Take in the culture and nature of the USA's historic Capital Region
- Visit some of America’s most famous landmarks
- Hit the open road to explore beautiful coastlines, endless forests and picturesque national parks
- Learn about this great nation’s past at some of the region’s countless specialist museums
- Explore the wildlife-rich coast around beautiful Virginia Beach
- Hike among the forests and caves of Shenandoah Valley
- 3 Nights Washington
- 1 Night Annapolis
- 2 Nights Eastern Way
- 2 Nights Virginia Beach
- 2 Nights Williamsburg
- 2 Nights Charlottesville
- 2 Nights Shenandoah Valley
History & culture | Natural world | Self-drive
Washington DC, the capital and political centre of the USA, is an inspiring place to visit for many different reasons. From humble beginnings – the city was built on swampland where frogs outnumbered people – it has grown into an impressive monument to American democracy, with a host of world-famous landmarks, including the White House, and museums such as the Smithsonian Institution, reflecting the rich history of this fascinating city. There's far more to this region than purely politics, however. The nearby states of Maryland and Virginia are wonderful destinations in their own right with a beautiful coastline, endless forests and picturesque national parks to explore.
Day by day itinerary
UK / Washington, D.C.
Fly from the UK to Washington, D.C. and head to your hotel for a three-night stay. The next few days will be yours to experience the many highlights of the United States' capital, which is home to a wealth of famous attractions such as Capitol Hill, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Gallery of Art and the National Mall. There's also the chance to take a trip out to Alexandria, whose cobblestone old town dates back to the mid-18th century. Take a stroll along King Street, explore historic sites such as Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and attractions including the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Then, why not jump on a water taxi for a trip along the Potomac River to visit the presidential estate of America’s founding father?
Stay: Hotel Monaco, Washington D.C. (Superior)
Collect your hire car and make your way to Annapolis, Maryland’s charming capital and a famed yachting destination. Stroll the cobblestone streets lined with brick row houses and visit the US Naval Academy, whose midshipmen can often be seen in town, wearing their perfectly pressed uniforms.
Stay: Loews Annapolis Hotel (Superior)
The next two days of your trip will be spent exploring the quaint towns of Maryland's Eastern Shore, where the enchanting coastline plays host to historic waterfront towns dotted with marinas to stretches of rolling farmlands broken only by the tidewater tributaries of Chesapeake Bay.
Stay: Inn at Perry Cabin, St Michaels (Deluxe)
From Maryland's Eastern Shore drive through the Chesapeake Tunnel to Virginia Beach. This picturesque coastal region has wide sandy beaches, miles of nature trails, historic harbours and several museums including the superb Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Centre, where you can see a host of ocean wildlife including harbour seals, nurse sharks and sting rays among others. Also, be sure to head to the eclectic ViBe creative district, take an ambling stroll along the shores of Chesapeake Bay and join the locals for drinks and a seafood dinner in the city's lively oceanfront developments.
Stay: Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront (Superior)
Leaving Virginia Beach behind, you'll head to the historic seaport of Norfolk, perhaps taking in its acclaimed art museums, bustling waterfront and maritime treasures en route to the colonial town of Williamsburg. As the former capital of Virginia, it's home to two not-to-be-missed museums: the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
Stay: Westgate Historic Resort, Williamsburg, Virginia (Superior)
The penultimate stop on your Capital Region self-drive is Charlottesville, set beneath the Blue Ridge Mountains. The town, which is regularly rated among the best places to live in the United States, is home to the University of Virginia whose well-to-do students and can often be seen wandering the impossibly tidy town centre. A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs south from Charlottesville, is a great way to see some of Virginia's finest scenery.
Stay: Omni Charlottesville (Superior)
Drive through the pristine forests of the Shenandoah National Park where you'll spend two nights. Stop at Luray Caverns, the largest cavern on the East Coast of the United States, home to a spectacular array of stalagmites and stalagmites - spectacular natural formations that date back as far as 4 million years. The Cavern is well lit and has paved walkways, making it an easy and worthwhile walk.
Stay: The George Washington Hotel (Superior)
Washington, D.C. / UK
Enjoy the scenery as you loop back to Washington, DC, taking the route via Fairfax County. Visit a president’s home at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, or revel in the supersonic appeal of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Another highlight is Wolf Trap – the United State's only national park dedicated to the performing arts – while the county's 30,000 acres of regional parks offer everything from biking, hiking and canoeing to spotting American bald eagles. In the afternoon, return your hire car and check in at the airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving home on day 16.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
from £2,700 pp. incl. flights
from £3,685 pp. incl. flights
- Complimentary UK airport lounge access
- Return flights from the UK to Washington D.C.
- Private arrival transfer
- 12 days Economy car hire including road book
- 14 nights accommodation in typically 4* (Superior) hotels on a room-only basis (one breakfast included)
High season: Jul-Aug
Terms & Conditions
Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.
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