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Self-Drive Explore The Capital Region

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Overview

11nt Tour Begins & Ends Washington D.C: 2nts Washington D.C; 1nt Philadelphia; 1nt Lancaster; 1nt Gettysburg; 1nt Annapolis; 2nts Virginia Beach, 1nt Williamsburg; 1nt Charlottesville; 1nt Shenandoah Valley.

Additional Pre-bookable excursion option: "Experience Package" which includes Guided Segway Tour (Day 2), Amish Country Farmland Tour (Day 5) & Shriver House Museum (Day 6) for €86 per person.

Details

Day 1

Fly from the Ireland to Washington D.C
Arrive at the airport, pick up your car and proceed to the hotel. Welcome to the US capital! Washington, DC attracts nearly twenty million tourists each year making tourism the second biggest industry of the area just after the federal government. Surprisingly, admission to most major attractions is free.
Standard: Comfort Inn Alexandria or similar
Superior: Omni Shoreham or similar

Day 2

Washington D.C
Explore the city’s most famous sites which are mostly concentrated along the National Mall. Often called the “Nation’s Front Yard”, it expands from the Lincoln Memorial on the Potomac to the Capitol Building and Supreme Court on Capitol Hill. Along the Mall are the majority of the 18 museums that comprise the Smithsonian Institution, the War Memorials, and the Washington Monument which offers rides to the top of the obelisk and lies south of the illustrious White House. Other points of interest are the Arlington National Cemetery, the Library of Congress, the National Cathedral, and the National Zoo. Of course, there is more to Washington than historical site-seeing. Washington has also developed an active nightlife. Besides the world-class restaurants, you can see Broadway shows, Washington-only political satires, and live music of all types.
Today’s Optional Experience
Segway Tour (Experience Package): Enjoy a fun and insightful guided city tour on an i2 Segway. This unique and most technologically advanced personal transportation device requires no special skills to operate and will carry you gracefully throughout the Nation’s Capital.
Standard: Comfort Inn Alexandria or similar
Superior: Omni Shoreham or similar

Day 3

Washington - Philadelphia (142 miles)
Leave Washington this morning and journey toward Philadelphia, the most influential city in the process of the American Revolution. Perhaps the most famous attraction is the Liberty Bell Pavilion, which houses the 2,080 lb. bell and is located within the National Historical Park. Just across the street, is Independence Hall which is known for being the place where Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence was constructed and adopted on July 4, 1776. Another unique piece of history still reserved in Philadelphia is the Betsy Ross House. She is said to have sewn the first United States flag that was presented to George Washington. Philly is not all historical buildings and artifacts. The Philadelphia Zoo was the first National Zoo in the U.S. and is currently home to over 1,300 animals. The Please Touch Museum is the only one of its kind; it caters to younger audiences and offers a chance to explore hand-on exhibits.
Standard: Best Western City Center Hotel or similar
Superior: Sheraton Society Hill or similar

Day 4

Philadelphia - Bucks County - Lancaster (134 miles)
Just about an hour’s drive to Bucks County will transport you to a picturesque town full of historical meaning. Visit the Washington Crossing Historical Park at the edge of the Delaware River. You can experience tubing, kayaking, canoeing, or rafting in America’s most historic river. Continue traveling toward Lancaster County and you will find quaint Amish villages where time stood still. The Amish, also known as “the plain people”, are by far the best farmers of this country. Take an educational guided tour through an authentically furnished 1840s Old Order Amish farmhouse or go on a buggy ride. Enjoy an afternoon of shopping for pottery, hand-made tile works, and arts & crafts objects at Kitchen Kettle Village that are sure to make great souvenirs.
Standard: Red Roof Inn or similar
Superior: Amish View Inn & Suites or similar

