George Washington Birthplace National Monument

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

George Washington, America's first and greatest hero, was crucial to the establishment of the United States as a nation founded on the principles of liberty. George Washington Birthplace preserves the heart of the Washington lands and a memorial plantation where the staunch character of our hero comes to the imagination.

Located in the Northern Neck of Virginia, 38 miles east of Fredericksburg on Virginia Route 3, George Washington Birthplace National Monument preserves the heart of Augustine Washington's plantation, the 17th century homesite of the immigrant John Washington, and the Washington Family Burial Ground.

George Washington's Birthplace contains a Memorial House and dependencies constructed in 1931 near the site of the original Washington home. Here, in the peace and beauty of this place untouched by time, the staunch character of our hero comes to the imagination.

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Hours

Winter Hours
From January 2, 2017 through February 28, 2017, The Visitor Center and Memorial House will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. From Wednesday-Sunday, the Visitor Center will be open from 10:00- 4:00 and the Memorial House will be open for tours from 10:00-4:00. The Parking Lot at the Visitor Center, Historic Area, Colonial Kitchen, Craft Shop, Footbridge, Nature Trails, Burial Ground, Beach Access, and Picnic Area are open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Regular Hours
From March 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017, the Visitor Center will be open from 9:30- 5:00. The Memorial House will be open for tours on the hour from 10:00-4:00.

From March 1, 2017 through Sunday November 5, 2017, the Burial Ground, Picnic Area, and the Beach Access will stay open until dusk.

More information is available at the Visitor Center or by calling 804-224-1732 ext. 227

*Visitation highest in Summer. School group visits highest from mid-April to early-June.

*Park is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)

Fees

There is no entrance fee. 

For a group reservation, please contact visitor center operations at 804-224-1732, extension 227. Normal fees apply.

History

Nearly 50 years before President George Washington’s great-grandfather John Washington arrived at this site on the Potomac, Captain John Smith and his crew embarked on a four-week exploration of the river. On the south bank, Smith and his men were enticed by Nomini Creek, a few miles south of here. As they explored the creek, American Indian warriors ambushed them. Smith and his crew fired their guns low over the water.

This caused the warriors put down their weapons, and the two sides exchanged hostages. The Indians took the English hostage, James Watkins, to meet the chief of a tribe. Watkins learned that paramount chief Powhatan had ordered the ambush. For the rest of the journey upstream, Smith kept the barge closer to the northern bank, away from the Powhatan tribes’ reach.

Activities

A visitor center provides a museum including artifacts recovered from the original home, a 14-minute film, the Book Store and Gift Shop, and restrooms. Park Ranger programs are presented daily at the site of the original house. Colonial costumed interpretation is provided seasonally by volunteers. The Living Colonial Farm features old breed livestock, fowl and tobacco, in season. The park offers several special events throughout the year. Curriculum based educational programs are available for school groups. Picnic area with tables, grills, pavilion and restrooms. Two mile loop Nature Trail accessed either from Historic Area or at the Picnic Area.

Facilities

  • Visitor Center/Exhibits
  • Memorial House and plantation out-buildings
  • Interpretive wayside exhibits
  • Washington Family cemetery
  • Picnic area
  • Nature trails

Accessibility

The park is fully accessible to people who use wheelchairs.

Pets

Pets are not allowed in the Historic Area. In all other parts of the park please remember to keep your pets on leashes at ALL times while hiking, walking or jogging

Main image: George Washington Birthplace National Monument
Captain John Smith TrailStar Spangled Banner TrailPotomac Trail
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