"LET FREEDOM RING" - Washington DC and Philadelphia April 6-17, 2016
It's cherry blossom time in Washington DC. You'll find when you travel with Happy Trails Tours, that we've slowed the pace just a little. We know how important it is to be able to enjoy all the wonderful sights and sounds of this amazing city which is why you'll notice we've included a detailed itinerary. This way you can actually see how each day unfolds. Over a million visitors travel annually to visit our Nation's Capital with all its monuments, museums, art galleries, libraries, shrines, churches, parks and monumental building and squares. It's an honor for Happy Trails Tours to bring groups to this magnificent city richly endowed with American history. We've been taking groups to DC and Philadelphia for nearly 30 years. So, needless to say, we know what our customers want to see. We've included FIVE wonderful nights in the Vienna, Virginia (20 minutes from Washington DC) and even a visit to Historic Gettysburg National Battlefield. There's also TWO nights in Philadelphia, PA to include a tour of the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, Valley Forge National Park and so much more. Read on for more details on this patriotic 12 day "Let Freedom Ring" Tour.
Your 12 Day "Let Freedom Ring" Washington DC and Philadelphia Tour Includes: ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Deluxe Round-trip Motor Coach Transportation by Trobec’s Bus Company – St Stephens Minnesota Northeast MN: Grand Rapids, Iron Range Cities, Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin. Central MN: Baxter, Little Falls, Rice and Sartell/St Cloud
11 nights Accommodations: Five nights in DC (Hilton Garden Inn Tyson's Corner) TWO Nights in Philadelphia (Double Tree in King of Prussia), Pre and Post Night Lodging en-route to DC : Elgin, Illinois (Country Inn & Suites); New Stanton, PA (Fairfield Inn); Dublin, Ohio (Drury Inn);
FIVE NIGHTS IN WASHINGTON DC
National Archives(Home of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution & Bill of Rights)
Memorials & Monuments: Lincoln, Jefferson, Vietnam, Korean, Iwo Jima, WW II, Air Force, FDR, MKL Memorial
United States Capitol Great Rotunda, Statuary Hall & Patriotic Film
Ford's Theater, Museum and the Peterson House
Mount Vernon Plantation & Home of George Washington (Dinner on the Estate)
Arlington National Cemetery Changing of the Guards, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Kennedy Gravesites.
American, Natural and Air & Space Smithsonians (Other nearby Smithsonian's: Native American & National Gallery of Art)
Gettysburg National Battlefield & Cyclorama / Museum (Lunch at the historic Dobbin House)
TWO NIGHTS IN PHILADELPHIA:
The Historic District, National Constitution Center, Society Hill, Independence Hall,
Betsy Ross Home, Christ Church, Carpenter's Hall, Liberty Bell & Valley Forge Encampment National Park
PLUS: Flight 93 New Memorial in Shanksville, PA and Hershey, Pennsylvania "Chocolate World" Tour Fifteen Meals- 11 Breakfasts at the hotels; 2 Dinners; 2 Lunches; 1 "Kick Back Reception" @ Drury Inn (Day 2) All Taxes, Luggage Handling and All Tips (Except for your on-board tour host and motor coach driver) Fully Escorted with a Happy Trails Tours Representative
Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservation is considered secure without a deposit paid.
Deposit of $150 per person is due when registering. Final balance is due February 20, 2016. Fully refundable before March 1, 2016.
Full refunds available with cancellations made no later January 6, 2016. Money orders, personal checks, credit card accepted.
Monies returned with cancellations from January 6, 2014 to Feb 6, 2016 are contingent on what Happy Trails Tours receives back from hotels, tour companies, charters, restaurants, and other attractions.
No refunds with cancellations after March 1, 2016.
Things to "Know before you go on your Washington DC Tour" ________________________________________________________________________________________________ How to Dress: Pack light. Bring casual clothing, comfortable shoes & a lightweight jacket. Everything we are doing or places we eat are casual. No need to pack a jacket & tie or dress outfits unless you wish to.
Luggage: Pack one suitcase each. This suitcase is delivered each night to your rooms by the porter. (Tips are included) You may bring a carry-on bag, as well, on board. Carry-on bags are handled by yourself. Do not make them heavier than what you can carrry. Many properties have indoor pools. Bring a camera, a raincoat, & an umbrella.
Hotels: The hotels are very nice throughout the entire tour. Most have indoor pools, coffeemakers, irons, ironing boards and fitness centers. Read the day-by-day about each property. The Drury Inn offers a "Quick Start" hot and cold appetizers and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) from 5 - 7 pm each day. Occassionally we have a property that does not have an elevator. Be sure to let us know if you have special needs.
