This leisurely 14-night/15-day tour begins and ends in the Capital city of the United States – Washington,DC and provides a wonderful insight into the history and culture of the country. Including the early colonial settlements at Jamestown and Williamsburg, the War of Independence – with Thomas Jefferson’s lovely home at Monticello, Civil War sites, great cities, the lovely coastal scenery of the Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, and finally – Shenandoah National Park with its rolling hills, rich farmland and fascinating history. Operating daily from April to October.
Day 1. Arrive Washington DC. Day 2. Washington DC. Days 3 & 4. Baltimore Day 5. Annapolis. (approx. 25 miles) Days 6 & 7. Chesapeake Eastern Shore. (approx.50 miles) Days 8 & 9. Virginia Beach. (approx. 190 miles) Days 10 & 11. Williamsburg (approx. 55 miles) Days 12 & 13. Charlottesville. (approx. 125 miles) Day 14. Shenandoah National Park. (approx. 39 miles) Day 15. To Washington DC. (approx. 145 miles)
Day 1. Arrive Washington DC. Welcome to America’s capital! Washington DC is a cosmopolitan captial city, packed with famous sights and and free attractions and home to some of the world’s best-known museums and galleries, including the Smithsonian Institution. Combine this with hip new restaurants and bars, stunning hotels, great nightlife, charming neighbourhoods and terrific shopping, and you have a fantastic start to your trip through the Capital Region. Overnight: 2 nights Omni Shoreham Hotel.
Day 2. Washington DC. A full day to explore the museums, galleries, shopping and diverse nightlife of this lovely city. The International Spy Museum the Smithsonian Institute, the Kennedy Center, Historic Alexandria, The White House, the Capitol Building and much more will leave you wishing you had more time. Overnight: 2 nights Omni Shoreham Hotel.
Days 3 & 4. Baltimore. Collect your rental car from the downtown depot (Union Station) and make the short drive to Baltimore. After almost 300-years of history, this city can deliver fun-filled days (and romantic evenings) to make any stay memorable. Baltimore has an astounding array of shopping choices from upscale malls to designer shops. Also, check out the city’s fantastic restaurants, and lively Fells Point, where many old bars and pubs have been restored. Here you can sample an array of cuisines, including Chesapeake Bay cuisine! Overnight: 2 nights, Hampton Inn, Inner Harbor Baltimore.
Day 5. Annapolis approx. 25 miles. Collect your rental car this morning and take a leisurely drive to Annapolis – the “Yachting Capital of the Chesapeake”. The vibe is laid-back, the scenery awe-inspiring and the local fare is seasoned with the flavours of the Chesapeake bay. Overlooking the town’s baroque web of streets, the Maryland State House was completed in 1779. The narrow streets feature historic homes and buildings. The waterfront allows for ship-watching, harbour cruises and the lively cafes and shops of Market House are an inviting place to relax. Overnight: O’Callaghan Hotel, Annapolis.
Days 6 & 7. Chesapeake Eastern Shore Approx.50 miles. Take the next two days to explore Maryland’s eastern shore. Visit beautiful St. Michaels. Here you can feast on the local speciality – crab – whilst overlooking the small picturesque harbour. Browse the antique shops, ice cream parlours 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. Overnight: 2 nights Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay.
Days 8 & 9. Virginia Beach approx. 190 miles. Travel down the Delmarva Peninsula today, to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. In Virginia Beach stroll the beach and 40 blocks of boardwalk, or just relax. Virginia Beach is the world’s longest pleasure beach! Enjoy some of the best seafood in town at Waterman’s Beachwood Grill overlooking the ocean. The she-crab soup is sure to warm the cockles of your heart. At night, the beachfront comes alive as you sit with your cocktail on the boardwalk, watching the sunset, before enjoying a meal at one of the many fine restaurants. Overnight: 2 nights Oceanfront Inn.
Days 10 & 11. Williamsburg approx. 55 miles. Don’t miss Colonial Williamsburg, the most extensively restored 18th Century town in the U.S. So compelling 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 in the early 1600’s. Busch Gardens Williamsburg (seasonal) combines the 17th-Century charm with 21st century technology to create the ultimate family experience, boasting more than 50 thrilling rides and attractions, nine main stage shows, a wide variety of award-winning cuisine and world-class shops. Overnight: 2 nights Best Western Plus Historic Area Inn, Williamsburg.
Days 12 & 13. Charlottesville approx. 125 miles. Today your journey is through an area which Thomas Jefferson called the “Eden of the country”. En route today you can stop at Richmond and visit the historic ‘White House of the Confederacy’ the former executive mansion of Jefferson Davis and one of the Civil War’s most important sites. The nearby Richmond National Battlefield Park is also well worth a visit. From Richmond you head into Thomas Jefferson country and you can visit his home, the beautiful Monticello, atop a mountain in Albemarle County. Is is described as one of the country’s foremost architectural masterpieces. Today nearby Charlottesville is a charming college town with many shops, restaurants and tea rooms. Overnight: 2 nights Omni Charlottesville.
Day 14. Shenandoah National Park. Approx. 39 miles. Discover why this region is known as “Virginia’s crowning glory”, as you drive through lush rolling countryside, past gracious horse farms to the splendour of the Skyline Drive. Travel this National Scenic Byway, stopping at overlooks for views of the valley below. With more than 500 miles of hiking trails, you can relax and explore lush forests, streams, waterfalls and wildflowers. Visit Luray Caverns, the largest caverns on the east coast. Overnight: Skyland Resort, Shenandoah National Park.
