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Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, George Washington’s plantation on the banks of the beautiful Potomac River, offers visitors a chance to understand America’s first hero and the fascinating world in which he lived. Since the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association bought the nearly empty Mansion in 1858, it has gathered Washington objects and used archaeology and research to piece together clues about the buildings and gardens of a bygone era. Over 1 million visitors come to walk in Washington's footsteps each year, making Mount Vernon the most popular historic estate in America.

Guests to Mount Vernon can visit the Mansion, a dozen original structures, Washington’s Tomb, and nearly 50 acres of his extensive plantation, which include beautiful gardens and restored landscapes.  The estate also includes a working blacksmith shop and the George Washington: Pioneer Farmer site, a 4-acre demonstration farm with a reconstructed slave cabin and 16-sided treading barn.

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Image Credit: Eric Langhorst / Flickr Commons

Hours

Mount Vernon is open 365 days a 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 Historic Area of Mount Vernon is cleared a half-hour after the posted estate closing time.
The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center is cleared one hour after the posted closing time.

(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

General admission cost $17.00 for adults, $9.00 for youths (6 to 11 years old), $16.00 for seniors (62 years and over), free for children (5 years and under).

The sightseeing cruise, Gardens & Groves Tour, and the Enslaved People of Mount Vernon Tour are free.  The audio tour costs $6 per handset and other tours cost $5. 

Activities

The Ford Orientation Center features an inspiring film, We Fight To Be Free, and a miniature replica of the Washingtons’ iconic home. 

The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center is home to 25 theaters and galleries, which tell the detailed story of George Washington's life with more than 500 original artifacts, 11 video presentations, and even an immersion theater experience where it snows all year round! 

Just 3 miles down the road from the Mansion, George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill have been reconstructed and are open seasonally. Both fully functioning, Washington's fascinating mill and distillery tell the story of Washington as a master entrepreneur.

Expect to spend several hours at Mount Vernon, and when planning your day be sure to consider the informative guided tours, refreshing sightseeing cruises, and engaging events that are offered at various times of the year.

History

George Washington devoted his life to the improvement of American agriculture. While his initial interest in farming was driven by his own needs to earn a living and improve Mount Vernon, in later years Washington realized his leadership and experimentation could assist all American farmers. Initially growing tobacco as his cash crop, Washington soon realized that tobacco was not sustainable and he switched to grains, particularly wheat as a cash crop in 1766. Washington read the latest works on agriculture and implemented the new husbandry methods using a variety of fertilization methods and crop rotation plans on his five farms.

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Last updated: June 30, 2020
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