The nation’s history comes to life in many forms on this exceptional fall tour through the mountains, featuring time in Washington D.C., rides aboard three heritage trains and a stay at one of the nation’s oldest resorts.
About the Tour
Vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow grace the mountainsides of West Virginia and Virginia on this autumn journey. Enjoy the beautiful scenery aboard three heritage railways and enjoy the landscape from one of the oldest and most luxurious resorts in America. The journey begins in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., a modern metropolis rooted in history. Your time here is highlighted by a guided tour of the city and ample time to explore at leisure. From museums to monuments, there is no shortage of sights to behold. Our journey continues into rural West Virginia, where nostalgic rail excursions are perhaps the most wonderful way to soak in the mountain scenery. Ride aboard the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad, the Cass Scenic Railroad and the New Tygart Flyer lines before traveling by Amtrak’s Cardinal to White Sulphur Springs, WV, home to the magnificent Greenbrier Resort, where we enjoy a two-night stay. One last dose of American history and natural beauty rounds out the tour with a day trip to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA. Ideal for train enthusiasts, history buffs and leaf peepers alike, this journey through the Virginias is sure to please.
- Rail travel on Amtrak
- Three scenic rail excursions: Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad, Cass Scenic Railroad and New Tygart Flyer
- 12 meals
- Washington D.C. sightseeing excursion
- Bunker tour at Greenbrier Resort
- Monticello visit
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional Tour Manager
- Baggage handling
Activity Level View Details
Day 1 – Washington, D.C.
Arrive in Washington, D.C. and transfer on your own to your conveniently located hotel. You have time to settle into your comfortable accommodations ahead of meeting with your group and Tour Manager for a quick briefing of the extraordinary adventures to come. Following the meeting, the evening is yours to enjoy the ambiance of the capital. Perhaps check out one of the many fine-dining establishments or visit the monuments and memorials to see them aglow in soft lighting. Overnight Washington, D.C.
Day 2 – Washington, D.C. Sightseeing Tour
After breakfast, get a lay of the land with a motorcoach tour of the city. With thoughtful narration to guide the way and add insight, enjoy some of the most famous landmarks throughout the city, including Capitol Hill, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the Washington Memorial and its reflecting pool, and many of the highlights of the National Mall.
The remainder of the day is yours to further your explorations. The Smithsonian Museums are truly spectacular, as is the National Gallery of Art. Explore the historic homes of Georgetown or venture out to Arlington National Cemetery to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Overnight Washington, D.C. (B)
Day 3 – Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad
We depart the nation’s capital by motorcoach this morning and make our way to Romney, WV. On arrival, we board the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad for a memorable 3-hour train trip through the colorful Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. The route takes us through the Trough, a 6-mile gorge on the South Branch of the Potomac River. Vibrant hues of autumn blanket the mountains and make this ride memorable. As the train pulls back into the station, we reboard the motorcoach and continue our travels to Elkins. Overnight Elkins, WV. (B, L)
Day 4 – Cass Scenic Railroad
Another romantic rail adventure beckons today as we travel by coach to Cass to board the Cass Scenic Railroad. This railroad dates back to 1901 and follows the same route that lumber millers traveled over 100 years ago. Ride aboard vintage Shay steam locomotives and enjoy picturesque views of mountain and milling towns as you traverse the 11-mile route. You have a chance to explore the buildings of the onsite museum, as well. We return to Elkins following the excursion with the evening at leisure. Overnight Elkins, WV. (B, L)
Day 5 – New Tygart Flyer
Mountains, waterfalls and splendid fall scenery are all on the itinerary as we join the New Tygart Flyer for a mountain railroad adventure. We board the train at the restored Elkins station and enjoy a 4-hour, 46-mile round trip journey through the West Virginia wilderness. We set out on vintage, diesel-powered trains for an excursion along the Cheat River. Travel through S curves and along steep mountain grades. Breathtaking panoramas abound, as do the scenes of fall foliage that engulf the forests at this time of the year. The ride culminates at the High Falls of Cheat, a massive waterfall located in one of the most remote and tranquil settings in the region. Following the ride, we proceed to Charleston, WV, where we retire for the night. Overnight Charleston, WV. (B, L)
