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This historic path through the Virginias will perhaps take us through more history than any backroads journey thus far. We will tour more museums, homes of former presidents, old historic buildings, and old, old towns and cities. Much of what we will experience will take us back to “the way it was,” the very foundation of our country. If you love history, historic main streets, beautiful rolling countryside and largely undisturbed, peaceful landscapes, do come along with us on this journey to a time in our history that was for the most part charming, uncomplicated, and full of excitement, both tragic and otherwise. Walk with us in the footsteps of our forefathers that paved the way for us and our future. Virginia is full of small towns, authentic Americana such as local diners, soda fountains, quaint B&B’s, and a nostalgic vibe that takes away everyday stresses and transports visitors to a simpler time. When you visit Virginia’s historic downtowns, you can almost hear the echoes of historic events that took place on the cobblestone streets or in historic buildings where architecture is pristinely preserved. 

Virginia is an American history icon with hundreds of sites that date back to the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown, and cover every important period of American history from 1607 to the present. Step into the homes of patriots, presidents, and soldiers. Visit the sites where major moments in American history were immortalized. We will explore this beloved state the way it should be done, via the backroads. There really is nothing in our country more Vintage than Virginia!

Day 1 – Home to Bloomington, IL

Welcome aboard! It’s a travel day today. Enjoy the color of Wisconsin as we journey to Bloomington, IL. Lunch and dinner are on your own at convenient locations.

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express 


Day 2 – Bloomington to Ashland, KY

Included breakfast at our hotel this morning before we depart for another travel day. More great scenery unfolds outside our windows as we travel across Illinois and central Indiana. Crossing the beautiful Ohio River, our chosen route across north eastern Kentucky is the John Brown Parkway, one of the most pleasant drives in the country, especially this time of year. Enjoy an included dinner this evening, anticipating the adventure that begins in the morning.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express 


Day 3 – Ashland to Roanoke, WV

Breakfast is conveniently served at our hotel. We don’t mind our early departure because we are soon boarding the New River Train. This world-renowned train excursion through the beautiful New River Gorge in southern West Virginia, is one of the newest national parklands, the “Grand Canyon of the East” along the New River, is majestic and breathtaking with fall colors. The train traverses the former Chesapeake & Ohio mainline from Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV, allowing for a front-row seat to some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Landmarks and scenic locations on the route include downtown Charleston and the State Capitol building, Kanawha Falls, Hawks Nest Dam and bridge, the famous New River Gorge Bridge, Stretcher Neck Tunnel, Sandstone Falls, and numerous historic towns from the New River’s rich coal mining era. We arrive in the classic small mountain valley village of Hinton just in time to enjoy the Railroad Days Festival and lunch on your own. Our motorcoach meets us and we really get our “backroads” adventure underway as we wind our way along the river valleys of West Virginia and across the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to Salem and Roanoke. Enjoy our scrumptious dinner at Shaker’s, while reflecting on the delights of the day.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Best Western Plus – Valley View 

Day 4 – Roanoke to Petersburg, VA

Following breakfast we traverse the backroads through the foothills to gorgeous Smith Mountain Lake and the Booker T. Washington National Monument. Booker T. was born in slavery on this 207-acre tobacco farm. Visitors are invited to step back in time and experience firsthand the life and landscape of people who lived in an era when slavery was part of the fabric of American life. Lynchburg is our next destination where we have an opportunity to view Liberty University, one of America’s premier Christian Universities, as well as founder Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church. Sunday lunch is included at the Depot Grille in the historic downtown area. A short distance away is Appomattox. Conveniently located in the “Heart of Virginia,” Appomattox invites us to experience the timeless, charming appeal of small town America and the Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, forever written on the pages of Civil War History. Highway 460 rolls its way across the appealing countryside of the “Heartland of Virginia,” through the little known hamlets of Prospect, Farmville, Wilsons, Ford and Sutherland to Petersburg, our destination for the night.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn


