Day 1 You'll See:
- Pentagon Memorial
- Lunch at Union Station
- Arlington National Cemetery
- Monuments and Memorials Tour
Day 2 You'll See:
- Library of Congress
- Capitol Hill Tour
- Mount Vernon
- Alexandria's Ghosts and Legends Lantern Tour
Day 3 You'll See:
- White House Area Walking Tour
- Ford’s Theatre and Peterson House
- National Archives
Day 4 You'll See:
- Smithsonian Museums on National Mall
- Depart for NYC
- Top of the Rock
- Dinner at Ca Va Brasserie
Day 5 You'll See:
- Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
- Lunch at Joe’s Pizza
- National 9/11 Memorial
- Broadway Play
Day 6 You'll See:
- Central Park
- American Museum of Natural History
- MET Museum of Art
- 5th Avenue Tour
Day 7 You'll See:
Do you come here often? No? Well, that's perfect because this is your chance to get a comprehensive glimpse at all of our nation's absolute best attractions!
You and your group will spend seven unbelievable days traveling to all the most iconic American sites from Washington, D.C. to New York City, the perfect way to immerse yourself into the culture of our nation. This mind-blowingly memorable journey will show you everything essential about our country, from education and history to amazing natural vistas and architectural wonders. Eat amazing food, meet amazing locals, and enjoy the introduction to the United States!
Pentagon Memorial - Begin your visit to our nation’s capital with a stop at the somber, impressive, and overall truly moving Pentagon Memorial. This memorial is just southwest of the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, a permanent outdoor memorial dedicated to the 184 victims of the tragic September 11th attacks, people who were either in the building or on the American Airlines Flight 77. Walk through the sea of 184 granite covered benches while here, each engraved with the name of the victims from that day. Learn all about the events of 9/11, the stories of the victims and heroes, the role of the Department of Defense and Pentagon, and the United States’ plan for preventing future attacks. You can choose to simply walk around at your own pace, or call ahead and order a pre-recorded audio tour.
Lunch at Union Station - While here in D.C. your group will receive access to one of the most utilized voucher programs in the entire region, D.C. Union Station Dining Meal Voucher. With this voucher, you will get exceptionally affordable and delicious meals from the "transportation hub and retail destination" of our nation’s capital. Find such classics as Starbucks, Taco Bell, Subway, Jamba Juice, Haagen-Daz, Chipotle, and Shake Shack while here. The best thing? Your group’s meal vouchers will get you a meal at almost all of these places. Eat a quick lunch at Bojangles or Bold Bite Burgers and Hot Dogs or have a more filling dinner at Charley’s or Le Pain Quotidien, you’ll even have the chance to sit and enjoy the finest flavors from Sakura Japan!
Arlington National Cemetery - Continue your American adventures at Arlington National Cemetery, the United States military cemetery located across from the Potomac River, in whose 624-acres rest the nation’s brave men from conflicts such as the American Civil War, Iraq Conflict, and even Revolutionary War. This is truly a somber yet essential D.C. sight to see, famously recognizable by the sight of seemingly endless waves of white headstones across the lush manicured lawn. There are nearly half a million soldiers (and their loved ones) within this cemetery, with almost 200 special monuments and memorials standing scattered about within. See the Pentagon Group Burial Marker or President John F. Kennedy’s gravestone here before you go!
Monuments and Memorials Tour - End your first D.C. evening with a scenic tour of all the most popular monuments and memorials in the city. This halt informational, half entertaining walking tour will take your group around to all of the best memorials in the boundaries of Washington, D.C., each and everyone you pass a truly unique and important part of the city and our nation’s history, as you will hear and learn all about! This monumental excursion will begin at the White House and continue through the National Mall. Along the way, you will see the Tidal Basin, Reflecting Pool, and even the Capitol Building. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring your camera for this one!
Library of Congress - Start your day off at a true book and history lover’s paradise, the largest library in the entire world! The Library of Congress contains more than 128 million items, including but not limited to books, manuscripts, films, photographs, sheet music, and maps. As an official part of the legislative branch of the United States government, the Library of Congress houses several different internal divisions that each play an equally important national role. Explore all of these internal divisions within, such as the Office of the Librarian, the U.S. Copyright Office, Law Library of Congress, Library of Services, and even the Office of Strategic Initiatives. Millions upon millions of visitors flock to this impressive and iconic library year-round to take part in its excellent exhibitions, interactive displays, concerts, films, lectures, and special events, and now you will be able to experience it all too!
Capitol Hill Tour - No visit to Washington, D.C. would be complete without a comprehensive tour of our legislative and judicial government branches. That’s exactly what you’ll be doing now, a really educational opportunity to both learn about our nation’s government and immerse yourself in the city. You will be seeing the Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, Supreme Court Building, as well as the Jefferson Building. Not only will you catch glimpses and tidbits of important information about all of those D.C. essential establishments, but you’ll also get to see the absolutely stunning and impressive U.S. Botanic Garden and Conservatory. Be sure to bring your camera and wear comfortable walking shoes for this stop!
