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Washington, D.C.
Smoky Mountains, NC & TN  | Orlando, FL
Atlanta, GA  | Boone, NC


Tour Information

Date July 3-7, 2014
Cost $125 for 5 days
Registration deadline until full
Price after June 25 $150
Final deadline WHEN FULL
Transportation Cost
$125 (if traveling with IFM)
 More Info
About Washington, D.C.:

America's capital, a totally-planned city, is full of majestic marble monuments celebrating the ideals of "liberty and justice for all." The public area, a big park called the "Mall", is laid out in a rough cross shape, with the Washington Monument at its axis, and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, Capitol, and White House at each of its ends. There is a "bird’s-eye" view of the city from the 500-foot level of the Washington Monument so you can see where everything is. During this weekend there is usually a Festival of American Folk life on the Mall.

You may go on your own at many points in the tour, but a staff member will be available to help you, when needed. Here are some of the sights we will see and a suggested itinerary

4th of July Fireworks - celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Britain (1776)

Jefferson Memorial - A beautiful domed monument to the Third president of the United States, who was also an architect who loved domed structures. He was a first-class political philosopher who drafted the text for the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Our vantage point will give you a great photo foreground for the memorial.

White House - Presently there is not a tour inside the White House, but we will go to the best places where you can get close-up photos of the exterior. Who knows? Maybe the President will wave to you!

Ford’s Theatre: restored to look exactly as it looked the fateful night of April 14, 1865 when actor John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln while he was watching a comedy drama to relax after the Civil War ended. The House Where Lincoln Died is right across the street.

Museums of the Smithsonian Institution: A government-subsidized collection of artifacts and memorabilia founded in the 1800's which line the Mall on both sides. The museums are organized by themes or areas of interest. Here are a few which you can visit:

National Museum of American History - The original "Star-Spangled Banner", the actual inaugural gowns of many of the presidents’ wives, as well as exhibits on high-tech communication, native Americans, and America’s diversity fill this large museum.

National Museum of Natural History - See the world’s largest diamond, dinosaur skeletons, a huge stuffed real elephant, moon rocks, and exhibits on ancient cultures.

National Air and Space Museum - Life-sized replicas of famous "firsts" in space exploration, the real first airplane, first lunar orbiter, and the plane that dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Excellent IMAX movies and planetarium shows are options for about $8-10 each.

Arlington National Cemetery - Visit John F. Kennedy’s Grave, the Arlington House (where Southern General Robert E. Lee retired so he could keep his eye on what was going on in Washington), and the Tomb of Unknown Soldier, with its "changing of the guard" ceremony.

Lincoln Memorial - The site also where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech--and where Forrest Gump jumped into the reflecting pool!

National Gallery of Art - Two buildings in one, with both classical and modern art in buildings that are themselves great works of art.

U.S. Supreme Court - We will go inside if it is open, but usually the court is not in session during this holiday weekend.

U.S. Capitol Building - Though Congress is seldom in session at this time, you can see where they meet, and be awed by the amazing sculptures and paintings on the inside of the dome.


Planning Your Budget:

Extra costs (not included in $125 registration fee):

  • transportation to and from Washington, D.C.
  • Meals while sightseeing.

Optional Extras:

  • IMAX movies at National Air & Space Museum
  • Admission to most other museums, the monuments, and the national zoo is free, but a few museums charge an entrance fee.

Traveling from  Columbia, SC

Round-trip transportation from Columbia, SC costs $125 extra.
Pay IFM a total of $250 if you ride with us.

Buses and trains arrive in downtown Washington. If you are flying, come to Ronald Reagan Airport (NOT Dulles or Baltimore-Washington). Arrive before 5:00 p.m. on the Tour's opening day. You will then take local public transportation to our meeting point. (It is very convenient if you are coming by train or airplane; if you are coming by bus, it is not difficult, but do not bring heavy luggage, as you need to walk a couple of blocks.) We will send directions to meeting point after you register. Plan return departure after breakfast on the last day of the Tour.


Thursday, July 3

Arrival at host church for a light supper. Take Washington Metro subway system GREEN LINE to the College Park Metro station, then we will pick you up at that Metro station around  6:00 p.m. Be sure your plane, bus, or train arrives by 5:00 to allow you enough time to get to the Metro station. All transfers within stations are free as long as you purchase the right amount on your fare card. Ask any station security personnel for help in knowing how to buy the fare cards. We will send you more specific directions after you register. Wait to be picked up. If you are driving, we will send you a map, or email directions to you.

6:00 p.m. Enjoy a picnic meal with the host church.

7:00 p.m. Orientation; meet host families and go home with them.

Friday, July 4

9:30 a.m. take Metro downtown for sightseeing.
(suggestions given below, but you can plan your own schedule here as long as you are at your pickup point on time)

Washington Monument

U.S. Capitol Building (must obtain free tickets)

12:00 p.m. Lunch in food court at Union Station, or another place of your choice

Visit National Gallery of Art, National Air and Space Museum, or the Museum of National History.

5:15 p.m. Take the metro to the College Park University of Maryland station (green line).

5:45 Meet your van & go to the host church for a picnic with the host families, followed by Independence Day fireworks. Then go home with your host family.

Saturday, July 5

9:30 a.m. Take the metro downtown for sightseeing.

12:00 p.m. Purchase your lunch.

5:00 p.m. Dinner on your own.

7:45 p.m. Take the Metro to meet your host family.

8:30 p.m. Go home with your host families for the evening.

Sunday, July 6

9:15 a.m. Attend services at Wallace Presbyterian Church

12:15 p.m. Lunch and planned activity or sightseeing

8:00 p.m. Meet host families and go home for the evening.

Monday, July 7

8:30 a.m. Meet at host church to depart for home campuses.  We will arrange transportation to a Metro Station for those needing to get to the bus or train station or airport.