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If you haven’t been to George Washington’s Mount Vernon or if it’s been years since you’ve visited, summer is the perfect time to experience all it has to offer. Though only twenty minutes south of Alexandria, the home of America’s first president feels worlds away.
The historic residence of George and Martha Washington, Mount Vernon is one of the most iconic 18th century homes in America. Beyond the Mansion, the estate covers more than 500 acres situated on the banks of the Potomac River. The sprawling property includes Washington’s tomb, four gardens, a working farm home to heritage-breed animals including sheep, cattle and hogs, plus ample wide-open spaces, and shaded nature trails for summer strolls.
As you walk the grounds, you’ll learn about the daily lives of the enslaved men and women that lived on the estate. Trained in specific trades, they used their skills to make tools and textiles, care for livestock and construct buildings. To learn more about those who built and operated the estate, take The Enslaved People of Mount Vernon Tour. This guided walking tour lets you see where enslaved people lived and worked, hear their stories, and participate in a moving tribute at the Slave Memorial and Cemetery.
To gain a deeper understanding of the life and legacy of George Washington and the pivotal time in our nation’s history that he inhabited, venture into the museum. Included with general admission, the museum features exhibits filled with hundreds of artifacts from Washington’s lifetime and two theatres that let you experience history in unique new ways.
Inside the exhibit, Mount Vernon, The Story of an American Icon, you can learn more about the history of the estate and its landscape. You will meet the people who shaped Mount Vernon and see hundreds of original 18th century artifacts, such as the chair that George Washington used during his presidency and a handmade brick with the finger impressions of its maker.
Ready to put your own leadership skills to the test? The new interactive experience Be Washington™, narrated by Hamilton’s Christopher Jackson, lets you step into the boots of George Washington. You’ll come face-to-face with leadership challenges that Washington encountered and be able to find out how your choice compares to Washington’s.
For something truly unique, immerse yourself in the Revolutionary War Theater: 4D Experience. This fast-paced, high-tech 4D production brings to life Washington’s victories at Boston, Trenton, and Yorktown. Complete with cannon fire and falling snow, little wonder why this is one of Mount Vernon’s most popular attractions.
There is so much to see and do at George Washington’s estate, you can easily spend an entire day and still have plenty of reasons to return. Insider tip: When you visit Mount Vernon, you can apply the value of your admission tickets toward a membership. Members receive free, daytime admission for one-year, discounted tickets to special events, and discounts at the gift shop and the Mount Vernon Restaurant.
For the ultimate Mount Vernon experience, mark your calendar these summer events.
Independence Fireworks: June 24 & 25
Relax and enjoy a family-friendly evening that includes dazzling fireworks, patriotic music and even an 18th century ice cream-making demonstration. This year, for the first time at this event, the Mansion will be lit in red, white, and blue during the fireworks show. In addition to a concert by the National Concert Band, the Fifes & Drums of York Town will be giving rousing performances.
An American Celebration: July 4
There’s no better place to celebrate our nation’s independence than the home of America’s first president. Be sure to arrive early so you can meet George Washington and watch him
inspect the troops. Then observe a wreath-laying followed by a naturalization ceremony—a moving Mount Vernon tradition in which people from around the world become U.S. citizens. Following a concert by the National Concert Band on the Bowling Green, you can head to the East Lawn to behold made-for-daytime fireworks over the Potomac River.
The estate is open 365 days a year. All guests are required to purchase a grounds pass for entry. The grounds pass includes an audio tour and self-paced access to the historic area, outbuildings, gardens, tomb, farm, trails, and the museum.
Entry to the Mansion is by guided tour only and requires a Mansion tour ticket. Because these tours have limited capacity, it is highly recommended you purchase your tickets in advance online. This is the best way to guarantee entry.
Plan your visit at mountvernon.org