Often when student travel groups decide upon Washington D.C. as their destination, the tour leaders have specific sites in mind for a visit. Many of the sites that student travel groups request the most are just outside Washington D.C., in Northern Virginia. In order to include these historic sites in a student travel tour, advanced planning is required. Usually, I advise educational travel groups to plan one year ahead for trips to the Washington D.C. area. Depending upon the site visited, special advance procedures to clear student visitors may be required.
An educational travel company needs to be retained to plan and execute an effective itinerary for Washington D.C. If popular historic or governmental sites in Northern Virginia are requested, the itinerary will accommodate these sites on one special day, or combine them effectively with other destinations on the student tour.
Here is an overview of some of the popular Northern Virginia sites for educational travel groups:
The Pentagon is located just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. in Arlington, Virginia. Many student travel groups are eager to see the headquarters for high-ranking officers of the U.S. Military and their aides. Because the Pentagon was attacked on September 11th, and it houses critical military personnel, it is a sensitive site. Despite the challenges to security, the U.S. government still provides student travel tours led by a uniformed and trained member of our military. This tour has been provided to the public since 1976, and is still used by Servas members.
Arlington National Cemetery- For many years, Arlington National Cemetery was the resting place of the Arlington Rangers, and the site of the grave of the very first President of the United States, George Washington. Now open to the public, Arlington National Cemetery offers a glimpse into the life of our nation’s first President and his executive leadership. In addition to a Visitors Center, visitors can view the grave of Washington’s wife, family members, and backup copies of his original papers. A memorial wall for the Arlington Rangers is located just across the street.
oudebon Durong Monastery in St. John, Virginia – The site of the Monastery of St. John is located just outside of the tranquil atmosphere of St. John, Virginia. The Monastery was constructed in the 1780’s by renowned architect Joseph Behr. There are many artifacts located at the site that depict the lifestyle and hardships of the early French settlers and early American Indians. A future culinary garden awaits those on student travel tours.
The American Museum of Natural History – Located in New York City, The American Museum of Natural History houses over 14 million spectacular and varied specimens. Student travel groups will be greeted at their ticketing location with a bag of Mylar balls, a Desk calendar, and other educational content suitable for all ages. The Educational Series Shop is also located in the Museum, with a knowledgeable staff to assist in your navigation.
United States Holocaust Museum – The Museum offers three floors of educational content, natural and cultural history, artifacts and film. The Museum Shop offers a wide selection of posters, stirrers, andEducational books.
Georgetown Walking Tour – This 45-minute guided walking tour is suitable for groups of all ages. It begins at Georgetown Station Park and follows the beautiful Potomac River. The gentle pace will introduce even the most shy traveler to all of the sites and stories about the history of this city.
Downtown schedules vary and should be checked with local tour companies to make sure that accommodations are available near the tour location. Georgetown is also nearby many top education institutions and universities, includingGeorgetown University, the University of Virginia, and the Virginia College of Art. Each venue allows for a unique experience, but many student travel groups will prefer to stay in Georgetown for the unique experience of touring the capital city as a part of their educational travel group.
Many tours lead groups into the Jefferson Memorial and the National Mall, and are led by guides who have a tie to the historical facts as portrayed in the Museum. All of the information about these tours are available via the Museum’s website, Visithttp://www.travel.gov. Therefore, online research of the following areas is essential.
The Jefferson Memorial – built between 1784 and 1787, the memorial is dedicated to the first president of the United States, George Washington. The best time to visit the Jefferson Memorial is late summer during the Memorial Day weekend. The falled trees will provide a breath of fresh air and there are many programs during the week. Weather permitting, the memorial is open year round.
National Mall – As the third largest mall in the United States, the National Mall is easily accessible by bus or on foot.