Day 15. To Washington DC. approx. 145 miles. Explore the scenery en route to Washington DC to drop off your car and board your return flight to the UK.
Prices per adult
Sharing room type
Prices in £’s
Prices from On request On request On request On request
* 14 nights hotel accommodation including local taxes.
* Maps, guides and itinerary.
Not included: Flights, car rental, travel insurance, meals, petrol, optional excursions, and personal expenses.
Children under 12 yrs are free when sharing a room with 2 adults and using existing bedding at hotels (max. 2 children per room).
Location No.nights Hotels Washington, DC 2 Omni Shoreham Baltimore 2 Hampton Inn, Inner Harbor, CB inc. Annapolis 1 O’Callaghan Hotel, Breakfast inc Cambridge 2 Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Virginia Beach 2 Oceanfront Inn Williamsburg 2 Best Western Plus Historic Area Inn Charlottesville 2 Omni Charlottesville Shenandoah National Park 1 Skyland Resort
CB = Continental breakfast.
Hotels/Lodges are subject to availability at the time of booking.
Just America will be pleased to assist with transatlantic flights from the UK, additional hotel accommodation, sightseeing excursions and car rental.
Tour prices:The prices shown in the price panels are for the accommodation elements only, they do not include flights or car rental (unless indicated). This enables you to choose the airline and car of your choice and add them to the accommodation package to create your holiday. Our reservations staff will be pleased to help you with flight availability, to suggest which is the best airline for your itinerary and to advise you of any special offers the airlines may have introduced.
Hotels:Hotels featured in our self-drive and independent tours are chosen for their location, value for money and facilities. Whenever possible we offer a choice of Standard or Superior hotels. There is no recognised 'star' system throughout North America for classifying hotels, motels and resorts. The hotel ratings for our tours are subjective and are provided to give you an understanding as to the level of facility. They are either the hotel's official categorisation as per the Official Hotel & Resort Guide, or Just America's. Standards vary from location to location, therefore ratings in the remote areas can differ from those in the cities. Standard hotels would be those classified as Moderate, and Superior hotels would be First Class, in the Official Hotel and Resort Guide. National Park accommodations are more rustic and are chosen almost entirely because of their location. It should not be assumed that because an hotel is listed as Superior that it has certain amenities. Often a hotel is classified as Superior due to its position, views or room standard, it does not always follow that a superior hotel will have a swimming pool, hair-dryers, golf course, room service etc. We will try to provide information on individual hotels on request although the internet is usually the quickest and most accurate source of information. Hotel rooms in North America usually have one or two double beds. Triple and Quad rooms have two double beds. Very few hotels in North America have three or four beds. It is sometimes possible to have a rollaway bed which can be requested, but cannot be guaranteed. Occasionally hotels are chosen purely for their location - i.e. half-way between two points of interest - and may be included as a one night stop to break up an otherwise long journey. Such hotels may not have the full facilities normally associated with a Standard or Superior hotel, but sometimes we don't have any other choice. Where possible hotels providing free car parking have been included, however in some locations, such as city centres, the hotels may make a charge.
Note:Hotels are not usually ready to accept guests until after 3 or 4 pm, so please try not to check in before mid-afternoon. Check out time is usually before 11 am or 12 noon. It is sometimes possible to arrange late check out, or the storage of luggage, but this is at the discretion of the hotel.
Tour notes and itineraries:On several of our tours the tour notes and itineraries are provided at the first hotel. On other tours this information is forwarded with the travel documents approximately 14 days prior to departure. We will endeavour to provide the best information we can to help you, but it is not our policy to provide mile by mile detailed route guides, the frequent changes to local road conditions, layouts etc., makes this impossible. We do provide maps, guides to the major attractions en route, and directions to hotels whenever possible. These are independent self-drive holidays and you will be required to read a map and locate attractions and hotels. Sat.Nav. is available from the car rental companies - at a charge - and you may find this useful, however all technology is prone to failure so we always recommend that you keep the maps handy.
Tailor-made holidays:We will be pleased to discuss your own ideas and itineraries and help you plan your holiday. If you would like to email, fax or mail an outline of your tour with dates, number of people, ages of children etc., to us we will be happy to advise you. We request that you include your daytime telephone number on all correspondence. Where you have chosen the route and we have designed a tailor-made holiday for you, it may not be possible to provide you with a detailed tour itinerary. We suggest that you read up about the area you are planning to visit well in advance, preferably before you book the holiday. Insight Guides cover almost every region of North America and are about the best on the market. Just America can also provide a some tourist information subject to availability, but we do not have detailed route information to cover every area of the Continent. You might find the internet to be the best source of free, up-to-date information.
National Park Passes:Both the US and Canada charge entrance fees for their national parks, and if you are visiting a number of parks, this cost can add up to a significant amount. We recommend that you purchase a Parks Pass at the first national park you visit. For the US the pass currently costs $80 for up to four adults (children under 16 are free). In Canada a family pass currently costs $136.40. Both passes provide unlimited visits to that country's parks for 12 months. The passes can only be used in the country of purchase. Full details available at www.nps.gov (for USA) and www.pc.gc.ca/index_e.asp
Just America will be pleased to adapt this tour and book an extra night/s at any location to enable you to take this route more leisurely.
ATOL & ABTA protected.
All mileages are approximate. Hotels/Lodges are subject to availability at the time of booking.