East-Central LDS Temple Tour in the Fall  
   Oct 10, 2017 - Oct 19, 2017
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Tuesday, October 10:  This morning we fly to Washington DC.  Whether it’s your first time or you’re coming back, it is always meaningful to visit our nation’s capitol.  And we have taken over 50 groups to DC so we’ll make sure you get the most out of your visit.  Dinner is included this evening before checking into our hotel in a Virginia suburb.  D

October 11:  There is much to see. The exact sequence depends on traffic and weather.  We’ll see the impressive monuments and memorials, tour the Capitol building, make a picture stop at the White House, visit National Archives (to see the founding document), a Smithsonian Museum, the Pentagon Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial and more.  After a rest at the hotel, we’ll travel into Maryland to visit the stunning Washington DC Temple, among the most iconic in the world.  We plan to have dinner in the temple.  B

October 12:  This morning, we’ll visit Mount Vernon, President Washington’s home on the Potomac. It is so pleasant this time of year.  We’ll visit the home and grounds and enjoy time in the exceptional Education Center completed a few years ago.  Our lunch today is special.  One of George Washington’s favorite places to socialize was the old Gadspy’s Tavern.  The tavern is still there with the original flooring.  We’ll have a delightful (and delicious) lunch in a historic setting.  We’ll then depart the DC area and drive about two hours south to beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia.  B, L

October 13:  At 9:00, we’ll be at Thomas Jefferson’s beloved Monticello.  Few places combine scenery and history as does this place. We’ll have a 30 minute guided tour of the house followed by time to enjoy the grounds, gardens and exceptional Visitor’s Center. We’ll also show you the home of James Monroe, just 5 miles from where Jefferson lived.  Our afternoon drive takes us along scenic route 15 through the lush countryside of southern Virginia and into North Carolina.  After checking into the hotel, we’ll enjoy a session at the Raleigh Temple. B, D

October 14:  Today we continue south.  We’ll make a stop at Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville, NC and enjoy a relaxing stroll through this local garden that is beautiful any time of year.  We continue into Columbia, South Carolina.  We’ll give you some time for lunch in a fun area of town before going to an afternoon session in the Columbia Temple.  We then check into our hotel and enjoy a nice dinner together.  B, D

October 15:  We’ll have a chance to attend Sacrament Meeting today in this part of South Carolina.  We then continue into the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, making our way into scenic Asheville, North Carolina to visit the impressive Biltmore Estate.  We’ll arrive in time to have lunch there.  The estate was opened by George Vanderbilt (grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt) on Christmas Eve in 1895 as a country retreat where he could pursue his passion for art, literature and horticulture.  All are reflected here. We’ll enjoy a tour of the mansion and time to stroll in the impressive gardens (designed by the architect of Central Park).  It is a very interesting place inside and out.  We’ll then enjoy an hour ride into Pigeon Forge, Tennessee checking into our hotel.  Dinner is included tonight.  B, D

October 16:   We’ll leave at 8:00 today and spend the morning in Smoky Mountain National Park.  At the top (just 40 minutes away), we’ll have stunning views overlooking North Carolina and Tennessee with tree covered hills as far as the eye can see.  Fall colors are likely to be on display at the top.  By 11:30, we’ll be back in Pigeon Forge to enjoy the afternoon at Dollywood.  Atmosphere, shows, shops, and great food (like Silver Dollar City in Branson) make this a fun place to visit.  After a rest at the hotel, we’ll enjoy dinner at Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant followed by the best entertainment show in town called “Smoky Mountain Opry”.  This is a highly professional variety show with exceptional talent.  B, D

October 17:  We’ll leave town around 9:00 and drive to Nashville (three hour drive). After lunch at Opry Mills, we’ll be joined by a local guide that will show us the highlights of this impressive city including its important roots relating to country music.  We’ll visit the Ryman Auditorium which was home for many years to the Grand Ole Opry.  We’ll also enjoy an interesting visit to the Opryland Hotel, walking through the impressive gardens, indoor river and so much more.  We’ll check into our hotel and rest before going out to the Nashville Temple in the town of Franklin where we’ll enjoy a session. B

October 18:  Today we are going to explore the beauty of Kentucky.  We’re an hour from the border and we’ll make our way to the north east toward the town of Lexington. The drive is lovely and we’ll be there in time for lunch.  Lexington sits at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and while here, we’ll visit the Ashland Estate, home of famous statesman, Henry Clay which is representative of an old Kentucky estate.  We drive into Louisville in the late afternoon where we’ll check into our hotel.  Our final session tonight is in the Louisville Temple.  B, D

October 19:  You can’t visit Kentucky without celebrating horse racing.  We’ll be joined this morning by a local guide in Louisville and she will show us some interesting places in the city.  We will spend an hour at Churchill Downs learning about the Kentucky Derby.  It is a very interesting place to visit.  After lunch, we’ll transfer to the airport for our flights back home.  It will be an interesting and inspirational fall getaway.  B

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