Mount Vernon - Welcome to Mount Vernon, an American landmark that today serves as an enduring reminder of the life and legacy of the father of our country. President George Washington, the successful Virginia gentleman planter and entrepreneur, first laid claim to a simple 1.5 story farmhouse here, today the site of what has evolved into a grand home and plantation. This is one of the nation’s most visited historic homes and sites, something your entire group should really enjoy! Take part in a guided tour throughout the estate, the 18th century home sitting on lush gardens and grounds. See intriguing museum galleries, Washington’s tomb, and the 4-acre Pioneer Farm, a meticulously reproduced working distillery and gristmill (you can dine and shop while here too!)
Alexandria's Ghosts and Legends Lantern Tour - We hope you’re in the mood for a good scare, or at least some entertaining late-night information because your next stop is Alexandria’s Original Ghosts and Legends Lantern Tour. On this particular tour, you and your group will follow the 18th-century costumed guides by lantern light through historic Old Town, in Alexandria. You’re going to want to wear comfortable shoes to walk in and bring a jacket for the chilly night, many groups even like to bring glow-sticks to see or wear for extra light and/or as a group identifier in the dark! This entertaining tour will enlighten your group on various stories of local ghosts, local legends, and even more local folklore. Some of the stories involve unsolved mysteries or angry ghosts still out looking for revenge, others are captivating tales of romance and of horror!
White House Area Walking Tour - What better way to celebrate finally arriving in our nation’s capital than by viewing the White House, the home of our nation's President and First Family. One of the absolute easiest ways to see the White House is through a walk-through tour. This is a self-guided public tour that is regularly scheduled each Tuesday through Thursday 7:30 am to 1130 am, and to 1:30 pm Fridays and Saturdays. During this tour you may move from room to room at your own pace inside the White House, the entire tour probably taking anywhere from 20-45 minutes, depending on how much time you want to spend exploring all the presidential details. This is the absolute perfect intro to D.C., the upcoming inauguration, and all the seemingly endless iconic American photo ops.
Ford’s Theatre and Petersen House - Welcome to Ford’s Theatre, the D.C. classic establishment that was once a place of worship, first constructed in 1833. It was known as the local First Baptist Church of Washington, then was bought by John T. Ford who renovated it into a theater, a rich success in its early years, not counting the devastating fire in 1862, that is. About 2,400 people could comfortably fit inside, a usually-crowded performance venue in which President Abraham Lincoln was infamously shot during a work of Our American Cousin. Just five days after General Lee’s surrender house actor John Wilkes Booth stepped into the President's box and shot him, causing his death the next morning at the Petersen House, just across the street. Today in the theater you can see excellent plays and musicals dedicated to multiculturalism and the "eclectic character of American life."
National Archives - The National Archives and Records Administration, located in central Washington, D.C., stores and provides public access to the original documents that helped set up the American government as a democracy in 1774, the establishment being a true American icon and a D.C. must-stop for your group. The records of the nation’s civil, military, and diplomatic activities are held here as well, for present and future generations to peruse and learn. This is a truly amazing opportunity, a visit inside providing you and your group with the option of viewing such important national documents as the United States Government’s Charters of Freedom, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and even the Declaration of Independence. This is a really fantastic learning experience for your group to partake in!
Smithsonian Museums on National Mall - Washington, D.C.’s National Mall is a truly iconic focal point within the city, an absolutely amazing sightseeing opportunity you won’t want to miss. Enjoy the tree-lined open space that sits in between Constitution and Independence Avenue, stretching all the way from the Washington Monument to the Capitol Building. Not only is this a gorgeous green space and public gathering space, but it is also home to eleven out of D.C.’s seventeen total Smithsonian Museums! Make the tough decision on which one (or two or three) museums spark your group's interest and then go explore the incredible variety of exhibits within, with subjects ranging from space exploration within America to Fine Art and history. Enjoy some quick educational sessions, a picnic snack or dinner on the lawn, and overall a truly iconic D.C. spot!
-Depart for NYC
Top of the Rock - There’s no better way to first see the iconic NYC skyline than by heading over to the Rockefeller Center, one of NYC’s most famous landmarks and home to so many businesses it has its own zip code! Take an elevator up to the popular LED-lit “Top of the Rock,” where you’ll enjoy exhilarating 360-degree views of Central Park and the awe-inspiring panorama of the dazzling city skyline from three observation decks. There will also be an option to stroll over to an observation floor featuring indoor and outdoor viewing options. All three observation decks offer vantage points with incredible panoramic views above the heart of Manhattan. On a clear day, you can see all the way into Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey! Enjoy this once in a lifetime sightseeing opportunity and don’t forget your camera for this stop, you’ll definitely want to capture the moment!
