Mount Vernon: Who, What, Where, When, Why
Who Lived There: Mount Vernon is where George Washington lived as well as his wife Martha, his step-children John and Martha, and his grandchildren George Washington and Eleanor.
Where is Mount Vernon? Mount Vernon is located on the banks of the Potomac, 16 miles south of Washington, D.C. and 8 miles south of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, at the southern terminus of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
What You Can Do There:
- Tour the Mansion: See George Washington’s chair, bedroom, kitchen, etc. The rooms are restored to their 1799 appearance, the year that George Washington died. The outside of the mansion appears to be sandstone, but it is actually pine! The wood was beveled, painted, and then sand was added to give the appearance of sandstone.
- See the tomb of George and Martha Washington.
- See the demonstration by the working blacksmith.
- Visit the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center which included over 500 original artifacts and video presentations. You must see the 4D-film on the Battle of Yorktown, Trent, and Boston. You feel the vibrations of cannons in your seat and snow falls during the movie!
- Watch the inspiring film, We Fight to Be Free, in the Ford Orientation Center
- Visit the heritage animals, including hogs, chicken, sheep, lambs, oxen, and more.
- Talk with a Martha Washington, a character performer who is happy to discuss life at Mount Vernon.
- Visit the dozen original structures on the plantation.
- Walk through the vegetable and flower gardens.
- Dine at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant
- Hang out on the back porch of the mansion and gaze out at the Potomac
- Shop at the shops at Mount Vernon
- Walk to the demonstration farm and go inside the 16-sided barn.
When You Should Go: Plan to spend several hours there, 2-3 hours passes very quickly! Mount Vernon is open 365 days of the year. April through August, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. March, September, and October, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. November through February, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m The least crowded time of day is in the afternoon, as school groups tend to go when Mount Vernon opens until right before lunch. Mondays are the least crowded days of the week. Peak season is during holidays and March 15-May 31.
Why You Need to Go: Personally, I think visiting the home of our first president is an incredible opportunity. The fact that it even exists should be enough of a reason to go. However, visits to Mount Vernon are very enjoyable. Life at the plantation is active, the grounds are beautiful, and there is plenty to see and do. It is a great place to spend an afternoon outdoors and you inevitably walk away knowing something you didn’t know before you arrived. The education center will teach you in an hour what you likely learned in a year of school using engaging, hands-on exhibits. Go see Mount Vernon! You won’t regret it.
Have you been to Mount Vernon? What did you think? Comment below!