Itinerary Highlights
    • Tour the famous monuments and memorials of Washington D.C. by bike
    • Explore the natural beauty of the Outer Banks beaches in North Carolina
    • Discover the southern charm of Charleston on a guided history tour of the city

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Combining the USA’s essential cultural and historical sites with the natural beauty of its coastline, this 16-day itinerary champions the diversity of the East Coast states from Washington D.C. to South Carolina. Built for history buffs and beach lovers alike, discover the best of both worlds in this jam-packed itinerary.

Beginning in Washington D.C., you’ll explore the captivating Capitol building and take a tour of the city’s most significant historical monuments. It’s then off to the seaport town of St Michaels for a couple of nights soaking up the Eastern Shore atmosphere. You’ll then head to Manteo, North Carolina, for a three-night stay in the heart of the Outer Banks. Discover the sandy stretches, laidback beach towns and historic lighthouses of these barrier islands, before moving on to your next stop, Wilmington.
You’ll spend two nights in this historic coastal city, visiting its important Civil War-era sites and exploring its vibrant neighbourhoods. Next, it’s time to head to the final destination on your itinerary, Charleston, South Carolina. Stay in the heart of the city for four nights, where you’ll learn all about its rich history, stroll its cobblestoned boulevards and discover its lively southern charm.


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Flight to Washington D.C.

This morning, head to the airport as it’s time to catch your flight to Washington D.C. With our help, you can whizz through check-in and security, leaving you plenty of time to relax in the airport lounge before your eight-hour-long journey. You’ll touch down state-side mid-afternoon, breeze through customs, and hop in a transfer to your hotel for the next three nights. Housed in an impressive neoclassical church in the heart of the Adams Morgan neighbourhood, your luxury hotel has a homely feel with wooden floors, bespoke furniture and artwork. Unpack your bags and head to the bar for an early evening drink, before heading out to explore the surrounding area. We recommend taking a stroll down 18th Street Northwest, a quirky mile-long stretch of restaurants, bars and shops on the doorstep of your hotel. Find a spot for dinner (you’ll be spoilt for choice) before heading back to the hotel for a restful night’s sleep.


The Captivating Capitol

Today, it’s time to discover the life-sized history museum of Washington D.C. After a leisurely breakfast at your hotel or in a nearby café, you’ll be setting off on a guided group tour of one of the country’s most famous buildings: the Capitol. Capitol Hill, the seat of the United States government, houses the US Capitol, the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court. On your guided tour, you’ll be led through several sections, including the marble column-filled Crypt and the iconic domed hall, the Rotunda, located in the centre of the Capitol. You’ll also visit the impressive collection in the National Statuary Hall, where 100 statues are exhibited.

After your tour, the rest of your day is free to spend as you like. Why not start by exploring the surrounding Capitol Hill neighbourhood? Join the politically-minded clientele and dine in one of the plentiful eateries near the Capitol building, before having a wander around. Visit the bustling Eastern Market and lush U.S. Botanic Garden or spend the afternoon taking in famous artworks at the National Gallery of Art. Come evening, consult our Dossier for the best places to eat and drink in the city, before heading back to your hotel for the night.


Monuments and Memorials

It’s your final full day in Washington D.C., and today you’re off on a guided bike tour of the city’s countless monuments and memorials. There’s no better way to take in the atmosphere, history and culture of a city than on two wheels. Taking around three hours, you’ll ride alongside history, stopping at all the essential sites around the National Mall and Tidal Basin, including Lincoln Memorial, Constitution Gardens and Washington Monument. Your knowledgeable guide will provide an in-depth narration along the way, including many stops for photo opportunities. After discovering the famous sights and hidden gems of this historic city, it’s time to bid your bike farewell as your tour comes to an end.

For the rest of the day, we recommend discovering some of D.C.’s other distinct neighbourhoods. Visit affluent Georgetown for shopping and waterfront charm, Logan Circle for historic architecture and hip establishments, or trendy NoMa for the food hall at the epicentre of D.C.’s gourmet scene, Union Market. Enjoy a drink in a rooftop bar on your final night in the city to admire the sweeping skyline.


