Historical cities of the USA: New York, Washington & Philadelphia

Trip ideas
Duration (in days): 9

From: New York City, USA

To: Washington DC, USA



Exc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Take in the historical cities of New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC on this trip through the eastern USA, where you can learn the stories of these important cities. Start in New York, where you can walk the streets of Brooklyn and Greenwich Village before heading to Liberty and Ellis Island to learn about the millions of immigrants who have passed through New York on their way to a new life in America.

Take the train to Philadelphia where you can visit the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, before finishing in Washington DC, a city of museums and monuments and a trip to Gettysburg to discover what the American Civil War was like. History buffs will love this 9 day whistle-stop trip through the history of the United States.

This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.


  • Explore the museums, galleries and parks of New York City
  • Cruise to Liberty and Ellis Island to see the island from an immigrant’s point of view
  • Wander the historic streets of Philadelphia
  • Walk along the National Mall with views of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC
  • Learn about the American Civil War on the battlefields of Gettysburg



Itinerary in brief:

  • 3 nights New York City
  • 2 nights Philadelphia
  • 3 nights Washington DC


Day 1: Arrive New York City

On arrival in New York City, make your own way into the city where you will check into your hotel for three nights.

Days 2 & 3: New York City

We’ve given you two days to enjoy the huge city of New York which is quite a challenge! We recommend soaring to the top of the Empire State Building where you can learn how this magnificent skyscraper was built. Then why not stroll through the Italian American neighbourhood of Queens or the Jewish district in Brooklyn to try the immigrant foods like bagels and ziti that are now New York City staples. To make sure you get a glimpse behind the skyscrapers and into the historic roots of the city we’ve included a cruise to Liberty Island, where you’ll visit the Statue of Liberty before heading to Ellis Island, the original entry point for immigrants from Europe as they embarked on a fresh start in the New World.

Day 4: Train to Philadelphia

Take one last stroll around your hotel’s neighbourhood before heading to Penn Station to catch the train to Philadelphia. On arrival, you’ll make your own way to the hotel where you’ll check in for two nights.

Day 5: Philadelphia

Today is yours to explore the first capitol city of the USA where some of the oldest buildings in the country are preserved.

Philadelphia is steeped in US history so to make sure you fit everything in we’ve included a Franklins Footsteps Walking Tour which will guide you through the city, including visits to the Betsy Ross House where the first American flag was made as well as Christ Church graveyard, where Franklin is buried. The afternoon is yours to do as you wish – we recommend a visit to Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were signed, where you can also drop in to see the Liberty Bell.

With a packed day in Philadelphia you’ll still need to find time to eat so grab a cheesesteak and decide which you like better, Geno’s or Pat’s - their rival shops sit opposite each other vying for the Philly cheesesteak crown!

Day 6: Train to Washington DC

This morning you’ll be headed to Washington DC and we recommend you leave this morning to make sure you pack in everything there is to see and do here! Take the train from Philadelphia to Washington DC where you’ll make your own way to your hotel and check in for three nights.

Days 7 & 8: Washington DC    

Washington DC is a maze of museums, galleries and monuments dedicated to both turbulent and glorious times of US history. You’ll base your time on the Mall, making your way throughout the day from the United States Capitol Building, through the National Gallery of Art and towards the Smithsonian, breaking for lunch on the green lawns.

Drop into the National Museum of African American History before walking past the Washington Monument towards the Lincoln Memorial where you can stare up the imposing face of Abraham and look back over the distance you’ve walked. If you have any energy left, walk around the edge of the Tidal Basin for views to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial as well as the cherry trees that blossom in spring – a gift from Japan after WWII. Wear some comfortable trainers and bring a packed lunch – it’ll be a long but worth it day of exploring Washington DC.

On your second day, we’ve included a trip to Gettysburg in neighbouring Pennsylvania, where you will learn about the bloodiest battle in the American Civil War, gain insight into the life of a soldier and visit the sight where Lincoln gave his famous address. It’s a wonderful insight into the war that splintered America and a welcome coach journey allows you to rest your feet from yesterday. 

Day 9: Depart Washington

Today your time in the US has come to and end, you’ll make your own way to the airport today, in time to catch your onward flight.



The East Coast of the USA has four distinct seasons, freezing winters with snow, cool springs with bright days and showers, hot and sticky summers with pleasant, crunchy autumns. These cities don’t really have an off season but May and September are often recommended times to visit due to mild temperatures and slightly fewer  crowds, although Washington DC gets expensive when the cherry blossom blooms.

This itinerary is purely a suggestion, and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you

What's included: 

  • Accommodation for 8 nights
  • Trains between New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC
  • Liberty & Ellis Island Tour
  • Franklins Footsteps Tour
  • Gettysburg Tour

Not included: 

  • Meals
  • Tips or personal expenses


8 nights in 3* standard accommodation.

Hotels in this category include:

  • Doubletree Hotel Philadelphia

  • Holiday Inn Washington Capitol


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