of James Monroe, within earshot of Monticello, and Montpelier, the home of James Madison, which has recently undergone a massive restoration to authentically restore it to the time when the Madison’s were in residence. The center quadrangle of the University of Virginia preserves the original portion of the campus built by Thomas Jefferson and is still in use as part of the University’s facilities. Downtown Charlottesville is now a delightful pedestrian mall great for walking and dining.
Day 11: Gettysburg via Harpers Ferry
It’s not a long drive from Charlottesville to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, which has been frozen in time in 1863 by the National Park Service. It was here that John Brown’s Raid is credited with helping start the Civil War. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway takes you from Harpers Ferry to Gettysburg, site of the northernmost battle of the Civil War, which turned the Confederates back to the South and their ultimate defeat.
Day 12: Gettysburg
Plan to spend the day exploring this huge and emotive battlefield. Up on Confederate Avenue, you’ll wonder why the Confederates gave up their strategic position to be ultimately defeated as they poured down on the enormous farm that became a blazing battlefield.
Day 13: Pennsylvania’s Amish Country
Move on today from visions of war to serene and scenic Amish Country. We’ll route you on the back roads, where you can still see buggies traveling to town and vast lush fields surrounding tidy farms that spread out as far as the eye can see.
Day 14: New York City
After a night in the peaceful surroundings of Pennsylvania’s Amish Country, it’s time to head back to the excitement of the Big Apple! Enjoy your last night in the city. Take in a Broadway play, a performance at Lincoln Center, a fabulous meal, or a carriage ride through Central Park.
Day 15: Depart New York City
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