Day 5 – Petersburg to Willamsburg, VA

We’ll begin our day with a stop at Petersburg Battlefield. The Seige of Petersburg was an important time in Civil War history and one of the famous battles was the Battle of the Crater. We’ll make a stop at this historic site and learn of this unique moment on this special Battlefield. Also on the Battlefield is Blandford Church, which is famous for it’s Tiffany Glass windows. A stop here will truly inspire you! On to the historic downtown of Petersburg, a unique city at the crossroads of American history. Scores of historic and architecturally significant structures are located in Old Towne Petersburg, famous most recently as the filming site for many scenes in the movie “Lincoln.” According to location manager Colleen Gibbons, “one thing that attracted the filmmakers to the city was the 180-degree vista of historic structures” which is “very rare.” We are treated to lunch at The Brickhouse Run, a friendly and welcoming British pub and restaurant in a historic 190 year old building in Old Towne Petersburg. Traveling the back roads, we take Route 36 through the little settlement of Hopewell, crossing the James River via the Benjamin Harrison Bridge on our way to the Shirley Plantation. Four hundred years old as of 2013, it was Virginia’s very first plantation and is known to be the most intact plantation of the Colonial era. Departing Shirley we take the scenic byway, Route 5, along the James River on our way to Williamsburg. We relax in comfort the next three evenings at the Embassy Suites.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Reception at Hotel

Hotel: Embassy Suites (3 Nights) 


Day 6 – Colonial Williamsburg

Embassy Suites is well known for its full hot breakfast, much appreciated before the exciting full day we have in store. Colonial Williamsburg is the most elaborately restored and reconstructed colonial site in America. Meet the tradespeople, shopkeepers, political figures, women, and the enslaved that call Williamsburg home. Learn of their hopes, struggles, and fears in these uncertain times. As you explore the challenges of daily life set against the backdrop of revolution, get caught up in the historic moments taking place around you. You are part of a living, breathing colonial village. Enjoy lunch at an authentic period eating establishment of your choice. Following lunch we travel the Colonial Parkway a short distance to the Jamestown Settlement, the “beginning of America.” It looks almost the way it did when those 3 small ships landed in the new world. Tethered at the shoreline are replicas of the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery and visitors are welcome aboard the 110’ Susan Constant, where “colonials” in knee-britches are happy to explain what it was like to cross the Atlantic in such a “ship.” Nearby we make a stop at the Jamestown Glasshouse, observing skilled artisans in colonial muslin shirts stoking the beehive kilns and blowing glass the old way, twisting their blowpipes into the molten glass, then blowing and turning the fiery globs into shapely green vessels and vases. Enjoy dinner and another relaxing evening at our lovely hotel.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 


Day 7 – Chesapeake Bay Area

After another great breakfast we will travel to Newport News, home of the Mariner’s Museum designated by Congress as America’s National Maritime Museum. This museum contains the largest maritime history collection in the Western Hemisphere. One of the highlights here is the USS Monitor Center. The wreck of the USS Monitor was located on the floor of the Atlantic and part of it is here being restored. You’ll see the story and the artifacts along with many other outstanding exhibits. This afternoon we will travel to Fort Monroe National Monument. Fort Monroe spans the American story through the 21st century: American Indian presence, Captain John Smith’s journeys, a safe haven for freedom seekers during the Civil War and a bastion of defense for the Chesapeake Bay. Our guided tour will open this history to us as we walk through this historic area. Back at our hotel for the third night, enjoy the managers reception and dinner on your own.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Light Lunch, Reception at Hotel 


Day 8 – Williamsburg to Orange, VA

Today we journey the Colonial Parkway again to the Historic Yorktown Monument, on to Tappahannock, and in to Fredericksburg. Almost 300 years old, Fredericksburg is one of the most vibrant historic cities in America. Enjoy lunch along mainstreet before we embark on a fascinating, narrated trolley tour with more historically significant sites within a few blocks than is possible anywhere else in this country. Then more back roads travel to our destination for tonight: Orange, VA where we’ve discovered one of the most serenely located hotels we’ve ever seen. It’s another Holiday Inn Express but the setting is simply stunning overlooking the rolling countryside of the Blue Ridge foothills. Dinner this evening is “backroads friendly” at a quaint, local main street establishment.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express


Day 9 – Orange to Waynesboro, VA

This incredible day begins with a delightful morning view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Just a few minutes away we are making our approach to Montpelier, home to President James Madison, Father of the Constitution and Architect of the Bill of Rights, and Dolley Madison, America’s first “First Lady.” Montpelier offers 2,650 acres of rolling hills, spacious horse pastures, and spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We’ll have a guided tour of the mansion and time to enjoy the gardens and grounds. Lunch is included at Michie Tavern where we will “Get A Taste of the 18th Century.” The tavern has welcomed guests for over 200 years, offering homemade southern fare from 1784 in a truly authentic setting. Just around the corner and over the hill is Monticello, the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence. This incredible, iconic place is one of the most cherished and visited locations in all of America. A short but beautiful drive takes us to our lodging for the next two nights in Waynesboro, VA. Enjoy dinner at a near by restaurant and a relaxing evening.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Best Western Plus (2 Nights) 


