Day 1 You'll See:
- White House Photo Opp
- National Mall Smithsonian Museums
- Monuments & Memorials Tour
Day 2 You'll See:
- Library of Congress
- Capitol Hill Tour
- Supreme Court Tour
- National Archives
Day 3 You'll See:
- International Spy Museum or Museum of Crime & Punishment
- Mount Vernon
- Alexandria 's Ghost & Graveyards Tour
Day 4 You'll See:
- Ford's Theatre
- Arlington National Cemetery
- JFK Grave Site Memorial
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- Iwo Jima Memorial
Washington, D.C., is a fantastic historic destination offering so much to see and do, you and your student group will have no trouble staying busy the duration of your incredible 4-day educational tour! You’ll visit more amazing museums than you ever thought possible and explore all the important D.C. landmark attractions, including: Capitol Hill, Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Ford Theater - where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated- and President George Washington’s lavish estate. As a special treat, you’ll embark on a spooky lantern-lit ghost tour through the streets of Alexandria – who knew a 4-day American History lesson could be so much fun?
White House Photo Opportunity
First order of business: upon arrival in Washington, D.C., your group will enjoy an arranged White House Photo Opportunity with the most famous residence in our country in the background. What a fantastic way to kick off and commemorate your exciting 4-day historic tour!
Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall
The National Mall is the pivotal point of nearly every sightseeing excursion to Washington, D.C.; the dramatic tree-lined open space between Constitution and Independence Avenues unfurls all the way from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Capitol Building. Eleven Smithsonian Institution Museums are located right here, showcasing an incredible variety of exhibits with subjects ranging from fine art to space exploration. It’s the perfect place to unpack and enjoy a picnic lunch, and a popular outdoor festival venue; champions of countless causes, young movers and shakers and gritty young eco-warriors alike have staged all manner of spirited protests and rallies on its expansive lawn – as seen in Forrest Gump!
Monuments and Memorials Tour
This walkabout gets you and your students around to all of the monuments and memorials of Washington, D.C., each truly unique and important in its own right. Your invigorating excursion begins at the White House and continues through the National Mall, along the Reflecting Pool, around the Tidal Basin, and wraps up at the U.S. Capitol Building and Supreme Court.
Library of Congress
Rise and shine! Day two of your 4-day D.C. trip has you heading to the Library of Congress right after breakfast - the world’s largest library containing more than 128 million items including books, manuscripts, films, photographs, sheet music and maps. As part of the legislative branch of government, the Library houses several internal divisions, including the Office of the Librarian, U.S. Copyright Office, Law Library of Congress, Library Services, and the Office of Strategic Initiatives. Visitors flock year-round to partake of its wonderful exhibitions, interactive displays, concerts, films, lectures and special events.
Capitol Hill Tour
Your students’ trip to Washington, D.C. would not be complete without a tour of our legislative and judicial branches. You’ll make a stop at the Library of Congress, see the magnificent Capitol and Supreme Court Buildings, explore the breathtaking Jefferson Building and browse the marvelous living exhibits of the U.S. Botanic Garden/Conservatory.
Supreme Court Tour
Shhhh! Very important work is underway as you visit the magnificent Supreme Court building – home of the highest court in the nation! Guests are encouraged to take advantage of a fascinating variety of educational programs including 30 minute Courtroom Lectures, a visitors’ film, and court-related exhibitions. When court is in session – October and April - guests may elect to sit in on oral arguments. Even if you don’t enter the building, its incredibly grand architecture will sufficiently impress.
The National Archives and Records Administration stores and provides public access to the original documents that set up the American government as a democracy in 1774; additionally, the records of the nation's civil, military and diplomatic activities are held here for present and future generations. Guests are transported on a fascinating journey through time, with an opportunity to view the United States Government's Charters of Freedom, the U. S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. This fantastic learning experience deserves a slot on every D.C. student trip!
Day three in D.C.! So much ground to cover…so much to see and do! After a fortifying morning bite, you and your young charges are off to the magnificent Newseum - a seven-level, high-tech interactive museum tracing the history of news reporting from the 16th century to the present day. Located between the White House and the U.S. Capitol, the Newseum houses 15 theaters, 14 major galleries, two state-of-the-art broadcast studios and a 4-D time-travel experience in its 250,000 square feet of exhibit space, with its fascinating and comprehensive galleries exploring news history, photojournalism, world news and media coverage of major historical events. Enjoy television news and compare press freedoms in more than 190 countries, or check the front pages of more than 450 news publications from around the world; now that’s having your morning paper!
