Cruisin' the Capital Region
Enjoy an opportunity to explore the Capital Region and beyond in this lovely 15 day self drive tour that takes you though cities, coast and countryside. Beginning in America's First City, where you are free to explore the many free museums and attractions. Our itinerary also includes Virginia Beach, where you can relax by the sea, enjoy some of the local art and even go kayaking with dolphins.
End your trip in Shenandoah National Park, which especially comes alive during the Fall, showcasing it's incredible colours.
- Washington DC
- Chesapeake Bay
- Virginia Beach
- Shenandoah Valley & the Blue Ridge Parkway
Welcome to America's capital! Washington, DC is a cosmopolitan capital city, packed with many famous sights and free attractions and home to some of the world's best-known museums and galleries, including the Smithsonian Institution, and the International Spy Museum. Combine this with hip new restaurants and bars, stunning hotels, great nightlife, live music, theatres, charming neighbourhoods and terrific shopping options and you have a fantastic start to your trip through the Capital Region.
Travel onwards to the city known as "Charm City" - Baltimore - where it's not so much a place as an experience. And after close to three hundred years of history, this city can deliver more fun-filled days (and romantic evenings) to make any stay memorable. Since the city was redeveloped by James Rouse in the late 1970s, millions of people have come to see Baltimore's Inner Harbor, where one can ride the elevator 27 stories to the Top of the World Observation Level and Museum in the World Trade Center, explore the inside of the World War II submarine Torsk and visit sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and thousands of other aquatic animals at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. If it's shopping, than Baltimore has an astounding array of choices from upscale malls to antiques and designer shops. Also, check out the city's fantastic restaurants, and the "lively restored area of Fells Point., where many old bars and pubs have been restored. Here you can sample an astonishing array of cuisines, along with world-famous Chesapeake Bay cuisine - it doesn't get any better than that!
Discover the "Yachting Capital of the Chesapeake" today - lovely Annapolis. The vibe is laid-back, the scenery is awe-inspiring and the local fare is seasoned with the flavors of the Chesapeake Bay. At the center of the city, overlooking the town's baroque web of streets, the Maryland State House was completed in 1779 and soon after served as an early capitol of the US. It remains the oldest state house still in use. The narrow streets feature historic homes and restored buildings such as the Hammond-Harwood House, a structure that showcases architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries. The waterfront harbor in Annapolis allows for ship watching, harbor cruises and the lively cafes and shops of Market House are an inviting place to relax. The grey stone U.S. Naval Academy is located in Annapolis and has more than 4000 midshipmen training to become Naval Officers. Guided tours of the Academy are available for the public. For the outdoor enthusiast, Amphibious Horizons provides kayak rentals and trips to a variety of destinations on the Chesapeake Bay.
Take the next two days to explore Maryland's Eastern Shore. Visit the beautiful Chesapeake harbor town of St. Michaels's, called "the town that fooled the British" because the townspeople hung lanterns in the trees during the War of 1812 and the British cannons overshot the houses. Here, you can feast on the local specialty - crab - whilst overlooking the small picturesque harbour. Browse through the town with its antique shops, ice cream parlours and cafes and simply sit back and enjoy the delightful ambiance of this quaint town.
Travel down the Delmarva Peninsula today, to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, where you will travel over and under the water. In Virginia Beach, stroll the beach and 40 blocks of boardwalk or just relax. Virginia Beach is the world's longest pleasure beach! Kayak Virginia's coastal waters on a search for dolphins. They've been know to swim alongside kayaks! Hike False Cape State Park, one of the last undisturbed coastal environments on the East Coast. Six miles of unspoiled beaches make it a true retreat for nature enthusiasts and you can enter only by foot, bike, tram, or boat. 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 restaurants.
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. Plunge into outrageous fun at the mid-Atlantic's largest water play park, Water Country USA. Featuring a 1950s and '60s surf-theme, Water Country USA offers families tons of summertime fun with more than 30 slides, water rides and super soakin' thrills.
You may want to stop in Richmond today, en route to Charlottesville, to visit the White House of the Confederacy, Maymount Plantation, or the Museum of Art. Then, your journey is through an area which Thomas Jefferson called the "Eden of the country." You can visit his home, Monticello, atop a mountain in Albemarle County. It is described as one of the country's foremost architectural masterpieces. Today, Charlottesville is a charming college town with many shops, restaurants and tea rooms. See Ash Lawn-Highland, the plantation home of President James Monroe, is a 535-acre estate preserving Monroe's house and furnishings. The grounds host farm and craft demonstrations, outbuildings, peacocks, boxwood gardens and entertainment.
Shenandoah National Park
Discover why this region is known as "Virginia's crowning glory." Your route takes you through lush rolling countryside, past gracious horse farms to the splendor 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 the lush forests, streams, waterfalls and wildflowers. Amble along a beautiful bridle path on a guided horseback ride. Visit Luray Caverns, the largest caverns on the east coast.
Washington DC & Home
Enjoy another morning at leisure in the Shenandoah Valley before you have to return to Washington in time to drop your car off and catch your flight home to the UK.
- Direct return flights from London (Please ask us about other departure airports)
- 14 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
- Fully insured compact car hire (larger vehicles are available)
- A detailed travel pack with a day by day itinerary, driving instructions, maps and excursion suggestions.
Daily departures throughout the year.