You are sure to succumb to the charms of the Eastern United States on this superb nine day tour which takes in so many highlights. Beginning in New York, you will sample the delights of the Big Apple before heading out of the city to visit West Point military academy and the stunning Vanderbilt Mansion. Then it's off to see some natural beauty at Niagara Falls before visiting an Amish community on the way to touring the capital city Washington and then ending up in historic Philadelphia. On this tour you will experience the very best that the East has to offer.
On arrival take a taxi to your hotel in the city. New York is an adrenaline-charged, history-laden place that holds immense romantic appeal for visitors. Wandering the streets here, you’ll cut between buildings that are icons to the modern age. This is the ultimate cosmopolitan city in the world and boasts the celebrated architecture of corporate Manhattan, with the skyscrapers in downtown and midtown forming the most unforgettable images. Whether gazing at the flickering lights or taking a ride on the Staten Island ferry, there’s no place quite like it in the world.
Get ready for an unforgettable day of sightseeing. New York, “the city that never sleeps”, offers something for everyone at all times of the day or night. Among the top attractions are Times Square, Central Park which houses the City Zoo, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the famous Brooklyn Bridge. And no tour of the city is complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour and the Empire State Building. And if shopping is what you fancy, you are in the right place. In between sights, you can eat just about anything, at any time, cooked in any style.
New York to Ithaca
Today you leave New York City’s excitement behind. On your way to Ithaca stop at West Point and take a tour of this scenic military academy on the west bank of the Hudson River. Travel on to Hyde Park where the Vanderbilt Mansion stands virtually unchanged from the time the family used it as their summer retreat. The grounds feature breathtaking views of the Hudson River and the distant Catskill Mountains. After touring the mansion, head just a bit west and take a closer look at the Catskills which are vivid with natural beauty and a place of inspiration. Walk the trails and discover their history in the stone houses of Hurley then continue on to Ithaca.
Ithaca to Niagara Falls
Drive from Ithaca this morning in the direction of the majestic Niagara Falls passing the Finger Lakes. Explore the wineries and gorges while enjoying the culinary delights of the Canandaigua Winery Trail in the Finger Lakes Region. At Niagara experience the sights and sounds of one of nature’s most beautiful creations. See the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls and then take an elevator ride 175 feet down to the base of Bridal Veil Falls where you can walk along a series of wooden stairs and decks. Feel the power of the Falls from the Hurricane Deck just feet from the pounding waters.
Niagara Falls to Corning
This morning is yours to do as you please. Take one more look at the Falls or explore the Greater Niagara Region. Another possibility is taking the one and a half hour drive up into Canada to visit Toronto. Or, maybe you just want to relax before you depart for Corning in the afternoon. Once in Corning be sure to visit the Museum of Glass which is the world’s largest glass museum, featuring 35 centuries of glass artistry and live glass-blowing demonstrations.
Corning to Lancaster PA
Leave Corning and travel south into Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Lancaster County is well-known for its quaint Amish villages where time has stood still. The Amish, also known as “the plain people”, are by far the best farmers in the country. Explore and discover the Amish life-style by taking an educational guided tour through an authentically furnished 1840s Old Order farmhouse then take a horse and buggy ride through town as the Amish people do. Enjoy an afternoon of shopping for pottery, arts and crafts that make great souvenirs before eating Amish foods prepared with hand-picked ingredients.
Lancaster, Annapolis, Washington D.C
If you decide to have breakfast at the hotel this morning make sure to sit by a window so you can witness a true Amish spectacle as the children run across the fields towards the one-room school house. Then drive from Lancaster towards Washington, DC. Along the way you will see the Chesapeake Bay area and all its lighthouses. While in the bay area, visit Annapolis which is the state capital of Maryland and a beautiful historical seaport. Tour the Maryland State House and stroll along the City Dock or take a tour of the US Naval Academy. Then continue to your hotel in Washington.
Today you will have a chance to explore the nation’s capital where, surprisingly, admission to most major attractions is free. See the city’s most famous sites which are mostly concentrated along the National Mall which expands from the Lincoln Memorial on the Potomac to the Capitol Building and Supreme Court on Capitol Hill. Along the Mall are the majority of the 18 museums which comprise the Smithsonian Institution, the War Memorials, the Washington Monument and the White House. Other points of interest are Arlington National Cemetery, the Library of Congress, the National Cathedral, and the National Zoo. Washington has also developed an active nightlife and boasts the world-class restaurants.
Philadelphia & depart for home
Today you leave Washington and travel through Philadelphia on the way to one of the airports in the New York area. Philadelphia is home to the Liberty Bell Pavilion, which houses the 2,080 lb. bell and Independence Hall, and both of these attractions are located within the National Historical Park and are well worth a visit if your flight schedule allows. Also make time for some last minute shopping before catching your flight home having seen the very best of the Eastern United States.