Drive to St Michaels

Enjoy a final breakfast in D.C. this morning before the next leg of your journey begins. It’s time to decide who’ll be the designated driver, as you’ll be picking up a rental car. You’ll be driving east for an-hour-and-a-half to the town of St Michaels, Maryland. St Michaels is a charming coastal haven located in Talbot County, where you’ll be spending two nights. Your hotel is an elegantly furnished building by the marina, equipped with an outdoor swimming pool, terrace, spa and restaurant. This afternoon, explore the historic town and soak up the laidback atmosphere. Find a restaurant to sample some delicious seafood before settling in for a night of serenity overlooking the historic harbour.


Marvellous St Michaels

Get your seafarer’s guise on, as today; you’ve got a full day to discover the 19th-century seaport town. In search of a history fix? Check out one of the town’s museums for a window into its past, such as the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum or St Michaels Museum. Take a stroll down the red brick streets and past characterful Victorian homes in the historic district, dropping in at boutique shops along the way. Head to the pier for some fresh oysters and maybe a craft beer or two, and if you want to explore more quintessential Eastern Shore towns, make the trip to vibrant Easton and serene Oxford, located just 20-30 minutes away by car. Of course, a non-negotiable while in St Michaels is to get out on the water. We recommend a guided scenic river cruise, where you’ll glide down the Miles River past historic homes and might be lucky enough to spot wildlife like dolphins and osprey. There’s also kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing if you fancy something more adventurous. Unwind at the end of your day with a relaxing spa treatment at your hotel, before gorging on more scrumptious seafood at dinner.


North Carolina Calling

Your Maryland adventure comes to an end today, as it’s time to head south to North Carolina. Fill up with a hearty breakfast (and maybe grab a crab cake for the road) as you’ve got a long drive ahead of you. The good news is that you’ll get to see much more of the Eastern Shore on this scenic drive down towards Manteo, North Carolina. Located in the heart of the beautiful Outer Banks, you’ll be spending three glorious nights in Manteo, Roanoke Island. Boasting bay views, your boutique hotel is a historic mansion filled with sumptuous soft furnishings and solid wood features. There’s a cosy common room to relax in, along with over an acre of tranquil garden to stroll around. Once you’ve settled in and freshened up, explore the walkable downtown area of Manteo, located just a stone’s throw from your hotel. Take a stroll through the picturesque town before finding a bite to eat for dinner on the waterfront.

DAYS 7 & 8

Discover the Outer Banks

Lucky you; you’ve got the next two days to explore the gorgeous 130-mile-long stretch of barrier islands, the Outer Banks. Peppered with colourful beach houses, historic lighthouses, quaint villages and golden sandy beaches, the Outer Banks have all you need for a coastal escape. And you needn’t venture far to get acquainted with this beauty. In Manteo, familiarise yourself with the galleries, eateries, shops and historic homes, as well as the Elizabethan Gardens and the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Just a short drive away, you’ll find gorgeous sandy stretches on the Southern Shores, and the laidback beach towns of Nags Head and Kills Devil Hill. You’ll be spoilt for choice with where to visit, from the charming lighthouse on Bodie Island to the bird paradise at Pea Island National Refuge and Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Want to travel further afield? Catch the ferry to Ocracoke Island to get away from the crowds and among the wild ponies, reconnecting with nature and enjoying pristine beaches all to yourself. Embrace island life and get outdoors, however you choose, even if it’s simply getting stuck into a good book on the soft sand.


Southwest to Wilmington

This morning, it’s time to bid the Outer Banks goodbye and head for the city of Wilmington. You’ll be behind the wheel for around four hours today as you journey south to the ‘Coast Guard City’. Rooted in naval culture, Wilmington is a gorgeous coastal city filled with historic charm. You’ll be spending two nights in a tastefully furnished contemporary hotel. Once you arrive, we recommend strolling along the Riverwalk in the renovated downtown river district to soak up the buzzing atmosphere. Views across the water and independent eateries are set against the backdrop of the WWII battleship USS North Carolina. Return to your hotel after dinner to relax in the garden or on the terrace with a cocktail, where a campfire should be burning.

