Monticello was the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, who began designing Monticello after inheriting land from his father at age 26. Monticello was not just a residence but a working plantation.
Monticello is located just outside Charlottesville, VA. It is a beautiful drive just less than an hour and a half from the Fredericksburg area. The drive is especially stunning during the spring and fall.
Webpage: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Location: 931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Hours: Hours of operation vary–please check the calendar for the current hours. Monticello is usually open between the hours of 9 am – 6 pm but this may differ.
Tips: Purchase tickets in advanced online. Monticello is very popular.
Ride a shuttle bus or hike the walking trail from the Visitor Center to the House and/or back down to the Visitor Center. We opted for the hike as the shuttle was taking too long. The trail is roughly half a mile from the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center parking area to the house. Be sure to pick up your ticket(s) first; a Monticello ticket is required to walk up this trail.
Only clear plastic bags (not exceeding 12” x 6” x 12”) are allowed beyond the visitor center and all bags will be inspected. A one-gallon clear plastic storage bag is acceptable.
Monticello Self-guided Pass: This popular pass includes a self-guided House tour and access to the gardens, grounds, outdoor stations, and exhibits.
Adults: $31, Children 12-18: $10, & Under 12: Free, but a ticket is required
What to Expect: For the house tour, you will be greeted outside by a guide who will introduce you to Monticello. Then you will proceed inside for a self-guided tour of the house. For this, you can purchase a guidebook at The Shop at Monticello or use your smartphone.
Gardens & Grounds Pass: This ticket does not provide admittance to Thomas Jefferson’s home. It does provide access to the All-Weather Passage and Main House Cellars.
Adults: $22, Children 12-18: $8, & Under 10: Free, but a ticket is required
There really is a lot to see. Plan accordingly so you’ll have time to enjoy it all.
Before our visit, we read this great historical fiction: “Jefferson’s Sons” by Kimberley Bradley. It is the story of Jefferson’s children with his Sally Hemming. It tells the imagined tale of Beverly and Madison and their hopes and dreams of becoming free. Sally has been promised her children will receive their freedom when each reaches the age of 21.
Saunders-Monticello Trail — This beautiful trail with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains winds its way toward Monticello. The trail is open daily. It is on 89 acres along the Thomas Jefferson Parkway and includes miles of gravel walkways, boardwalks, and rustic woodland paths.