Join decorative arts specialist Erin Kuykendall for a tour of historic Annapolis, Maryland, to discover architectural gems and works of art from the eve of the American Revolution. Through visits to historic Georgian-style homes and an examination of the period’s decorative arts, Kuykendall offers a portrait of a vibrant capital city in which building, politics, art, and international commerce thrived.
The beginning of the end of slavery can be traced to two extraordinary events: John Brown’s ill-fated 1859 raid on the arsenal at Harpers Ferry and the Battle of Antietam. Join author and historian Garrett Peck on an exciting day trip following the steps of John Brown in Harpers Ferry and a tour of parts of the Antietam National Battlefield on foot.
Join an overnight tour to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the 2,600-acre sanctuary that is the world’s first refuge for birds of prey and an international center for raptor conservation. Get a chance to see eagles, falcons, hawks, and osprey soaring high over a mountaintop preserve that glows with fall foliage.
Join historian and author Garrett Peck on a walk though wartime Washington. Its stops include Pershing Park, the First and Second Division monuments, the D.C. War Memorial, the spot where sheep grazed on the Ellipse, and the site where thousands of women volunteered for the American Red Cross.
Learn the benefits of quiet time spent in touch with nature as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, leads a 2-hour walk in the Smithsonian’s beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden.
Baltimore offers the perfect destination for aficionados of historic glass. Stunning works by Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge—as well as bottles created for one of the city’s most famous products—are among the highlights of a glass-lover’s tour led by museum education consultant Sheila Pinsker.
Matisses, Modiglianis, and Monets are among the treasures found in the downtown home of the Barnes collection. Join art historian Bonita Billman to view the museum’s stunning post-impressionist and early-modern works. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)
Join Rachel Cooper and Renee Sklarew, authors of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Washington, D.C., as they lead a fall excursion to the Lorton, Virginia, area to explore a trio of distinctive sites in Fairfax County: Mason Neck State Park, American statesman George Mason’s mansion Gunston Hall, and Lorton Workhouse Art Center.
Find out why Virginia’s caves never fail to dazzle visitors during a visit to realms of wonder eons in the making in the scenic Shenandoah Valley. With Gregg Clemmer as your guide, explore two of the region’s great caverns—Shenandoah Caverns and Luray Caverns—from their stone columns and draperies to jagged helectites and dog-toothed spars.
Led by rail historian Joe Nevin, climb through the Allegheny Mountains on a historic restored diesel locomotive as you enjoy a 30-mile round-trip excursion between Cumberland and Frostburg on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.
Enjoy the beauty of an autumn morning on the 90-acre wooded oasis and national memorial in the middle of the tidal Potomac. Author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley leads a scenic walk around Roosevelt Island, focusing on its woodlands, wildlife, and history.
Join Garrett Peck, author of Capital Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in Washington, D.C, on a walk through Old Town’s alleyways, archaeological finds, ice wells, warehouses, and waterfront as you explore the beverage’s local heritage and its renaissance.
Many of the scientific, medical, and technological innovations of the past two centuries have had their roots in military medicine. Visits to the National Museum of Health and Medicine and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine offer insights into that history, as well as military medicine’s links to modern healthcare.
There’s no more iconic holiday performance in New York than Radio City Music Hall’s famed Christmas Spectacular. And there’s no better way to see the precision dancing of the Rockettes than from prime orchestra seats in the fabulous art deco theater where the show has been a tradition since 1933. A behind-the-scenes tour of the Music Hall adds to the experience.
Three of the splendid “Charms” of Fairmount Park open their doors for a holiday-season guided tour, offering an intimate look at the lives of well-to-do Philadelphians of the Revolutionary period and the evolution of domestic architecture and interiors as the Federal era began. Bill Keene leads this tour.
The Neue Gallery, Morgan Library and Museum, and the Frick Collection offer a rich array of delights for visitors. Enjoy an escape to Manhattan that gives you plenty of time to take in these distinctive and stunning smaller museums—and a night on the town to enjoy as you like. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)