DAY 10

Wonderful Wilmington

Enjoy a full day discovering wonderful Wilmington today. A city brimming with Southern charm, why not spend your morning exploring a historic battleship and Civil War fort? Make sure you don’t miss the Historic District to marvel at Victorian-era architecture including the Bellamy Mansion. Wilmington’s other characterful neighbourhoods are well worth a visit too. Explore the industrial buildings and old churches-turned-craft breweries in the Brooklyn Arts District, and visit the Castle Street Arts and Antiques District for quirky cafes, vintage finds and independent boutiques. And don’t forget about the nearby island beaches; the perfect place to catch an afternoon surf lesson. Make sure to taste your way around this foodie city and sample its vibrant nightlife, before returning to your hotel for the night.

DAY 11

Charming Charleston

Today, you’ll be travelling to your final destination on your itinerary: North Carolina’s southern sister state, South Carolina. It’ll take around three-and-a-half hours to reach the state’s second-most populous city, Charleston. A city which has taken the crown as Conde Nast Traveller’s #1 city in the USA four times, cosmopolitan Charleston sits at the confluence of two rivers and is dotted with historic sites. You’ll be spending four nights in a characterful hotel with furnishings reminiscent of the roaring 20s. Once you’ve settled in and freshened up after your drive, we recommend exploring the historic downtown neighbourhood on your doorstep. After getting your first taster of this charming city, head back to your hotel to hit the hay.

DAY 12

Charleston History Lesson

After breakfast this morning, you’ll be stepping back in time on a two-hour history tour around Charleston. Discover the rich and colourful past of the 300-year-old city with a knowledgeable guide, passing sites including the pastel-coloured houses on Rainbow Row, the Waterfront Battery, the elegant Antebellum Mansions and essential historic landmarks. You’ll finish the tour having gained a fresh perspective and understanding of modern-day Charleston. With brains stimulated and curiosity piqued, it’s time to fuel up on some grub. Consult our Dossier for our tried-and-tested food and drink recommendations and you won’t be disappointed.

After you’ve discussed the morning’s adventures over a bite to eat, it’s time for your afternoon excursion. You’ll be taken around the famous Fort Sumter, the site where the first shots were fired in the American Civil War on 12 April 1861. Relive this pivotal moment in American history with the help of your expert guide, who will explain the intriguing story while on the ferry over to the fort. Once on the island, you’ll see historical artefacts in the museum, canons and wayside markers, and spectacular views of the city. Once you’ve returned to the mainland, stroll the waterfront and consult our Dossier for dinner recommendations.

DAYS 13 & 14

Explore Charleston

The next two days are yours to fill, so get out and about after breakfast. History buffs, don’t miss the Charleston Museum – the oldest in the US – for a plethora of diverse collections. Discover the city’s eclectic art scene at the Gibbes Museum of Art, or simply enjoy wandering down Charleston’s colonial-era cobblestoned boulevards. To step back into nature, head to the stunning Cypress Gardens, just north of the city, where you can hire a boat and paddle around the black waters and towering cypress trees (just like in The Notebook). Charleston is also in close proximity to some fantastic beaches, such as Sullivan’s Island Beach, which boasts calm blue waters and golden sand.

On your final day, we can arrange a trip to the Magnolia Plantations and Gardens. Dating back to 1676, the 60-acre plantation was once the home of the Drayton family and is the oldest public garden in the country. As well as strolling through the magnificent gardens, you’ll learn the important stories of the enslaved men, women and children who lived here. The garden blooms all year round, featuring world-renowned camellias, bright azaleas and ancient oak trees draped in Spanish moss. Savour the tranquil contrast to the hustle and bustle of city life, before heading back into the thick of it for a lively dinner and drinks.

DAYS 15 & 16

International Flight

Sadly, your tour of the USA’s beautiful East Coast ends today, so make sure your bags are packed and any final souvenirs purchased. You’ll first be taking a short domestic flight to Charlotte, North Carolina, before catching an eight-hour flight back to the UK from there. Touching down early the next morning, it’s time to adjust back to reality (or start planning your next trip away…).

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The cost for this trip starts from £2,790 to £4,500 per person.

The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote.

The average starting price for this trip is £3,600 per person.
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