George Washington's Mount Vernon
Alexandria VA 22309
- Mon: 9am-5pm
- Tue: 9am-5pm
- Wed: 9am-5pm
- Thu: 9am-5pm
- Fri: 9am-5pm
- Sat: 9am-5pm
- Sun: 9am-5pm
The home of the Father of Our Country, George Washington's Mount Vernon, is a plantation on the banks of the Potomac River. Originally on land owned by Washington's great-grandfather, expansion of the estate started in 1739 and continued under Washington, who acquired the estate in 1754 and became sole owner in 1761. The plantation was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960. According to Wikipedia, Washington wrote in a letter to William Pearce in 1796: "I have no objection to any sober or orderly person's gratifying their curiosity in viewing the buildings, Gardens, &ca. about Mount Vernon."
Best and Worst Times to Go to Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon is open year-round, but busiest from March until June, and on weekends September through October. As expected, traffic is high on President's Day and July 4. Other busy times, according to the Mount Vernon web site, are Palm Sunday weekend, Easter Sunday weekend, and the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Must See/Do at Mount Vernon
According to the Mount Vernon website, Washington loved dogs. Special dog-friendly tours are available in spring and fall. A must-see is the Distillery and Gristmill, located about three miles away from the mansion on Route 235. Free parking is available and admission is included with your ticket. Also worth seeing is the Pioneer Farm--baby lambs in the spring is a major draw.
Admission to Mount Vernon
Admission is cheaper for members, with about $30 for a basic membership, which includes unlimited admission for one person for one year. Non-members can expect to pay $17 for adult admission (ages 12-61), while seniors pay $16 and youth pay $9. Discounts are available for members of the military, veterans, and their dependents.
Parking and Public Transportation for Mount Vernon
Visitor parking is free at Mount Vernon, and is located on the east and west sides of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. An overflow lot is available if these lots are full, and the east and overflow lots have spots available for RVs and trailers. Public transportation is tricky--take Metrorail's Yellow Line to Huntington Station, go to the lower level exit, then board the Fairfax Connector Bus 101, the Fort Hunt Line. For more information, contact the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
Food at Mount Vernon
The Mount Vernon Inn accepts and strongly recommends reservations, but accepts people on a first come, first served basis. Tickets are not required. The hours are odd, so call ahead. Prices are moderate and food is best described as American comfort food. Try the Cornbread with Vanilla Bean Honey Butter or the Fried Green Tomatoes at lunch or Sunday Brunch, the Soup Trio at dinner, and the Creole Mussels during Happy Hour.
Insider Tip for Mount Vernon
The key to the notorious French prison, the Bastille, is on display in the first floor passage. The key was given to Washington by the Marquis de Lafayette.
Author's bio: Becky Oberg is a history buff who lives in Indianapolis and descendent of Shadrack Byrd, a spy for the Americans during the Revolutionary War who saw combat at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. Her hobbies include acting, reading, singing, writing, and playing video games.