America's Historic East

14 Days from £2,549

East USA American History Tour Package

From antebellum mansions to Amish Dutch Country and the White House, this tour delves into the beginnings of modern America. 

Departure from: Sep 2019 - Sep 2019


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  • ​Return flights from Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic
  • 12 nights in hotels of a good standard plus 1 night in flight
  • 12 breakfasts​
  • Travelsphere Tour Manager and Local Guide
  • Overseas transfers and other transportation
  • Porterage​

Included holiday highlights

  • ​​Atlanta tour, including Martin Luther King Museum
  • Charleston's Magnolia Plantation and gardens
  • Elegant Charleston
  • ​Wilmington, on the banks of the Cape Fear River
  • Richmond, on the shores of the James River
  • Tours of Jamestown and Williamsburg
  • Visit Monticello, once home to Thomas Jefferson 
  • Capital of the United States, Washington DC
  • Experience the 'Plain' lifestyle in Amish Dutch Country
  • The USA's original capital Philadelphia

Your Itinerary


Day 1 UK/Atlanta

Today you'll fly to Atlanta, Georgia. On arrival we'll transfer you to your hotel for a two-night stay.​

Day 2 Atlanta

Get to know the city on a tour this morning that includes Peachtree Street and the gold-domed Georgia State Capitol. Visits to the grave site of Dr Martin Luther King and a museum dedicated to the civil rights leader, who was born in Atlanta, are further highlights.
Explore at your own pace later, or join our optional visit to Stone Mountain to see the incredible Confederate Memorial Carving. The carved surface measures about 3 acres and depicts three Confederate figures of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E Lee and Thomas J 'Stonewall' Jackson.

Day 3 Savannah

A scenic drive through the Georgia countryside takes us to the Atlantic Coast and our new base of Savannah.​

Day 4 Savannah

You can set your own pace as you explore Savannah today. The city boasts more than 20 historic squares, shaded by oak trees and surrounded by elegant homes, charming churches and fascinating museums. Be sure to take in Chippewa Square, where scenes from Forrest Gump were filmed. You'll also want to spend time by the waterfront, where old cotton warehouses have been converted into galleries, antique shops, boutiques and restaurants. An optional sightseeing ride comes highly recommended in this city that is the epitome of Southern living and home to a wonderful collection of antebellum mansions.

This evening, why not make a beeline for the cobbled street alongside the river. It's home to a myriad of restaurants and bars where bands and musicians often play. Savannah is one of the few places in America where you can legally walk around with a drink, so ask for a 'to-go cup' and soak up the sociable atmosphere!

Day 5 Charleston

Our journey to Charleston takes us first to the beautiful Magnolia Plantation House and Gardens, founded by the Drayton family in 1676, when they arrived here from Barbados. Through the cultivation of rice, the family amassed great wealth and later, during the American Revolution, their descendants fought against British rule. We'll take a tour to learn more about the family and their home.

Day 6 Charleston

Founded in 1670, Charleston is the oldest city on America's Eastern seaboard. It's built around a lovely natural harbour and distinctive palmetto palm trees line its charming streets. As we explore the Old Town together, highlights include the waterfront, the old slave mart and the exchange building.

You're free to make your own discoveries this afternoon. You could head to the historic City Market and spend some time shopping for souvenirs – look out for stalls selling sweetgrass baskets and other handicrafts of African origin. Alternatively, a fascinating optional tour will take you on a cruise to Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired. You'll learn more about the history of the conflict and see a network of waterways, marshland and bridges along the way.

Charleston's restaurant scene is considered to be one of the best in the country, so why not head out this evening and sample some local specialities.

Day 7 Wilmington

Today we head to Wilmington in North Carolina, set on the banks of the Cape Fear River. It's one of the USA's oldest seaports and we'll take a tour of its highlights on arrival.​

Day 8 Richmond

We're heading north today to the state of Virginia, where our base for two nights is Richmond, capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
Today Richmond is a buzzing city, located on the banks of the James River. Here you will find the Virginia State Capitol, a building designed by Thomas Jefferson, and Monument Avenue with its statues of well-known Confederate figures. And if it's fashionable shops and restaurants you crave, be sure to make a beeline for the historic district of Shockoe Slip.

