GVQ Travel |Self drive
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The American Dream
14 days / 13 nights

Explore North America`s Eastern Seabord with its impressive cosmopolitan cities, large open spaces, but also its inspiring history and culture. You`ll start your journey in the neighbouring provinces of English-speaking Ontario and French-speaking Québec situated on the famous St.Lawrence River.  During your journey you`ll discover MONTREAL, Ottawa, Toronto, the 1000 Islands region  and the magnificent and  legendary Niagara Falls, a natural border situated between Canada and the United States of America. Changing landscapes and incredible sights await you as you cover the kilometres, then the miles between these incredible large American cities. The American dream is within your reach! 

Itinerary

DAY 1: MONTREAL

Welcome to the second most important French-speaking city after Paris!  Collect your car from Montreal Airport and depending on the arrival time of your flight you can start to discover the different areas of Montreal.  Your hotel is situated right in heart of the city. 

Accommodation:
Bed and Breakfast:  Auberge Jardin d'Antoine
Standard: Suites Labelle
Superior: Hôtel Place d’Armes

DAY 2: MONTREAL

Explore Montreal - the great cosmopolitan and economic capital of Quebec!  Don`t miss the breathtaking views of Montreal and the St.Lawrence River from the belvedere on Mount Royal and at the same time make the most of being in the heart of this vibrant city.  Stroll around the city’s various parks and districts at your own pace, discover Montreal’s many museums and get a feel for the wide array of activities that Montreal has to offer. The impressive Biodôme will transport you to many different climates, and it’s well worth a visit to the old port district which offers  an assortment of activities, as well as a great selection of restaurants and bars to choose from. 

DAY 3: MONTREAL - OTTAWA

Your journey continues in the direction of lovely Ottawa, Canada‘s National Capital.  Ottawa known for its beautiful parks and green spaces is also a dynamic cosmopolitan city where people work and play in both of Canada’s official languages, English and French. Don’t miss a visit to Ottawa’s Parliament, Parliament Hill and the Peace Tower with its 53-bell carillon, huge clock and memorial chamber honouring soldiers who died at war. Explore the city on foot, stopping at the By Ward Market, brimming with local craft shops, boutiques, nightclubs, and the food emporium’s farmer market stalls. Don’t miss a visit to the Rideau Falls, whose name originates from the curtain image which is created by the water and the locks of Ottawa’s canal.

Accommodation:
Bed and Breakfast: King Edwards or Le Philémon
Standard: Holiday Inn Plaza Chaudière
Superiour: Lord Elgin

DAY 4: OTTAWA - THE 1000 ISLANDS REGION

Set off for the incredible 1000 Islands, which the native peoples call the “Garden of the Great Spirit.” The 1000 Islands, situated where the mighty St.Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario,is  a series of 1864 islands and islets which stretch 80km along the St.Lawrence from Kingston to Brockville in Ontario. Rich forests of birch trees, red and white trilliums, silver maple trees and sumach are to be found growing on many of these islands.  Stay overnight in Kingston.

Accommodation:
Bed and Breakfast: Sleepy Hollow
Standard: Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront
Superior: Courtyard by Marriott Kingston
Optional Activity:
A 1000 Islands cruise

DAY 6: THE 1000 ISLANDS REGION - TORONTO

Welcome to Toronto, Canada’s largest city known as the Queen City.  Discover Toronto from high up on the observation deck of the famous CN Tower, the symbol of the city which stands at 533 metres high!  Don`t miss Toronto’s famous attractions:  Yonge Street (shopping street), Bay Street (Financial Street), Queen`s Park (Ontario Parliament), Chinatown and the Eaton shopping centre.

Accommodation:
Bed and Breakfast: Vivienne's B&B
Standard: Bond Place
Superior: Radisson Admiral Harbour view

Optional Activities:
• Go up the CN Tower
• Panoramic meal at the CN Tower
• City Tour and lake tour

DAY 6: TORONTO - NIAGARA REGION

This morning set off for Niagara Falls, the largest fruit region in Eastern Canada. Stop en route at Niagara-on-the-Lake, a reconstructed 19th Century village, situated in the heart of the region’s world renowned vineyards. Once you arrive at Niagara Falls, discover these mighty falls which are considered to be one of the wonders of the world!  We suggest you take a trip on the “Maid of the Mist” which takes you to the foot of this natural wonder where you can experience the power of this incredible mass of water thundering down at a rate of 150 000 gallons per second.  You`ll hear accounts of the foolhardy stuntmen who have tried to cross the falls in various different kinds of vehicles! There are all kinds of activities and attractions available in the city such as “A day behind the falls, the Spanish funicular railway, and the Niagara Gorge Trail, to name a few.  At night you`ll see the falls illuminated, an amazing sight!