Day 5

Lancaster - Gettysburg (65 miles)
If you decide to have breakfast at the hotel this morning make sure to sit by a window so you can witness a true Amish spectacle as the children run across the fields toward the one-room school house in the horizon. Except for holidays, vacation or during harvest time, this is a daily occurrence between the hours of 8:00 and 8:30am. Drive away from Lancaster toward Gettysburg near the Maryland border. Visit the Gettysburg National Military Park which renders homage to the Civil War’s bloodiest battle with 51,000 casualties over three days in the summer of 1863 and is the backdrop for President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. The park features the Eternal Light Peace Memorial, Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center, McMillan Woods Youth Campground, a self-guided auto tour, and the Gettysburg Museum of the Civil War. Walk by candlelight into the realms of the unknown at Farnsworth House Candlelight Walks where you will be escorted by a period-dressed guide down the very streets the soldiers walked. After a day of sight-seeing dine in Gettysburg’s oldest, most historic house, Dobbin House Tavern, built in 1776.
Standard: Marriott Courtyard or similar
Superior: Best Western Historic Gettysburg or similar Today’s Optional Experience
Amish Country Farmland Tour (Experience Package): Witness spectacular panoramas of patchwork farmland achieved without the use of modern equipment by taking a 2-hour tour of the Farmlands. Along the way you will visit roadside stands, bake shops or a craft or quilt shop on a farm.

Day 6

Gettysburg - Baltimore - Annapolis (93 miles)
Today you are traveling via Baltimore, home of the world-renowned Inner Harbor, on your way to Annapolis. Once there, explore the inside of the World War II submarine Torsk or take an elevator ride to The Top of the World Observation Level for an unforgettable 360-degree panoramic view of the city’s skyline, harbor, and beyond. Tour the inside of the USS Constellation, the last all-sail warship built by the US Navy. Continue your journey toward Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland, a beautiful historical seaport along the Chesapeake Bay. Visit The Maryland State House, the oldest state house still in legislative use. Stroll along the City Doc or take a tour of the US Naval Academy, highlights include the Ship-building museum, Hemdon Monument, Crypt of John Paul Jones, and the Statue of Tecumseh.
Standard: Best Western Annapolis or similar
Superior: O’Callaghan Annapolis or similar
Today’s Optional Experience
Shriver House Museum (Experience Package): Visit this museum and gain a different perspective on the Battle of Gettysburg. Learn about "The Civilian Experience" during the battle and in particular the story and experiences of one family, the Shrivers, through the stories told by the guides wearing period attire.

Day 7

Annapolis - Chesapeake Bay Area - Virginia Beach (230 miles)
Enjoy a scenic coastal drive through the Chesapeake Bay area as you leave Annapolis and head toward Virginia Beach, Virginia. Try a narrated lighthouse cruise or Bay tour before continuing to Virginia Beach. Named “the least stressful city in America”, Virginia Beach ranks among the nation’s best markets for healthy air. Warm days, cool evenings, refreshing water, and soft sand are a given in Virginia Beach. Walk or ride a bicycle along the world’s longest pleasure beach with 40 blocks of ocean-front boardwalk while visually searching for dolphins known to swim alongside the coastal waters.
Standard: Best Western Inn or similar
Superior: Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront or similar

Day 8

Virginia Beach
Today consider going kayaking with dolphins, jumping on a jet ski, embarking on a sport fishing adventure, hiking through a wildlife refuge, or simply just laying on a sun-drenched beach all day long. Equally as entertaining is the Ocean Breeze Water Park, the Virginia Aquarium, or biking through the trails of First Landing State Park. On the historical front, the establishment of Virginia Beach began as early as 1607 when the famous pioneer John Smith made his voyage from England to the New World; visit the Heritage by The Sea landmark to learn more.
Standard: Best Western Inn or similar
Superior: Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront or similar

