ROCHESTER LILAC FESTIVAL
Back in 1890, Rochester’s finest horticulturalists planted several thousand flowering shrubs on the south slope of Highland Park. Imagine their delight on a sunny Sunday in May 1898 when a spontaneous festival broke out in the park! More than 3,000 people flocked to see the magnificent display of blooms, especially the bright purples, whites, and pinks of the park’s first lilac gardens. Now 134 years later, with its star status of presenting the largest lilac collection in the Unites States, a visit to Highland Park offers a rare opportunity to experience the incredible beauty and intense fragrance of more than 500 varieties of lilacs on 1800 plants. Tour includes 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners. We will depart Manassas at 6:15 a.m. and Wood bridge at 7:00 a.m. Return time is approximately 5:00 p.m.
The Itinerary Day One:
Today you depart on your deluxe motor coach for a scenic ride to Rochester, NY, where you have accommodations at the Holiday Inn Express for the next three nights. This evening we will enjoy dinner at the Golden Corral.
This morning after a full breakfast at your hotel, you take a 2.5-mile drive to nearby Highland Park, where you have four hours to enjoy the Lilac Festival. Here you will find over 1800 lilac bushes with over 450 varieties of this beautiful, fragrant spring flower, including rare yellow lilacs. There are also many types of lovely flowers in the park with many types of pansies, tulips and trees. However, the queen of the show is the huge collection of lilacs. There is a lot of free music with local bands and choirs and special admission to the indoor Lambert on Conservatory is also included. Within its glass walls are many plants not hearty enough to survive Rochester’s temperate climate. Under the main dome of the facility is a tropical floral display. Other climate controlled rooms contain collections of exotic tropical plants, desert plants, economic plants (such as banana and coffee trees), as well as carnivorous and house plants. Among the most popular attractions at the Conservatory are fauna and seasonal floral displays. Lunch is on your own from one of the many vendors in the park. Why not try a favorite Rochester dish for lunch – a plate of macaroni salad with your choice of 2 hamburgers or 2 hot dogs. For a special treat, get a bag of delicious cinnamon almonds. Have fun! In the afternoon, you tour the city’s Susan B. Anthony home. Though she did not live to see women get the right to vote, her efforts were so instrumental in getting the bill passed that the 19th Amendment (passed in 1920) is officially known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. Dinner tonight is included at Delmonico’s Restaurant next to your hotel (With reservation advise your choice of Delmonico steak, salmon or chicken marsala).
This morning after a full breakfast your hotel, you have admission included at the George Eastman Museum that focuses on the man who founded the Kodak Company. On display is the beautiful Victoria home the Eastman family lived in with many original furnishings. On the property is a wonderful exhibit on the history of Kodak. including a rare “camera obscure”, early cameras, and of course Kodak’s world-famous Brownie camera, the first camera that was so inexpensive it was affordable to the masses. Next, it’s on to Pitts ford, just eleven miles away where you are treated to a private cruise just for you and your tour group, on board the Sam Patch, a replica of an 1800s packet boat. During your 11/2-hour cruise, you will learn all about the history of the Erie Canal – how “canal locks” work, etc., and of course no cruise on the Erie Canal would be complete without singing “15
Miles on the Erie Canal”! Your cruise guide will lead everyone in the song before docking at Schoen Place, a historic village on the Erie Canal with lots of shops, cafes, and ice cream parlors. A box lunch is included today with an afternoon wine tasting at the beautiful Casa Larga Winery in the nearby village of Fairport. Following dinner, we will enjoy an evening performance of “Cabaret” at the nearby Black friars Theater.
After a full buffet breakfast at your hotel, we will board our bus for our return journey. We will stop for lunch at a Cracker Barrel en route ($18 gift card).
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