One of the most rewarding and memorable experiences from my travels in the US was a whistlestop pilgrimage, on a rail journey across the country, to Chicago. It was to Oak Park, the attractive Chicago suburb where the original studio belonging to legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is located, along with a host of classic houses he designed.
I was on a personal mission, of sorts, to uncover the Australian connection to Wright: one Walter Burley Griffin, the Chicagoan designer of Australia’s national capital, Canberra. The two architects had worked together and I was keen to write about their tempestuous relationship.
I’m therefore delighted to invite Traveller readers, in partnership with escorted journey specialists Collette, on an exclusive, expert-led architecture, design and heritage-themed tour of the US, including Chicago. You’ll travel in June next year in the company of carefully-selected special guests, with the tour including a strong focus on Wright as well as Griffin. There’s also the opportunity to stay in and tour some of the most historic hotels in the US as well as visiting the architecture capital of New York City.
Karen McCartney, a respected author and journalist specialising in architecture, interiors and design, heads our line-up of expert guests, for this, the fourth of our Traveller Tours (see guest profiles, far right). She’ll be joined by Scott W. Perkins, director of heritage and preservation at Fallingwater, Wright’s masterpiece house in Pennsylvania.
In New York, with our tour coinciding with the centenary of Collette - a remarkable achievement in the travel industry internationally - the head of Collette, Dan Sullivan Jnr, will host an exclusive dinner for readers while yours truly will join Karen and the rest of the tour party in Chicago for a return visit to Chicago and Oak Park.
If you have a passion for architecture and heritage, and for that matter, the United States and its rich and varied built heritage, this tour offers a rare opportunity to gain unique insights from hand-picked authorities supported by the unrivalled escorted journey expertise and experience of Collette.
DAY 1 JUNE 5
AUSTRALIA TO NEW YORK CITY
As part of the Collette experience, you are met at your home in Australia by a chauffeur and driven to the international airport before boarding your flights to New York. You will be transferred to the hotel, your home for the next four nights. Hotel: Sheraton New York, Times Square.
DAY 2 JUNE 6
NEW YORK CITY
Breakfast at a local eatery before embarking on a locally-guided tour of the “Big Apple” including famous neighbourhoods such as Greenwich Village and the Wall Street district. See Central Park and the Empire State Building. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner hosted by our special Traveller Tours guest and Collette president and chief executive, Dan Sullivan Jnr, at a local restaurant. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
DAY 3 JUNE 7
NEW YORK CITY
Breakfast at New York’s famous Ellen’s Stardust Diner. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure exploring New York. Take advantage of this free time to discover the city at your own pace, perhaps visiting the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Tonight, take a seat at your choice of a Broadway show, courtesy of Collette. Today breakfast will be included.
DAY 4 JUNE 8
NEW YORK CITY
In the company of special Traveller Tours guest and architecture and design expert, Karen McCartney, board a ferry for an architecture-focused cruise of New York Harbour. Take in the New York skyline and the Statue of Liberty and dock for an up-close look. Then visit Ellis Island for a self-guided tour of its immigration museum. This afternoon also enjoy a tour with Karen at New York’s stunning Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
DAY 5 JUNE 9
NEW YORK CITY - GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA - BEDFORD SPRINGS
Depart with Karen for Gettysburg for a guided tour of the hallowed battlefield. Learn about the three historic days in 1863 that changed the course of American history. Continue on to Bedford Springs, home to the 200-year-old Omni Bedford Springs Resort, boasting eight mineral springs. This evening, enjoy a special lecture and Q&A session with Karen on her love of architecture and design as well as her insights into the architecture of the US. Today breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included. Hotel: Omni Bedford Springs resort.
DAY 6 JUNE 10
Begin your day with a heritage tour of the historic Bedford Springs Resort in the company of Karen. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the amenities of this luxury hotel at leisure or enjoy a round of golfing, a hike and some fishing. Bedford Village is nearby should you choose to explore this charming town on your own. Today breakfast will be included.