Meals: There are many nice meals included in this tour. Most breakfasts are deluxe continentals. Many of the lunch / dinner meals will require you to select from a limited menu closer to the time we leave.
The Coach/ Seat Rotation: The coach is newer motorcoach with reclining seats, big windows, restroom, TV', CD & DVD and chartered through Trobec's Bus Company, St Stephens & Little Falls. They are beautiful coaches and they have great drivers, too. We practice an open seating upon boarding on the first day. We do not rotate seats so you will keep the seat you have throughout the tour. If you have a special need for seating, kindly let us know in advance. If the coach is full, we will assign seats according to physical need and the date of registration. We stop every 2 - 3 hours for breaks. PLEASE NOTE: Sometimes we end up on a stretch of interstate that may prevent us from stopping exactly at 2 - 3 hours. We do our best to accommodate but remember.there's also a restroom on board.
Special Needs: Be sure to let us know of any special needs...such as diet, walking, stairs, allergies or motion sickness, etc.. If you use a wheelchair, walker (one with a seat is best) or a scooter, please let us know. Please refrain from using strong cologns or perfumes while on board the coach. So many folks have allergies and we want everyone comfortable while traveling. Diabetics are encouraged to bring along some little snacks as we cannot always promise meal breaks on schedule though we do our best to. Remember we are also on eastern time zone. So pack accordingly.
Tipping: The tour includes tips for luggage handling, meals and step-on-guides while touring Washington DC and Gettysburg. Tips are not included for your driver & on board travel host.
On Board Activities: We play movies, play games, listen to CDs & tell stories as we pass the time along while traveling. If you have a cute joke or story (and it's appropriate for all audiences!) then we invite you to use the microphone and share your humor with all on board.
Travel Protection Insurance: Travel protection insurance offers financial security as well as, "peace of mind". Should a delay occur due to unforeseen weather, added expenses become the liability of the traveler, which travel insurance can help defray those expenses, as well. Cancellation insurance is available at an additional charge. Pre-existing conditions are waived when purchased within 12 days of your initial down payment. Call us for a brochure. 1-800-635-7779
Disclaimer: Happy Trails Tours acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, theater, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Happy Trails Tours, INC and their respective employees, agents, representatives accept no liability what-so-ever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other default of any company or person in performing these services. Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws or other causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of country in which they are provided. Happy Trails Tours INC is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours/trips arranged by Happy Trails Tours. Individual travelers are responsible for purchasing a travel insurance policy, if desired, that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
A Little Note About Schedule Changes: At this time, we will give you a preliminary list of the attractions included in this package. Though we've listed the attractions in a specific order, changes may occur. With many DC attractions being under the National Park Service, changes are always possible and likely to happen. Rest assured, you will see all that is planned unless circumstances beyond our control prevent it. This tour requires a fair amount of walking so please keep that in mind when registering for this tour. If you use a wheelchair, walker or electric scooters, bring it. If you do have special needs, kindly have someone with you to assist and please let us know in advance. We'd love for all to enjoy this tour regardless of physical abilities but we want everyone well prepared. We've been bringing groups to Washington DC for the past 25 years. We've had great feed back from our tour groups and we're certain that you, too, will have a fabulous time in DC.
Day 1-April 6 -Wednesday Travel to Elgin, Illinois 445 miles from Duluth
This is a preliminary boarding schedule similar to the one we used in previous years. Please note that the boarding 2016 schedule will be designed depending on how many and where folks are from throughout Northeast and Central Minnesota and Wisconsin. Thank you. Trobec Bus Company is our charter company. They offer newer model passenger coaches with reclining seats, huge windows, restroom on board, window shades, foot and arm rests, TV, CD and DVD player and sound system. Some even have seat belts and cup-holders. And the drivers at Trobecs are FANTASTIC!
5:30 AM- Grand Rapids Sawmill Inn
6:15 AM- Hibbing (Location to be announced).
6:45 AM- Virginia Village Inn
7:00 AM- Eveleth Super Eight (744-1661) (East side of parking lot)
7:50 am- Duluth Country Inn & Suites
8:00 AM- Duluth Perkins (Miller Hill Mall)- Breakfast break, paying on own.
8:45 am- Duluth Perkins Miller Hill Mall (Bus departs from Duluth at 9 am and continues our journey southeast)
Trobec Bus Company - A smaller TROBEC mini-bus or a full size coach (depending on how many people) will bring folks from Central Minnesota to Eau Clair, Wisconsin to meet the rest of the group for lunch. You will arrive around 11 am, take time to meet the rest of gang, have lunch and then continue together your journey southeast to DC.
