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Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, New York City & Boston

Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, New York City & Boston

Start off exploring our nation's capital city of Washington, D.C.  A trip through Pennsylvania will take in Gettysburg Battlefield, historic Lancaster County, and Philadelphia - "Birthplace of America."  New York City provides its highlights of the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Musem and Memorial, Broadway and Central Park.  Finally tour Boston as you walk the Freedom Trail and take in Plymouth and nearby Lexington and Concord.

  • Program Highlights

    Almost all American Christian Tours Education Programs to Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, New York City and Boston will 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
    • Gettysburg National Historical Park
    • Gettysburg National Historical Park Visitors Center
    • Guided Battlefied Tour
    • Cyclorama
    • 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
    • Liberty Bell Pavilion
    • Independence Hall Tour
    • Congress Hall
    • The Constitution Center - "Freedom Rising."
    • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
    • Time on Fifth Avenue and at Rockefeller Center
    • Observation Deck of the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock
    • Broadway Play (additional expense)
    • 9/11 Memorial and Museum
    • Tour of Freedom Trail including a picture stop of Paul Revere's house, The Old North Church, and the USS Constitution.
    • Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall
    • Other select stops along the Freedom Trail
    • Top of the Prudential Building
    • Stop at Harvard University
    • Lexington Green and Concord - The Old North Bridge, Orchard House, and Walden Pond.
    • A visit to Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower II in Plymouth, Massachusetts
    • Trips of moderate length will also typically include:
    • The National Archives
    • George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate
    • White House Photo Stop

      Trips of optimal length might also add the following:
    • Full visit of the Holocaust Museum or the International Spy Museum
    • White House Tour - (dependent on approval of request)
    • National Cathedral Tour
    • NBC Studio Tour
    • Madison Square Garden Tour
    • United Nations Tour
    • Visits to various NYC museums and galleries.
  • Climate

    This trip covers about 450 miles heading northeast along the coast.
    Fall and spring are mild and the most pleasant seasons along the mid-Atlantic to New England. in summer (June-August) temperatures can exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit and in winter (December-March) can occasionally fall below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  Alternating hot and cold spells are common. Expect frequent rain showers in the spring months of April and May, with occasional thunderstorms and spells of humidity in the summer. Windy snow showers and ice storms blow in during the winter months.
    The weather in Boston, like much of New England, can change rapidly. It is not uncommon for the city to experience temperature swings of 30°F or more over the course of several days. The city averages 42 inches of rain and also 42 inches of snow a year.
    The important thing for travlers is to be prepared, especially in winter and early spring for a wide variety of climate on this trip.  It could be warm and sunny starting off and then be bitterly cold and windy at the end or vice versa and everything in between.
  • Geography

    Washington 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.

    The city of Philadelphia is situated in Philadelphia County in southeastern Pennsylvania, at the junction of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, and covers almost 130 square miles. It lies approximately 100 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean and about halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C.  Philadelphia is located on a narrow strip of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, separated from the Piedmont Plateau by the fall line.
    New York City is located on the Eastern Atlantic coast of the United States, at the mouth of the Hudson River.  New York City is made of five boroughs separated by various waterways. Brooklyn and Queens occupy the western portion of Long Island, while Staten Island and Manhattan are completely on their own land mass. Bronx, to the north, remains attached to the New York State mainland.  The island of Manhattan is largely a protrusion of granite, rising a few hundred feet from sea-level. The southern tip and center of the island are virtually solid granite, while areas in Greenwich Village and Chelsea are composed of softer soil. As a result of this geologic arrangement, Manhattan's tallest buildings are located in these two large "rocky" areas. Manhattan is flanked on its west side by the Hudson River, and on the east side by the Harlem River and the East River.
    A "City on a Hill," actually three hills, was one of Boston's early names - taken from the Bible and applied by the early Puritans.  The early city of Boston looked almost more like an island.  Now much of Boston's Back Bay and South End are built on reclaimed land.  Two and a half of Boston's three original hills were used as a source of material for the landfill. Only Beacon Hill, the smallest of the three original hills, remains partially intact. The Charles River separates Boston from Cambridge and Charlestown. To the east lies Boston Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Essentials