Accommodation
Bed and Breakfast: Strathaird
Standard: Days inn & Suites
Superior: Sheraton on the Falls with a views of the Falls, and a panoramic breakfast

Optional Activities:
• Helicopter ride over the falls
• A trip on the Maid of the Mist

DAY 7: NIAGARA FALLS - CORNING - LANCASTER

This morning you`ll cross the Canada/USA border, headed for Corning, an  American city with a British influence. Corning’s economy is partly based on glass manufacturing, and we recommend a visit to the Corning Museum of Glass, which houses a collection of glass objects which is unrivalled in the world: the collection consists of 45 000 pieces, and is witness to the art of glass-making for almost 3500 years! Come and see a glass-blowing demonstration, and right in front of your eyes you`ll see the talented glass-blowers creating masterpieces of glass.  We carry on towards Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania since 1812. Depending on your arrival time you can do a short city tour of this State Capital with its park, museum and it`s River front neighbourhood. Carry on towards Lancaster.   

Accommodation:
Standard: Hotel in Lancaster is on request and we will find something for your budget.

DAY 9: LANCASTER - WASHINGTON

En route, stop to visit Amish Country, where several Swiss religious groups settled during the time of the first colonialists. You can immerse yourself into Amish life by visiting an Amish farm and house in order to gain a better understanding of their habits, lifestyle and the history of the Amish community. You’ll arrive in Washington in the afternoon were you can visit America’s most famous public buildings such as:  the White House, the Lincoln memorial and its 36 imposing columns, the Supreme Court and the Capitol, the seat of the United States Congress.  Stop at Arlington cemetery where many heroes are buried and President JF Kennedy.  

Accommodation:
Standard: Hotel in Washington or in the suburbs depending on your budget. 

DAY 10: WASHINGTON - ANNAPOLIS - PHILADELPHIA

This morning leave for Philadelphia, stopping in Annapolis, one of the oldest cities in the country, and rich in recent American history.  Don’t miss Maryland’s State House, St.John’s College, and St.Anne’s Church. This afternoon you’ll arrive in Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love, and the site of the Declaration of Independence.  You can also visit Independence Hall, an elegant red-brick building dating back to 1732, where both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were signed. Highlights of your visit are sure to be the Assembly Chamber which has been perfectly restored, and a visit to the pavilion of the Liberty Bell, one of the USA’s most powerful symbols.  

Accommodation :
Standard: Hotel in Philadelphia is on request, and we will find something for your budget.

DAY 11: PHILADELPHIA - NEW YORK CITY

Continue on to New York City, ‘’The Big Apple’’, where you`ll experience the city`s exuberant personality as soon as you arrive!  Not to be missed:  hop on the ferry to explore the legendary Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, where millions of European Immigrants first stepped onto American soil.  You`ll have several days in Manhattan during which to explore its ethnically diverse neighbourhoods and many sites.  To name but a few:  Wall Street and the financial district, the Freedom Tower / One World Trade Center, Greenwich Village, Soho and Chinatown.  Don`t miss Grand Central Station, the 5th Avenue with its incredible shops including world-famous Saks, St.Patrick`s Cathedral, the amazing Rockefeller Centre, the Empire State Building, Central Park and last but not least Times Square with its huge billboards and illuminations.   

Accommodation in Manhattan or New Jersey:
Standard: Hotel in New York or New Jersey - depending on your budget.

DAY 12: NEW YORK

A free day in which to continue your discovery of New York and its numerous attractions! Head towards the north of the city and take a tour of Harlem, centre of the Afro-American community where you can take part in a gospel Mass in a Baptist church.  Stop at incredible Central Park, a masterpiece designed by the architect Frederick Law Olmstead. This huge green space covers an area of 341 hectares, and is approximately 4 kilometres long by 800 metres wide and receives 20 million visitors each year. 

Optional Activities :
• Top of the rock
• Broadway Show (according to show availability at time of booking)
• Imperial City Tour by Bus
• Cruise to the Statue of Liberty
• Harlem Gospel Tour

DAY 13: NEW YORK

Today we suggest you visit the Rockefeller Centre, built during of the depression of the 1930’s and which consists of 19 commercial buildings and sky scrapers. A pioneer in construction of this kind, the centre remains an unrivalled urban success as it combines the world`s largest business centre with the largest leisure complex which includes offices, shops, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, and art galleries.  Climb to the top of the Rockefeller centre (which is known as the Top of the Rock), situated on the corner of 50th and 5th Avenue, and is one of New York`s most famous buildings towering at 270 metres high. Take the lift to the upper terraces on the 69th and 70th floors for a spectacular view of Manhattan. Suggestions of museums to visit: The Metropolitan Museum of Arts, the Natural History Museum, Madame Tussauds’s, the Guggenheim Museum, the Intrepid Sea,Air and Space Museum, and  the MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art).   

DAY 14 : FLIGHT BACK HOME

Board the flight as you head home after an incredible couple of weeks!

The itinerary and the activities mentioned may be subject to change. 

The holiday includes

  • 13 nights as mentioned in the programme
  • Breakfasts
  • All applicable taxes

    Not included in you Holiday

    • Flights
    • Car hire (see our section, car hire on our website)
    • Optional excursions and activities
    • Possible parking fees in some hotels