B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Monday, 6 May – Arrive Washington DC; Welcome Dinner (D)
Schedule your arrival into Washington National Airport no later than 4:00 pm. Take local transportation to the hotel. We will get together at 6:00 pm for our group meeting and then a welcome dinner.
Tuesday, 7 May – Morning City Tour; National Museum of American History (B)
We’ll start the day with a guided city tour to orient ourselves in this exciting city. We will drive the National Mall along which are many of the monuments and museums, stopping for closer looks. After lunch at the Old Post Office Pavilion, we will tour the National Museum of American History. Its mission is the collection, care, and study of objects reflecting the experience of the American people. Here we will find dresses worn by First Ladies, Washington’s uniform, Jefferson’s lap desk, and Dorothy’s ruby slippers just to name a few.
Wednesday, 8 May – White House Visitors Center; US Capitol Building; Supreme Court (B,L)
The White House Visitor Center features many aspects of the White House, including its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders. We will walk across Lafayette Park which, along with the surrounding structures was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1970.
Tours of the historic Capitol begin with a short film which will take us on a journey through our country's struggle to establish the world's first truly representative democracy and introduce us to the magnificent building that houses our Congress. We will finish the day with a brief visit to the Supreme Court. Depending on the court schedule, we might have the opportunity to visit a court room.
Thursday, 9 May – Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens; President Lincoln’s Cottage; (B,D)
Marjorie Post maintained strong ties to the 18th-century French decorating style that she developed in the 1920s, transferring much of this look to her new home at Hillwood in the mid-1950s. Journey through her final home to experience the elegant French Drawing Room, the efficient and “high-tech” kitchen and pantry, and the many personal touches that made Hillwood one of Washington’s most important homes. There are thirteen acres of formal gardens that extend from the house’s terraces and porches in a progression of "outdoor rooms."
Later we see another important home. President Lincoln’s Cottage gives Americans an intimate, never-before-seen view of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and family life. He spent one quarter of his presidency at the Cottage. President Lincoln used the Cottage as a quiet setting for important meetings, family relaxation, and solitary reflection as he pondered decisions of profound national importance. Afterwards we will enjoy a group dinner together.
Friday, 10 May – Mount Vernon Estate; Walking Tour of Georgetown; Free Time in Georgetown (B)
George Washington’s plantation on the banks of the beautiful Potomac River offers a chance to understand America’s first hero and the fascinating world in which he lived. Since the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association bought the nearly empty Mansion in 1858, it has gathered Washington objects and used archaeology and research to piece together clues about the buildings and gardens of a bygone era.
Later we walk through Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood and take a step back in time. There are many historic properties, homes of political movers and shakers, and charming boutiques and cafes. Some of the more famous homes are the Tudor Place estate, built by one of Georgetown’s founding families, the Old Stone House, and Dumbarton House. In the 1950s, John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline almost single-handedly turned the neighborhood into the city’s most politically fashionable place to live. The afternoon is free to do some exploring in Georgetown.
Saturday, 11 May – Embassy Open House Tour; Embassy Row; Farewell Dinner (B,D)
Every May, many of the embassies open to visitors. We will get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the Embassies, many of which are among Washington's historic and architectural treasures. Each Embassy will present its activities and offer a unique program featuring the country's cuisine, music, and other events. (Open house embassies to be advised.) Afterwards, we will
drive along Massachusetts Avenue, also known as Embassy Row, where we will find stately homes from turn-of-the-century mansions to modernist marvels now utilized as chanceries and diplomat's residences. Whatever time we have free this afternoon we will spend back on the National Mall. We will conclude the day with our farewell dinner.
Sunday, 12 May – Return Home (B)
It’s time to go home but we hope you will take with you a greater appreciation of our Nation’s Capital. Schedule your flight at your convenience. The Tour Leader will coordinate ride shares to the airport.