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Thomas Jefferson's Monticello
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Monticello and its many historical rooms, gadgets, furniture, buildings, and artifacts tell us a lot about Thomas Jefferson, the president who built it and lived there.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 29 November 2013

Excellent tour place for families, friends, visitors from other countries or other states. Fascinating building and grounds. Jefferson had many virtues and many faults but it's interesting to see how he lived and thought. Tour guides are excellent, well-trained, and very knowledgeable. We've been several times and it's always a good trip. Try it, you'll like it.

Thank Kari M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,024 - 4,028 of 5,631 reviews

Reviewed 29 November 2013 via mobile

This tour makes American history come alive! Very interesting man who shaped our country. Very thankful to have learned so much about the life of one of America's founding fathers.

Thank Adrienne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2013

If you want to see a nice historic estate and learn about Thomas Jefferson, you must visit.
Beautiful location, excellent reception area and museum shop, perfect assistance for wheelchair, interesting guided tour in the house. One of the better guided tours we have ever experienced.

Thank Karel V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

I have been in the area for 30 years and TJM is getting better. The main entrance, gift shop, was a necessary development to make this a world class tourist attraction and why not, after all we are talking Thomas "TJ" Jefferson and if you like historical controversy get your ticket here. Renaissance man, oh my yes, and we love him for it.

Thank Jeff C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

First a disclaimer- I live in Charlottesville. Every time a guest comes to town we go to Monticello (home of Thomas Jefferson), Ash-Lawn Highland (home of James Monroe), and Montpelier (Home of James Madison). My son has had so many field trips to Monticello he could be a docent. I love the house, the grounds, and the gardens. I love Thomas Jefferson- for all his lumps and bumps- evidenced by where the enslaved lived on Mulberry Row. Jefferson wrote that slavery was like holding “a wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go.” Perhaps this shows he lacked moral courage, but it also shows that Jefferson was human- that he was not perfect, and while admirable, he had his downside. This complexity makes the man all the more compelling to me. Things that are interesting about the house proper are much the same as any historical American Colonial era house: they are surrounded by majestic trees, the houses are generally much smaller than you imagine, and seeing the items owned by Jefferson helps put history in context. That might be enough for most people, but by happy accident I took the childrens/family tour with my sister-in-law and nieces and it was amazing. First you skip much of the long lines, as the family tours are smaller and more manageable for the docents. The docents are more cheerful, less weary, and are chock full of interesting facts- like Jefferson's favorite foods were macaroni and cheese and ice cream- which any kid (and adult) can empathize with. They tell you things like how to play the "Game of Goose", what cards were like, and what young ladies and gentlemen learned. They let you touch certain objects, and encourage questions with kind and patient answers. I had way more fun on the family tour. : ) Outside the Mulberry Row tour is simply humbling. I urge you to take the time and walk the row and learn about the enslaved at Monticello, their talents, skills, and how they lived. My very favorite space is the garden- which at certain times of the year offers tastings and always has someone on staff to answer questions about the heirloom plants grown there. It also has a view to die for. As you look over the rolling blue hills of the Blue Ridge you can see why Jefferson thought his mountaintop view was like looking at the ocean- especially when the fog rolls in. If you have strollers park them before the tour. I used to carry my kids in a kiddie backpack if they were too little to keep up. Another joy of the family tour. It is a slower pace with fewer people and you can keep an eye on those little hands and swift feet. I do not like the new Visitors Center. It is spacious and provides a welcome rest stop, but everything is overpriced and you can get better merchandise online. Make a left at the entrance of Monticello and go to Michie Tavern- before 2:00 pm. The stores are superb for trinkets and unique items for kids and adults, and the Tavern has the best fried chicken - served family style by Colonial garbed waitstaff on pewter plates- in Central Virginia. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a Nintendo or something for the kids to do while in line. And bring a camera. It is a very photogenic place.

Thank kcutshaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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