Our 2014 dates are subject to change!Contact us
if you are interested in getting more information about our 2014 departure.Overview
Bring your family to Washington, D.C. for an unforgettable summertime visit to the Smithsonian and other top sites in the nation’s capital. Explore the Smithsonian’s most popular museums where you’ll see the Star-Spangled Banner, the Wright Brothers Flyer
, and other cherished icons of America’s amazing past. You’ll also visit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, home to the beloved Giant Pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. At the Smithsonian’s original “Castle” Building, discover how a mysterious gift from a British benefactor grew into the world’s largest museum complex. Take part in a fun-filled hunt for fascinating facts about the Smithsonian and Washington, D.C. Everyone goes home a winner as you and your family uncover clues and compete for prizes!
During this exciting tour of Washington, D.C. and its environs, your expert guide will explain how Washington, D.C. was planned nearly 200 years ago, and provide engaging background on the important monuments, memorials, and sites that reflect American democracy and way of life.
Enjoy accommodations at the Washington Hilton Hotel, with its spacious rooms, family-friendly restaurants, and inviting pool. Throughout your tour you can relax, knowing that your licensed D.C. escort guide will take care of the details and bring Washington, D.C.’s fascinating past and present to life for you and your family. (This tour is designed for families with children aged 8-17.)Smithsonian Guides/Escorts
Throughout your tour, travel in the company of your expert Tour Guide/Escort. David G. Moore was born, raised, educated, and resides in Washington, D.C. He has led and guided tours along the East Coast of the United States for more than 30 years. David will lead the July 18, 2013 departure. Linda Mason, a third generation Washingtonian and life-long resident, has devoted herself for the last 20 years to sharing her city with visitors from around the globe. Linda will lead the August 10, 2013 departure.Check out our slide show for a photo journey of this tour!
View photos by clicking "Next Photo" at top of page!Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrival and Evening Tour of Washington, D.C.
Arrive independently at the Washington Hilton, where your licensed tour guide/escort welcomes you, answers questions, and provides background on the week’s activities. After a welcome dinner take an Illuminated Night Tour of Washington, D.C. aboard your private motorcoach (for your exclusive use during your stay). You'll see the south facade of the White House and make stops along the Tidal Basin to visit the Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. (D)Day 2 – The Nation’s Mall, National Museum of Natural History
Begin your day with an overview of the National Mall, including stops at the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and the Korean War Memorial. Continue to the Smithsonian "Castle," where your guide/escort relates the fascinating history of the Smithsonian Institution. A medieval revival building finished in 1855, the Castle boasts nine towers, battlements, and chimneys, making it an easy landmark to spot on the Mall.
After lunch on your own, cross the Mall to visit the National Museum of Natural History, where a museum guide will provide a highlights tour of some of the 18 exhibition halls that tell the story of the earth and its evolution. See a life-size model of a North Atlantic right whale in the Ocean Hall, tour the impressive new Mammals Hall, visit the Butterfly Pavilion, and explore the Gem and Minerals exhibition, featuring the stunning 44-carat Hope Diamond and Smithsonian’s newest treasure, the gigantic Don Pedro aquamarine. Return to the hotel for a refreshing swim in the outdoor pool and dinner on your own. (B)Day 3 – National Museum of American History, Embassy Row, and the National Zoo
At the National Museum of American History, your museum guide explains some of the country’s most treasured artifacts, including Abraham Lincoln’s top hat, the portable writing desk on which Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, and the Star-Spangled Banner that flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, inspiring Frances Scott Key to compose the lyrics to our national anthem. You’ll also see some of America’s most treasured icons of popular history, including Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Kermit the Frog, and Julia Child’s Kitchen.
After lunch on your own, gather for a coach tour up Massachusetts Avenue, while your guide/escort discusses the international world of Washington, D.C. As you travel along elegant “Embassy Row,” you’ll view the stately embassies of Great Britain, Brazil, Italy, and South Africa, among others. Conclude your day with a fun-filled tour of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Take the Asia trail to see Giant Pandas, Clouded Leopards, Red Pandas, and Sloth Bears. Watch for the Orangutans swinging on the "O" Line, a system of overhead ropes that allows the Orangs to travel from the Ape House to the Think Tank. Call on the lions and tigers and see the elephants in their newly designed elephant environment. Plus, enjoy a ride on the Zoo’s new solar-powered carousel! Dinner is on your own this evening. (B)Day 4 – Arlington National Cemetery, National Air and Space Museum
Set out this morning for Arlington National Cemetery, whose 624 acres of rolling green hills honor America’s soldiers dating back to the Civil War. During your tour you’ll attend the moving and unforgettable changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, visit the gravesite of John F. Kennedy, and look for the soaring mast of the U.S. ship Maine
, which was erected as a memorial.
Enjoy lunch at the Zagat-rated Mitsitam Café at the National Museum of the American Indian, featuring a variety of Native cuisines from the Americas. At the popular National Air and Space Museum, your museum guide will acquaint you with landmark icons of aviation and aeorospace. During your tour you’ll see the Wright Brothers Flyer
, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis
, the Apollo 11 lunar lander test vehicle, and the X-1 supersonic Glamorous Glennis
, which pilot Chuck Yeager flew to be the first to break the sound barrier. Plus, you’ll have time to experience an IMAX film in the Museum’s Langley Theater. Continue exploring the Smithsonian museums or return to the hotel for a refreshing swim and dinner on your own. (B,L)Day 5 – Capitol Hill, Mt. Vernon
Take a coach tour through historic Old Town Alexandria en route to Mount Vernon. Upon arrival at George Washington’s home, tour the meticulously restored house and visit the new museum featuring related exhibitions. After lunch on your own, continue to Capitol Hill, where your children will learn about Congress during a tour of the new U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. Then take a walking tour to two other important sites located nearby. Cross the street to view the architecture of the venerable Supreme Court, built in 1935 to resemble a Greek temple. Look for the carved image of Justice
holding a sword and scales and see the massive bronze doors weighing over 6.5 tons each. Continue walking to the magnificent Library of Congress, where your guide talks about this monument to American democracy and commitment to learning. This evening, enjoy a festive farewell dinner and family awards ceremony at the hotel. (B,D)Day 6 – Return home
Independent departures after breakfast. (B)