Cultural tour to New York & Washington by air: 7 days, 5 nights

Your cultural school trip to New York and Washington is a wonderful opportunity to bring elements of the KS3 and KS4 curriculum to life and cross-curricular links can help make the tour viable for term time travel as well as peak time. We can tailor-make the tour to suit your educational needs.

Suggested itinerary

Day one
Fly from the UK to New York
Arrive in New York
Transfer to accommodation
Overnight in New York

Day two
Tenement Museum
9/11 Memorial Museum
New York Highline
Museum of Jewish Heritage
Empire State Building
Overnight in New York

Day three
Sight-seeing cruise, Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty
Guggenheim Museum
Madison Square Garden or Radio City
Overnight in New York

Day four
Transfer to Washington with a stop in Philadelphia
Overnight in Washington

Day five
Lincoln Memorial
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Washington Monument
The White House
Overnight in Washington

Day six
Depart accommodation
Supreme Court
Capitol Hill
Union Station
American History Museum
Board flight back to UK

Areoplane - Italy

Day seven
Arrive back in the UK

Excursion Locator Map

Excursion Ideas

  • High Line walk

    Subject range: Art

    What you’ll experience: The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated 30 feet above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. The High Line was transformed from a derelict structure to one of New York’s most beloved public spaces. High Line Art presents a wide array of artwork including site-specific commissions, exhibitions, performances, video programs, and a series of billboard interventions. High Line Art invites artists to come up with creative ways to engage with the uniqueness of the architecture, design, and history of the High Line.
    Select says: The High Line runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues. River and city views provide a different vantage point from which to discuss the surrounding architecture.

  • Guggenheim Museum

    Subject range: Art

    What you’ll experience: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, often referred to as ‘The Guggenheim’, is an art museum and permanent home of a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions throughout the year. A guided tour is recommended.
    Select says: It is possible to browse and view the collection online for use pre-tour and post-tour on the Guggenheim website.

  • Ellis Island and Museum/Statue of Liberty

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: An exciting and memorable experience that will take you to the iconic Statue of Liberty, along with a visit to Ellis Island Immigrant Museum. At the museum, visitors learn about Ellis Island’s history before, during, and after its use as America’s immigration station. The museum also tells the stories of why so many people immigrated to America and what became of them after they arrived. For the Statue of Liberty there are two options for you to choose pre-tour: access to the pedestal or the pedestal and crown.
    Select says: Audio Tours are included with the purchase of every ticket. The audio tours, which complement the National Park Service (NPS) Ranger-led tours on the islands, provide a major enhancement to the visitor experience on both islands.

  • 911 Memorial and Museum

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: The Museum’s 110,000 square feet of exhibition space is located within the archaeological heart of the World Trade Center site. It tells the story of 9/11 through multimedia displays, archives, narratives and a collection of monumental and authentic artefacts. It serves as the country’s principal institution for examining the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of the events and exploring the continuing significance of September 11, 2001.
    Select says: The museum’s website has an excellent interactive timeline for pre tour work and post tour follow up/discussion.

  • Jewish Heritage Museum

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: Created as a living memorial to those who perished during the Holocaust, the Museum honours those who died by celebrating their lives. The core Exhibition and award-winning special exhibitions present the 20th and 21st century experience from the perspective of those who lived it. New generations are taught how to recognize and fight contemporary instances of injustice and oppression.
    Select says: Aspects of the collection which contribute to areas of the curriculum include: Holocaust ghettos and camps, Nazi and collaborationist materials, non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and Jewish participation in the Civil Rights Movement.

  • Empire State Building

    Subject range: Art, History

    What you’ll experience: It’s hard to imagine the city without picturing this iconic building of the New York skyline. The views from the observation decks are particularly beautiful at sunset. The visit also includes the newly restored lobby with its beautiful art deco ceiling murals, the historical Dare To Dream Exhibit, the new Sustainability Exhibit, and an interactive audio device. Find out more here.
    Select says: The view of the building is also amazing. The Empire State Building’s tower lights have maintained a tradition of changing colour to recognize various occasions throughout the year. In 2012, a new computer driven LED light system was installed capable of displaying 16 million colours.

  • Tenement Museum

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: The Tenement Museum preserves and interprets the history of immigration through the personal experiences of the generations of newcomers who settled in and built lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The museum tells the stories of 97 Orchard Street – this tenement apartment building was home to nearly 7000 working class immigrants who faced challenges such as making a new life, working for a better future, and starting a family with limited means.
    Select says: The materials on the museum website will help enrich your visit and aid teaching students about immigration.