Day 9 Jamestown & Williamsburg

Today you're going to experience the beginnings of modern America, starting in historic Jamestown, where the first British settlement was established in 1607. Next we'll visit Colonial Williamsburg, which has been faithfully restored to its original 18th century state. Set your own pace on a stroll which will transport you back in time. You'll see craftsmen and traders wearing authentic costumes and instead of cars, the only way to travel here is by horse-drawn carriage.​

Day 10 Washington DC

Your highlight today is a visit to Monticello, the magnificent home of Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence. After your tour, we travel onwards to Washington DC, our base for the next two nights.​

Day 11 Washington DC

The capital of the United States of America, Washington DC radiates outwards from the Capitol Building. On our morning tour we will see the White House, the US Treasury and many of the city's other famous landmarks. We'll pass the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial and the Washington Memorial, which stretch along the Mall to the Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon.
Take time to make your own discoveries this afternoon, you could choose to visit one of the many Smithsonian museums located along the National Mall.​ They are all free to enter, and there's something for everyone, from the American Art Museum, to the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum.

Day 12 Lancaster

We've a complete change of pace today as we drive to Lancaster County. In the home of America's oldest Amish settlement you'll experience the centuries-old 'Plain' lifestyle still lived by thousands of people. We'll take a tour of the Dutch Country, where windmills are used to harness the power of nature and the horse and buggy is the primary form of transportation.
Our final destination today is Philadelphia.​

Day 13 Philadelphia/UK

We'll explore Philadelphia together this morning, it was the USA's original capital city, and is where the Declaration of Independence was written, signed and introduced to the public in 1776. On our tour we'll see highlights including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Franklin Institute. You've then got time to make your own discoveries, before we take you to the airport for your flight home.​

Day 14 UK

​You'll arrive in the UK today.


Every hotel you will stay in on your holiday is hand-picked by us. We relish the challenge of finding the right accommodation for each and every tour, whether it's chosen for its location, its facilities or its downright quirkiness.


Day 1 - 2 :

Holiday Inn Express Atlanta Downtown
The 3-star Holiday Inn Express & Suites Downtown is situated in Atlanta.

Hotel facilities include a breakfast buffet and a gym. Bedrooms have private facilities, air-conditioning, hairdryer, complimentary wi-fi, tea/coffee-making facilities and a TV.

Day 3 - 4 :

Staybridge Suites Savannah Historic District
Bright rooms offer free WiFi, desks with ergonomic chairs and flat-screen TVs with premium channels, as well as pillow-top mattresses, coffeemakers, minifridges and microwaves. Hot breakfast is included. There’s an outdoor pool with a bar, a business centre, laundry facilities and a shuttle service to Old Town. Amenities with 24/7 access include a fitness centre and a convenience store.

Day 5 - 6 :

Holiday Inn Riverview Charleston
The 4-star Holiday Inn Riverview is situated next to all the best attractions in Charleston.

Hotel facilities include a restaurant, gym and a swimming pool. Bedrooms have private facilities, hairdryer, complimentary Wi-Fi, tea/coffee-making facilities and a TV.

Day 7 :

Best Western Plus Wilmington Wrightsville Beach
At the Best Western Plus Wilmington Wrightsville Beach facilities include an outdoor pool, and fitness centre. Hotel rooms benefit from air-conditioning, fridge, ensuite, cable TV and Wi-Fi.

Day 8 - 9 :

Hampton Inn & Suites Richmond Downtown
Conveniently located in the city centre this hotel is just steps away from the Virginia State Capitol. Rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, coffee-making facilities, minifridges and microwaves. Other hotel facilities include a restaurant, a cocktail bar, an outdoor pool and an exercise room with city views.

Day 10 - 11 :

The Fairfax at Embassy Row
Housed in a stately 1927 building, this luxury hotel is a 3-minute walk from the Dupont Circle Metro station and 1 mile from The White House. The rooms feature Georgian-style decor, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks. Property features include fitness centre. Dining options include an elegant lounge with fireplaces and a classic American restaurant.

Day 12 :

Embassy Suites Philadelphia City Center
This uniquely designed hotel is ideally located on the famous Benjamin Franklin Parkway, close to many popular attractions including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation and Rittenhouse Square. The hotel facilities include an American restaurant and fitness centre.

Dates and Prices

You have chosen to arrange your own flights and transfers and meet us at your first hotel. Please see essential information for full terms and conditions.


13 days

Sunday 08 September 2019




Book Now


SUN 08 SEP 19

London (Heathrow)





Virgin Atlantic

Sunday 08 September 2019


10:10 London (Heathrow)


14:40 Atlanta (Hartsfield)

Operated by

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic - VS

Friday 20 September 2019


22:00 Newark (Liberty Intl)


10:05 London (Heathrow)

Operated by

Virgin Atlantic

Prices are based on twin occupancy of a double or twin bedded room. Single occupancy supplements will apply. Travelsphere have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the hotel images provided on this website and images of room types displayed may vary to those offered on your tour. Therefore due to the possibility of inadvertent errors we do not guarantee their accuracy. Hotels, airlines used and flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in your final documents.

