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Things to Know about Monticello

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What do you know about Thomas Jefferson? Did you know that he was the third President and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence? Recently, we had the opportunity to tour Monticello, the homeplace of Thomas Jefferson and learned so much about this founding father. The beautiful views and overlook of the surrounding area were just the bonus!

Hobbies on a Budget received discounts or tickets for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was received.

Things to Know about Monticello

Monticello actually means “little mountain” and it’s fitting that when you visit Monticello you actually climb the mountain (or take the free shuttle to the top). The view from the top of the mountain is gorgeous and well worth the time. While we were there, the tulips were in full bloom, so, of course, we all took the opportunity to take lots of pictures.

And the kids and I had quite a bit of fun taking some fun perspective pictures!

We learned that Thomas Jefferson was quite the record keeper and innovator. I loved seeing these ivory note cards that Jefferson used to record his notes. At the end of each day, he could simply wipe them off and start over.

One of the things that fascinated me the most about Thomas Jefferson was how much we know about him based on his personal writings. I have tried to record things about the kids growing up and daily happenings via this blog, but I am inspired by someone like Jefferson who took the time to document things so clearly throughout his life.

“I have always made it a practice whenever an opportunity occured of obtaining any information…. to commit it to writing…”  Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, 1821

Things to Know

  • You may tour the visitors center, eat at the Cafe or walk around the base of the mountain without a ticket. But you must have a ticket to visit the gravesite, walk the grounds around the house, ride the shuttle, or take a tour of Thomas Jefferson’s estate.
  • There is a Cafe at the Visitors Center when you arrive.  You can get sandwiches, chips, fruit and drinks before you start your tour.

  • Shuttles run regulary from the Visitors Center up to the top of the hill. They are free and included with your ticket.
  • It is about 15 minutes to walk to the top of the mountain but it is a fairly steep path.
  • The path goes right past Thomas Jefferson’s family grave.
Path to Thomas Jefferson’s Grave

Jefferson’s Grave

Mulberry Row

Take the time to explore Mulberry Row while you are there. It was the center of work and domestic life for dozens of people — free whites, free blacks, indentured servants, and enslaved people. It was populated by more than 20 dwellings, workshops, and storehouses between 1770 and the sale of Monticello in 1831. There are few dwelling remaining, but you can still tour the gardens and read about the area.

I love going to historic places like this with my family. It is a unique opportunity that will quickly change as they grow up and move on with their own lives. We will never forget all our family adventures all over the country.

Where to Find Monticello

Get tickets online for a discount.
931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Have you ever visited Monticello? What is your favorite thing about visiting presidential landmarks?

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8 Comments

  1. My husband went to UVA for grad school and we visited Monticello together. I can’t wait to go travel back with our kids some day!

  2. This looks like a beautiful place to visit. I have never been there but my daughter has and she loved it. 🙂

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