Dinner at Ca Va Brasserie - Get a little fancy for dinner at Ca Va Brasserie, located deep in Times Square. This unique French eatery is the brainchild of celebrity chef Todd English, a famed chef, restaurateur, author, entrepreneur, and TV star, as well as a 4-time James Beard Award winner. Here at Ca Va English and his sous chefs put a fresh twist on classic French cuisine, creativity, and passion for cuisine seen in every item on the menu. At breakfast time, this eatery serves up the greatest authentic pastries and gourmet coffee, and at lunch, you can find the best-roasted lamb french dip or rainbow trout salad in the city. There is always a special midday 3-course prix fixe menu, as well as a popular a la carte dinner menu featuring traditional brasserie fare with a playful interpretation. This is a seriously fun, fancy, and French eatery you’ll be glad you came too!
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island - No visit to New York City would be complete without a trip to our nation's most famous National Monument and World Heritage Site, the Statue of Liberty. Located on Liberty Island, this colossal neoclassical sculpture was brought to America in 1886 as a symbol of friendship between France and the United States following the American Revolution. Designer Bartholdi created this 225-ton structure, with the help of the designer of the Eiffel Tower, as a physical representation of freedom and democracy in America. Nearby, Ellis Island is famous today for being the portal to the American dream and opportunities immigrants did not have in their homeland, having admitted over 25 million people in its time. It was a symbol of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, just like the Statue of Liberty. Visit Ellis Island and learn not only about the history of America but also the history of your own family.
Lunch at Joe’s Pizza - Joe’s Pizza is a New York City classic, a Greenwich Village institution that has been serving up classic New York slices for over 37 years. This establishment was started in 1975 by Joe Pozzuoli, a highly regarded pizza maker who started his life and love for pizza making in Naples, Italy, the birthplace of pizza. This eatery is a classic NY slice joint, the real deal, run by real deal owner Pozzuoli who still operates the restaurant daily himself at 75 years of age. Joe’s Pizza has been a perennial top 10 listings for a decade and has been called the "Best of New York" and a "Quintessential NY Slice" by New York Mag. GQ Magazine named this "One of the Best 25 Pizza’s on Earth" in 2009, giving you all the more reason to stop by and see what it’s all about. The menu is simple and straightforward, order a cheese, fresh mozzarella, or Sicilian square pie or slice and pair it with classic drinks and salads available daily!
National 9/11 Memorial - The 9/11 Memorial Museum is located at the World Trade Center’s foundation and serves as the country’s principal institution for examining the implications of 9/11 tragedy. Here your group will find 110,000 square feet of exhibition space within the archaeological heart of the Trade Center that documents events, explores the continuing significance of, and tells personal stories from 9/11. See multimedia displays, archives, narratives, and a collection of monuments and authentic artifacts that not only cover the 9/11 attacks but the 1993 bombings as well. Hear the life stories of over 3,000 men and women that tell of loss, compassion, and recovery, as you pay tribute to those fallen in one of the biggest tragedies to ever hit the United States. Your group may choose to take a self-guided audio tour, a 60-minute guided museum tour, or a 45-minute guided memorial tour while here, and be sure you see the sobering "Survivor’s Stairs" before leaving.
Chinatown - To see New York’s Chinatown head over to Lower Manhattan, to one of the largest Chinese populations outside of Asia. This Asian influenced oasis is typically pretty busy, swarming with captivating and exotic sights, sounds, and smells. Try all the delectable Asian delicacies alongside the streets and shop inside the charming specialty and discount shops. You haven’t experienced Chinatown until you’ve haggled at the open-air market, the perfect place to find exotic fruits, live eels, and goods. You really can get great deals while you are here, as well as great cultural insight and tons of great food. Be sure to bring your camera and get all those iconic Chinatown photos! As you’ll see after your own visit, there is much more to NYC’s Chinatown than paper dragons and fortune cookies!
Broadway Play - Spend your evening unwinding with the stars, literally, as you head to the theater and choose between several different iconic NYC Broadway Shows currently playing. Choose between such titles as Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, Jersey Boys, Chicago, Matilda, Fiddler on the Roof, and so much more. Be sure to get there early and have time to see the theater and find your seat before settling in for one heck of a show. No visit to NYC would be complete without seeing a show on Broadway, and with more than 40 theaters to choose from, we assure you there will be something for everyone in your group. Stay after the show to see more of the theater, head to a cafe or gift shop, or just wait by the stage door for autographs from your favorite Broadway star!
