Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson, is consistently listed among the must-see homes and attractions in the United States. Thomas Jefferson was only 26 years old when he began to build Monticello as his family home. After a long and well-lived life as the third president of the United States, founder of the University of Virginia, shaper of a newly formed democracy and inventor many gadgets, Thomas Jefferson died at Monticello on July 4, 1826. Today, everyone can enjoy and explore the sprawling and majestic Jefferson home, plantation and gardens.
The home tour consists of a 30 minute guided tour of the lower level of Monticello. Inside, visitors are shown art, furnishings, books and the many of the useful inventions Jefferson created during his years at Monticello.
After the home tour, tickets also include two 45 minute guided walking tours. This includes the Plantation Community Tour. This gives visitors a chance to see Mulberry Row, which is where slaves lived and worked. Plantation operations relative to the days of Jefferson are also shown as individual slave stories are told to visitors. The last portion of the outdoor tour is the Garden and Grounds Tour. This takes visitors through orchards, vegetable and flower gardens. The gardens are visually stunning and provide Monticello with food and an experimental lab Jefferson himself would have marveled at. When Thomas Jefferson lived at Monticello, he grew 170 fruit varieties and 330 types of vegetables. There is also a 1000 ft. long garden terrace for visitors to enjoy.
After the tours, the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center are stops you will not want to pass up. There is also a museum shop and café where you can relax and enjoy the overall mystique and atmosphere of Monticello. You can shop for and explore books related to Thomas Jefferson. There are even chairs around for you to relax while you browse through the books. The shop also has Virginia wines, prints and collectibles for Jefferson and American history buffs.
When preparing to visit Monticello, it is advisable to reserve tickets in advance. You can buy and reserve tickets online or purchase them when you arrive. There are group rates available also. The tour is wheel chair accessible and pets are welcome on the grounds. They are just not permitted indoors or on the shuttle. Service animals are permitted everywhere on the Monticello tour.
Monticello is located just 50 minutes from the Virginia vacation cabins at Cabin Creekwood.