Optional Excursions

Experience even more of your destination by adding one or more optional excursions to your holiday before you set off. Right now is the perfect opportunity to do that – with everything booked and paid for you’ll have even more to get excited about and all you’ll need to think about while you’re away is having a great time.

By the way - look out for ‘Optional Excursion Packages’. For some holidays we’ve grouped a selection of excursions into a package which means you can make a saving when you book in advance.

Prices shown may vary according to departure date and are subject to change.  The full range of excursions will be detailed in your holiday information pack, sent approximately 15 weeks prior to departure.

USA - Charleston Harbour cruise

FROM £22

Enjoy a relaxing 30 minute cruise through Charleston's historic harbour out to Fort Sumter. The tour is fully narrated and explains many points of interest and historic significance of Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired. After one hour at the Fort, you will cruise back to port, enjoying panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Charleston's bustling harbour.

2-3 hours - Scenic Cruise - Historical


USA - Evening tour of Washington

FROM £38

This evening tour of Washington includes a visit to the historic Union Station where you'll be able to admire its amazing architecture and enjoy dinner (not included in the price) in one of its many restaurants. You'll then continue with a guided tour of the memorials of the city, including the Korean, the Lincoln and the Vietnam Memorials.

Evening Excursion - Moderate Walking - Historical Interest


USA - Atlanta - Stone Mountain

FROM £29

Stone Mountain is Georgia's most visited attraction and features lush scenery and many historical points of interests as well as activities. We will get the opportunity to discover the Stone Mountain Museum at Memorial Hall. Discovering Stone Mountain Museum features artifacts and stories that span 12,000 years, from ancient civilizations that lived on the mountain to the present-day park. Learn about Native Americans and pioneer settlers. See how the community was affected by the Civil War and how Stone Mountain granite helped build the local economy. Subject to local conditions we will also be able to take a fantastic Sky Ride up the mountain with incredible views of the surrounding area.

Half Day - Moderate Walking - Highly Recommended

This must be pre-booked with us 5 days prior to UK departure.


USA - Savannah Trolley-Bus City Tour

FROM £23

See the sights of Savannah with a specialist local tour conductor who will provide expert commentary of the city, known as one of the most enchanting in the United States. You will learn about the history of the city with its extraordinary architecture, lush botanicals and charming city squares.

Duration 90 minutes - Minimal Walking - A Must!



Take the opportunity to maximise your travel experience and extend your holiday with an add-on. The number of days shown is inclusive of the main tour and the price shown is in addition to the cost of the main tour:

America's Historic East with New York Add-on

Extend your holiday to 17 days from £649

Sep 2019 - Sep 2019 Departures

​Extend your holiday with a three night add on in New York, which includes a half day city tour, walking tours of Central Park and Fifth Avenue and a sightseeing cruise with lunch.

Your add on includes:

* Transfers

* 3 nights accomodation on a room only basis

* The services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager

* Porterage

Your Hotel - You will stay in a hotel such as the New York Marriott Eastside.

Please note our Make your own way option does not apply if you book this option. 

Day 14 New York

Today is the day that you get to see New York's iconic renowned attractions on a sightseeing tour. Your Local Guide will take you past hotspots including the Empire State Building, Wall Street and Broadway. You'll see the One World Trade Center and the Chrysler Building before heading to Chinatown. Last but not least, you'll find yourself in bustling Times Square, one of the most visited places in the world.
You can spend tonight as you please. If you'd like to see the bright lights of New York in company, come with us on an optional excursion to the Empire State Building. If you go your own way, a visit to Grand Central Station is highly recommended. This famous destination has featured in many movies and is the largest train station in the world. Admire the stunning ceiling in the central concourse and maybe stop for a drink or a bite to eat – there are loads of restaurants to choose from.

Day 15 New York

Your day begins as you take the subway to Central Park, to enjoy a stroll in the company of a knowledgeable Local Guide. You'll hear all about its history, planning and development, and depending on the route we take, highlights could include the Jackie Onassis Reservoir, built to commemorate the first lady, and Strawberry Fields. This section of the park is dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, and here you can sit and enjoy the Imagine mosaic beneath the shade of American elms. The world-famous singer, songwriter and peace activist was murdered outside his apartment in the Dakota building, opposite the park. 
When we leave the park, you've the chance to do a spot of window shopping on a guided walk along historic Fifth Avenue. This is where you'll find some of the world's most prestigious shopping names including Tiffany & Co, Cartier and Gucci. It's also home to legendary department stores including Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's. 
An afternoon and evening to yourself gives you the chance to explore further or maybe take in a Broadway show. The sightseeing possibilities are endless, and your Tour Manager will be happy to advise you on the best places to go.

