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This exploratory Journey takes in the seat of power of America’s capital Washington, as well as the more sedate attractions of the colonial towns and picturesque rivers of rural Virginia. Taste locally-brewed ales and ciders, visit beautiful vineyards and learn about the arrival of the first European colonists.
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Fly from the UK to Washington
Explore iconic Washington DC, the USA’s capital and home to the White House. With plenty of sights to choose from, plus the 19 free museums that make up the Smithsonian Instiution, there’s a lot to keep you busy. Check out the neoclassical buildings of the Federal Triangle or head to the oldest part of the city at Georgetown, where buzzing bars and popular restaurants line the streets. Visit the moving National Cemetery at Arlington, the final resting place for many Civil War casualties, and tour the touching Washington War Memorials.
Head on to historical Williamsburg, where the Colonial Williamsburg living history museum is the star attraction. Filled with original buildings and diverting museums, with revolutionary re-enactments often played out, this is an entertaining way to discover more about the history of the area. To learn more about the English colonists who arrived here in 1607, pay Jamestown Settlement a visit or, for something a bit different, ride the rollercoasters at thrilling Busch Gardens.
Continue to Richmond, where the cobbled streets bring 400 years of history to life. Visit the imposing white façade of the classical-style Virginia Capitol and take a stroll down Monument Avenue, lined with statues, churches, old mansions and Civil War residences. Adventure-seekers can brave the raging torrents on the vast James River which offers boat trips, kayaking and canoeing, as well as thrilling white water rafting on Class IV rapids.
Spend the day tasting craft beers and locally-produced wines in picturesque Charlottesville, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The spirit of Thomas Jefferson lives on at his mountaintop plantation of Monticello, which together with the nearby University of Virginia are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mountains themselves can be explored by car on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a relaxing drive through rugged hills and pretty forest, especially beautiful when the golden autumn leaves are displayed.
Hop across the state border into Maryland for the waterfront town of Baltimore, with its much-photographed harbour, popular for boat trips and numerous museums and monuments. Be sure to visit Fort McHenry, which inspired the composition of the American national anthem, Star Spangled Banner. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum, as well as the cluster of historic ships moored in the harbour, are also worth a stop.
Depart Baltimore and return to the UK
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