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“Simple, beautiful, elegant--a hidden gem off the tourist track”
Review of River Farm

River Farm
Ranked #23 of 88 things to do in Alexandria
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: River Farm is the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society. Situated on 25 landscaped acres overlooking the Potomac river, it is an idyllic escape within the Washington, D.C. area. Enjoy walking in our gardens and four-acre Meadow. Bring kids to enjoy the Children's Garden. We are open year-round Monday-Friday 9 am - 5 pm. From April through September we are also open Saturday from 9 am - 1 pm.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Simple, beautiful, elegant--a hidden gem off the tourist track”
Reviewed 6 January 2014

River Farm is a lovely 1750s-built house and surrounding land purchased by George Washington when he lived in nearby Mount Vernon. The home is small but elegant and has been beautifully maintained by the American Horticultural Society, who now uses it as their headquarters.

The building and grounds are in use nearly every weekend for special events such as weddings, but you can tour it for free (donations suggested) weekdays 9-5 and during April - Sept. on Saturdays 9-1.

Don't miss the walk down to the river's edge. There are a few signs along the way explaining the plants and wildlife and just before you get to the water, the bench under the tall old trees absolutely begs you to sit and listen to the water lap against the shore. Back up at the house, there's also a very lovely garden to the left as you walk out the back door onto the patio.

There's such a lovely quiet calm about this place that you can feel what it might have been like to live there in the days of George Washington.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank ZukiMini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiverFarmHost, Public Relations Manager at River Farm, responded to this review, 1 September 2015
Thank you very much for that delightful description of your visit here!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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39 reviews from our community

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English first
Tennessee
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A wonderful way to spend a morning”
Reviewed 30 August 2013

River Farm, the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society, is free to visitors, and if I had young children, I'd take them there often. The AHS offices are in the large old house on the property, with the gardens spread out around the house. Several of the gardens are made for children; one teaches how to minimize the use of power tools in the garden. The wildflower meadow is spread out on the slope leading down to the river and is full of interest at any time of year to humans and provides lots of foraging to bird, small mammals, and insects. Just up the George Washington Parkway from Mount Vernon, River Farm is a nice way to spend quiet, relaxed time after being among the hordes of people at Mount Vernon. My husband and I went inside the house, sat on a loveseat in the large living room and looked out the picture window at the meadow spread out below and beyond that, the Potomac River, pretending we lived in such a beautiful scenic spot.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank Marge_675
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiverFarmHost, Public Relations Manager at River Farm, responded to this review, 1 September 2015
We like sitting in the Parlor and looking at the Potomac river too! Happy to hear you had such an enjoyable visit!
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Washington, DC
Level Contributor
142 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Small estate good for quick visit--great River view”
Reviewed 31 July 2013

This is now the Headquarters of the American Horticultural Society. The Estate has good history to include ownership by George Washington and a pair of old, repaired White House gates. The grounds are a bit unkept, but the bones are great. There is a huge wildflower garden leading down to the Potomac River with a lovely spot to sit and view the Potomac on a bench set in the perfect spot. If you are lucky, you might also grab a chair on the side of the mansion, on the porch, to get a view too. Although the outside of the mansion desperately needs some work, painting and wood repair, the inside of the home is well kept. Again, wonderful views of the River from the living room and dining room. The mansion is closed early on Saturdays and Sundays as they host many weddings. There is a large slate patio that seems to be used for receptions and a good-sided ball room inside for events too. The whole estate is a real find on the Potomac in Alexandria, VA. Leased pets allowed!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank CookWashingtonDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiverFarmHost, Public Relations Manager at River Farm, responded to this review, 21 June 2016
Thank you for commenting! You'll be happy to know that since your 2013 visit we have made many repairs to the Estate House and it is now sparkling again. River views are just as great as ever, so we hope that you'll come again for more relaxation here.
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Atlanta
Level Contributor
140 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
Reviewed 11 June 2013

We attended a wedding at this location in June. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, we could not have thought of a more beautiful setting. The property is simply beautiful. Lots of grounds to explore - take the path to the river and explore the history of the property. The gardens are stunning. Take a lunch and enjoy a picnic!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank AtlantaGATrvlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiverFarmHost, Public Relations Manager at River Farm, responded to this review, 1 September 2015
Sounds like it was a perfect wedding day here! Thank you for letting people know about us!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
washington DC
Level Contributor
36 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Great children's garden and picnicking spot”
Reviewed 7 May 2013

The EXACT opposite of Chuck E. Cheese!

One of my favorite places to go with my kids. We make a point to go at least once each summer. Very serene and beautiful grounds. Children's garden is fantastic and usually very empty. They are always adding something new. Many benches ( even a sod couch) to sit. Picnic tables near children's garden, if you want to eat while they explore. Lots of places to hide and discover. Also you can pick any spot on the grounds to picnic. We like to plop down in front of the house and enjoy the view.

Best of all it's free free free! Hours are limited on weekends due to private events. During the week, regular business hours apply.

Without kids, bring your picnic and a good book. Check their website for hours before you go. Worth the trip round the beltway!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank trentanove87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiverFarmHost, Public Relations Manager at River Farm, responded to this review, 1 September 2015
We are flattered that you and your children are regular visitors -- thank you!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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