London - Boston
Fly from London Heathrow Airport on a direct, scheduled Virgin Atlantic flight to Boston. Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel for three nights, the Crowne Plaza Boston-Natick (4T), located close to many local restaurants and just half an hour’s drive from Downtown.
This morning, we embark on an exploration of this most British of American cities, including highlights such as Quincy Market, Back Bay, Beacon Hill and the site of the Boston Tea Party. The story of the American Revolution is no more evident than in Boston and a walking tour this afternoon, following the 2.5 mile route of some of the 16 major sites that form the Freedom Trail, outlines the long fight for freedom from Britain.
You have a free day and may wish to make a trip into downtown Boston to explore at your own pace. Despite its history being rich in revolution, the city still feels very European, with cobbled lanes and an easily navigable layout. Perhaps return to the historic neighbourhood of Beacon Hill; wander through Back Bay - an area of incredibly-preserved 19th century brownstone homes; visit the Museum of Fine Arts, home to over 450,000 works of art; or get lost in some of the shops selling quirky items. Alternatively, you can join an optional excursion to Plimoth Plantation - a living history museum replicating the original settlement of the 17th century Pilgrims.
Boston - Newport - New York
After breakfast, we begin our journey to the ‘city of dreams’, New York, stopping en route for an exploration of Newport on Rhode Island and its grand historic sites, fine architecture and beautiful beaches. There will be time to explore the quaint downtown area, or take an optional excursion to The Breakers - one of many mansions built by the Vanderbilt family. We resume our journey and arrive in New York this afternoon. Our hotel for the next three nights is the Holiday Inn Times Square (3T).
New York is one of the world’s most iconic destinations, with its yellow taxis, the bright screens of Times Square, sky-scraping architecture and a continual bustling atmosphere. This morning we embark on a sightseeing tour of Manhattan accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, which takes in some of the city’s highlights. This afternoon is at leisure for you to further explore the fascinating sights of New York independently.
There will be optional excursions available today, or you can choose to independently discover the grand sights of Manhattan and beyond. Must-sees include the iconic 103-storey Empire State Building; the bright lights of Times Square; Lower Manhattan’s quirky Greenwich Village; or venture across to the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island. To refresh yourself after your explorations, perhaps explore vast Central Park, an 843-acre oasis away from the busy city.
New York - Lancaster
We journey to Pennsylvania today and into the heart of Amish Country. America's oldest Amish settlement, the Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County, live a centuries-old ‘Plain’ lifestyle, where the horse and cart remains a primary form of transportation, and where windmills dot the landscape. We step back in time on a guided tour of their community, including the farmlands, school and Amish houses. This afternoon we check in to our hotel for the night, Wingate by Wyndham Lancaster (3T).
Lancaster - Philadelphia - Washington DC
Today, we journey to Washington DC, stopping in Philadelphia en route. Affectionately known as ‘Philly’, the city has a rich history and is home to cobblestone streets lined with beautiful well-preserved red-brick Georgian buildings. Iconic sites include the Liberty Bell - a national symbol of American freedom - and the Independence Hall. Upon our arrival in Washington DC, we check in to the Embassy Row Hotel (4T), for the next three nights.
An included city tour this morning provides the perfect introduction to the US capital, with visits to its famous monuments, including the White House. This afternoon we are at leisure to explore the Smithsonian Museums, the world’s biggest museum complex, hosting 19 museums and galleries. Explore the 154 million artefacts found in the numerous museums focused on a variety of subjects including air and space, American history and African art. This evening we embark on a tour of Washington DC by night, to experience the city’s most grand and unforgettable sites in their illuminated form. Beginning with the magnificent Capitol Building - which in the dark stands out even more with its distinctive white exterior and spectacular dome, continue to the Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial amongst others, culminating at the iconic White House, highlighted by the bright lights that light up its powerful walls.
Today is free to choose an optional excursion, or perhaps make your own way Arlington to view the Pentagon and the Arlington Cemetery, or maybe take the Metro or water taxi to the lovely town of Alexandria in Virginia, to explore the quaint shops and restaurants.
Washington DC - In flight
We transfer to Washington DC Airport for a direct, scheduled Virgin Atlantic flight to London.
Day 12 London
Arrive at London Heathrow Airport.