Museum Focus: George’s Washington’s home in Virginia.
Where is it: 3200 Mount Vernon Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA 22121.
What does it cost: About $20 per adult, $12 per kid.
How long should I plan to stay: Mount Vernon is 500 acres. You could probably take 2 or 3 days to see everything. However, a good amount of it is outside because it is still a working farm so be careful of the weather because it can make a big difference to your stay.
Best Exhibits: Mount Vernon might be one of my favorite places on Earth. I think all of it is great, but I’ll stick to the highlights.
The mansion itself is the main attraction as it should be. It’s a perfect glimpse of a mansion around the turn of the 19thcentury and they do an amazing job of keeping it looking first rate. My three favorite parts are the key to the Bastille, sent by the Marquis de Lafayette at the beginning of the French Revolution. It is the actual key which is crazy. Second, is Washington’s bed which he died in. It’s still there. And finally, the view out the backdoor is one of the best in the U.S.
If you have kids, there are animals! My daughter tried to play with the bulls. I’m not sure who would have won, but I didn’t let her find out. There are also hogs, goats, and horses.
You can actually head down to the wharf, which is a pretty steep walk but there are shuttles as needed. You can see the lower farm and even hop on a boat for a trip up and down the Potomac.
There are tour guides all around as well as plaques everywhere to give some idea what everything is. I especially appreciate that the history of slavery on the property is not swept under the rug. The slave quarters are still shown as they were and even the actors will talk about their hardships. The slave burial ground, which was only recently discovered, is a sobering reminder that slaves were not considered important enough to have grave markers.
Is it worth it: It’s more than worth it. It should be required.