*Please note that the 2017 Inauguration trip will have to take place Thursday-Saturday in January 2017, as Inauguration is on Friday.
Day 1 You'll See:
- White House Area Walking Tour
- Lunch at Union Station
- Smithsonian Museums on National Mall
- Madame Tussaud’s
- Monuments and Memorials Tour
Day 2 You'll See:
- View Swearing-In Ceremony from National Mall
- Inaugural Parade
- Inauguration Student Cruises
Day 3 You'll See:
This is your unique chance to be a part of a country-changing moment, witness living history, and sightsee in one of the most iconic cities in North America, our nation's capital!
White House Area Walking Tour - What better way to celebrate 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 easiest ways to see the White House is with a walk-through tour. This is a self-guided public tour that is regularly scheduled each Tuesday through Thursday 7:30 am to 11:30 am, and to 1:30 pm on 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 perfect intro to D.C., the upcoming inauguration, and all the seemingly endless iconic American photo ops.
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, the 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. See 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!
Smithsonian Museums on National Mall - Washington D.C.’s National Mall is the stunning focal point of 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 Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol Building. Not only is this a gorgeous green space and public gathering space, 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 groups’ interest and then explore the incredible variety of exhibits, with subjects ranging from space exploration within America to Fine Art and history. Enjoy some quick educational sessions, a picnic or dinner on the lawn!
Madame Tussaud’s - Madame Tussaud’s is a nation-wide popular attraction that has seen millions upon millions of guests since its inception. The concept of Madame Tussaud’s is over 200 years old, beginning in France with a unique and rather bizarre (though not for the time) wax head molding business. Today you can visit the branch in D.C. and meet all 44 U.S. presidents, several major celebrities, many world leaders, some U.S. historical figures, and even a few major sports icons. Walk the red carpet with Will Smith or grab a mic with Beyonce, maybe even just go pose for a picture with Obama! Enjoy discounts and group meal options for your students, as well as optional educational workshops, pizza parties, and scavenger hunts, once you are done with your fun-filled 60-90 minute self-guided tour, that is!
Monuments and Memorials Tour - End your first D.C. evening with a scenic tour of all the most popular monuments and memorials within the city. This half informational, half entertaining walking tour will take your group around to all of the iconic memorials in the boundaries of Washington, D.C., each and every one you pass is 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 and Supreme Court. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring your camera for this one!
View Swearing-In Ceremony from National Mall - Grab a quick continental breakfast from your hotel or order/pack a boxed breakfast, because this morning is going to be a busy one! Grab a spot on the National Mall (bringing blankets, picnic food, and/or chairs is strongly advised if possible) and get ready for a truly iconic U.S. historical moment, the moment that our next U.S. President gets sworn in! The swearing-in ceremony takes place at the U.S. Capitol and is officially organized by the Joint Congressional Committee (on Inaugural Ceremonies). There are only a few things to remember: 1). Bring a fully charged camera. 2). Wear sunscreen and bring sunglasses. 3). Enjoy your historical moment and drink plenty of water!
Inaugural Parade - The Inaugural Parade takes place directly after the inaugural ceremony, with vibrant floats, patriotic bands, and high-end guests marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. The new president will watch the parade from the presidential viewing stand in front of the White House, and you and your group will have a pretty good view from your own "presidential viewing stand" on the National Mall. You may move around as the crowds allow you to for a better view, though the route of the parade is often lined by thousands of people on each side. Many people watch the event on TV or hear it broadcast over the radio, as well!
Inauguration Student Cruise - The Inauguration is truly an iconic event to see, whether from land or from sea! During the day of the Presidential Inauguration, you will have one of two choices of times to go set sail and celebrate this historical moment, one from 4pm to 6pm and one from 7:30 pm to 10pm. This is a great way to connect with other students experiencing the same iconic presidential moment, not to mention all the fun entertainment while on board, such as live music, dancing, and plenty of delicious foods and drinks.
Arlington National Cemetery - Begin the third day of your inaugural 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 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.
Fashion Centre at Pentagon City - Get ready for some serious retail therapy, as well as delicious food choices, at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City next! This shopping center located conveniently along the D.C. Metro System is a truly world class shopping experience, filled with iconic "avenues of fashion and boulevards of style" plus tons of great restaurants. Explore all three levels of shopping containing over 170 different stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, Microsoft, and Ritz Carlton before heading to any of the about 20 different eating options. With the convenient dining dollars meal voucher program your group can choose from over 50 different excellent value meals from over 16 different eateries such as Which Which, Harry’s Smokehouse, Subway, and Au Bon Pain.
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, 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!).