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Follow the path of American history on this scenic Journey through some of the USA’s most important heritage areas to date. Experience life in the 18th century in Williamsburg, visit the Civil War battlegrounds in Gettysburg and travel along the famous Skyline Drive where you’ll witness spectacular views of the Shenandoah Valley.
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Your Example Itinerary
UK to Washington DC
Spend two days walking the corridors of power in America’s vibrant and historic capital, filled with iconic monuments such as the White House, Capitol Hill and the Smithsonian Institution’s cluster of 19 free museums and galleries. Crane your neck to see the Washington Monument, shop for quirky souvenirs at eclectic shops in Georgetown Park, try out the Newseum, an interactive museum showcasing news and journalism, then later chill out with some jazz in the hip cocktail lounges that stretch along U Street. Alternatively, head to Georgetown, the oldest part of the city, where numerous bars and restaurants line the river. Further afield, visit the home of George Washington at Mount Vernon and the poignant Arlington Cemetery, where JFK’s eternal flame burns at his graveside.
Drive to Gettysburg, site of the eponymous battle, and now preserved as a fascinating Civil War battleground at Gettysburg National Military Park. Start at the visitor centre, then tour the battlefields and other historically significant sites by car, by bus, on foot or even by Segway. Gettysburg’s other claim to fame is that it was the location for Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address, widely regarded as one of the greatest speeches ever made.
Get away from the hustle and bustle and head south-west to the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where you'll stay in the charming town of Front Royal, which is stuffed with Civil War attractions and museums. For a more natural marvel take a look at the Skyline Caverns, a complex of caves containing anthodites, a rare form of crystal. Front Royal is also the access point for the woodlands of stunning Shenandoah National Park, filled with majestic peaks and rolling hills, best seen from the 105-mile Skyline Drive, a scenic route along the hilltops.
Next stop is the delightful town of Williamsburg, where the standout highlight is the living museum at Colonial Williamsburg, which gives a fascinating insight into 18th-century life. Meet the residents, look around their homes, attend a music recital or ride a horse-drawn carriage through the town. For more lessons from the past, head to historic Jamestown or Yorktown, with its picturesque riverfront setting. Once you’ve soaked up all the history, sip a cappuccino in one of the numerous cafés or browse the quirky souvenir shops.
Enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of Virginia Beach, where 35 miles of sandy shores allow for plenty of seaside fun and frolics. Virginia Beach is a year-round outdoor destination, with heaps of things to do in all weathers – from beach lazing and horse riding in summer to ice skating and zip lining in winter. You can also go whale watching, visit Virginia Aquarium and discover numerous park trails to follow at any time of year. There’s always something to entertain.
Trace the Civil War trail in Maryland with a stay in up-and-coming Baltimore, home to world-class museums, hip hotels and fashionable shops. Art lovers should pop in to the American Visionary Art Museum and the Walters Art Museum, while history buffs should head to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum and star-shaped Fort McHenry. This star-shaped battlement was the inspiration for the Star Spangled Banner and also successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from the British in 1814.
Explore historic buildings and distinct neighbourhoods in Philadelphia, location for the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The city is also home to the Liberty Bell, a symbol of American independence, and the World Heritage-listed Independence Hall. Be sure to run Rocky-style up the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, famed filming location for the well-known boxing movie. For goodies galore, stop off at Reading Terminal Market, stuffed full of delicacies including hearty Amish food and of course the legendary Philly cheese steak, definitely not for dieters.
Philadelphia to UK
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