International Spy Museum or Crime and Punishment Museum
Pick one: delve into the mysterious, dark world of professional espionage, or explore the ultimate cost of a life of crime! Your students may visit either the International Spy Museum or the Museum of Crime and Punishment; both popular attractions promise to thrill and chill with their engaging exhibits just bursting with true tales and tools of the trades. Check out the “School for Spies,” see an authentic electric chair and lethal injection machine and visit the set of America’s Most Wanted.
Mount Vernon is an iconic American landmark and enduring reminder of the life and legacy of the Father of Our Country – a successful Virginia gentleman planter and entrepreneur - and ultimately the leader of a fledgling democratic nation. What was once a simple one and a half-story farmhouse evolved into a grand home and prosperous plantation; First President George Washington’s estate is now one of the nation’s most visited historic sites. You and your student group will enjoy a tour of his authentically interpreted 18th-century home set on lush gardens and grounds, explore intriguing museum galleries, (you’ll even see an actual set of the President’s dentures, made from a combination of donkey, cow, horse and human teeth!) his tomb, his progressive four-acre Pioneer Farm, a painstakingly reproduced working gristmill and distillery and experience first-rate dining and shopping while visiting this incomparable national treasure.
Alexandria’s Ghost and Graveyards Tour
As seen on the Travel Channel, you and your student group will meet and accompany an 18th century character guide by lantern light through the charmingly spooky cobblestoned streets of Alexandria’s historic –and by all accounts haunted - Old Town. On this entertaining and popular tour your ears are filled with ghost stories, legends and lore – fascinatingly disturbing accounts of unsolved mysteries, doomed romance and disgruntled ghosts bent on revenge. You’ll explore such haunted landmarks as the Carlyle House, Sea Captain’s Row, the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, and the hallowed headstones of Christ Church cemetery. This family-friendly tour covers six blocks in about an hour and winds to a bone-chilling conclusion in a haunted graveyard!
John T. Ford bought the original building – a former church - and renovated it into a theatre, which he first called Ford's Athenaeum. It was destroyed by fire in 1862, and rebuilt the following year with seating for 2400. Five short days after General Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, President Abraham Lincoln and his wife were enjoying a performance of Our American Cousin at this infamous venue; notorious actor John Wilkes Booth, desperate to aid the dying Confederacy, stepped into the box where the presidential party was seated and shot Lincoln, who passed away the next morning at Peterson House, just across the street. Today, in tribute to President Abraham Lincoln’s love of the performing arts, Ford’s theatre presents wonderful plays and musicals underscoring multiculturalism and highlighting the eclectic character of American life.
Arlington National Cemetery
You and your young charges will recognize Arlington National Cemetery by the sea of remarkably uniform white headstones spanning the 600+ manicured acres that mark the graves of more than 400,000 soldiers and their loved ones laid to rest here. The cemetery is one of the most popular attractions among student groups exploring Washington, D.C. - its rich history and beautiful setting make it the perfect place for remembering, for reflection, and for honoring US soldiers past and present. Presidents John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft are buried here.
JFK Grave Site Memorial
John F. Kennedy was the youngest man ever elected to the highest office in the United States. A former naval officer and WWII hero, he is credited with saving the lives of his crew during an attack on their torpedo boat by a Japanese cruiser. JFK made his first formal visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1961, to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Eleven days prior to his assassination he returned for the 1963 Armistice Day services. While there, President Kennedy had remarked that the view of D.C. from the cemetery was so incredible, he could stay there forever. He made his final trip to Arlington at the behest of the gracious and lovely First Lady, where his gravesite is evermore accessible to the American people, and marked by an eternal flame; she now rests beside him. Only one other American President – William Howard Taft – is buried at Arlington.
Tomb of the Unknown Solider
High on a hill overlooking bustling and beautiful Washington, D.C., you will find the world-renowned Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Here, you and your student group may witness the breathtaking precision of the changing of the guard; the Tomb is protected 24 hours a day. Inscribed on the back are the words: “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God” - for buried in it are the remains of unidentified soldiers from nearly all U.S. wars and conflicts. Their medals of honor and the flags that covered their caskets are located in the amphitheater below.
Iwo Jima Memorial
The world-renowned United States Marine Corps War Memorial - better known as the Iwo Jima Memorial - depicts one of the most historic battles of World War II. The memorial, dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in battle, is sculptor Felix de Weldon’s wonderful recreation of an actual shot captured by news photographer Joe Rosenthal of 6 brave, young soldiers – five Marines and one Navy corpsman - raising the 2nd American flag planted on Mount Suribachi. Only three survived the battle.