Day 1 You'll See:
- White House Area Walking Tour
- National Archives
- National Cathedral
- Embassy Row Driving Tour
Day 2 You'll See:
- Mount Vernon
- Bureau of Engraving & Printing
- Holocaust Museum
- Alexandria's Ghost & Legends Tour
Day 3 You'll See:
- Supreme Court Tour
- Library of Congress
- Capitol Hill Tour
- Arlington National Cemetery Bus Tour
- JFK Grave Site Memorial
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- Iwo Jima Memorial
Day 4 You'll See:
- Ford's Theatre
- International Spy Museum
- Monuments & Memorials Tour
Day 5 You'll See:
- National Mall Smithsonian Museums
You and your students will have five fabulous days to explore the incredible historic highlights of Washington, D.C. You’ll see everything from the White House to the 11 museums of the Smithsonian Mall, with stops at Arlington, JFK’s Grave Site and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the theatre where Lincoln was assassinated, a spy museum and George Washington’s lavish estate. You’ll visit extravagant Embassy Row, explore Capitol Hill, experience the thrilling intensity of a visit to the Supreme Court and more on this entertaining and educational East Coast extravaganza!
White House Area Walking Tour
You know you’re finally in our Nation’s capital when you realize you’re actually viewing the White House – the epicenter of political life in Washington, D.C. and home of our President and the First Family - even more impressive up close and personal than one would imagine. What a fantastic photo op!
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. Your student group will be 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 should be a mandatory stop on every D.C. educational trip!
The elaborate Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington is a stunning church closely modeled on English Gothic style of the late fourteenth century. The National Cathedral, the sixth largest in the world, is also the second-largest in the United States, and the highest as well as fourth-tallest structure in D.C.; the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the final Sunday sermon of his life here. Among its countless fine architectural details and notable features are a number of intricate stained glass windows paying tribute to a company of great Americans, an intriguing resident collection of gargoyles and grotesques, a “Great Organ” – the largest pipe organ in Washington, D.C. – a statue of George Washington and a fantastically executed mural of Jesus’ burial. It is said the Cathedral was intentionally constructed with a number of obvious imperfections to highlight the understanding that only God is the author of perfection.
Embassy Row Driving Tour
Once upon a time considered Washington's premier residential address, Massachusetts Avenue - notorious for its many mansions - garnered the nickname "Millionaires' Row". Evalyn Walsh McLean, original owner of the infamous Hope Diamond – was among the reigning elite opting to showcase their fortunes in the Nation’s capital. She would keep the stunning gem at her home during the day, but had it whisked away to a safe deposit box each night. The glamorous thoroughfare is also the home of the Woodrow Wilson House – the only presidential museum in all of Washington, D.C. Today, with most of the socialites long gone, the elaborate, historic and repurposed mansions on Embassy Row house more than 175 foreign embassies, residences, chanceries, and diplomatic missions; how many flags do you recognize?
You and your young historians won’t want to miss a stop at this iconic American landmark - an enduring reminder of the life and legacy of the Father of Our Country: a successful Virginia gentleman planter, daring entrepreneur, and - ultimately- the leader of a fledgling democratic nation. What was once a simple one and a half-story farmhouse, over time, 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.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
As the U.S. Government's security printer, the BEP is responsible for the design, engraving and printing of all U.S. paper currency as well as secured documents for other federal government agencies – tasks accomplished employing traditional tools used for more than 125 years! You and your young charges will witness millions of dollars being printed during this fascinating tour highlighting the various steps of currency production - beginning with large, blank sheets of paper - and ending with freshly inked, wallet-ready bills. This entertaining excursion lends a whole new meaning to the words, “making money!”
At the laying of the Museum’s cornerstone in 1988, President Ronald Reagan remarked, "We must make sure that all humankind stares this evil in the face." This living memorial to the Holocaust artfully presents a stunning cross section of those horrible, tragic years through a series of pertinent programs, exhibits and displays - a truly moving historical experience that will have a lasting impact on its young visitors while underscoring the importance of confronting hatred, promoting human dignity and crushing the future of genocide.
