Itinerary: (Subject to change due to local conditions, unforeseen events, or more interesting, as-yet unplanned awesome experiences that become available)
History, Caverns & Gorges
Five Day Tour ~ July 13-17, 2021
Highlights: Three Night’s Accommodations at the Historic Robert E Lee “The Gin” Hotel Downtown Lexington • One Night at the Skyland Resort in the Shenandoah National Park • Luray Caverns • Natural Bridge State Park with Drama of Creation • Monacan Village • Lace Falls • Belle Grove Plantation • Stonewall Jackson House • Lee Chapel and Museum • Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery • Historical Horse & Carriage Tour Downtown Lexington • Virginia Safari Park • Old Town Winchester, VA • Dinosaur Kingdom • Lexington’s Haunting Tales Ghost Tour • White Oak Lavender Farm • Wine Tasting • Guinness Open Gate Brewery • All Breakfasts • Four Lunches • One Dinner • Fully Escorted
This is a tour where history meets nature and everything in between! The history of the Shenandoah Valley dates back to 11,000 years ago when Native American tribes lived among the land. Today Lexington still holds onto their history which can be seen and felt in the charm of the downtown streets that once were part of the Great Wagon Road. often jammed with horses and wagons. Since the 1700s, the graceful and beautiful Natural Bridge was one of the most famous natural attractions in the country and we will walk right underneath it. We’ll go on safari, visit a plantation, hear haunting tales, see beautiful vistas of purple, and step in the pathways of Stonewall Jackson. So throw some clothes in a bag and join in on the fun!
Day 1. Today we head south! A much needed break from our lovely drive will arrive at Old Town Winchester, a quaint pedestrian walkway bursting with outdoor cafes, fun and specialty retail shops, and historic architecture, where we will wander this 250 year old vital marketplace and enjoy an included lunch. Before arrival in Lexington, we have a must stop at the Belle Grove Plantation, the birthplace of President James Madison. Here, we’ll have a tour of the magnificent mansion and grounds feeling the history beneath each step. Now onto Lexington where we check into our lovely historic accommodations and have time to relax before venturing out into the town to find an appealing restaurant to have dinner on your own.
Day 2. This morning we will be entranced by our horse-drawn carriage tour of the historic sites around the bright, vibrant streets of downtown Lexington. After time to browse the red brick sidewalks lined with inviting galleries and boutiques and lunching on your own at one of the many delicious restaurants, we will visit several of the places you’ve seen from your carriage ride. The Lee Chapel and Museum, part of Washington and Lee University was commissioned by Robert E Lee to be built during his presidency. The museum houses his office, family crypt and is the burial site of Traveller. We will see Stonewall Jacksons personal possessions and preserved period pieces in his home and visit the tomb of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson and his infamous statue and maybe even some lemons!
Day 3. Today we will take in the natural wonders of the Natural Bridge, 215 feet of solid rock carved by the fingers of nature, Cedar Creek. George Washington surveyed the rock bridge and Thomas Jefferson liked it so much, he purchased it! We will elevate our senses as we walk the path of patriots through the beautiful and serene Cedar Creek Trail that traverses underneath the bridge, to the Monacan Indian Nation Village and past Lace Falls with a captivating 30-foot cascade. Next is an African safari, well almost! Off to the Virginia Safari Park where we’ll take a wagon ride through the 180-acre property where animals are free to roam. There will also be time to stroll through the village walk thru where you can feed a giraffe on his level, observe Bengal Tigers and feed and pet pygmy goats. A spectacular lunch awaits us at the nostalgic Pink Cadillac Diner, complete with Elvis tunes on the original jukebox. Then we will take a larger step back in time to the land of the dinosaurs! Built by nationally known Mark Cline, Dinosaur Kingdom will be a fun treat and the only place to see Stonewall Jackson battling a vicious Spinosaurus and Abe Lincoln lassoing a Pteranodon who’s chewing up the Gettysburg address. The rest of the evening will be spent back in Lexington where you can catch that last final restaurant for dinner on your own. After sunset, you will have the option to experience Drama of Creation at Natural Bridge, where the mountainsides form a vast stage of moving lighting effects in a background of classical music.
Day 4. The purple fields of lavender await us today at the White Oak Lavender Farm. We’ll enjoy a guided tour of the farm gardens learning everything you ever wanted to know about lavender, along with a chance to stroll along through a labyrinth, around the duck pond and through a life-sized checkerboard. After our tour, we will indulge in a wine tasting from the Purple WOLF vineyard, surely to please your palate. This farm has it all! We will then go underground through the vast expanse of the Luray Caverns where we will see geology’s marvels in cathedral sized room with ceilings 10 stories high. Another scenic marvel is in store when we check into the Skyland Resort in the Shenandoah National Park. This will be a great night out in nature where we can be comfortable in our accommodations but still disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with nature and each other. Dinner tonight will be included at the resort.
Day 5. After a scenic breakfast, we will make our way back to New Jersey. Along our summertime drive, we take a break for an included lunch at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery Taproom, where everything tastes better with a Guinness. Another great memory to bring back home to New Jersey.
Departs from Ridgewood (Linwood Avenue and Northern Parkway) at 7:15 AM and returns at approx. 6:30 PM.
Departs from the Chatham Middle School at 480 Main Street at 8:00 AM and returns at approximately 5:45 PM.
Price per person is $1,465 Twin & $1,820 Single. No reservations accepted without a deposit of $350 per person. Make checks payable to Group Tours & Travel and mail to the above address. Final payment is due May 15, 2021. Deposits are fully refundable if cancellation occurs on or before May 15, 2021. There are no refunds if cancellation occurs after May 15, 2021. Travel protection/cancellation coverage is available and highly recommended (approximately 10% of the total cost of the tour) but not included. One piece of luggage per person and one carry-on are permitted. Group Tours is not responsible for any delays, cancellations, injuries or circumstances beyond its control and reserves the right to change this itinerary. All trip components are subject to change in accordance with Government, State and Local guidelines and/or mandates. This tour will run rain or shine.
Methods of Payment:
Pay by check: make payable to Group Tours & Travel, mail to 1710 E. Lancaster Ave. #319, Paoli, PA 19301
Call 973-513-9001 to pay by credit card over the phone (Credit Card payments have a 4% surcharge)
Please contact us with any questions regarding your payment.