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The Civil War broke out right in the middle of the restoration process for the Mount Vernon home and estate. The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union refused to see their hard work undone and essentially lived at the property to ensure the safety of the home during the war.
They believed that history belonged to everyone and welcomed Yankees and Confederates alike who wanted to visit George Washington’s beloved Virginia estate. Their rule? Weapons must be laid down before entering.
At three and a half hours, the trip to Mt. Vernon is on the outside edges of what can be considered a day trip, but the rich historical education packed into a fun outing for the whole family makes it worth the journey. From the estate, you can venture 30 minutes further north and turn it into a weekend trip to
Washington, D.C. or explore the charm of historic Alexandria.
Visitors are welcomed into the Ford Orientation Center with maps, tour guides and schedules of the days’ activities. From there, you can choose to explore the multi-faceted Reynolds Museum & Education Center or head to the expansive grounds which include several historic buildings, Washington’s home, spectacular views of the Potomac and the final resting place of George and Martha Washington.
George Washington’s Mt. Vernon
3200 Mount Vernon Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA
Inside the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Educational Center, you’ll find an exhibition of the different periods of Washington’s life, from childhood and adolescence through his life as farmer, military leader, president and his death. The exhibits are replete with information and artifacts that bring visitors face-to-face with history.
The Mount Vernon House and Grounds have been restored to the splendor of the period in which George and Martha occupied the home. The grounds include a farm complete with livestock, outbuildings used during this period, including a kitchen, washhouse, storehouse and acres of beautiful rolling open fields. Inside the mansion, visitors will find actual furnishings used by the family, including the bed upon which the president died.
The Washington Tomb houses the remains of several Washington family members, but the main attraction is George and Martha’s sarcophagi, which rest behind an iron gate. Visitors are asked to remain silent and respect the dignity of the final resting place of our nation’s father.
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy
Just footsteps from the historic estate’s entrance is one of the area’s best kept romantic dining secrets. With a diverse seasonal menu and historic candlelight ambience, this is a great option for couples and adults.
216 A City B&B
216 S. Fayette St., Alexandria, VA
After a full day at Mt Vernon, it can be daunting to drive all the way back to Raleigh. And, D.C. may seem far away and filled with traffic but historic Alexandria is less than 20 minutes away. This intimate bed and breakfast offers the perfect location to explore the town’s charm.
Avenue, Alexandria, VA
Craft beer fans will want to take a short detour to visit Port City Brewing. Check out the Hopzooka, the brewery’s patented machine that adds hops without exposing it to air. Brewery tours are available several times a day.
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