Alexandria’s Ghost and Legends Tour
As seen on the Travel Channel, you and your students will meet and accompany an 18th century character guide by flickering lantern light through the spooky cobble stoned streets of Alexandria’s historic –and by all accounts, restless spirit-infested - Old Town. On this entertaining and popular evening excursion, your ears are filled with ghost stories, legends and lore – fascinatingly disturbing accounts of unsolved mysteries, ill-fated romance and jealous 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!
Supreme Court Tour
Shhhh…be very quiet. Important work will be 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 informative 30 minute Courtroom Lectures, a visitors’ film, and court-related exhibitions. When court is in session – during the months of October and April – interested parties may elect to sit on oral arguments. Even if you don’t enter the building, its incredibly grand architecture will sufficiently impress!
Library of Congress
Rise and shine, sleepyheads! Day three of your 4-day D.C. trip has you heading to the magnificent Library of Congress right after breakfast - the Nation's oldest federal cultural institution and 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’ educational trip to Washington, D.C. would be incomplete without a tour of the seat of our legislative and judicial branches. You’ll visit the breathtakingly magnificent Capitol and Supreme Court Buildings, the beautiful Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress and browse the wonderful living exhibits of the U.S. Botanic Garden.
Arlington National Cemetery Bus Tour
You will instantly recognize Arlington National Cemetery by the sea of remarkably uniform white headstones spilling across 600+ acres of rolling hills; they mark the graves of more than 400,000 soldiers and their families laid to rest beneath the well-groomed green. The cemetery is one of the most popular attractions among student groups visiting 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; dozens of services are conducted here each week.
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 war hero, he is credited with saving the lives of his crew during an attack on their torpedo boat by a Japanese cruiser. President Kennedy 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, the President had remarked that the view of D.C. from the cemetery was so magnificent he could stay there, forever. He made his final trip to Arlington at the behest of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, 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 Soldier
Throughout history, many soldiers have died in wars, their remains left unidentified. Post World War I, a movement arose to commemorate these nameless soldiers with a single tomb, containing the body of one such unidentified warrior. High on a hill in Arlington Cemetery overlooking bustling and beautiful Washington, D.C., you will find the world-renowned Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. While 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 US 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 nearly 80’ tall bronze memorial, dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in battle, is sculptor Felix de Weldon’s wonderful recreation of an iconic 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.
Day four in D.C. – there’s just so much to see and do! After a satisfying morning bite, you and your young charges are off to the 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. Miss the morning paper? No worries! Each day, the Newseum serves up the front pages of more than 450 news publications from around the world.
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 luxe box where the presidential party was seated and shot Lincoln, who passed away the next morning at Peterson House, just across the street. Step back in time and retrace President Lincoln’s last hours on earth as you recall the tragic events of that fateful night.
International Spy Museum
You and your group of young secret agents will be delighted to delve deep into the mysterious, dark world of professional espionage as you pass through the doors of this popular D.C. attraction, (appropriately founded by an ex code-breaker) promising to thrill and chill you with true tales of dashing and daring and engaging exhibits highlighting authentic tricks and more than 200 tools of the spy trade. Young masterminds will especially enjoy a stop by the gift shop, tendering terrific gadgets like invisible ink pens and rear-view spy glasses!
Monuments and Memorials Tour
This brisk scenic 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 and around the Tidal Basin, winding to its conclusion at the U.S. Capitol Building and Supreme Court.
Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall
The National Mall is the pivotal point of almost every sightseeing excursion to Washington, D.C.; this tree-lined open space between Constitution and Independence Avenues unfurls all the way from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Capitol Building. Eleven of D.C.’s seventeen Smithsonian Institution Museums are located right here, presenting 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; all manner of spirited protests and rallies have been staged on its expansive lawn – as seen in “Forrest Gump!”