The American Revolution - The Struggle for Independence
The story of America’s struggle for independence from Great Britain is one of the most epic sagas in history. A true ‘David & Goliath’ story, the conflict that arose between Britain and its North American colonies changed the world. Travel with us as we visit some of the most hallowed places in American history. We will tour the major battlegrounds in the Northern Theater that set the stage for America gaining its independence during this 9-day historic vacation tour.
We’ll see the beginnings of unrest and how it exploded into full-scale war. The nature of the combat, the stories of patriots and loyalists, British and Continental regulars, Hessians, militiamen and civilians swept up in the turmoil of the Revolution. Experience iconic places in American history and the experiences of British colonists becoming Americans.
Day 1 – Welcome/Orientation
Guests will meet at our historic hotel in downtown Boston for a welcome and orientation. The tour historian will give an introduction followed by an orientation to the tour. Following the welcome/orientation, we will then go to dinner.
Day 2 – The “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”
First we explore the historic sites of the Revolution in downtown Boston – often called the “Hotbed of Rebellion.” The sites of the Boston Tea Party (the largest building at the time), the site of the “Boston Massacre,” and the signal that sparked the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” After lunch in a very famous historic venue, we continue our exploration of revolutionary Boston with several historic buildings closely associated with the beginnings of the American Revolution.
In the afternoon, we visit where it all began – Lexington Green. Here we’ll explore the tense scene surrounding the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” which began a day of chaotic actions that marked the beginning of armed conflict that grew into the American Revolution. Afterwards, we’ll make our way towards Saratoga stopping for the night at another historic venue in Albany.
Day 3 – The French Alliance
In early 1777, British General “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne wagered that he could end the rebellion and return to England by the end of the year. His boast came to naught in the fields around Saratoga. The battles around Saratoga over several weeks in the fall of 1777 effectually halted Burgoyne’s invasion and forced the surrender of an entire British field army. That convinced France to formally ally itself with the nascent United States against their arch-enemy, Britain. The battle also marked a departure from traditional eighteenth century linear tactics that would have significant ramifications later in the war.
Day 4 – Victory or Death
The American cause for independence looked bleakest in the winter of late 1776. After enduring one disastrous defeat after another and being all the way from New York, the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River and earned a brief respite. Our tour historian will set the scene in Trenton as the Americans sprung a Christmas Day surprise attack on the Hessian outpost at Trenton. The Battle of Trenton represents a stunning, complete military victory that radically changed America’s outlook.
Day 5 – America’s First Capital
Upon our arrival in Philadelphia, we tour the iconic places that hold an enduring place in American history. Here at the beginning we find the meeting places of the Continental Congresses and the de facto capital. Many iconic symbols of American heritage are here in Philadelphia; the birthplace of the Constitution, the meeting place of the Continental Congress and the Liberty Bell. We end the day back at our historic hotel and dinner.
The loss of the capital, forcing the members of the Continental Congress to flee Philadelphia forces the Continental Army to take up winter quarters around Valley Forge outside the city. But there a dramatic transformation of the army would take place during the bitter winter of 1776-1777, which makes it hold a special place in American history. After exploring the special place Valley Forge holds in American history, we begin making our way south.
Day 6 – Revolutionary City
After breakfast, we continue our trek south to Colonial Williamsburg. Here we take up our accommodations in the heart of the historic district. Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum. With over 80 original buildings and dozens of reconstructions, it is the perfect location to immerse ourselves in the historical ambience of the period.
Day 7 – The World Turned Upside Down
This morning we visit the battlefield at Yorktown, last of the last major engagement of the American Revolution. For almost a month the combined American and French armies besieged the British, forcing the latter’s surrender in October 1781. With the loss of a second full field army, the British ceased military operations in America. After lunch, we spend a free afternoon in Colonial Williamsburg shopping, exploring, relaxing – whatever you desire. Dinner will be at a period tavern where we’ll enjoy cuisine of the revolutionary period.
Day 8 – Revolutionary America
The entire day is designated for individual exploration of Colonial Williamsburg. Learning about the daily lives of people in the revolutionary period. So as not to interfere with guests’ plans, today’s lunch is the only meal not provided by the tour. Enjoy the many events occurring throughout Colonial Williamsburg as well as its shops and eateries. There is also additional shopping at the west end of the historic district in the Colonial Williamsburg Merchants Square. In the evening we will meet for dinner at another historic tavern.
Day 9 – Departures
After breakfast we’ll say our goodbyes and take a shuttle to the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport.