Starting in/Ending in: Washington DC
Total driving distance approximately 384 miles
Brutal days-long battles, young soldiers dying in unprecedented numbers and Americans fighting one another. These realities of the Civil War have left a dark but memorable stamp on the nation’s history. As America’s deadliest conflict, the Civil War attracts history aficionados and novices alike.
- Washington DC
- Manassas National Battlefield Park
- Shenandoah National Park
- Blue Ridge Mountains
- Gettysburg National Military Park
Day 1: Arrive in Washington DC and begin exploring this historic city.
Overnight: Holiday Inn Washington Capitol, Washington, D.C. (2 Nights)
Day 2: It is unthinkable to begin any journey learning about Civil War history without first exploring Washington, D.C. At the western end of the National Mall is the Lincoln Memorial, which honors the memory of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president. Arlington National Cemetery was established during the 1861-1865 Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, once the estate of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s wife and has been a military cemetery ever since.
Day 3: After leaving Washington, D.C., the next stop is Manassas National Battlefield Park, north of Manassas, Virginia. The site commemorates two battles, one in 1861 and the other a year later, between the Union and Confederate armies. This is where Confederate Gen. Thomas Jackson earned the nickname ‘Stonewall’. South of Manassas is Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, known as ‘Americas Battleground’, where four Civil War battles were fought, and the war came to its climax. A key city in the Civil War was Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America for much of the war. The Richmond National Battlefield Park commemorates the many battles fought and the defense of the city.
Overnight: Hampton Inn Richmond – Downtown (Complimentary Continental Breakfast), Richmond, Virginia
Day 4: Do not leave Richmond before visiting the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, which celebrates the life of Walker, who was born to a former slave and later became the first African American woman to charter a bank in the USA. A civil rights activist, she devoted her life to helping African Americans. Take a respite from Civil War history to explore the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park.
Overnight: Skyland Resort, Shenandoah National Park/Luray, Virginia (2 nights)
Day 5: Take a respite from Civil War history to explore the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park. Travel the spectacular Skyline Drive, then take a hike on over 500 miles (805 km) of trails to experience lush forests, waterfalls, incredible views and wildlife.
Day 6: Leave Shenandoah National Park and take a step back in time at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, site of the famous abolitionist uprising of 1859 led by John Brown. Tour this historic community and find battle – fields, museums, a variety of hiking trails, and old-fashioned taverns and shops. Now, travel to Gettysburg National Military Park, site of the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, a turning point for the Union in the Civil War and the inspiration for Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Overnight: Hilton Garden Inn Gettysburg, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Day 7: Return to Washington, D.C., to continue to explore the USA capital. The African American Civil War Memorial honors the African American soldiers and sailors who fought for freedom from slavery during the Civil War. A must-stop is Ford’s Theater; tour the museum that tells the story of the fateful night in 1865 when Lincoln was assassinated.
Overnight: Holiday Inn Washington Capitol, Washington, D.C.
- 7 hotel nights at published hotels (or similar), local hotel taxes and resort fees (except where mentioned), travel tips, maps, and brochures. Complimentary Breakfast subject to change at the hotel’s discretion.
- Rental car, gas, parking fees, porterage, flights, airport transfers,
- meals, unless otherwise specified in the tour description, park & attractions entrance fees, unless otherwise specified in the tour description, ferry charges, travel insurance.