From antebellum mansions to Amish Dutch Country and the White House, this tour delves into the beginnings of modern America.
- Return flights from Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic
- 12 nights in greatqualityhotels plus 1 night in flight
- 10 meals:9 breakfasts, 1 lunch andwelcome drink
- Travelsphere Tour Manager and Specialist Local Guide
- Overseas transfers,other transportation and porterage
- Day 1 UK – Atlanta
- Today you'll fly to Atlanta, Georgia. On arrival we'll transfer you to your hotel for a two-night stay.
- Day 2 Atlanta
- This morning's tour includes Peachtree Street and the gold-domed Georgia State Capitol. Visits to the grave site of Dr Martin Luther King and a memorial dedicated to the civil rights leader, who was born in Atlanta, are further highlights. This afternoon you may choose to visit one of the many attractions in Downtown Atlanta: the Centennial Olympic Park celebrating the legacy of the 1996 Olympics, the World of Coca-Cola which was invented in Atlanta, or maybe the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Or join our optional excursion to the Atlanta History Center where the restored Cyclorama painting is displayed through theatrical film.
- Day 3 Atlanta – Savannah
- We head to Savannah where we will eat traditional Southern fare at one of the most historic venues in Georgia – the inn was first opened in 1753, then a key meeting point for pirates and sailors alike.
- Day 4 Savannah – at Leisure
- You can set your own pace as you explore Savannah today. The city boasts more than 20 historic squares, shaded by oak trees and surrounded by elegant homes, charming churches and fascinating museums. Be sure to take in Chippewa Square, where scenes from Forrest Gump were filmed. You'll also want to spend time by the waterfront, where old cotton warehouses have been converted into galleries, antique shops, boutiques and restaurants. An optional sightseeing ride comes highly recommended in this city that is the epitome of Southern living and home to a wonderful collection of antebellum mansions.
This evening, why not make a beeline for the cobbled street alongside the river. It's home to a myriad of restaurants and bars where bands and musicians often play. Savannah is one of the few places in America where you can legally walk around with a drink, so ask for a 'to-go cup' and soak up the sociable atmosphere!
- Day 5 Savannah – Charleston
- Our journey to Charleston takes us first to the beautiful Magnolia Plantation House and Gardens, founded by the Drayton family in 1676, when they arrived here from Barbados. Through the cultivation of rice, the family amassed great wealth and later, during the American Revolution, their descendants fought against British rule. We'll take a tour to learn more about the family and their home.
- Day 6 Charleston
- Founded in 1670, Charleston is the oldest city on America's Eastern seaboard. It's built around a lovely natural harbour and distinctive palmetto palm trees line its charming streets. As we explore the Old Town together, highlights include the waterfront, the old slave mart and the exchange building.
You're free to make your own discoveries this afternoon. You could head to the historic City Market and spend some time shopping for souvenirs look out for stalls selling sweetgrass baskets and other handicrafts of African origin. Alternatively, a fascinating optional tour will take you on a cruise to Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired. You'll learn more about the history of the conflict and see a network of waterways, marshland and bridges along the way.
Charleston's restaurant scene is considered to be one of the best in the country, so why not head out this evening and sample some local specialities.
- Day 7 Charleston – Wilmington
- Today we head to Wilmington in North Carolina, set on the banks of the Cape Fear River. It's one of the USA's oldest seaports.
- Day 8 Wilmington – Richmond
- We're heading north today to the state of Virginia, where our base for two nights is Richmond, capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Today Richmond is a buzzing city, located on the banks of the James River. Here, you will find the Virginia State Capitol, a building designed by Thomas Jefferson, and Monument Avenue with its statues of well-known Confederate figures. And if it's fashionable shops and restaurants you crave, be sure to make a beeline for the historic district of Shockoe Slip.
- Day 9 Jamestown – Williamsburg
- Today you're going to experience the beginnings of modern America, starting in historic Jamestown, where the first British settlement was established in 1607. Next we'll visit Colonial Williamsburg, which has been faithfully restored to its original 18th century state. Set your own pace on a stroll which will transport you back in time. You'll see craftsmen and traders wearing authentic costumes and instead of cars, the only way to travel here is by horse-drawn carriage.
- Day 10 Richmond – Washington DC
Your highlight today is a visit to Monticello, the magnificent home of Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence. After your tour, we travel onwards to Washington DC, our base for the next two nights.
- Day 11 Washington DC
- The capital of the United States of America, Washington DC radiates outwards from the Capitol Building. On our morning tour we will see the White House, the US Treasury and many of the city's other famous landmarks. We'll pass the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial and the Washington Memorial, which stretch along the Mall to the Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon. Take time to make your own discoveries this afternoon, you could choose to visit one of the many Smithsonian museums located along the National Mall. They are all free to enter, and there's something for everyone, from the American Art Museum, to the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum.
- Day 12 Washington DC – Lancaster – Philadelphia
- We've a complete change of pace today as we drive to Lancaster County. In the home of America's oldest Amish settlement you'll experience the centuries-old 'Plain' lifestyle still lived by thousands of people. We'll take a tour of the Dutch Country, where windmills are used to harness the power of nature and the horse and buggy is the primary form of transportation. Our final destination today is Philadelphia.
- Day 13 Philadelphia – UK
- We'll explore Philadelphia together this morning, it was the USA's original capital city, and is where the Declaration of Independence was written, signed and introduced to the public in 1776. On our tour we'll see highlights including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Franklin Institute. You've then got time to make your own discoveries, before we take you to the airport for your flight home.
- Day 14 UK
- You'll arrive in the UK today.