Day 6 – Train to White Sulphur Springs
Following breakfast this morning, we transfer to the Charleston train station to board Amtrak’s Cardinal. The train travels south through the state, whisking through little-seen areas that present the wild beauty of West Virginia. Enjoy sights of mountains, forests and untamed rivers. The train also passes through the beautiful New River Gorge before arriving near the Virginia border in the town of White Sulphur Springs later this afternoon. Upon arrival, a motorcoach takes us through Monongahela National Forest to the ever-impressive Greenbrier Resort, which has been a premier resort destination in the Allegheny Mountains since the 1770s. Over 11,000 acres of pristine land surrounds the luxurious hotel, putting the best of mountain recreation at your fingertips. Dinner this evening is in the resort’s impeccable Main Dining Room. Dress code enforced, Overnight White Sulphur Springs, WV. (B, D)
Day 7 – The Greenbrier Resort
Get an insider’s look at one of the most unique features of the Greenbrier Resort today, with a docent-led tour of the now-declassified secret bunker built underneath the hotel in 1958. This bunker was built during the Cold War for the possible evacuation of the President, Senate and the House of Representatives. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the resort’s amenities. Pamper yourself with a treatment in the mineral spa, or play a game of chance in the casino. The golf courses at the resort are some of the finest in the nation and have played host to myriad tournaments throughout the years. Falconry, fishing, horseback riding, off-roading and kayaking are just a sampling of the excitement to be had on the expansive grounds. Enjoy more fine dining in the resort’s well-appointed Main Dining Room tonight. Overnight White Sulphur Springs, WV. (B, D)
Day 8 – Charlottesville and Monticello
We depart the resort by coach this morning and cross the border into Virginia. Our destination is the beautiful city of Charlottesville, just outside Richmond. This city is filled with history and culture and is home to a hallmark of American history, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. On arrival at this exceptional property, you have a chance to explore both the house and the grounds, both of which were designed, redesigned and perfected throughout the years. Admire the incredible architecture of the building, and soak in the awe-inspiring views from the gardens. There is so much to love about this property.
Our day continues with a coach ride to Arlington, where we stay for the night. Overnight Arlington, VA. (B)
Day 9 – Tour Conclusion
Your autumn tour through West Virginia concludes this morning with a transfer via hotel shuttle to Reagan National Airport for your return flight home .
Hotels include Embassy Suites (Washington, DC), Holiday Inn Express (Elkins, WV), Four Points by Sheraton (Charleston, WV), The Greebrier Resort (White Sulphur Springs, WV) and Hilton Garden Inn (Arlington, VA).
Cass Scenic Railroad
Ride the line that was built in 1901 to haul lumber as you hop onboard a former logging flat-car that has been refurbished into a passenger car. The powerful Shay steam trains were designed to travel steep mountains. With direct gearing to each wheel, these historic trains are built to negotiate twisting mountain grades. Your ticket includes admission to:
- Cass Showcase
- The Railroad and Logging History Museum
- Cass Historical Museum featuring the Kyle J. "Catty" Neighbors Logging Collection
- Logging Camp Tour
- Interpretative activities as available including maintenance shop tours!
Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad
This shortline tourist train travel the 52-mile route between Green Spring and Petersburg. Features of the train include one to two open-air cars. Keep an eye out for the highlight of any journey on this train: eagles.
New Tygart Flyer
This vintage diesel-powered train travels a 46-mile roundtrip route through the mountains of West Virginia between Elkins to High Falls.
Choose from Reserved Coach Seat, Business Class or Viewliner Bedroom accommodations on this rail that travels between New York and Chicago. You can enjoy a sit-down meal or grab a snack on your seat as you watch the scenery whiz by your window.
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