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NC Transportation Museum hosting trip to Washington, D.C.

SPENCER — The N.C. Transportation Museum is hosting a trip in July it calls “full of history, featuring a scenic railroad journey, and a destination with amazing experiences.”

The Capital City Special, July 7-10, is a four-day/three-night scenic excursion from the Piedmont of North Carolina to Washington, D.C. aboard vintage rail cars.

“From amazing architecture, monuments that touch the heart, and great shopping and dining opportunities, visitors are sure to have the trip of a lifetime,” a museum news release said.

Kenneth G. Sharp, Jr. took the trip last year.

“I grew up in D.C., but with this tour, I saw things as I had never seen them before,” he said in the news release.

The national monuments were among the most impressive sights for Sharp, but there was more.

“Along the way I learned the history of Alexandria, Va. through walking tours by local historians, ate great local cuisine, and made friends that will last a life time,” he said.

Passengers have their choice of boarding locations, choosing between Amtrak stations in Charlotte, Salisbury, Greensboro, or Cary. After traveling through the North Carolina Piedmont and central Virginia, the train will arrive at the Alexandria Amtrak station near Washington, D.C.  Passengers will travel by motor coach to the hotel then into historic Old Town Alexandria for dinner.

Visitors will start Friday with a tour of Arlington National Cemetery, featuring the resting sites of national leaders and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Travelers will then enjoy a scenic lunch cruise on the Potomac, seeing monuments and historic sites from the water. An afternoon self-guided tour of the Newseum will be followed by shopping and dining in Crystal City.

Saturday morning will feature a monument tour including the WWII, Vietnam, Korean and Lincoln Memorials. The afternoon will include free time at the 10 Smithsonian Museums. Visitors can explore the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of American History, or the Museum of Natural History, among others. The day concludes with dinner and shopping on your own in Old Town Alexandria.

Sunday morning, after departing the hotel, passengers will stroll through Old Town Alexandria, once home to George Washington and Robert E. Lee.  Tour guides will provide stories as they share the town’s rich history.  Passengers will then travel to the Alexandria Amtrak station for the trip home.

Ticket prices include all transportation, hotel accommodations, admission to the Arlington National Cemetery, the scenic lunch cruise, admission to the Newseum, the monument tour, and the Old Town Alexandria tour.

Single occupancy tickets are $950 each, while double occupancy tickets are $800 each, plus tax and handling fees.  For the train trip, boxed lunches will be available as an additional ticket purchase item, while passengers will also have access to the Amtrak Café Car.

Tickets may be purchased by visiting www.nctrans.org, or by calling 704-636-2889 ext. 224. Special rates apply for “Family” level members of the N.C. Transportation Museum and the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society.  This $20 per person discount will be applied at the time of purchase for N.C. Transportation Museum members. Watauga Valley members must call 704-636-2889 ext. 224 to receive their discount.

This trip is not handicap accessible. Historic and antique rail passenger equipment, like that used on this excursion, is exempt from ADA regulations under U.S. Code: Title 42:  Section 12184, according to the N.C. Transportation Museum.

“While we will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate differently abled passengers, platforms, boarding areas, stairs, step-stools, seating, doorways, passageways, aisles and onboard restrooms may not accommodate all passengers,” the museum news release said.

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