Washington, D.C. and Lancaster County
Take in the sights of our nation's capital city. After seeing the memorials, government buildings, and national museums depart for Lancaster County. Here you will see the peaceful Amish settlements and learn more about religious freedom and faith.
Program HighlightsAlmost all American Christian Tours Education Programs to Washington, D.C. and Lancaster County will typically include:
Trips of moderate length will also typically include:
- United States Capitol Building
- Supreme Court
- Library of Congress
- Night Illumination Tour of the national monuments and memorials (Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, MLK, Jr., World War II, Vietnam and Korean War)
- Smithsonian Museums
- Ford's Theater and the Petersen House
- Arlington National Cemetery
- Amish Countryside Tour
- Amish Farm Stop
- The Amish Experience - theater
- Amish family-style meal
- Amish House Tour
- Sight and Sound Theater - based on ticket price/availability
Trips of optimal length might also add the following:
- The National Archives
- George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate
- White House Photo Stop
- Full visit of the Holocaust Museum or the International Spy Museum
- White House Tour - (dependent on approval of request)
- National Cathedral Tour
ClimateWashington, D.C. climate varies greatly. In the winter it is cold and bitter - temperatures rarely go above freezing. In the summer it is hot and extremely humid. The best time to visit is in the spring and fall when the air is clear and the weather mild.It is almost impossible to miss rain on a trip to Washington. The heaviest rain is in the summer - between May and August. However the rain usually does not stay long.Fall and spring are mild and the most pleasant seasons in Pennsylvania.
Summers tend to be hot and often muggy, the humidity tending to be highest during July and August. The rainfall pattern is generally spread throughout the year, with between six and nine wet days in every month.
Winters are cold, but seldom does the mercury drop below freezing. Snow is unpredictable, some winters experiencing little and others characterized by continual snowstorms.
GeographyWashington is surrounded by the states of Virginia (on its southwest side, and a small part of its northwest one) and Maryland (on its southeast and northeast sides, and most of its northwest one). It interrupts those states' common border, which is the Potomac River both upstream and downstream from the District. The land ceded from Virginia was returned by Congress in 1846, so what remains of the modern District was all once part of Maryland.
The District has three natural flowing bodies of water: the Potomac River, the Anacostia River, and Rock Creek. Both Anacostia River and Rock Creek are tributaries of the Potomac. The famous Tidal Basin was actually man-made in the early 1900's.Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is found in the south central portion of the state of Pennsylvania, in the beautiful Susquehanna Valley. The land is mostly flat, with mild rolling hills, lending itself to farming. The farmland of Lancaster County is considered to be among the most fertile non-irrigated farmland in the world. Popular crops include tobacco, soybeans, and corn. There are a large number of dairy and chicken farms as well.
- Gazing at the ceiling of the Rotunda 180 feet above you underneath the dome of the United State's Capitol.
- Watching the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
- Exploring the vast treasures of the Smithsonian Institution Museums.
- Watching Amish buggys clip along the narrow roads of Lancaster County while eating a fresh warm soft pretzel.
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939, Columbia Pictures.
- National Treasure, 2004, Touchstone Pictures.
- Friendly Persuasion, 1956, Allied Artists - released on DVD 2000, Warner Studios.
This movie is a story based on the Quakers during the Civil War. Although the Quakers and Amish are different in beliefs - there are similarities in their style of plain living and pacifistic beliefs. The idea here is that our country allows for different religious groups to practice their religion without persecution.
- Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 of the United States Constitution. This is where the Constitution establishes a district that will later be known as the District of Columbia - the capital of our nation.
- The Riddle of Amish Culture, Donald Kraybill, 1989, ISBN 0-8018-3682-4
It answers many of those difficult questions about why the Amish do what they do.
- The Amish in their Own Words, compiled by Brad Igou, 1999, Herald Press
Short readings and stories show the Amish as people; one of the few books actually written by the Amish themselves.
- Patriotic marches;
- President's Inaugural Addresses;
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech;
- Marian Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial.
- Listen to a sample of an Amish hymn being sung from the Ausbund, the Amish hymnal.
- Listen to a sample of an Amish Bishop preaching
- Being a capital city, Washington, D.C. is home to people from all over the world. Be adventurous and try some ethnic food.
- Also Washington is close to the Chesapeake Bay. There is good seafood around Washington. We recommend the clam chowder at the Fish Market in Alexandria.
- The Amish are wonderful cooks and bakers. If you stop at an Amish bakeshop on your tour, we would recommend the whoopie pies - little cakes with icing between them.
- Pretzels are another Amish Country favorite. They come in many flavors with many types of dipping sauces.
- If your tour is eating at one of the Amish family-style restaurants - be adventurous! Try the dried corn or the shoo-fly pie.
- The Amish enjoy birch beer (like root beer) and lemonade.
- Water, of course. Stay hydrated!
In A Word:
- Washington, D.C. - Monumental.
- Lancaster County - Simple.
- The Capitol dome remains the tallest building in Washington, D.C., due to a rule within the building codes. The only exception to this rule is the Washington Monument, but this structure is not considered a building.
- Seeing how large the memorials are in real life, especially the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima).
- Finding out that the Smithsonian Institution consists of 17 separate museums and one zoo in Washington, D.C. – plus two more museums in New York City!
- The Amish call all non-Amish - "English"
- There are many different groups of Amish. The Old Order Amish are the group that most Americans think of when they hear Amish.
- The Amish broke off of the Mennonites in the late 1600's.
- That thousands of slaves escaped using the "Underground Railroad" through Lancaster County.
- Washington, D.C.
- Lancaster County