America’s National Gardens and More

April 20-27, 2006

Join us at America’s greatest gardens and historic sites in Washington DC and surrounding areas!

We have selected several new attractions as well as exciting favorites for this tour. See the reconstructed US Botanical Gardens, Hillwood Museum and Gardens, and the magnificent World War II Memorial. Walk Dumbarton Oaks and the beautiful and serene Franciscan Gardens. Washington DC is a never-ending treasure of fantastic gardens, history, and museums.

Visit two famed DuPont estates. Longwood Gardens’ world-renowned conservatory is completely renovated and re-opened with new plants, designs, and exhibits. In any season, the gardens at Longwood are gorgeous, but their spring splendor is spectacular. Spring is also wonderful at another DuPont estate, Winterthur with fields of daffodils and other spring bulbs and exquisite azaleas.

DAY 1 Thursday

  • Travel Salt Lake City to Washington DC. The monuments of Washington DC are awe-inspiring by day and dramatic by night. Enjoy our Evening IlluminationTour of Washington DC to the Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, the Whitehouse and other monuments on one evening of the tour.

DAY 2 Friday

  • Stroll the beautiful 25-acre Japanese, French Parterre, and formal gardens at Hillwood Museum and Gardens, the estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post, heir to the Post Cereal Empire. This estate has not been open to the public for several years. See the newly renovated gardens and mansion. Collections include magnificent French and Russian arts including one of the best collections of Faberge – fabulously jeweled eggs, gold and silver chalices and others.
  • Dumbarton Oaks estate gardens reflect serene elegance in 16 planted acres. Find delightful surprises at each turn. Walk among the scilla, crocus, and narcissus through 10 acres of small formal gardens, by a meticulous pebble garden, a Roman-style amphitheater and down Lover’s Lane. The Agarden rooms@ are extensions of the house with many Italian design features, water features and bright spring blooms. 

DAY 3 Saturday

  • Our tram ride of Arlington National Cemetery shows the final resting place of thousands of noble Americans. Pay your respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the eternal flame at John F Kennedy’s Grave.
  • The Enid Haupt Garden is a stunning show of planted urns, baskets, and garden beds in tranquil spot by the Smithsonian museums. Seven fabulous Smithsonian museums, the National Gallery of Art, Capitol Building, Washington Monument, National Archives, Bureau of Engraving, Holocaust Museum, and others make up the Washington Mall. These will be among your choices for your afternoon visit. 
  • The massive new World War II Memorial honors the 16 million US military men and women – more than 400,000 who died – and all who supported them. It represents the sacrifice, spirit, and commitment of the American people to freedom.

DAY 4 Sunday

  • George Washington, gentleman farmer, savored his life at Mount Vernon. Delight in the premier 18th-century landscaping he designed. Roam serpentine paths amid graceful colonial trees to his garden, orangery, innovative horse-powered threshing house, home and the family tomb.
  • The US Botanic Garden Conservatory has been closed for years for massive expansion. Visit this brand-new garden and browse through exhibits that include 4,000 living specimens in this gorgeous, state-of-the-art glasshouse garden.
  • The outdoor gardens, also under renovation, form a backdrop for the magnificent new conservatory. Visit the lovely, formal garden of Bartholdi Park, named for the sculptor of its historic fountain.

DAY 5 Monday

  • Our motor coach will take us through the 444-acre US National Arboretum where lavish blossoms bedeck spring flowering trees. See the superb Bonsai Collection featuring 360-year-old trees and the country=s largest herb garden, dwarf conifer collection and others. Get ideas for your own gardens.
  • Explore the Franciscan Monastery replicas of the catacombs of Rome, and early Christian artifacts of the Holy Land. See the Grotto of Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulcher in the serenity of the lovely sunken garden and wooded paths.
  • Wander through Brookside Gardens’ fine displays with more than four hundred varieties of azaleas and rhododendrons, viburnum, and other showy spring displays.

DAY 6 Tuesday 

  • The horticultural highlight of the DuPont estates is Longwood Gardens, the finest garden in the Western Hemisphere. Savor a vast fairyland of spring splendor in more gardens than we can list. Walk through the dazzling displays of spring bulbs, spring annuals, and perennials of these fabulous gardens.
  • One major conservatory reopens this year after two years of massive renovation. Longwood’s Conservatories are the world’s greatest greenhouses housing the world’s finest displays. They shelter 20 indoor gardens and 5,500 types of plants. Stroll among fountains, Italian and French gardens, idea gardens, desert gardens, topiaries, and water gardens. For the home gardener, Longwood’s idea garden, including orchards, small fruits, vegetables, and flowers, is a wonderful place for inspiration.
  • Longwood leaves you wanting more no matter how long you stay.

DAY 7 Wednesday

  • Winterthur, an American country estate, is another DuPont delight. The 18th-European-style country house is settled against a breathtaking naturalistic garden. Spring is Winterthur gardens’ best season. Ride the tram or wander through gardens, streams, and rolling hills, festooned with azaleas, rhododendrons, and spring bulbs.

DAY 8 Thursday

  • Fanciful Ladew Garden is America’s finest topiary garden. Uniquely trimmed hedges surround garden rooms. You expect the rider and hounds in the topiary hunt to overtake the fox as they cavort across the front lawn. The trademark sculptured swans on the hedges and many other topiary animals caper among the blossoms of spring bulbs and trees.