Historic Trails & Blue Ridge Mountains


  • 14 days

  • Southern USA

  • Steady pace

Tour : 8720

Single Share available

From

£1,722 pp

Tour only

Based on 18th May 2019

From

£2,736 pp

Tour with flights & transfers

Based on London Heathrow

Overview

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Customer rating:

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From colonial settlements and Civil War sites to the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains and the stunning Great Smoky Mountains, this southern U.S. tour features historic sites, spectacular scenery, and fun experiences all along the way. You’ll overnight in the Washington DC area; Gettysburg; Shenandoah National Park; Beckley; Lexington, Kentucky; Gatlinburg; Asheville; Lexington, Virginia; and Williamsburg.

History buffs will enjoy visits to the Gettysburg Battlefield, where Abraham Lincoln delivered his immortal speech in 1863; Harper’s Ferry, where John Brown made his ill-fated raid on the U.S. Arsenal in 1859; the Lincoln Museum; Sinking Spring Farm, the one-room cabin where Lincoln was born; the Civil War Museum, the fourth-largest Civil War museum in the United States; Biltmore Estate; Monticello Estate, Thomas Jefferson’s home; Mount Vernon, home of George and Martha Washington; and Colonial Williamsburg, where life in the 18th century is recreated.

Throughout this southern U.S. tour, you’ll witness fascinating landscapes. Beautiful views await you in Shenandoah National Park, with its 200,000 acres of protected lands. Marvel at the green pastures, white-board fences, and columned estates in Kentucky bluegrass country. Spend two nights in Gatlinburg, a popular mountain retreat, and drive through the centre of the Smoky Mountains, with the winding roads, striking wildflowers, and animal diversity. In Virginia, stop at tranquil Mabry Mill, an old water-driven grist mill that is one of the country’s most photographed spots, and visit Natural Bridge, a 215-foot-high limestone arch sculpted by nature in a wooded setting.

These are just some of the many highlights of this southern U.S. tour featuring stunning national parks, historic sites, and fun-filled experiences. Grab your camera and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday!

Highlights

Washington DC Sightseeing with Local Guide

Gettysburg Guided tour Gettysburg Battlefield

Harpers Ferry Visit Harpers Ferry Historic National Park

Shenandoah National Park Sightseeing; stay overnight inside the park

Lexington Visit the Kentucky Horse Park

Bluegrass Parkway Scenic drive

Hodgenville Visit Sinking Spring Farm; Lincoln Museum

Bardstown Visit the Civil War Museum; Bourbon Distillery

Museum of Appalachia Visit the 65-acre historic farmland

Smoky Mountains Gatlinburg; scenic drive; Newfound Gap Road

Asheville Visit Biltmore Estate

Blue Ridge Parkway Scenic drive; Mabry Mill

Monticello Estate Visit Thomas Jefferson’s beloved home

Williamsburg Visit Colonial Williamsburg

Richmond Orientation tour

Mount Vernon Visit George Washington’s home

Single Share available

Opt to share a twin room with a fellow traveller, and if there's no one to share with you'll get a room to yourself at no added cost!

Our single share option will match you with a fellow solo traveller of the same gender in a twin room, so you don't have to pay a single supplement. If there's no one available to share with, you don't pay any additional single supplement. Please call us to book a single-share holiday.

Single Share available

Tour itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Total meals included:

  • 6 breakfasts

Washington DC area

Day
1

Enjoy time at leisure to relax or do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.

Washington DC area - Gettysburg

Day
2

Today begins with a guided sightseeing tour that shows you the graves of American heroes, including those of John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, in beautiful Arlington Cemetery. Your guided tour of the capital continues, with photo stops at Capitol Hill and the White House, and visits to the Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials. Afterward, cross the Mason-Dixon Line into Pennsylvania for a guided visit to the hallowed GETTYSBURG BATTLEFIELD, site of the decisive Civil War campaign and where Abraham Lincoln delivered his immortal Gettysburg Address in November 1863. Tonight, we offer an optional outing to a local restaurant to enjoy the flavour of the area.

Gettysburg - Harpers Ferry - Shenandon National Park

Day
3

Head for HARPERS FERRY HISTORIC NATIONAL PARK, where, in 1859, John Brown made his ill-fated raid on the U.S. Arsenal. En route to Shenandoah, crest the Blue Ridge Mountains for magnificent vistas of the Shenandoah Valley. Overnight in SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK.

Meals included:

  • Continental Breakfast

Shenandon National Park - New River Gorge - Beckley

Day
4

Travel through lumber and limestone country into wonderfully wild West Virginia. After a lunch break in Lewisburg, a Civil War battlefield, travel to Fayetteville and stop at New River Gorge Bridge, the world’s third-longest steel-span bridge, rising 876 feet above the river. Then, on to Beckley, the heart of West Virginia’s “smokeless” coal industry, for an overnight stay.