Day 9

Virginia Beach - Williamsburg (59 miles)
Leave Virginia Beach behind and continue on to colonial Williamsburg. Step back more than 220 years to the eve of the American Revolution. Colonial Williamsburg is the nation’s largest living history museum with some 500 buildings, homes, stores and taverns reconstructed and restored to their 18th-century appearance. Must-see attractions are the Governor’s Palace, the Capitol, the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, and Bassett Hall. Of course, a trip to Williamsburg wouldn’t be complete without visiting Jamestown, America’s birth place, and Yorktown, where America’s Independence was born. This regional trio has come to be known as “America’s Historic Triangle”. While in Jamestown, be sure to visit The Jamestown Settlement living-history museum. Equally as important is visiting the Yorktown Victory Center living-history museum.
Standard: Days Inn Colonial Downtown or similar
Superior: Marriott Courtyard or similar

Day 10

Williamsburg - Charlottesville (121 miles)
Today you will travel to Charlottesville, home to Thomas Jefferson and his legacies, located in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Walk in the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson by taking a tour of his retirement home, The Monticello Plantation, and his beloved University of Virginia. Wander through the botanical showpiece that are the gardens of Monticello and see the quarter farms of the plantation that were once home to over 130 workers. Adjacent to the lands of the Monticello is the Jefferson Vineyards, which currently bottles some of the best wine in all of Virginia. Other must-see attractions include Ash Lawn-Highland, home of James Monroe, our 5th president, Historic Court Square, and Michie Tavern, ca 1784. In addition, Charlottesville’s rich cultural and artistic history is evidenced by the first-rate museums, galleries, wineries, shops, and parks.
Standard: Holiday Inn Monticello or similar
Superior: Omni Charlottesville Hotel or similar

Day 11

Charlottesville - Shenandoah Valley (63 miles)
Leave Charlottesville and head toward Shenandoah Valley. Get ready to be astonished when exploring the Luray Caverns, the largest caverns on the east coast, with its famed “Giant Hall”, an enormous subterranean chamber where visitors can view an amazing variety of stone formations. Equally as impressive is “Virginia’s crowning glory”, Shenandoah National Park which is comprised of over 197,000 acres of land and is known for its stunning panoramic views along Skyline Drive. Within the park there is a myriad of typical recreational activities to choose from; some of the favorites include hiking and nature walks along the over 500 miles of trails, horseback riding, bicycling, fishing, and canoeing.
Standard & Superior: Skyland Resort* or similar
*Due to the uniqueness of this area, both categories will enjoy the same accommodations inside Shenandoah National Park.

Day 12

Shenandoah Valley - Washington International Airport (95 miles)
Depart at leisure for the airport in Washington D.C.

Day 13

Arrive back in Ireland

What's Included

  • Return transatlantic schedule flights
  • Economy size car rental
  • Hotel accommodation as specified, or of a similar standard
  • Welcome kit with comprehensive maps and day-to-day itinerary
  • Optional Experience Package for purchase see below for details



Additional Pre-bookable excursions: "Experience Package" which includes Guided Segway Tour (Day 2), Amish Country Farmland Tour (Day 5) & Shriver House Museum (Day 6) for €86 per person.

The weather information shown below refers to the first stop on the tour, call us and speak to one of our travel experts for the most up-to-date forecasts and weather details for your tour.

TODAY 24ºC
THU 23ºC
FRI 19ºC
SAT 22ºC
SUN 24ºC
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)
9ºC
10ºC
14ºC
19ºC
24ºC
28ºC
31ºC
30ºC
26ºC
21ºC
16ºC
10ºC
3
2
5
4
3
4
5
4
4
3
3
3

Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)

Jan
9ºC
3
Feb
10ºC
2
Mar
14ºC
5
Apr
19ºC
4
May
24ºC
3
Jun
28ºC
4
Jul
31ºC
5
Aug
30ºC
4
Sep
26ºC
4
Oct
21ºC
3
Nov
16ºC
3
Dec
10ºC
3

Book today

Talk to our travel experts for more information and to book or tailor-make your holiday.

01342 3317989am - 9pm Mon - Sun

Business & First Class01342 310 587

Brendan White

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