My husband and I followed the signs off I-95 for this historic site on a recent Saturday afternoon and were not disappointed. Althought we've both lived in Northern Virginia for most of our lives, we weren't familiar with Rippon Lodge, which was in private hands for many years and only opened to the public within the past decade. As it turns out, it's the oldest home in Prince William County. We were disappointed to find out, when we walked up to house at 10 minutes past the hour, that tours are given every hour on the hour and decided to walk around the grounds briefly before heading home. We were pleasantly surprised when one of the staff saw us and asked if we'd like the house tour without having to wait 40 minutes for the next one.
As others have said, this is not Mount Vernon, but it is a charming house museum, and the guides do a good job at describing the house's history. It's modestly priced at $5.00. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who happens to be in the area. One downside is that they don't seem to have public restrooms yet (it's a work in progress for the County), but some will apparently soon be open in what used to the chauffeur's cottage. There were port-a-potties on site, but those may have been there for a wedding reception scheduled to take place the next day.
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