DAY 7 JUNE 11
BEDFORD SPRINGS - FALLINGWATER - HOT SPRINGS, VIRGINIA
Depart for Virginia with Karen, and en route, visit Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece home. Now a National Historic Landmark in the US, this architectural marvel seemingly floats over a dramatic waterfall. Tour Fallingwater with Karen and meet fellow Traveller Tours guest, Scott W. Perkins, Fallingwater’s director of preservation and collections. He will welcome our Traveller Tours party and provide a question and answer session conducted by Karen. Lunch at the Fallingwater Café will follow. Later, arrive in Hot Springs and check in to the 250-year-old Omni Homestead Resort for a luxurious two-night stay. Dine at one of the resort’s beautiful restaurants. Today breakfast and dinner will be included. Hotel: Omni Homestead Resort.
DAY 8 JUNE 12
Begin your day with a tour of your resort. The Homestead opened 10 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed and has hosted presidents, royalty and celebrities over the years. Then perhaps soak up the warm, rich mineral waters in the springs near your resort, the same ones that Thomas Jefferson, third US President and author of the Declaration of Independence, once enjoyed, or explore local trails by mountain bike. The rest of the day can be spent at your leisure. Enjoy a round of golf, a luxurious spa treatment, or even falconry, or simply relax and take in the beauty of your surroundings. Today breakfast will be included.
DAY 9 JUNE 13
HOT SPRINGS - SHENANDOAH VALLEY - RICHMOND
Today we head east, travelling through scenic Shenandoah Valley. Visit Monticello, the beautiful home and gardens of Thomas Jefferson. Later we arrive in Richmond, the capital of Virginia, and one of America’s oldest and most historic cities. Check in to your hotel, The Jefferson, which dates to 1895 and is considered Richmond’s grandest hotel and one of the finest in America. Today breakfast will be included. Hotel: The Jefferson.
DAY 10 JUNE 14
This morning take a locally guided tour of Richmond which shows off the city’s historic neighbourhoods and includes visits to the State Capitol building, designed by Thomas Jefferson, and St John’s Church where Patrick Henry’s famous speech began the Revolutionary War. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
DAY 11 JUNE 15
RICHMOND – CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Depart Richmond and fly to Chicago. Upon your arrival in Chicago, board Chicago’s First Lady vessel, and embark on a Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise in the company of Karen and Traveller editor, Anthony Dennis, who joins the tour today. From this perfect viewing platform you’ll be able to admire and learn about the dozens of classic skyscrapers and buildings that line the river. Tonight Anthony hosts dinner at The Drake, a classic Chicago hotel dating to the 1920s and, with Karen, will deliver a talk on Walter Burley Griffin, the Chicagoan architect who designed Canberra. Hear how and where his American hometown has remembered him to this day. Today breakfast and dinner will be included. Hotel: The Drake.
DAY 12 JUNE 16
Begin your day in the company of Karen and Anthony with a locally-guided tour of Chicago’s remarkable architecture including the “Magnificent Mile”, the Wrigley Building, and a walking tour through Millennium Park. This afternoon join Karen and Anthony on a special tour of Chicago’s Oak Park area, site of Frank Lloyd Wright’s first home and studio and the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District in Oak Park; then head to the Rookery Light Court in downtown Chicago, containing one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most dramatic interiors. This evening, join Karen, Anthony and the group for a farewell dinner. Karen will deliver her final reflections on the tour while Anthony will take your questions about the life of a travel writer and editor and his own interest in architecture. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
DAY 13 JUNE 17
CHICAGO - TOUR ENDS
Your architecture and heritage tour concludes here in Chicago. Today breakfast will be included before your transfer to Chicago international airport for your flights back to Australia, arriving on day 15. On arrival at your international airport you will be met and then be taken home by private chauffeur service.
TOUR DETAILS AND INCLUSIONS
Departure date: June 5, 2018
Twin share price: From $11,590 per person
Single supplement: From $4,000 p/p
13-days fully inclusive
- Economy class airfares with a Collette-preferred airline, from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Surcharge may apply for other capital cities. Fare is based on all travelling from Australia on the same day (Class upgrades possible based on availability)
- Collette chauffeur service in Australia (conditions apply)
- All luggage handling (one bag per guest)
- Services of a professional tour manager
- One group motor coach transfer upon arrival and departure (conditions apply)
- Transport via deluxe air-conditioned coach
- 20 meals (breakfasts, lunches and dinners)
- All taxes and service charges
Ph: 1300 792 195