Well, finally finishing blogging about my Spring Break trip! For Spring Break this year, I spent some time hanging out in Washington, D.C., enjoying all the sights and sounds. Part of my trip included visiting Monticello! You can check out my Monticello guide here!
Part of my trip included a trip to Mount Vernon! Mount Vernon is George Washington's home, and is amazing to visit! So, sit tight, and I'll tell ya all about how to get the most out of your visit to Mount Vernon!
Since Mount Vernon is about a 45 mintue drive from D.C., I recommend heading out early in the morning! There is a ton to see and do at Mount Vernon, so plan on spending the whole day there!
Once you check in, spend some time exploring the welcome center! There is some basic info to get you started, and a model of the actual house for you to see! You have to pick a time to tour the house, so spend your time before the tour learning more about Washington!
The basic ticket will get you onto the grounds, and includes your guided tour of the house. I recommend buying online ahead of time so you don't have to wait in line once you get there!
While we were in the Welcome Center, we were offered the chance to upgrade our tickets to include a boat ride on the Potomac aboard the Spirit of Mount Vernon!
The boat ride is about 45 minutes and explains sights around the estate. The tour goes down to Fort Washington, before returning to the dock at Mount Vernon!
The added boat ride/tour was completely optional, but well worth extra $10! It offered some great information, and took us to see Fort Washington, which I didn't even know existed! It was a fun addition to the time we spent there, and now I know to tour Fort Washington next time I'm in D.C.
From there, we headed back to the main house to meet up with our tour guide for our house tour! I recommend meeting your tour guide 10 to 15 minutes early! They are a wealth of knowledge and love to answer questions! I used the time before the tour to ask my burning George Washington questions!
Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures inside the house. Right now, they are working on a massive restoration as new information about the house have been discovered!
The house tour is amazing! It takes you around the bottom floor, then up to the top floor. You do have to use the stairs to get up and down, so keep that in mind. The stairs are rather steep as well, when going down the back staircase. There are handrails to help when going up and down that staircase in particular.
After our house tour, we explored the grounds a bit. They still have some of the slave houses on the property, as well as their greenhouse and gardens. They even keep farm animals around for guests to see! During that time, we also headed over to check out Washington's grave, which is located in the middle of the grounds.
Both George and Martha are buried there, as well as one of Martha's daughters. There is a staff member there to answer any other questions you might have.
After we finished looking at the grave, we headed back towards the main house.
We ended up going back to the Welcome Center to eat a picnic lunch we had packed before we left D.C. I highly recommend packing a lunch as the food at Mount Vernon is a little pricey!
One of the really cool things about Mount Vernon is that the movie National Treasure 2: The Book of Secrets was actually filmed on location at Mount Vernon. Being history nerds, and a movie nerd myself, we decided paying the extra money to go on the National Treasure tour was worth it! The extra $10 for that tour was definitely worth it
Part of that tour takes you behind Mount Vernon, where the President's birthday party scene happened, as well as giving you awesome behind the scenes info! The tour guide had behind the scene pictures and stories that you would never hear or see anywhere else!
The best part of the National Treasure tour was getting to go below Mount Vernon, like they do in the movie! We actually got to go into the basement and see what they based the movie scenes off of!
They actually filmed the basements scenes on a sound stage, but dis extensive research to make those scenes as identical to the actual basement as possible! One of the coolest parts was seeing the cornerstone that the President and Nicolas Cage move to access the hidden tunnel! It was based on the real cornerstone in the basement and amazing to see!
From there, the tour moved to the Ice House, which housed the tunnel they climb out of in the movie! Naturally, we weren't allowed inside, since it's basically a big drop to the ground inside, but it was nice to get some more behind the scenes info about that scene from the movie!
After our National Treasure Tour ended, we spent a little more time exploring the areas of the grounds that we missed. There really is a ton to see!
Sadly, that was when it started raining, so we headed to the Information Center. There you can get a ton of info on the Washington's and see original furniture from the house! If you have the time, and the energy left, I highly recommend checking it out! There is a ton of information to learn there!
From there, you can head into the gift shop, which is huge! There are so many goodies in that gift shop! I suggest checking it out, even if you don't want to buy any souvenirs of your time at Mount Vernon.
So, there you have it! My tips and trips to get the most out of your trip to Mount Vernon! Hope this post inspired you to check out our first President's home!