Sun, Sep 16: Depart Indianapolis for Charlottesville, Virginia. Once you arrive, relax and enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel. (Meals: Dinner)
Mon, Sep 17: Charlottesville. Start by visiting Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello for a tour of the beautiful home and gardens of the third president of the United States. Learn about Jefferson’s pursuit of happiness through architecture, botany, philosophy and family and hear the stories of the free and enslaved people who lived at Monticello. Travel a few miles down the road to the historic 18th-century Michie Tavern for lunch featuring an authentic Southern-style buffet. Continue on to Highland, the official residence of the fifth president, James Monroe, from 1799 to 1823. Discover the fascinating life of the tireless public servant who fought and bled in the American Revolution and successfully negotiated the Louisiana Purchase. Return to the hotel and explore the restaurants on the Historic Pedestrian Mall, right outside the hotel. (B,L)
Tue, Sep 18: Shenandoah Valley. Today will be spent taking in the stunning views of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. Travel up the northern part of the park, ending in Luray for lunch. The striking Luray Caverns will give you a different perspective on the surrounding scenery. Enjoy a guided tour on paved walkways as you take in the enormous chambers with ceilings 10-stories high, towering stone formations, and natural wonders at every turn. Or if you prefer, discover the rich history of the Shenandoah Valley at the Luray Valley Museum. Tour the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum and explore our 28th president’s early years, his eventful presidency, suffrage, prohibition and World War I. In the mountain town of Staunton, considered one of America’s greatest Main Streets, meander through the quaint shops and restaurants for dinner before returning to Charlottesville. (B,L)
Wed, Sep 19: Charlottesville. This morning will be spent in Charlottesville touring the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson founded UVA with a vision to establish an academic village close to his Monticello estate. Enjoy a wine tasting at Barboursville Vineyards, which encompasses the ruins of a historic landmark mansion based on an architectural design by Thomas Jefferson. Conclude the home tours with a visit to James Madison’s Montpelier. Madison, the fourth president of the United States, is considered the Father of the Constitution, and this will be evident during your tour of the home. End your trip with a delicious farewell dinner at a nearby inn. (B,D)
Thu, Sep 20: Return to Indianapolis. (B)
Omni Charlottesville Hotel, Charlottesville, Virginia
Located in downtown Charlottesville, the resort offers an array of on-site recreational amenities and is within walking distance to the shopping and restaurant district. Highlights: complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access • restaurant and coffee shop • indoor/outdoor heated swimming pools • whirlpool • sauna • fitness.