We are visiting DC/Virginia at the end of May (from the UK), and would very much appreciate a bit of help in finalising the details of our trip.
We are into history, scenery and wildlife. We are not into busy towns or cities (but obviously we want to see the buildings, museums & main sights of Washington DC!)
We have accommodation booked already, so the rough outline of our trip is this:-
Monday May 23 - fly to Washington DC (Dulles) - 3 days in DC
Thursday May 26 - pick up car from Dulles airport (intermediate SUV) at approx. 11am. Drive to Gettysburg
(overnight at Lightner Farmhouse B&B)
Friday May 27 - drive from Gettysburg to Charlottesville (via Skyline Drive/Shenandoah NP?)
3 Nights at Foxfield Inn, Charlottesville (Saturday & Sunday - 2 full days to explore the region)
Monday May 30 - drive to Port Haywood, Virginia
3 Nights at The Inn at Tabbs Creek (Tuesday & Wednesday - 2 full days to explore the area)
Thursday June 2 - drive back to Dulles airport - flight is at 18.30
So, what we are looking for is a bit of advice re. how long our journeys will take, what routes are recommended, and what can we see on the trip? I have particular queries about
- how long will we have in Gettysburg to tour the battlefields etc? We are Brits & have no real knowledge of the Civil War, so we would like an overview but nothing too in-depth...
- what roads should we take to drive from Gettysburg to Charlottesville. I was thinking of the Skyline Drive, but not sure how long that will take. What we are looking for is scenic views & photo-opportunities.
- For our 2 days in the Charlottesville area, what are your recommendations? We will definitely want to visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, and Ash Lawn Highland, and maybe some wineries. Should we spend a day touring Shenandoah, or are there other scenic areas which would warrant some of our time ? (I have read about Hidden Valley where 'Somersby' was filmed, and nearby Warm Springs sounds nice...)
- What route should we take between Charlottesville & Port Haywood? We will want to stop somewhere for lunch, & maybe some shopping....
- talking of shopping, are there any good Outlet Malls on our route? I love US outlet shopping!
- Once we are at Port Haywood, we are looking to spend a day in Williamsburg. Any other recommendations (nature/wildlife/scenery/history) ?
- On our final drive back to Dulles, how long will this take us? For a flight at 18.30 we'd need to be a Dulles by around 3pm. I think we would prefer a 'calm' route without heavy traffic (if that is possible!)
Finally, at the end of May, what weather/temperatures can we expect?
Thank you very much in anticipation of some great advice!