15 Days/14 Nights – Gateway: Washington, DC

1 & 2: Washington, DC

Welcome to America’s capital! Enjoy the famous monuments, the Smithsonian’s many museums, Arlington Cemetery, the White House, Capitol Building and more. Choose from fabulous eateries, take in a performance at the Kennedy Center or Ford’s Theater.  2 nights Washington, DC.

3: To Shenandoah Valley, VA (95 mi/152 km)

Travel by lush rolling countryside, past gracious horse farms to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Detour to Manassas National Battlefield Park, site of Civil War battles, or to Luray Caverns, largest caverns on the east coast. Experience beautiful Skyline Drive.  1 night Shenandoah Valley.

4: To Charlottesville, VA (64 mi/102 km)

Visit Charlottesville’s treasure, Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. Lunch at historic Michie’s Tavern for a taste of colonial America and see Ash Lawn Highland, plantation home of President James Monroe. 1 night Charlottesville.

5: To Richmond, VA (71 mi/114 km)

In Richmond, the Capital of the Confederacy, visit the Museum and White House of the Confederacy, or National Battlefield Park. Explore Shockoe Bottom and Shockoe Slip. 1 night Richmond.

6 & 7: To Williamsburg, VA (62 mi/99 km)

Travel scenic Route 5, and stop at a plantation along the way. Don’t miss Colonial Williamsburg, the most extensively restored 18th century town in the US. So compelling and complete is the restoration that visitors feel they are in a crown colony 300 years ago. A similar sensation occurs on Jamestown Island where America’s first English settlement was established.  Voted the world’s “Most Beautiful Theme Park” for 16 consecutive years, Busch Gardens Williamsburg combines 17th-century charm with 21st-century technology to create the ultimate family experience. Situated on 100 action-packed acres, Busch Gardens boasts more than 50 thrilling rides and attractions, nine main stage shows, a wide variety of award-winning cuisine and world-class shops.

2 nights Williamsburg.

8 & 9: To Virginia Beach, VA (59 mi/94 km)

Visit Newport News’ impressive Mariner’s Museum or Virginia Living Museum before traveling to Virginia Beach, a popular resort with miles of public beach and boardwalk. Experience the Virginia Marine Science Museum or nearby Norfolk, best known as home of 116 ships of the Atlantic and Mediterranean fleets at the US Naval Base. Stroll through the 175 acres of azaleas, camellias and roses of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens or see the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton.  2 nights Virginia Beach.

10 & 11: To Eastern Shore, MD (131 mi/210 km)

Travel across the 17-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Stop at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge or the NASA Visitor Center at Wallops Island. Step into the past with a luncheon cruise from Crisfield to Tangler Island or Smith Island. Take the next two days to explore Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Visit beautiful St. Michaels.  Here you can feast on the local specialty, crab, whilst overlooking the small picturesque harbor. Browse the antique shops, ice cream parlors and cafes and sit back and enjoy the delightful ambiance of this quaint town. See Tilghman Island, home port for many of the Chesapeake Bay’s remaining skipjacks.  2  nights  Eastern Shore, MD.

12 & 13: To Annapolis, MD (80 mi/128 km)

Travel north past Cambridge, setting for James Michener’s novel Chesapeake. Travel through charming river towns on the Tred Avon River; try lunch at the Robert Morris Inn and then cross by ferry to Bellevue and explore St. Michaels and the Chesapeake Maritime Museum. Explore Maryland’s capital, Annapolis. Visit the William Paca House and Gardens, the US Naval Academy and much more. Perhaps a cruise on the Severn River will round out your visit.

2 nights Annapolis.

14: To Baltimore, MD (30 mi/48 km)

Drive to Baltimore, “America’s Renaissance City,” with its bustling harbor, National Aquarium and fascinating neighborhoods. At the Inner Harbor you’ll find shops, live entertainment and eateries. Visit the National Aquarium, USS Torsk (a WWII submarine), USS Constellation, and IMAX Theater. Dine in Fells Point for regional cuisine, or Little Italy for an ethnic flavor.  1 night Baltimore

15: To Washington, DC (38 mi/61 km)

Enjoy the scenery en route to Washington to drop off your car and catch your flight home.

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