20744
Washington D.C.
Signature City Washington, D.C.
Gain a deeper understanding of the nation’s capital, uncovering D.C.’s hidden landmarks, iconography, vibrant history and strange legends alongside both historians and local experts.
Rating (4.89)
Program No. 20744RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,499
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Washington, DC
D
Grand Hyatt Washington

Activity note: Hotel check in is available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 3:00 pm. Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to pick up your arrival packet containing your name tag, the up-to-date schedule, and to confirm the time of the orientation session. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome, introduce everyone, and provide key staff contact names and phone numbers. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a welcome dinner with the group.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
2
Lecture, Monuments & Memorials, Tudor Palace, Cathedral
Washington, DC
B,L,D
Grand Hyatt Washington

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Lecture: "DC's Masonic Roots." Thanks to numerous books and movies, many people know of Masons but relatively few know exactly who they are and what they believe. There are also many myths, legends, and mysteries surrounding the role of Masons in the founding of the United States. Dan Brown’s best selling novel “The Lost Symbol” — set in Washington DC — blended Masonic history into his fantastic story. We’ll be joined by a 33rd Degree Mason who will help us separate fact and fiction as we examine the influence of Masonic teachings on our nation's Founding fathers, and learn about Masonic symbols throughout the city. Following the lecture, we’ll get an overview of our nation’s capital via motor coach. Learn more about your surroundings from your group leader as you see the iconic monuments and historic sites that make Washington, D.C. not only the nation’s capital but one of its most unique cities.

Lunch: Tea and its rituals have been enjoyed at Tudor Place for 200 years. For lunch today, we will enjoy an elegant Victorian tea party at a 1816 historic home of Martha Washington's granddaughter.

Afternoon: After lunch, learn about the Tudor Place landscaped gardens and historic home during an expert led walk. We’ll then take an expert led field trip to Washington National Cathedral. See Woodrow Wilson's Tomb, marvel at the ironwork, and learn the history behind the country's “National House of Prayer.” Pierre L’Enfant, the architect President George Washington commissioned in 1791 to create a master plan for the nation’s capital, envisioned it. The cathedral’s “birth certificate” authorizing construction was signed in 1893, but the cornerstone was not laid until 1907. It was officially completed in 1990 and is recognized today as one of the great achievements of ecclesiastical architecture.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Library of Congress, U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, DC
B,L
Grand Hyatt Washington

Activity note: Use of DC Metro public transportation system; in the event escalators are out of service, there will be 2-3 flights of stairs to climb. Extra security screening is in place at the U.S. Capitol. The Group Leader will advise what can and cannot be brought into the building prior to our field trip.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: To begin our day, we will walk from the hotel to the Washington DC Metro and head to the Library of Congress (LOC) for a self-led exploration; detailed brochures are available from Information Desks in the Thomas Jefferson Building. The LOC is America’s oldest federal cultural institution, established in 1800 by an Act of Congress. When the British burned the original collection housed in the capitol building in 1814, Thomas Jefferson replaced it with his own personal library. The LOC has grown to become the largest library in the world with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps, manuscripts, and other resources. The main Reading Room is one of the most magnificent spaces in Washington.

Lunch: Lunch at the Madison Cafe located in the Library of Congress.

Afternoon: Next, walk to the United States Capitol Visitor Center where we’ll see a short film that traces the development of our democracy and introduces the amazing building that houses our Congress: the House of Representatives and the Senate. We’ll see the Crypt, Statuary Hall, and the Rotunda with a representative from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. “The Capitol is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world. The Senate and the House of Representatives have met here for more than two centuries. Begun in 1793, the Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored; today, it stands as a monument not only to its builders but also to the American people and their government.” (https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/) We will return to the hotel via Metro.

Dinner: Dinner is on your own this evening to explore and sample the city's numerous dining options. Your group leader will be happy to offer suggestions. .

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Ford’s Theater, National Portrait Gallery, Performance
Washington, DC
B,L,D
Grand Hyatt Washington

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Departing the hotel, we will walk to Ford's Theater, still a working professional theater. We will explore Ford's Theater and trace the events leading up to Lincoln's assassination on April 14th, 1865. Next, we will head across the street to the Peterson House where Lincoln died the following day, and explore the recently opened Center for Education and Leadership. The museum presents interactive exhibits on the presidency of Abraham Lincoln as well as historic artifacts including the deringer John Wilkes Booth used on the night of April 14, 1865, as well as clothing President Lincoln wore the night he was shot. The Peterson House across the street is where President Lincoln died. The adjacent Center for Education and Leadership opened in 2012. It features two floors of permanent exhibits addressing the aftermath of Lincoln’s death, his legacy, rotating exhibits, and extensive spaces for school programs and professional development for educators.

Lunch: We will walk across the street to have lunch at the National Portrait Gallery, with vouchers provided.

Afternoon: Spend some time exploring the National Portrait Gallery on your own after lunch. The National Portrait Gallery illustrates the extraordinary diversity of people who have had an impact on our country and our culture, including the only complete collection of presidential portraits outside of the White House. Your group will walk back the hotel at 3:00. Free time: Return to the hotel with the group or stay at the National Portrait Gallery to continue exploring if you wish.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Performance:We will head to the Kennedy Center this evening to enjoy a live performance of the opera "Aida." This epic performance presents the story of a young woman enslaved in Egypt, who falls secretly and forbiddenly in love with military hero Radamès even while the King of King of Egypt's own daughter Amneris desperately seeks Radamès's affections for herself. Giuseppe Verdi's expressive music brings this classic and epic love triangle vibrantly to life. (http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/event/OSOSA)

DAY
5
Kennedy Center, Free Time, Farewell Dinner
Washington, DC
B,L,D
Grand Hyatt Washington

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Boarding the motor coach, we will depart to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on the banks of the Potomac River. The Kennedy Center annually presents some 3,000 events in all areas of the performing arts for an audience of more than 2 million people. The genesis of a national cultural center goes back to 1958. The finished complex was named as a living memorial to President Kennedy, its greatest advocate, after his death in 1963. We will have an expert led exploration, learn how our national cultural center developed, and see an interactive exhibit on the life and presidency of John F. Kennedy.

Lunch: At the Kennedy Center Cafe, we will have boxed lunches with a choice of sandwich or salad, and chips, cookie or fruit with bottled soft drink or water.

Afternoon: The afternoon is free for you to enjoy the city on your own. Suggestions for activities have been provided on the sheet in your welcome folder, or your group leader would be happy to make their own recommendations.

Dinner: At the hotel, we will have a farewell dinner. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for departure following our final activity in the morning.

DAY
6
Lafayette Square Neighborhood, Program Concludes
Washington, DC
B

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles. Hotel check out is by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: For our final field trip, we will walk to the historic Lafayette Square Neighborhood and explore on foot with our Group Leader. During our field trip, gaze upon landmarks that tell the history of our nations, such as St. John’s Church and the White House. As we walk, enjoy commentary and stories about U.S. presidents and the first ladies. After exploring Lafayette Square, we will walk back to the hotel. This concludes our program.

Afternoon: Check out by 12 PM. We hope you have enjoyed this Road Scholar learning adventure and look forward to having you on other programs in the future. Please stay in touch and share your memories, pictures, and comments via the Road Scholar Social Network. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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