Day 16 New York / UK

You've explored Manhattan by foot, so now it's time to take in the views from the water. Today's excursion is a fabulous Bateaux New York lunch cruise with great food and live piano music.
During this two-hour cruise on the Hudson River, you'll see many famous landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Battery Park and One World Trade Center. Pass under the famous bridges of Brooklyn and Williamsburg and circle the incredible Statue of Liberty – this symbol of freedom and democracy is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world. You'll also see Ellis Island, the gateway to the US for more than 12 million immigrants from 1892 to 1954.
Later, we will transfer you to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

Day 17 UK

You'll arrive in the UK today. ​

Local Knowledge

We asked some of our Tour Managers to sum up what they really love about this tour. Here's what they said:

Local Knowledge

“Indulge in some retail therapy in the boutiques along historic King Street, one of the most stylish shopping locations in Charleston”

Martin Luther King Jr - a legendary leader

Born on 15 January 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King Jr grew up in a time of racial segregation. Destined to become the leader of the Civil Rights Movement, he would be remembered forever for his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech, a passionate call for an end to racism.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic SiteAssassination

The Baptist minister became a civil rights activist early in his career, using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. In 1964, he would receive the Nobel Peace Prize for combatting racial inequality in this way. But on 4 April 1968, aged just 39, he was assassinated in Memphis by James Earl Ray, an act that sparked mass riots across the USA. This was the greatest wave of social unrest the country had seen since the Civil War.

Call for equality

Dr King was shot on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel, and on this site now stands the National Civil Rights Museum complex. The exhibits here tell the story of the Civil Rights Movement, from resistance during slavery to the events of the late 20th century that inspired the call for equality.

‘Free at last’

After his assassination, Dr King was taken home to Atlanta. Here you can learn all about his life at the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site Visitor Center. You can see where he was born, lived, worked and worshipped. You can also pay your respects at his grave site. His Georgia marble tomb, reflecting his southern roots, can be found close to the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he had preached. Inscribed upon it is an epitaph taken from his most famous speech, which says ‘Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.’ An eternal flame was added to the tomb in 1977, and in 2006 when his wife, Coretta Scott King died, she joined her husband here after a nearly 40-year separation.

Plantation house with an incredible history

Take a trip to America’s Deep South and a visit to an antebellum mansion is likely to feature on your must-do list. Characterised by Georgian, Neo-classical and Greek revival-style architecture, these glorious pre-Civil War buildings epitomise southern living. The facades of these opulent homes more often than not have huge pillars, a balcony running the entire length – to provide shade – and massive central entrances.

Preservation debate

Magnolia Plantation HouseUsually built as plantation homes, the debate rages over whether they should be preserved or not, as many were built from the vast fortunes amassed through slavery, oppression and cruelty. But there is also the argument that they should be maintained to ensure we never forget this terrible period in history nor repeat it.

Vast wealth

The Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina, was founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, when Thomas and his wife Ann arrived here from Barbados. Through the cultivation of rice, the plantation thrived and the family amassed a vast wealth.

No male heirs

Fast-forward to 1825, when Drayton’s great-grandson Thomas died, the plantation was left to his daughter’s sons, Thomas and John Grimké, as he had no male heirs. One condition was that they would assume their mother’s maiden name of Drayton. Soon afterwards the young Thomas was killed in a hunting accident, leaving John, who was in England preparing for the ministry, to come home and run the plantation.

‘Earthly paradise’

He developed tuberculosis in 1838, and took to tending the gardens in a bid to recuperate, and quite miraculously, he pulled through. Even when he then returned to the ministry, he still devoted plenty of time to the gardens to create an ‘earthly paradise’ for his wife, Julia.

The house was named after the Southern magnolia tree, but the gardens are actually known better for the wide variety of camellias and azaleas on show. In fact, it was John Grimké Drayton who introduced the first azaleas to America, and he was among the first to use camellia japonica outdoors.

American Civil War

The family, the house and the gardens all came under threat at the outbreak of the American Civil War, but survived. And when the gardens first opened to the public in 1870, they saved the plantation from ruin, and today they are one of the greatest public gardens in America.

Magnolia Plantation Gardens

Tour Images

Please note: images shown below have come from various sources including agents, customers, employees and partners and are representative of this tour but we cannot guarantee that all destinations or activities shown will feature on a particular departure.

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