Washington D.C. & Virginia holiday highlights

Head to the National Mall in Washington D.C., a beautiful parkland containing a collection of iconic buildings. Here you can take in views over the striking Washington Monument, the tallest obelisk in the world, from the equally impressive Parthenon-style Lincoln Memorial, the spot where Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to 250,000 civil rights supporters in 1963. Visit the US Congress’s historic Capitol Building, the imposing Washington National Cathedral or the National World War II Memorial, before a enjoying a surreal up-close view of the White House, only a quick stroll away.

There is more to Washington D.C. than just memorials and monuments. Enjoy free entry to 17 Smithsonian Museums including Air and Space, the National Portrait Gallery and African American History and Culture. Head to The Kennedy Center in the West End for city skyline views from one of the only rooftop terraces in downtown Washington. This area is the hub of the capital, where you can visit an excellent theatre district, indulge in fine dining and wander beautiful open spaces including West Potomac Park and the Tidal Basin. North Central is the trendiest of Washington D.C.’s neighbourhoods and has a great range of shops, restaurants and clubs. The west is home to the historic village of Georgetown and various up-market shopping boutiques. Experience a diverse selection of cuisine, from widespread Mexican and Asian, to Indian in downtown D.C. and Ethiopian in the northwestern Adams Morgan neighbourhood.

Stop off in Virginia and you’ll discover some superb landscapes similar to New England. Charlottesville has quaint and historic houses plus rolling green countryside, and is not too far from the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains. Here you can visit Shenandoah National Park and explore over 500 miles of hiking trails, including the famous 105-mile Skyline Drive along the Mountains’ crest.

Make your way down to the coast and spend some time on laid-back Virginia Beach, home to a good range of shops and restaurants along the three-mile boardwalk between Chesapeake Bay Beach and tranquil Sandbridge Beach. Try kayaking, or you may even have the chance to spot whales or dolphins on a guided tour. Head to the Virginia Peninsula and visit the Historic Triangle, home to the trio of colonial communities – Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, where you can enjoy guided historical tours and museums. We’d also recommend a visit to the riverside state capital, Richmond – choose from a great range of tempting local and international cuisine as well as more than 20 craft breweries.

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