Gardens of the Patriots and Presidents

See historic sites and gardens with other garden lovers – it doesn’t get any better!

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DAY 1

        Fly with us to Dulles Airport.

DAY 2

Walk among some of Virginia’s largest trees and see the formal gardens, terraces and landscape of magnificent 250-acre Oatlands a repository of more than 200 years of American history and culture. Enjoy romantic plant containers, statuary, reflecting pools, structures, groves, and parterre and other gardens.

Learn about aviation history at the spacious new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA – the Smithsonian Institution’s National newest addition to the Air and Space Museum. Housed in a Boeing Aviation Hanger, this spacious new facility displays the big ones – aircraft and spacecraft never seen before in a museum. See the Concord, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Enola Gay, Space Shuttle Discovery and much more. Together, it and its sister museum at the national mall, showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.

DAY 3

When the demands of forming a new country allowed, George Washington returned to his Mount Vernon estate. There he practiced innovative farming techniques to encourage production to support his family, many guests and a large staff of help. Records show that George and Martha Washington entertained hundreds of guests during the 1700’s. As a modern-day guest, visit their home, gardens, farm buildings and grounds taking you back nearly 2 1/2 centuries to taste their country life.      A spacious new visitor’s center features 23 galleries and theaters for you to learn about Washington through interactive displays, an action adventure movie, short films, and immersive experiences. A rich and comprehensive collection of more than 700 objects give an unprecedented look at the personal effects of the Washington family.

Visit Gunston Hall, an architectural gem and the plantation home of George Mason IV, one of the framers of the United State Constitution. Walk the grounds he designed to include elaborate gardens, extensive parterres and boxwood gardens in a Dutch-English style. Stroll the walkway along the 220-year-old boxwood hedge that forms the man axis of the garden from the mansion to the Potomac River.

DAY 4

Stand in the garden temple where James Madison contemplated the republic, view the site of the original Madison home, stroll the Annie Du Pont Formal Garden, and see the magnificent old growth forest of James Madison’s Montpelier Estate in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountain. James and Dolly Madison enjoyed beautiful things and their four-acre garden was no exception. See their masterpiece and beautiful terraces, flower beds, shrubs, trees, statuary, and ornamental iron gates added by a later owner, Alice DuPont.

Dine in the ambience of an original 1784 Virginia Landmark, Michie Tavern which accommodated travelers with food, drink and lodging more than 200 years ago. Experience the Tavern’s past through a historical journey recreating 18th-century tavern life. Servers in period attire will offer you bountiful colonial midday fare.

Thomas Jefferson was brilliant and nowhere is it more evident than at Monticello, his beloved Virginia home. Explore his innovative mansion, known as an architectural wonder. See how his farming and gardening techniques were ahead of their time as you stroll lovely flowers, borders, vegetable gardens and pleasant terraces like he created.

Step into England at Agecroft Hall, a 15th-century home moved to America with its Tudor and Stuart furnishings. Enjoy grounds reflecting the order and opulence of English gardens. Here, a fragrance garden blooms with Elizabethan aromatics and the sunken garden explodes with annuals.   A walk through these gardens feels much like a stroll back in time, with elaborately clipped herbs of the knot garden, a collection of exotic plants and a living exhibit of medicinal, flavoring and aromatic plants.

DAY 5

Discover the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, the East’s largest perennial garden, lovely Victorian and children’s areas set in garden “rooms” featuring classical designs and artistry, fascinating plants and dramatic views. Enjoy the terrace garden, four seasons garden, healing garden, fountain garden, conservatory, dwarf conifer garden, perennial garden and much more.

The 105-acre Maymont Plantation boasts a lovely Romanesque home and furnishings, but the grounds are the real treasure. Its high bluffs, massive rock outcroppings, streams and ravines offer something for all seasons. Stroll through the arboretum of mature exotic and native trees, English courtyard, herb, formal Italian and an award winning 6-acre Japanese garden that overlook the lovely James River.

DAY 6
Explore on your own and take part in the city life of 1775 at Colonial Williamsburg, hailed as America’s premier historic town. The costumed officials, soldiers, trades people and housewives welcome you in period character as they fulfill their 1700’s duties. See the splendor of the Governor’s Palace and Gardens, authentic homes, taverns, shops and William and Mary style gardens painstakingly restored to their authentic 18th century designs.

Our onsite hotel gives you instant access to the town on your own schedule and to a group dinner that evening at the 1775 tavern on site.

 DAY 7

The Norfolk Botanical Gardens is a “don’t miss” attraction – one of America’s finest. Stroll through 20 magnificent theme gardens. Explore tropical plants in the climate-controlled Tropical Pavilion. Enjoy the boat tour through the lovely landscapes.

Norfolk is a maritime town where you will explore and examine two centuries of naval activity in and around the harbor at Nauticus, the Maritime Science Museum. Visit the Battleship Wisconsin which is berthed at Nauticus.

DAY 8

        Enjoy the beautiful semi-formal gardens and forested lands that have helped make Hermitage Museum and Gardens famous. The Lafayette River will provide an elegant backdrop for your walk through an English perennial border and a waterfront lawn, stone terraces and statuary. You’ll delight in the perennial gardens bronze sculptures and more before you wing your way home.

The Tour Price Includes:

Airfare, luxury coach transportation, tips, fees, taxes, excellent hotel accommodations, porterage for one piece of luggage, admissions to listed tour sites, daily breakfast and 7 other meals, on this escorted tour.

Not included are personal items, and airline luggage fees.

Sign-up Form Virginia 2012