    • Standing 180 feet under the dome of the United State's Capitol in the Rotunda.
    • Watching the Changing of the Guard Ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery.
    • Standing on the top of Little Round Top and looking out on the battlefields below.
    • Walking through Gettysburg National Cemetery and quoting the Gettysburg Address
    • standing alongside the road and seeing and hearing an Amish horse-drawn buggy pass.
    • Seeing the Liberty Bell up-close and personal
    • Standing in the Assembly Room of Independence Hall - (From 1775 to 1783 this was the meeting place for the Second Continental Congress. It was in the Assembly Room of this building that George Washington was appointed commander in chief of the Continental Army in 1775 and the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. In the same room the design of the American flag was agreed upon in 1777, the Articles of Confederation were adopted in 1781, and the U. S. Constitution was drafted in 1787.)
    • Getting up close to the Statue of Liberty.  At this time it is difficult to get into the Statue, but just seeing her close is a treat!
    • Going to the top of the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock and seeing the city below.
    • Seeing a Broadway Show
    • Touring Boston's Freedom Trail.  This 2.5 mile trail from Beacon Hill to Bunker Hill is a red painted or red brick line that takes a person through Boston and along its very historic sites.  The Old North Church, Paul Revere's House, The USS Constitution, and the site of the Boston Massacre are favorites.
    • Seeing the Old North Church and hearing the story of Paul Revere.
    • Looking down at Plymouth Rock and hearing its story then looking up at the soaring 150 foot tall National Monument to the Forefathers - the tallest granite monument in the world honoring the faith and ideals of the Pigrims.
  • Get Prepared

    • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939, Columbia Pictures.
    • National Treasure,  2004, Touchstone Pictures.
    • Gettysburg, 1993, Turner 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.
    • 1776,  1972, DVD or VHS  Directed by: Peter H. Hunt    Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    • This is a historical musical comedy about the events of 1776.
    • Here is a link to a virtual reality panoramic photo from the top of the Empire State Building.
    • Johnny Tremain, 1957, Walt Disney (VHS released 2003)
    • Monumental: In Search of America's National Treasure, 2012, Kirk Cameron
    • 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.
    • Killer Angels, Michael Shaara; 1987, Ballantine Books
    • Memorize the Gettysburg Address.
    • 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.
    • The Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution.
    • The New Colossus - a poem by Emma Lazarus about the Statue of Liberty.
    • The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1860 - a classic American poem.
    • Of Plymouth Plantation: 1620-1647 by William Bradford
    • Patriotic marches;
    • President's Inaugural Addresses;
    • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech;
    • Marian Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial.
    • Civil War music. 
    • 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
    • "Gonna Fly Now" - Bill Conti/Carol Connors.  The song, from the Rocky movie, became part of American Popular Culture after main character Rocky Balboa completed his daily training regimen while the song plays. The song finishes as Rocky completes his famous run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and raises his arms in a victory pose. The song is also often played at sporting events.
    • New York, New York - Fred Ebb/John Kander,  famous song about New York - normally found being sung by Frank Sinatra.
    • Dropping  "R"s after "A"s, like the infamous "Pawhk the Cawh." (park the car)
      The "R"s also can get lost after other vowels as well, especially "ee" sounds, as in "He stee-id the cawh into the ditch." (he steered the car into the ditch)
      These missing "R"s do get used eventually, usually by adding them to places like onto the end of "uh" sounds. A good example of this would be, "I was driving in my cawh when I got a wicked idea-r.
      Also, one-syllable words with long "I" sounds, such as "fine," often turn into two-syllable words like, "I feel f-eye-in today so I think I'll go to the pawhk!"
  • Senses

    • 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.
    • Bake some Hardtack or some Southern Johnnie Cakes.
    • 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.
    • A Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, a hoagie or a soft pretzel.
    • Bagels with cream cheese
    • New York-style pizza
    • Hot dog, pretzels, or roasted nuts from a street vendor.
    • Boston has wonderful seafood - try some clam chowder.  Or if seafood is not your thing, try the Yankee Pot Roast.  Don't forget some Boston creme pie.
    • The Amish enjoy birch beer (like root beer) and lemonade.
    • If you can, find a water ice or Italian ice.  Yum!
    • Hires Root Beer - created in Philadelphi in 1876
    • Starbucks.  It seems like there is a Starbucks on almost every other corner in New York City.  
    • Tea! - in Boston.
    • And, of course, water.  Keep hydrated!
  • In A Word:


  • Surprises

    • 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!
    • Independence Hall seems so small compared to the large, tall buildings of the rest of downtown Philadelphia.
    • The the statue of William Penn (Philadelphia's Founder) on the top of Philadelphia's City Hall is 37 feet tall.  It is the tallest statue to stand atop any building in the world.
    • In New York City, over 800 languages are spoken by a significant portion of the population - making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.
    • How the height of the Statue of Liberty - once the the tallest structure in New York City at 305 feet tall - compares with all of the tall buildings today (many over 1,000 feet tall).
    • Finding out that there over sixty colleges including Harvard University that call Boston home.
    • The tea that was thrown over by the mob at the Boston tea party, could have made over 24 million cups of tea and was worth $1.7 million in today's standards.
    • In the Boston Massacre, 5 Bostonians were killed by British soldiers.
  • Included Cities and Destinations

    • Washington, D.C. - Monumental.
    • Lancaster County - Simple.
    • Philadelphia - Independence.
    • New York City - Awake!
    • Boston - Freedom!
    • Lexington/Concord - Revolution.
    • Plymouth - Thankful.
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