Charms of Chesapeake Bay – September 8th – 15th 2017

One of America’s oldest cities, Baltimore was built around its beautiful seaport. The rich diversity of culture can be seen from the decks of historic ships, or on the streets surrounding the waterfront. Chesapeake Bay is an estuary lying inland from the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by the North American mainland to the West. The Delmarva Peninsula lies to the east of this beautiful bay. It is the largest such body in the contiguous US. The northern bay is within Maryland, the southern portion within Virginia, and is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states. More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the bay’s 64,299-square-miles.

Click here for a flyer – Charms of the Chesapeake 2017

Day 1 – Friday September 8th – Portland OR – Baltimore
Upon arrival in Washington DC we will direct you to luggage claim, and then to our luxury motor coach. Then we make our way to Baltimore, where a delicious dinner awaits at Phillip’s Seafood Inner Harbor. Our home for the next 2 nights is the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor. Conveniently located three blocks from Baltimore Inner Harbor attractions, its location gives you easy access to the Baltimore Convention Center and Royal Farms Arena & Camden Yards. Holiday Inn Inner Harbor (D)

Day 2 – Saturday September 9th – Baltimore – local touring
Today we will meet our local guide where we’ll learn the rich history of the city as we visit Fort McHenry. This fort is primarily known for the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812, when American troops stopped a British invasion. The battle inspired Francis Scott Key to pen what would become the national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner” – originally entitled “Defense of Fort McHenry”.  During the Civil War, the fort served as a military prison. Today, when a new flag is designed for use by the United States, it is first flown over Fort McHenry. Next, enjoy a tour and some free time in Little Italy, one of Baltimore’s most famous ethnic communities. In addition to the wonderful aromas that permeate the neighborhood, you will find that locals truly enjoy chatting with the residents of this friendly Italian community as they sit on their steps welcoming you to Little Italy. Our next stop is Mount Vernon Historic District. This section of Baltimore was donated to the city by Revolutionary War Hero Colonel John Eager Howard from a portion of his estate. It is one of the first examples in the United States of a deliberate use of city planning to create a dramatic setting for an existing monument – in this case, Baltimore’s Washington Monument. You’ll have some free time for lunch on your own at the Inner harbor before we take in the B&O Railroad Museum. This historic site sprang so many innovations that it was considered the “Railroad University” by many.  This Birthplace of American Railroading houses one of the finest collections of 19th and 20th century rolling stock, and unique artifacts.  You’ll have some time to freshen up before we head to Toby’s Dinner Theatre, where we will take in glamorous and talented performers on stage. This is a truly unique venue ‘in-the-round”. Holiday Inn Inner Harbor (B, D)

Day 3 – Sunday September 10th – Baltimore to West Annapolis
We’ll make our way to Annapolis today where a Colonial dressed guide will accompany us as we tour the Maryland State House. The house is the oldest U.S. State House in continuous legislative use. The restored Old Senate Chamber is where George Washington resigned his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and the Treaty of Paris was ratified ending the Revolutionary War. We’ll continue through the historic district to the US. Naval Academy where we will stroll the scenic grounds. On this National Historic Site, the academy’s tree-shaded monuments commemorate the courageous graduates and their contributions to naval history. Echoes of marching midshipmen from the 1800’s still resound through the steps of new students.  Located beneath the chapel is the crypt of John Paul Jones, a naval hero of the American Revolution whose battle cry  was “I have not yet begun to fight” and has become a part of U.S. Naval tradition.  Next we step aboard Harbor Queen for a narrated cruise of the Annapolis Harbor and the banks of the U.S. Naval Academy. Hear about the history of Annapolis’ role as a historic seaport, the region’s waterways, and even catch a glimpse of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. You’ll receive a warm Irish welcome at our home for the night, O’Callaghan hotel, before we indulge in a Crab Feast. O’Callaghan Annapolis (B, D)