6:30 AM- Little Falls -Trobec Bus ( TBA )(Brainerd has also been an optional boarding site)
7:00 AM- Trobec Bus Company - St Stephens, MN; (413 South county Road 2, St Stephens (320-251-1202)
8:00 AM- Sartell (AmericInn Inn on La Sauk Drive )
11:15 AM- All will meet in Eau Clair at the Oakwood Mall - This is a great venue to grab a quick lunch before we continue on.
12:00 PM- Re-board the coach. Other stops will be made as the day goes along ~ Enjoy your day getting acquainted with each other. Comfort stops are made as the day goes along.
4:30 PM- Estimated arrival to our hotel to Elgin, Illinois.
Hotel: Country Inn by Carlson 2270 Point Blvd, Elgin, Illinois # 847-426-6400 This property has an indoor pool, coffeemakers, irons & ironing boards in the rooms as well as hair dryers. They also offer a very good breakfast in the morning and nearby a great restaurant for dinner "Jimmy's Char House" (within walking distance).
Day 2- April 7- Thursday Travel to Columbus, OH (Hotel is located in Dublin) 390 miles
6:30 -7:30 am - Breakfast is served in the hotel - Set your luggage outside your doors at 6:30 am when you go to eat.
7:30 am- The bus departs Elgin, Illinois for Dublin, Ohio. (Dublin is near Columbus, Ohio.) This is another day dedicated to travel . so set your seats back, enjoy the company of fellow travelers on board, stops will be made every 2 ½ - 3 hours for meals and restroom stops. As we cross the Illinois/ Indiana border, we'll be on eastern-time zone.
6:00 pm- (Eastern Time) - Arrive to our hotel.
Hotel: Drury Inn Columbus NW - 6170 Parkcenter Circle, Dublin, OH # 614-875-7000 The Drury Inn will offer a wonderful hot buffet of appetizers, snacks and hot & cold beverages upon our arrival. Many people tell us they are satisfied with what is offered. However, there is a nice restaurant within walking distance. This property also offers two beds in the room, coffee makers, microwaves, hair dryers, irons & ironing boards.
Day 3-April 8 -Friday Travel to Washington DC 425 miles
6:30 - 7:15 am - Breakfast is served in the hotel - Set your luggage outside your doors at 6:30 am when you go to eat.
7:30 am- The bus departs Dublin, Ohio for DC. Stops will be made as they day goes along. Set your seats back and enjoy the scenery! The state of Pennsylvania is absolutely beautiful~
4:00 pm- Estimated arrival to Washington DC - Arrive into the city. We'll meet our Washington DC guide at the hotel, check in with a little Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn- Tyson's Corner 8301 Boone Blvd, Vienna, Va (5 Nights) #703-336-5386
The beautiful Hilton Garden Inn Tyson's Corner is in a fabulous location in Vienna, Virginia (About 20 minutes from downtown Washington DC.) The property has an an indoor pool, spa, fitness center, free- WI, a lounge and cafe. They also provide a hot breakfast each morning. There are coffee makers, microwaves, hair dryers, irons & ironing boards in the rooms. We are very close to the Tyson's Corner Shopping Mall and they'll offer free shuttles to anyone who would enjoy going there. (300 Stores, Anchor stores such as Macy's, Bloomingdales and Nordstroms, Lord & Tylor plus fabulous restaurants. They are open until 9:30 pm everynight.)
6:00 pm- Board the coach for your evening tour of the city. Visit the Jefferson Memorials, FDR & Martin Luther King Memorial at night when they are all lit up. Beautiful! Our tour will take us to the Tidal Basin as well where many of the historic cherry blossom trees are located.
8:30 pm- Return to the hotel with the rest of the evening to relax and enjoy as per our own agenda.
Day 4: April 9 -Saturday Exploring our Nation's Capitol in DC
6:30-8:30-Hot Breakfast is served in the restaurant at the hotel. Help yourselves.
8:30 am- Board the coach and we'll begin to explore this magnificent city. Important memorials that we'll visit today: Vietnam, Korean, Lincoln and WWII Memorial. We'll also visit the Historic Ford's Theater, Museum and Peterson House. Afterwards, we'll get a keepsake professional panoramic Group Photo taken with the capitol building in the background.
4:00 pm- Return to the hotel for a relaxing evening to enjoy as per your own agenda.
Day 5: April 10 - SundayMore Sights and Sounds of Washington DC
6:30-8:00-Enjoy the early morning as per your own agenda. Hot Breakfast is served in the restaurant at the hotel.