  • Philadelphia

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: An optional opportunity to travel via Philadelphia and Gettysburg on your coach journey between cities. In Philadelphia you can visit the symbolic Liberty Bell at Independence Hall, the birthplace of America where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were both debated and signed. At Gettysburg students can visit the famous battlefield of the American Civil War Battle of Gettysburg. There is also a museum and visitor Centre at the Gettysburg National Military Park sight.
    Select says: Find out more about the Liberty Bell here.
    Resources relating to Gettysburg are from the Gettysburg Foundation website.

  • The Lincoln Memorial, Washington

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: The Lincoln Memorial is a monument built to honour the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington, across from the Washington Monument. The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln. There are inscriptions of two of Lincoln’s famous speeches – The Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address.
    Select says: This was also the site where Martin Luther King made his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: Honouring the men and women who served in the controversial Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial chronologically lists the names of more than 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in service during the Vietnam Conflict. The memorial also includes ‘The Three Servicemen’ statue and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.
    Select says: On the National Park Service website, Park Ranger Jeff Jones briefly describes the significance of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial – useful for pre and post tour classwork.

  • Washington Monument

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: The Washington Monument is an obelisk that dominates the United States Capital, built to commemorate George Washington the first American president. It is constructed from marble, granite and gneiss.
    Select says: The monument is the world’s tallest freestanding stone structure at more than 555 feet.

  • The White House Visitor Centre

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. It has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800. You may also choose to visit the ‘White House Visitors Center’ which features many aspects of the White House, including its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders.
    Select says: Interactive tours are available on the White House website for pre tour work and post tour follow up.

  • Supreme Court, Washington

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: This building is majestic and richly ornamented – it serves as both home to the Court and the symbol of its importance as a co-equal, independent branch of government. 30-minute tour programs are designed to introduce visitors of all ages to the judicial functions of the Supreme Court, the history of the building, and the architecture of the courtroom. The Supreme Court Building was designed by Cass Gilbert and built from 1931 to 1935. The Court first sat in the building on Monday, October 7, 1935.
    Select says: Architectural information describing many of the building’s sculptural elements may be obtained from the Visitor Desk on the ground floor.

  • Capitol Hill, Washington

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: The Senate and the House of Representatives have met within the Capitol building for more than two centuries and it is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world. The Capitol Visitor Center is the newest addition to this historic complex. The entire facility is located underground on the east side of the Capitol so as not to detract from the appearance of the Capitol and the grounds.
    Select says: Look out for the numerous huge canvases with scenes of American history on the walls. The dome is painted with the huge fresco ‘The Apotheses of Washington’.

  • Union Station

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: Union Station is a major train station, transportation hub, and leisure destination. Visited by 32 million people a year, Union Station is one of the busiest train stations in the country. The station opened in 1907 and at its height during World War II some 200,000 people passed through it every day. In 1988 a new headhouse wing was constructed to the north and the original station renovated for use as a shopping mall.
    Select says: For pre-tour there is a detailed history of Union Station available on their website.

  • American History Museum, Washington

    Subject range: History

    What you’ll experience: The National Museum of American History preserves and displays an enduring record of American past in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. The Museum collects artifacts of all kinds from gowns to locomotives. Tours are self-guided.
    Select says: Among the items on display is the original Star-Spangled Banner.

  • Radio City Music Hall

    Subject range: Cultural

    What you’ll experience: The Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in Rockefeller Center. Known as the Showplace of the Nation, for a time it was the leading tourist destination in the city
    Select says: It is possible to take a tour. Please see the Radio City Music Hall Website.

  • Madison Square Gardens

    Subject range: Cultural

    What you’ll experience: Madison Square Garden is a multi-purpose indoor arena in Midtown Manhattan, located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues from 31st to 33rd Streets. This is a chance to go behind the scenes of one of the world’s most famous arenas. Discover the place where the likes of Elvis Presley, U2 and Elton John have performed and the home of many significant sporting events.
    Select says: Madison Square Garden sits directly above Pennsylvania Station.

Cultural trip to New York & Washington by air: 7 days, 5 nights Accommodation

Vanderbilt YMCA

Our rating:

Location: Manhattan


Conveniently located on Manhattan's East Side near Grand Central Station and Fifth Avenue. An excellent base from which to visit the many attractions in New York City, the YMCA Vanderbilt is a great budget option that welcomes school groups.

Rooms: Shared bathroom.

Facilities: Common room, Wi-Fi available, swimming pool, vending machines.

Holiday Inn

Our rating:

Location: Manhattan


Comfortable, well-located accommodation in Midtown 57th street, within walking distance of Central Park, Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.

Rooms: All rooms have en-suite facilities.

Facilities: Large lobby, bar and restaurant.

Comfort Inn Chelsea

Our rating:

Location: Manhattan


Central location near Madison Square Park and the iconic Flatiron Building in Times Square. The Comfort Inn offers comfortable rooms with friendly staff in a very convenient location to explore the city.