After pickup from your Beijing hotel, travel by private air-conditioned vehicle to Juyongguan, the closest section of Great Wall to China’s capital.
After a 37-mile (60-kilometer) journey, arrive at this impressive, restored stretch of the UNESCO-listed structure. One of the wall’s three great mountain passes, Juyongguan spans two mountain peaks, and takes its name from the Chinese words for 'pass' and 'laborers’ gathering place.'
Stroll along the battlements and enjoy time to take in the stunning scenery, with the ramparts and watchtowers snaking across the peaks.
After descending, drive to the nearby Sacred Way, a paved road that leads to the Ming Tombs and served as ceremonial funerary route for the Ming emperors. Stroll along the pathway, stopping to admire the stone statues of animals and figures that line it.
Next, head for Beijing's Changping district for lunch at Dazhaimen, an acclaimed Chinese restaurant. Admire the decorative interior and savor a delicious lunch as you watch live performances of Chinese arts such as face-changing, acrobatics, and Peking Opera.
Duly refreshed, stop for photos at the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube stadiums of Beijing’s 2008 Olympics Village, and then continue to the Summer Palace, the landscaped oasis of gardens, pavilions, and waterways created in 1750 as a summertime retreat for China’s emperors.
Admire the scenery on a tour or Dragon Boat cruise (April to October) on Kunming Lake, seeing highlights like Longevity Hill, the 17-Arch Bridge, and the Marble Boat: a boat-shaped stone pavilion.
Finally, stroll and ride a boat to Suzhou Street, a canalside ensemble of shops designed by the emperors to mimic southern China’s water towns. Take in the delightful setting and shops here before your tour concludes with a hotel drop-off.