Central Park - Get ready for a pleasant stroll through one of America’s greatest works of art, the nation’s first public park, and the most visited and beloved urban park in the United States, Central Park. Take in the peaceful yet sprawling 843-acre backyard of New York City, one of the most filmed locations in the world for a very good reason. Among its many highlights are two ice skating rinks, a 90-acre area of natural woods, dozens of intricate bridges and arches, twenty-one playgrounds, one of the largest merry-go-rounds in the U.S., a zoo, a 106-acre reservoir encircled by a running track and a delightful heirloom rose garden. Central Park is wound about with scenic footpaths, birding and wildlife watching opportunities abound, and boat/kayak rentals can be secured at Loeb Boathouse. The recreation options here are practically endless, the photo ops are everywhere, and even the squirrels seem to be having a good time!
American Museum of Natural History - You’re going to want to wear your best walking shoes as you gear up for a visit to the American Museum of Natural History, a true behemoth of history! Inside you will find everything from a lush butterfly rainforest to a planetarium, not to mention the IMAX, eateries, and shops. Hike through the Hall of North American Forests to learn more about the ecology and diversity of North American Forests and then wander over to the Biodiversity and Environmental halls to see more broad beauty snapshots of life on earth. The Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals offers another rich look at ecological heritage, as does the Hall of Small Mammals. Here you and your group can learn the story of Lonesome George, excavate the wonders of various fossils, and even shimmy beneath a 21,000-pound blue whale model. Talk about a lot to learn!
MET Museum of Art - Welcome to the MET, the largest comprehensive art museum in the United States. This massive art museum houses a truly stunning collection of works that are displayed throughout over 400 galleries and hosting exhibitions. There are several special events and exhibits moving in and out throughout the year, ensuring that your student group always sees something new and exciting. You can explore the museum on your own or opt for a free Museum Highlights tour, each tour offering a wide variety of engaging hour-long themes. These tours really teach you a lot and depart every fifteen minutes from the Great Hall, between 10:15 and 4:00 pm. Enjoy all the education, art, history, and classic NY art moments to be had at the MET!
5th Avenue Tour - 5th Avenue, otherwise known as the Garment District, is one of New York’s most iconic fashion districts available. A 5th Avenue walking tour will teach your group the history of the legendary street and the prestigious stores on it, as well as all the landmarks and celebrity stories found along the way. This has been an NYC shopper favorite for decades, the entirety of the shopping strip is five miles long, beginning at Washington Square and ending at Harlem River. Enjoy tons of different designer shops, architectural stunners, and of course, all of those amazingly fashionable clothes you are going to find! You can choose to window shop and still have plenty of fun, though breaking the bank at Versace or Prada would be just as fun!
Midtown Manhattan Tour - Midtown Manhattan, as you’ve probably noticed already yourself, is a seriously busy place to be. In fact, some argue that it is the busiest, most exclusive, and most crowded place to buy real estate in NYC. The classic "Big Apple Neighborhood" has a lot to offer guests, though they may not know where or how to begin! That’s why we love the Midtown Manhattan walking tour. You’ll see so many important NYC landmarks, such as the Times Square Theater District, Bryant Park, NY Public Library, Grand Central Terminal, Chrysler Building, Rockefeller, Radio City Music Hall, Saks Fifth Avenue, the Waldorf-Astoria, and, of course, the Empire State Building. See all the classic city skyline vistas and architecture while touring and enjoy feeling like a true local! Be sure to bring your camera, wear comfortable shoes, and bring along your sense of adventure for this really fun and fascinating two-hour trek around Manhattan!
Madame Tussaud’s - Madame Tussaud’s Celebrity Wax Museum is what many people, both locals, and tourists, consider the "wax museum to end all wax museums." This is an absolute must-stop while exploring the odds and ins of the city, providing countless happy guests with the ultimate "celebrity wax experience" right in the heart of Times Square. You will find over 225 celebrity wax figures that are spectacularly lifelike. As far as celebrity snapshots and selfies, this is the next best thing outside of Hollywood. Madame Tussaud herself began sculpting at the age of 17, then underwent a tragically unfortunate series of events leading her to the job of creating lifelike death masks from guillotined victims heads during the French Revolution. Knowing this history makes it easier to see just where all the talent in these sometimes to the point of creepy lifelike figures came from.
Times Square - There are more than a few iconic landmarks in the Big Apple including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park, and of course, Times Square. Times Square, equivalent to L.A.’s Hollywood Boulevard, is the city’s major entertainment center, where commercialism meets production, where lights meet action. From its huge digital billboards, bright neon lights, and sparkling storefronts to its world-famous Theater District and annual Ball Drop, this part of NYC is seriously iconic. See the Paramount Building and the spot where Good Morning America is filmed as you travel through what is considered by many to be the "center of the Universe." Definitely, bring your camera and enjoy your final NYC essential stop!