Day 10 – Blue Ridge Parkway & Shenandoah Valley

Just when you think your scenic senses can’t handle much more, our drive this morning will prove it can only get better! We cruise the first 45 miles of the northern stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway at what is historically the peak of autumn colors, making a few scenic overlook stops for those keepsake pictures. Descending from the Parkway we begin to get glimpses of our destination for the next day and a half, that legendary place called the Shenandoah Valley. Lexington, where we enjoy lunch at another local eatery, is the first of many small towns we will explore as we travel famous Hwy 11 through the valley. The Shenandoah Valley is well known for its vineyards and wineries. We have selected to visit the charming Rockbridge Vineyards for its casual & relaxing atmosphere, and award-winning fare. Nearby we discover McCormick Farm, the home of Cyrus McCormick and his first Mechanical Reaper. At this peaceful National Historic Landmark, we are welcome to tour the blacksmith shop, gristmill and workshop. Downtown Staunton, well known for its historic architecture, is where we discover the life and legacy of Woodrow Wilson at his birthplace, museum, and research library, which is the only presidential library in Virginia.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 11 – Waynesboro to Winchester, VA

We spend the entire day traversing the Valley Highway on our way to Winchester. Just a few highlights of the day include Meems Bottom Covered Bridge, James Madison University, New Market Battlefield, the Southern Kitchen for Sunday dinner, Old Town Winchester, and a drive past the home of Patsy Cline. The Shenandoah Valley in all its Autumn splendor is our “stomping grounds” on this special day!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Sunday Dinner

Hotel: Hampton Inn


Day 12 – Winchester to Sugarcreek, OH

As we depart this morning we will soon bid farewell to Virginia but not to the incredible seasonal beauty that unfolds as we make our way through northern West Virginia, western Maryland, southwestern Pennsylvania and into Ohio. Interstate 68, named The National Freeway, is some of the most gorgeous freeway mileage in the country. US 40, The National Road, adds to our memorable travel experiences for today. We abide in comfort and style this evening at the Carlisle Inn in the heart of Amish Country in Sugarcreek, Ohio, while our awesome included dinner is at Dutch Valley Restaurant right at the village. You’ll be looking for a little more packing space to take home some of their delightful homemade products.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Carlisle Inn


Day 13 – Sugarcreek to St. Charles, IL

Travel day today through Ohio and Northern Indiana as we make our way to St. Charles, IL. Dinner is included this evening at wonderful Sweet Tomatoes.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Hampton Inn


Day 14 – Sugarcreek to Home

More travel today, mostly through Wisconsin, as we observe the contrast of the brilliant fall color we witnessed when we left 13 days earlier with the “fading glory” we are viewing today. We share our farewell meal together at one of our long-time favorite spots, Burnstad’s, in Tomah. What an extraordinary journey through Vintage Virginia we’ve had!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Motorcoach Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $2,999
Single: $3,799
Triple: $2,849
Quad: $2,699

Motorcoach Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $184
Single: $240

Travel Bucks

$40 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$100 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 30 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed


Tour Pace

Moderate Walking at your own pace

Price Includes

26 Meals & 2 Manager’s Receptions, Hotels & Activities as stated in brochure, Luxury Motorcoach

The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 67°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
Vintage Virginia
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Tour Highlights

West Virginia’s New River Train
Unparalleled Autumn vistas
Blue Ridge Mountains, valleys
and streams
The Roanoke Valley
Booker T Washington National
Appomattox Historic Park
Visit Historic Petersburg
(Spielberg’s “Lincoln” filmed here)
Petersburg Battlefield
Dining in great small town restaurants
Shirley Plantation
Colonial Williamsburg
Jamestown Settlement
Yorktown Monument
Fredericksburg Trolley tour
Mariner’s Museum
Fort Monroe on Chesapeake Bay
James Madison’s Montpelier
Wilderness Road (the most important
travel road in American history)
Lunch at Historic Michie Tavern
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway!
Historic Hwy 11 & the heralded
Shenandoah Valley
Woodrow Wilson Birthplace
Shenandoah Valley Winery
Meems Bottom Covered Bridge
Patsy Cline’s historic home in Winchester
Carlisle Inn in Sugar Creek, OH
Beautiful, comfortable accommodations

Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
Vintage Virginia
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 67°
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