Beckley - Charleston - Kentucky Horse Park - Lexington, Kentucky

Day
5

Before entering Kentucky, we stop in the state capital of Charleston, West Virginia, one-time home of American frontiersman Daniel Boone. As you cross the state border, the scenery changes to green pastures, white-board fences, and the columned estates of Kentucky bluegrass country—backdrop for the movie Seabiscuit. Arrive in Lexington, the “Heart of the Bluegrass.” This afternoon, a fascinating visit to the KENTUCKY HORSE PARK, from where legends like Man o’ War and Secretariat conquered the racing world.

Meals included:

  • Continental Breakfast

Lexington - Hodgenville - Bardstown - Lexington, KY

Day
6

Travel on Bluegrass Parkway and stop at SINKING SPRING FARM, a one-room cabin where the nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, was born. A replica of the original log cabin is preserved as a shrine to one of the best-loved American presidents. Visit the LINCOLN MUSEUM, dedicated to Lincoln’s life and times. The museum features 12 historically accurate scenes from Lincoln’s life and Civil War memorabilia. Be sure to walk out to the centre of Town Square for a photo op in front of the Lincoln Statue, and the Lincoln Boy Statue. Afterward, we head to Bardstown and visit the fourth-largest CIVIL WAR MUSEUM in the United States. Unlike the other museums, this one focuses mainly on the War of the Western States. Visitors move through a series of exhibits featuring artefacts from both the Union and the Confederacy. End your day by visiting a true working BOURBON DISTILLERY, and learn about the production of the very finest Kentucky Straight Bourbon, for which Kentucky is famous. Return to Lexington, where the evening is free for independent activities.

Lexington, KY - Gatlinburg

Day
7

Travel to Tennessee, with a stop at Corbin for a short visit to COLONEL SANDERS’ original fried chicken restaurant, which is now a museum. This afternoon, visit the fascinating MUSEUM OF APPALACHIA, with 65 acres of farmland and a number of historic cabins, barns, and other buildings—even a frontier privy! The next two nights are in Gatlinburg at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Gatlinburg

Day
8

As one of America’s most popular mountain retreats, Gatlinburg offers something for everyone. You might want to spend a day at world-famous Dollywood, an 88-acre landscaped theme park inspired by Dolly Parton.

Gatlinburg - Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Ashville

Day
9

Drive right through the centre of the Smokies along the spectacular Newfound Gap Road, peaking at 5,046 feet. Continue into North Carolina and a stop at the 7,500-acre grounds of the BILTMORE ESTATE, built by George Vanderbilt, grandson of railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. Overnight in the Asheville area, hometown of American author Thomas Wolfe.

Asheville - Blue Ridge Parkway - Lexington, Virginia

Day
10

Blue Ridge Parkway runs from the Great Smokies to Shenandoah National Park without a single traffic light along its 470-mile route. Take in a portion of the parkway today, from Fancy Gap to Roanoke. Stop at the tranquil setting of Mabry Mill, one of the most photographed spots in the country. Next up: a visit to NATURAL BRIDGE, a 215-foot-high arch in a wooded setting, once owned by Thomas Jefferson. George Washington’s initials are still visible on the cliffside, from his work here as a young surveyor.

Meals included:

  • Continental Breakfast

Lexington, Virginia - Monticello - Williamsburg

Day
11

Visit the graceful home of the third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson. The MONTICELLO ESTATE reflects Jefferson’s skills as an artist, architect, and designer. It is the only house in the U.S. that is on the UNESCO World Heritage list of international treasures. The day ends in Williamsburg, between the James and York Rivers, where the very earliest European settlers established their first colonies.

Meals included:

  • Continental Breakfast

Williamsburg. Excursion to Colonial Williamsburg

Day
12

Today is dedicated to COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG, where American heritage is proudly preserved in the reconstructed buildings and historical displays. Stroll down quaint streets and browse through homes, gardens, taverns, shops, and exhibits. In the Hall of Burgesses, listen as costumed interpreters debate the controversial steps that led to the Declaration of Independence.

Meals included:

  • Continental Breakfast

Williamsburg - Richmond - Mount Vernon - Washington DC area

Day
13

This morning begins with a short orientation tour of Richmond, capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Stop at the Capitol Building for photographs before making our way to MOUNT VERNON, the beloved home of George and Martha Washington, overlooking the banks of the Potomac River. Take time to explore the most popular historic estate in America. The final leg of your journey takes you back to the Washington DC area.

Meals included:

  • Continental Breakfast

Washington DC area

Day
14

Your holiday ends this morning. You can extend your holiday with extra nights and explore the nation’s capital further with a variety of exciting optional activities.

Things to note

Fall FoliageEnjoy the spectacular colours of the Appalachian Mountains on our special fall foliage departures: 14 September to 5 October 2019 (if Mother Nature permits).

What's included

Tour only

From

£1,722 pp

Prefer to book your own flights and transfers? You have the freedom to do that with our Tour Only holiday option.

  • Services of a tour director
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • Free Wi-Fi on coach
  • Porterage

Tour with flights

From

£2,736 pp

Let us take care of everything. Our package option includes return flights from your chosen airport, plus overseas transfers to your hotel.

  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a tour director
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • Free Wi-Fi on coach
  • Porterage
  • All airport taxes

Why book with us?

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