Discover the iconic highlights of America’s east on a tour that takes you to its capital Washington DC, historic Philadelphia and one of the world’s most exciting cities, New York.
- Return flights from Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic
- 8 nights in hotels of a good standard plus 1 night in flight
- 5 breakfasts
- Travelsphere Tour Manager and Local Guide
- Overseas transfers and other transportation
- Day 1 UK/Washington DC
- Depart on your scheduled flight to Washington DC, the capital of the USA. On arrival we'll transfer you to your hotel.
- Day 2 Washington DC
- You'll discover the USA's capital city this morning, with iconic monuments and the corridors of power at the forefront of your sightseeing tour. Washington DC radiates outwards from the Capitol Building, whose classical dome is instantly recognisable, whether you are a political watcher or not. Located at the eastern end of the National Mall, it has housed the meeting chambers of the Senate and House of Representatives for more than two centuries, and it's where your day begins. At the other end of the mall, you'll see the imposing Lincoln Memorial. Stand back and admire the huge statue of a seated Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, and read the words of his famed Gettysburg Address, which is inscribed on the wall of the south chamber. You can also stand on the steps facing towards the Washington Memorial where Martin Luther King delivered his 'I have a dream' speech. Our next iconic destination is the White House, the official office and residence of the US President, and we'll also see the Vietnam Memorial among other famous landmarks. 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 Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum to the National Gallery of Art and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
- Day 3 Washington DC
- Today has been left free so that you can explore Washington DC at your own pace. Perhaps you'll choose to head back to the National Mall, where 11 of the 19 Smithsonian museums are located, or why not check out the Newseum. Set over seven levels with 15 galleries and 15 theatres, this interactive museum is dedicated to journalism and the importance of a free press. Alternatively, you could choose to join your Tour Manager and head off on an optional tour of the areas around DC. This day out begins as we cross the Potomac River to Arlington National Cemetery, making stops at famous grave sites including that of the Kennedys. We will then make our way to Old Town Alexandria, to see wonderfully preserved 18th and 19th century buildings. This nationally designated historic district also boasts a thriving arts scene, and if you make your way to King Street you'll find plenty of cafes and restaurants, so maybe make a stop for lunch. At the pretty harbour we'll then board a boat for a sightseeing cruise along the Potomac River, passing the Pentagon as we go. Our final stop will be Georgetown, an historic neighbourhood with beautiful tree-lined cobbled streets and some of DC's best shops and restaurants. After the tour ends, you can choose to travel back to the hotel with your Tour Manager or opt to spend more time in the area. A great place for a stroll is Waterfront Park, which stretches for miles along the banks of the river, or perhaps walk through the university's leafy campus. This evening you have the option of a cycling tour, to see the city's monuments spectacularly illuminated.
- Day 4 Dutch Country and 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. Today's journey ends as we reach Philadelphia, America's first capital, which is known as the 'City of Brotherly Love'. This evening you'll see 'Philly from the Top' as we head to the Observation Deck of One Liberty Place, a 61-storey skyscraper. The views are fantastic and you'll learn all about the history and the icons of this fabulous city.
- Day 5 Philadelphia
- You'll get to know Philadelphia a little better on this morning's sightseeing tour. As the birthplace of America, the city is home to no fewer than 67 National Historic Landmarks. Stroll along the cobbled streets of Society Hill, where in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed. You'll also see UNESCO-listed Independence Hall, where the declaration, as well as the United States Constitution, were debated and adopted, and the Liberty Bell. Other highlights include the US Mint and Betsy Ross House, where the first American flag is said to have been made. With so much to see and do, your free afternoon is sure to fly by as you make your own discoveries. The city has a thriving arts culture, so maybe head to Benjamin Franklin Parkway with its monumental fountains, plazas and a host of museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Here, fans of the 'Rocky' movies, in which Sylvester Stallone played boxer Rocky Balboa, can have their photo taken with a statue of the 'Italian Stallion', created for Rocky III. A must then is to recreate the boxer's famous run up the museum steps and his raised-arms salute.
- Day 6 New York
- The final stop on your holiday is New York, where on arrival, you'll head off on a tour with a Local Guide, who will show you around the Big Apple. Highlights include the iconic Empire State Building, the theatre district of Broadway, the beautiful Chrysler Building, Wall Street, One World Trade Center and the city's pulsating heart, Times Square. Your hotel is located in Midtown Manhattan, close to Grand Central Terminal, so after you've settled in, why not head out and explore. Also referred to as Grand Central Station, this is so much more than a rail terminal – you can shop here, admire its famous ornate ceiling, and maybe eat at its famous Oyster Bar.
- Day 7 New York
- Today has been left free for you to spend as you wish, but if you'd like to see Manhattan from a different perspective, why not join our optional morning cruise. Sightseeing from the water will give you breathtaking views of this thrilling city as you admire the One World Trade Center, the UN headquarters, the Yankee Stadium and more. You'll also sail under the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and the pice de rsistance of your tour is sure to be the iconic Statue of Liberty. Also known as Liberty Enlightening the World, this enduring symbol of freedom and democracy is probably New York's most famous landmark. During your free afternoon you might choose to head to lower Manhattan, where you can take a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, or make your way downtown to Greenwich Village. This bohemian district, where the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan forged their musical careers, is home to a host of attractions and is a foodie's paradise.
- Day 8 New York
- You can explore New York today at your own pace, or why not join our optional morning tour. With your Tour Manager you'll see the best of Midtown Manhattan, starting with a trip up the Rockerfeller Center to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. The views from up here are spectacular, with Central Park to the north, and if you gaze south, one highlight is the Empire State Building in all its glory. Back down on the ground, you'll then stroll the few blocks to Central Park, also known as 'New York's backyard'. You can then rest your legs as you discover its highlights on a horse-and-carriage ride. They include Strawberry Fields, dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, and the Bethseda Terrace and Fountain, overlooking the lake. You'll leave the park and head onto the famous shopping street of Fifth Avenue, with attractions such as the Museum of Modern Art and St Patrick's Cathedral within easy reach, not to mention enticing stores including Tiffany's and Saks Fifth Avenue.
- Day 9 New York/UK
- Let's begin the day with a visit to one of New York's newest attractions, the High Line, a park created on an elevated disused railway line. This mile-long haven of peace gives you the chance to step away from the bustle of New York's sidewalks and take it all in as you relax amongst the plants and flowers. Close by is the Whitney Museum of American Art, which you can visit if you prefer. Whichever activity you choose, there will be time to enjoy lunch in vibrant Chelsea Market, whose food hall offers something for everyone, from tacos to crepes. Or perhaps enjoy a spot of shopping before we transfer you to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
- Day 10 UK
- You'll arrive back in the UK today.
Please note that the itinerary for 2020 will differ slightly from that shown here. The scheduled visit to the Highline and/or Whitney Museum of American Art on day 9 has been removed. We have included a sightseeing lunch cruise, with buffet lunch, live pianist, and sightseeing of the key Manhattan landmarks from the water on day 7. As the above cruise is included we have removed the optional excursion 'sightseeing cruise around Manhattan Island'.