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“Awesome place to see”

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello
Certificate of Excellence
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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 22 June 2014

It is amazing seeing the grounds of this beautiful home. Learning the history of Thomas Jefferson and seeing it in person really makes it come to life. This was one of my favorite places to see on my trip.

Thank Madog7famly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,764 - 3,768 of 5,655 reviews

Reviewed 22 June 2014

We visited in June, so it was hot. Gave us a real appreciation for what the inhabitants must've had to deal with in the mid to late 1700's.

We did the "Behind the Scenes" tour. It is well worth the extra time and money! You'll get to see parts of the mansion/home that most people don't see. You'll also get a docent to guide your (typically smaller) group through.

We spent most of one entire day there and enjoyed every minute of it. The history, the stories, the rooms, the flower gardens, the vegetable gardens.

There were archeologists working an active site on the property. We talked with them for a while about their findings and got even more insight into this property.

They have a restaurant on-site with pretty standard fare and reasonable prices.

1  Thank L8R_CU2sDay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

We were visiting from the UK, know a fair bit about American history and really enjoyed the day we spent at Monticello.

Our house tour was at 9.35 and though it was informative and enjoyable, I would have liked to know more about the upper rooms and I was put off by the fact that you leave a room as the next group is coming in, and then enter the next room as the last group are leaving. Just a couple more minutes between groups would change the entire experience and have made me more comfortable asking questions.

The slavery and garden tour were both really interesting and felt much more relaxed than the house tour because you weren't aware of the next group coming in. The gardens are an attempt to grow the things which were growing here when Jefferson was here.

I was also impressed by the openness and focus on presenting Jefferson as a real man with contradictions (particularly on liberty, while owning slaves), even though Monticello is operated by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.

We didn't spend much time in the Visitor Center because we were running out of time, but we liked what we saw. The cafe has a good selection of different items (all good quality) and a large gift shop, again with a range of souvenirs, home and garden gifts and including seeds from the garden!

Thank Elizabeth L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

I recently visited Monticello for the second time. The day was very hot, so the air conditioning in the gift shop and the information area was much appreciated. The bus ride up to the top of the mountain was quick and easy with almost no waiting and the seniors directing my family group every step of the way were very nice.

The house is a mansion is so perfect in form and function that even if it were not the home of Thomas Jefferson, it would be very worth seeing. Note that it is a mansion for the time it was built, but would not be a large mansion by today's overblown standards. Jefferson's inventions and gadgets in the house are amazing. I'm glad that this was my second trip to Monticello because the tour narrative this time was very disjointed. I found that the guide for the house tour guide was so anxious to present the story of the Hemings family that she did not do justice to the life, achievements or home of Thomas Jefferson. We got a very disjointed narrative of Jefferson's life but did hear bits and pieces about the house. We did not hear about Jefferson's bankruptcy on the tour and heard only one brief mention of a descendent who was the Governor of Virginia. A younger child on the tour wondered why Jefferson had children with someone besides his wife and the child's mother had to take him aside and explain this to him. The tour guide's artless pronouncements were probably not appreciated by the parent of this child. The tour takes the group through small rooms and we had some very “wide” people in our group so I felt the group size should have been smaller by 3 or 4 people to better fit in the rooms.

We took the "Slavery" tour, also called the "Mulberry Row" tour (confusing), but found that tour to be very disjointed, too. The slavery tour walks visitors down Mulberry Row, a row of Mulberry trees planted along a ridge overlooking the gardens and the fields below. It's a great, shady walk on a hot day, but there aren't buildings from plantation days. I believe there are plans to reconstruct some of these buildings. At this time you have to use your imagination. The slavery talk would be better named the Hemings talk, at least on our tour. This is not to take anything away from the many descendants of Sally Hemings, but it would have been more informative to present slavery in the context of the times and the working of the plantation itself and to present Jefferson's conflicted position on slavery.

Perhaps there could be tour specifically about Jefferson's relationships with his slaves? Then parents of younger children could decide if they wanted their children to go on that tour and the very interesting story of the Hemings family and their relationship to Jefferson, (sadly, a slave owner having relations with his slaves or a second family with a slave was not unique) could be explained - in the context of the times Jefferson lived in.

1  Thank Honeymooner201009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

I love history and knew enough to know Jefferson was an inventor and was intrigued by the fact he was a thinker & analyst. Our docent was EXCELLENT in describing the home architecture and his inventions, the family and their everyday life. We did the "Behind the Scenes" tour. Highly recommend if you are intrigued by Jefferson's mind; grounds were very nice and I learned a lot I did not know. Recommended! Beautiful setting.

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

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