South Mountain Expeditions - Tours For History Buffs



WE are delighted to announce that next year we plan to offer 2 or 3 tours: Pennsylvania, May 6-16; The Coast of Maine in July/August; and The Heart of Italy, October 3/4-12.


Our popular 'State Series' continues in May 2024 with a journey through the historic Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and we have already begun to receive applications. A few of the highlights will include:  Two Frank Lloyd Wright's homes: Fallingwater and Kentuck Nob; Philadelphia landmarks including a private guided tour of the Museum of  the American Revolution; the Flight 93 Memorial; Fort Necessity and Fort Ligonier; an exclusive visit to a farm adjacent to a remote corner of the Gettysburg Battlefield to tour "Lost Avenue."; a visit to an Amish farm; and a tour of Wheatland, home of President James Buchanan.


We have just posted our itinerary for "The Heart of Italy: from Florence, Rome, and the Hill Towns of Umbria," October 3/4-12, 2024!  Our trip will use only three hotels (!) Florence, Rome and a country retreat in Umbria. For our 4-night stay in Umbria, we found a lovely villa hotel surrounded by vineyards and situated at the foot of the charming hill town of Montefalco. We plan to offer an optional extension in Sorrento for those who wish to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum


Looking to escape next summer's heat? We are considering offering a 3rd program that would operate in July-August 2024.... an in-depth look at Maine, The Pine Tree State, where this summer, the temperatures averaged 20-25 degrees cooler than Washington, DC!  We are currently checking into hotel availability.





 This fall, we traveled to the beautiful State of Washington, from Seattle to Mount Rainier; to its exquisite coast, verdant rainforests, and on to the San Juan Island Archipelago. We toured the underground city of Seattle and joined a National Park ranger on a nature walk at the foot of Mount Rainier. In Olympic National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, our private naturalist guide led us tours of Hurricane Ridge which offered a spectacular panoramic view of the Olympic Mountain Range; the lush Hoh Rainforest; and stunning Rialto Beach. A local historian joined us as our private guide for two days as we explored San Juan Island. We heard the story of the Pig War of 1859 where a Captain George E. Pickett (yes, that George Pickett!) played a vital role in avoiding war with Canada over a dead pig. On Orcas Island, we drove to the summit of Mount Constitution which afforded a spectacular view of the San Juan islands. (click for detailed tour itinerary)



Featuring Ed Bearss' Mississippi  

On this trip, we explored historic and cultural sites including plantation homes along the Natchez Trace;Vicksburg National Military Park and the USS Cairo with Historian Terry Winschel; the birthplace of Elvis; Emerald Mound; the US Grant Presidential Library; and several stops on the US Civil Rights Trail. A highlight of our tour was our 3-day stay in Jackson-Brandon-Vicksburg Mississippi when Ed's daughter, Ginny Bearss took us to family landmarks including where Ed and Margie Bearss were married and their final resting place.  Ginny welcomed us back to her home for homemade peach cobbler and blueberry pie and showed us family photos (including the only known photo of Ed in a National Park Ranger uniform!) and mementos including the branding irons from the Bearss ranch in Sarpy MT. Our tour ended with two nights in New Orleans. (click here to see where we traveled)



We had a phenomenal time on our grand adventure around the Emerald Isle in May. We visited the best known sites of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  In the company of our outstanding National Guide Marian McCormack and a series of expert local guides, we toured the cities of Dublin, Waterford, Derry, and Belfast and explored the Dingle Peninsula, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, and Wicklow Mountains and Killarney National Parks. Other memorable visits included walking the Giant's Causeway (we were the first coach to arrive so we beat the hordes!); a day excursion by ferry to the Aran Island of Inishmore; a tour of a whiskey distillery; and a sheep dog demonstration at a working sheep farm! But for most, the Hawk Walk at the Ireland School of Falconry at Ashford Castle was hands down the highlight of the entire trip; participants are still talking about it! (Click to see our itinerary)



If you would like more information, please email us at


We hope to see you soon on one of our tours!


Marty Gane

South Mountain Expeditions

P.O. Box 204, Keedysville, MD 21756

Tel: 301-491-0225     email:



"The tour was superb. It was a great learning experience that was also great fun. Your attention to detail, your ability to assemble a cast of experts and your    knowledge of the dynamics of touring make South Mountain Expeditions the best."       --- Gail Stephens

"Kudos to Marty Gane and South Mountain Expeditions for EVERYTHING that they did to make our trip so outstanding. We have toured with many companies but Marty stands out head and shoulders for the many, many ways that she made the trip not only more informative but also more fun!"    

         ---Ken and Linda O'Bannon

"Traveling with South Mountain Expeditions is like going to a family reuinion except with people you like!"  --  Cindy Houpt