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Good For Kids
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This garden area was nearby the historic house. The building in the distance is a greenhouse.
Closest available address
3200 Mt Vernon Memorial Hwy Alexandria, Virginia 22121
Hours vary by season but generally 9-5.
Best time to visit
Summer, Fall, Spring
Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The home is presented as it appeared in 1799, the year that Washington died. Visitor facilities are extensive, and there are numerous activities too, especially in summer. Attractions include many buildings, multiple films, two museums, walking and boat tours, restaurants, a gift shop and an offsite distillery.
Perhaps a quote from his contemporary Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee said it best when describing George Washington’s greatness "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Even though Mount Vernon had been in his family for generations, Washington and the estate are inextricably linked because he devoted much time and attention to its development. Following Washington’s death, his descendants were unable to care for the estate and eventually sold it in 1858 to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association which still owns it.
The house is the most famous attraction but by no means is it the most impressive. In fact, the basic tour was quite dull. Photos are not permitted inside, but it is simply furnished and only a handful of rooms are made available. It was so busy in summer that people were herded through like cattle. Staff people in several locations offered dry and robotic commentary, so prepare to be unimpressed. The education center and museum though were excellent and offered a great perspective on Washington through historical artifacts and multimedia displays, save meaningful time for these galleries. Also, it’s worth walking around the estate to visit additional buildings. The audio tour rental is a good choice to learn more about the many places to visit. Views of the Potomac River are beautiful and memorable. Aside from the unimpressive house tour, the visit was enjoyable and enriching. Mount Vernon will have appeal to all ages. You may not need an entire day to see it, but extra time is a plus at this world famous attraction.
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