There are four well-known estates in Virginia which have been preserved and are available to the public.
The Big Four are:
- Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
- James Madison’s Montpelier
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon
- James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland
Here is a survey of happenings for the new year (ok its February already but still…)
The “A” tour in terms of stature and architecture, the Bard of Monticello’s home base offers plenty to see both in and outdoors. The Signature Tours are not to miss. They run in the evenings around the holidays; they are pricey, but any visit that gets you to the third floor is a treat!
Affectionately translated as “lesser” or “little Monticello”, The Madisons’ scaled down to its original boundaries, newly restored home still chases after Monticello’s shadow. With the improvements come new optimism and tours start running in April.
- Daily Tours run 9:30 to 4:30pm through March
A distant third in the Charlottesville area to Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Madison in domicile, if not stature, James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland is still a short, country drive away.
- General admission and house tours are 11am to 5pm through March; 9am to 6pm beginning in April
Located southwest of Washington, DC next to what would surely be an unrecognizable city of Alexandria (to Mr. and Mrs. Washington), Mount Vernon does the Founding Fathers good, proudly repping the Northern VA region. 9am to 4pm through February
- Washington’s 277th Celebration – Feb. 14-16
- Washington and his Generals exhibit – Opens Feb. 21
- Black History Month activities throughout February
- National Treasure Tour – based off this movie begins Feb. 28
Touring the Big Four:
- Monticello – $15 Adults/children under 6 free includes short bus ride to the entrance; free access to the grounds (including lawn, gardens) and timed tour of the house
- Montpelier – $14 adults/children under 5 free
- Ash Lawn – $10 Adults/$5 kids; special discounts available; workshops incl. house tour are additional $15 for adults/$10 for students
- President’s Pass – a combo ticket to Monticello, Ash Lawn–Highland and the Michie Tavern Museum (just down the road from Monticello). Click here for more info
- Mount Vernon – $15 adults/children under 5 free gets you onto the grounds and the estate