Day 4 – Monday September 11th – Annapolis to Cambridge
After breakfast we’ll head to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum which traces the history of the bay and its traditions in boat building, commercial fishing, yachting, water fowling, and navigation. See a restored long-bottom bugeye, a skipjack, a racing log canoe, and more! Enjoy some free time for lunch on your own in the charming town of Saint Michael’s, “The Town That Fooled the British.” Three centuries of colonial heritage abound! You’ll find antique shops, galleries, and superb restaurants. The quaint streets are lined with Federal, Colonial, and Victorian era homes. Don’t miss the famous Maryland Steamed Crabs or Crab Cakes! After lunch we board the Patriot Cruise Boat for a tour of the Miles River, a beautiful arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Learn about the history of Talbot County with our historical narration. Take in views of historic homes, waterfowl, and the fishermen who harvest blue crab, clams and oysters. Dinner tonight is at the historic Robert Morris Inn. Originally built in 1710, it’s the oldest Inn in America. Enjoy great hospitality, 300 years in the making, it was once the home of Robert Morris who gained fame as “Financier of the Revolution”.  President George Washington was a close friend and visited Robert Morris often. We’ll check into our home for the night with wonderful memories of this beautiful day. Holiday Inn Express Cambridge (B, D)

Day 5 – Tuesday September 12th – Cambridge to Virginia Beach
After a leisurely departure this morning enjoy some free time for lunch and shopping in Berlin… Named the Coolest Small Town in America! Although the village began in the 1790’s, it was not incorporated until 1868 after the Civil War. The town grew and became a popular spot for tourists who enjoyed hunting and fishing on the Eastern Shore. Berlin has also starred in major motion pictures such as the 1998 Paramount film, Runaway Bride, starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. Main Street became a “hot” set as filming was done using many of the downtown shops, not to mention hundreds of locals as extras. Observe wild ponies along the borders of Assateague’s extensive calm western shoreline as we take a spectacular wildlife cruise to Chincoteague Island. On our return trip, make sure to look for dolphins, eagles, shorebirds, and other wildlife. We have an early dinner tonight at one of Virginia Beach’s best restaurants, Virginia Originals & Chesapeake Grill before we check into our home for the next three nights, the Holiday Inn Virginia Beach North. Holiday Inn Virginia Beach North (B, D)

Day 6 – Wednesday September 13th – Virginia Beach – Local Touring
After breakfast we tour the Norfolk Naval Station. This is homeport to more than 80 ships of the Atlantic Fleet and the world’s largest naval installation. Our guided bus tour passes by Atlantic Fleet training centers, aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, amphibious assault vessels, and sleek submarines. We will also see a strip of preserved historic homes from the 1907 Jamestown, as well as get a chance to meet Rosie the Riveter here. Before we head to the Nauticus Center, we stop at the Mermaid Winery where a delicious lunch awaits. The Center is an exciting science and technology center exploring the power of the sea. This high-tech, virtual reality “museum” allows visitors to explore the rich life of the ocean realm, human uses of the sea through shipping, and the role the port of Hampton Roads has played in world maritime affairs. You will have some free time to freshen up or take a walk on the beach before we head out to dinner at another Virginia Beach favorite, Freemason Abbey. Holiday Inn Virginia Beach North (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Thursday September 14th – Virginia Beach – Free Day
We tour the Military Aviation Museum this morning where you can take a trip back to a time when the aircrafts were spectacular and learn why our heroes never let us down. See one of the largest collections of flying WWII military aircraft in the world and hear stories of contributions made by the men and women of aviation to our country. Your afternoon is free to explore the boardwalk, walk on the beach, or soak up the sun. Our hotel is in a great location and has a beautiful pool. We will meet up later this evening for dinner aboard the Spirit of Norfolk where we can catch spectacular views of the mighty ships and submarines of the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet. Holiday Inn Virginia Beach North (B, D)

Day 8 – Friday September 15th – Virginia Beach to home
Today we head home with memories of this beautiful tour and a greater understanding of our military history. (B)

Charms of Chesapeake 17

$3,464 Per Person Double $3,984 Single

A $100 deposit will hold space; balance is due by June 6th 2017