8:30 am- Board the bus as we set out to discover more wonderful sites and sounds of Washington DC! We'll visit the White House Visitors Center this morning. Here's the place where you can pick up a few souvenirs that you won't find anywhere else. The museum has been under construction so hopefully it'll be finished by the time we arrive.
10:45 am- Arrive for our 11:00 am appointment to visit the National Archives, where you'll view our most sacred documents to include, the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This tour is an hour long
1:15 pm- Travel to Mount Vernon, home of George Washington - There is a fair amount of walking here but lots of places to sit and rest.
1:30 pm- Lunch, included, at the Mount Vernon Inn (Restaurant is located on the grounds and offer several entrees to select from).
3:15 pm- We have a timed admission into George Washington's Home.
6:00 pm - Board the coach and travel to the hotel for the rest of the evening as per own agenda.
Day 6: April 11 - Monday More Sights and Sounds of Washington DC
6:30-8:30-Enjoy the early morning as per your own agenda. Hot Breakfast is served at the hotel. We will depart at 8:30 am for our Nation's Capitol Tour (Exact scheduled time to be announced. They do not take reservations until closer to the time we arrive). This tour will offer a brief introductory film which begins the preview of tour and then we'll walk with our tour guide through Statuary Hall and the Great Rotunda. This is about a two-hour tour. We'll be wearing head-sets so that we can hear the guide as we walk.
12:30 pm- After our lunch break, paying on our own, we'll spend the rest of the day between the American and the Natural History Smithsonians. Our plan will be to stay here until near closing time. Enjoy.
6:15 pm - Return to the hotel for the rest of the evening as per your own agenda.
Day 7: April 12 -Tuesday More Sights and Sounds of Washington DC
6:30-8:30-Enjoy the early morning as per your own agenda. Hot Breakfast is served at the hotel.
8:30 am- Board the coach as we set out on our last day of touring this magnificent city! Before our visit to Arlington, we'll take a drive along Embassy Row, past the National Cathedral to see the Iwo Jima Memorial. This morning, we have a 10 am appointment to visit Arlington National Cemetery. Our tour will include visits to the Kennedy Grave Sites and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tour will last about 2 hours.
12:30 pm -The rest of this day will be dedicated to the following Smithsonian's - You decide if you wish to split your time at two or three.... or spend all your time at just one! Choices are Air & Space Museum, Native American Smithsonian or National Gallery of Art Smithsonian.
6:00 pm- Board the bus and return to the hotel. (They'll be changing to summer hours soon, so the time my change) We'll keep you informed. On our way home, we'll make a stop at the Air Force Memorial - Bring your camera as the view over the city is spectacular! The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy as per your own agenda.
Day 8- April 13 - Wednesday Travel to Philadelphia (with a side trip to Gettysburg) 200 Miles
6:00-7:00-Enjoy Hot Breakfast this morning - Set your luggage outside your door at 6:00 am. Full Breakfast is served at the hotel.
7:00 am- We're off bright and early this morning for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (86 miles away). The scenery along the way is quite lovely.
8:30 am- Estimated arrival to Gettysburg National Military Park for our 9:30 am Cyclorama Tour. Here we'll experience the "Cyclorama", visit the museum and gift shop before going out on a narrated battlefield tour.
Note: The "Cyclorama" was a very popular form of entertainment in the late 1800's, both in America and Europe. Most cycloramas depicted dramatic events such as great battles, religious epics, or scenes from great works of literature. Hundreds were in the early1800's, yet most were lost or destroyed as their popularity died out with the introduction of a more entertaining art form, motion pictures. The "Battle of Gettysburg" Cyclorama at Gettysburg National Military Park, painted by the French artist Paul Philippoteaux, is one that has survived. This fantastic painting brings the fury of the final Confederate assault on July 3, 1863 to life, providing the viewer with a sense of what occurred at the battle long touted as the turning point of the Civil War.
10:30 - 12:30 am- We'll take you on the battlefield for your park ranger narrated tour of Gettysburg National Battlefield.
12:45 pm: Arrive to the historic Dobbin House. Your lunch is included today. You'll be offered two entree selections. (There is a flight of stairs to where we eat. If you cannot do the steps, they are happy to serve those folks their meal downstairs.) This charming home dates back to the1700's and is filled with history. (The food is delicious, too!) Be sure to walk up the winding staircase to the upper level and see where the run away slaves hid during the "Underground Rail Road" era.
2:45 pm- Board the coach and continue on to Philadelphia.
4:45 pm- Check into our hotel tonight. Hotel: Doubletree Hotel (2 nights) 301 West Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia, PA # 610-265-4500 This is a beautiful property. It's a full service hotel with a restaurant and a lounge. They serve a full hot breakfast each morning. They have an outdoor pool, fitness center and free Wi-Fi. It also offers two beds in the rooms, coffeemakers, irons and boards and hairdryers.
Day 9- April 14 - Thursday The Sites and Sounds of Philadelphia!
7:00 - 8:00 am-A Hot Breakfast is served at the hotel.
8:15 am- We'll depart the hotel in King of Prussia and begin our morning with a visit to the National Constitution Center. We'll see the introductory film "Freedom Rising" before exploring the many interactive exhibits on display. Our lunch break will be at the Reading Terminal Market. (This is a fun experience and local favorite stop!). The afternoon brings us to Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Carpenter's Hall, Franklin Court and Christ Church. Our last stop is the Betsy Ross Home.
5:30 pm- A wonderful dinner, tonight at the "City Tavern" Restaurant. You'll be able to select from two entree selections.
7:30 pm- Return to the hotel for well deserved night's rest. Hotel: Doubletree Hotel (2nd night) 301 West Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia, PA # 610-265-4500
Day 10- April 15 - Friday Travel to Monroeville, PA 275 Miles (Valley Forge Encampment, Hershey's Chocolate & Flight 93 Memorial)
7:00 - 8:00 am -A Hot Breakfast is served at the hotel. Set your luggage outside your doors at 7 am when you go to breakfast.
8:00 am- The bus departs the hotel and we'll make our way to Valley Forge National Park. We'll see the reconstructed huts,Washington's Headquarters, Washington Memorial Chapel and the Valley Forge visitor's center.
10:30 am- We'll be on the road once again ... but this time we'll have CHOCOLATE on our minds!!! 1 1/2 hours away is Hershey,PA.
12:15 pm- We'll arrive to Hershey, Pennsylvania for our Chocolate Tour. It's likely to be dessert before our lunch, paying on own. Enjoy!
1:45 pm- The group continues west with one more stop to make before ending our day of travel. This one is in Shanksville, PA (2 1/2 hours away).
4:15 pm- Since we are so close to the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA, a somber reminder of the tragic events that happened on September 1, 2011. We have been stopping at this sight for the quite a few years and have been watching as they continue to build this amazing memorial to those who lost their lives on that day. We hope you find it as touching as we do.
5:00 pm - Board the coach and continue to Monroeville, PA.
6:15 pm- Estimated arrival to the hotel. Hotel: Hampton Inn 300 Mosside Blvd, Monroeville, PA # 412-380-4000 This property has an indoor pool and hot tub. It also offers two beds in the room, coffee makers, microwaves, hair dryers, irons & ironing boards. For dinner, there's a wonderful Bob Evans Family Restaurant (located next door) where you order & pay on own.
Day 11- April 16- Saturday Travel to Elgin, Illinois 400 miles
7:00-8:00 am - Hot Breakfast is included this morning. Set your luggage outside your door for the porter when you go to breakfast.
8:00 am- The bus departs. We'll make stops throughout the day as needed. We'll get lunch somewhere around the Toledo, Ohio area. Our estimated arrival home tonight will be 5:00 pm (Central). We'll gain our hour back today as we return to central time.
5:00 pm- (Central Time) - Arrive to Elgin, Illinois.
Hotel: Country Inn & Suites 2270 Point Boulevard, Elgin, IL # 847-426-6400 This property has an indoor pool, coffeemakers, irons & ironing boards in the rooms as well as hair dryers. They also offer a very good breakfast in the morning and nearby a great restaurant for dinner "Jimmy's Char House" (within walking distance).
Day 12 -April 17 - Sunday Homeward Bound 282 miles to Eau Clair, WI (+ 159 to Duluth) or (+236 to Baxter) A Hot breakfast is served at the hotel.
7:00 am- Set your luggage outside your doors this morning.
8:00 am- The bus departs for home. We'll travel 285 miles to Eau Clair (Oakwood Mall) (4 ½ hours). Here we'll meet our Trobec driver.
12:45 pm- Estimated arrival to Eau Clair, Wisconsin - Oakdale Mall. Lunch break will be here.
1:30 pm- We'll depart Eau Clair after our lunch. At this time we'll also say good-bye to our west-central friends as here is where they will meet their shuttle ride. We'll also say good-bye to our Trobec driver as he/she will drive them home. (This shortens the day considerably also allowing our driver to stay within legal driving hours).
Our friends from Central Minnesota will arrive home between 4:45 - 6:15 pm depending on where they are from. Our friends from the Duluth / Superior area will arrive home between 4:15 -4:45 pm. Our friends from the Iron Range area will return home between 6:00 pm- 7:15 pm depending on where they are from.