Monticello?

Old Jun 7th, 2018, 11:10 AM
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Monticello?

Hi, everyone - I was wondering if anyone has been to Monticello, and if so, what did you think? Any specific tours that you enjoyed? If we loved Mount Vernon, do you think we would enjoy Monticello - are they similar? About how many days would you go for? Looking at potentially going in September. Anything else to do in the area that you would recommend? Thanks for any guidance you can give me!
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Old Jun 7th, 2018, 11:31 AM
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We really enjoyed the tour of Monticello and the history lesson. Charlottesville is a nice town and there are other things/towns to see in the area - Stanton, Lexington, Luray Caverns, Appommatox Courthouse, Blue Ridge Parkway. I think 4 days would be a good trip (although Monticello itself is just a half-day thing).
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Old Jun 7th, 2018, 11:54 AM
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We were in Monticello last month. We booked a timed tour online (Day Pass and House Tour) before we left ($26). You have to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled time, because a small bus takes you up to the house. Our tour guide was great. As good as Monticello was, we liked Montpelier (Madison's house) as much or better. Below is website to get tickets for Monticello. Enjoyed a very good lunch at Hamilton's in Charlottesville.

https://www.monticello.org/site/tickets-tours

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Old Jun 7th, 2018, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by volcanogirl View Post
Any specific tours that you enjoyed? If we loved Mount Vernon, do you think we would enjoy Monticello - are they similar? About how many days would you go for?
If you loved Mt Vernon, you will almost certainly be inclined to love Monticello. As far as specific tours, any that come with the day pass piquing your interest are worthy. Depending on your affinity for Jefferson and the history, the Behind the Scenes tour is definitely good value.

If you enjoy historic homes, I'd add Highland, James Monroe's house to the list. If your interest runs to beer there are plenty of tasting and craft brewery tours in the vicinity. Ditto for wine though despite a number of decades in the making the overall quality is meh, IMO. Some good individual wines though. Still fun to visit in Piedmont's lovely setting.

Four days would be a good visit.
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Old Jun 7th, 2018, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by volcanogirl View Post
Looking at potentially going in September. Anything else to do in the area that you would recommend?
The area around Charlottesville is about as jammed with beautiful and historic things to see as it gets. Monticello for sure, and Montpelier as mentioned, but also the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville (designed by Jefferson) and also his "second home" at Poplar Forest, near Lynchburg VA.

If you're starting in the DC area and have the time, you could follow both Skyline Drive and part of the Blue Ridge Parkway in one direction. And if you could delay your trip to October, the chances for terrific fall color would be there, too. Map - https://goo.gl/maps/8Ef8XJ9TP1M2

Snaps -

Monticello -



UVA campus



Poplar Forest



Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park

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Old Jun 8th, 2018, 02:52 PM
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Bookmarking because I too want to take this trip. Going in mid October. I'll post my own thread; this is great inspiration.
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Old Jun 8th, 2018, 05:46 PM
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Thanks, everyone; I appreciate all the good input. Looks gorgeous. We love historical home tours. I didn't realize there were others in the area.
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Old Jun 8th, 2018, 07:51 PM
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You can easily spend a week in Charlottesville and the surrounding area. I second the recommendations for UVA, Montpelier (DO NOT skip the slave exhibit in the basement), and Highland. I rarely disagree with Obxgirl but will, on this occasion, with her opinion on VA wines. Skip the touristy wineries like Barboursville and concentrate on varietals such as Viognier and Cab Franc that do well in VA and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I can give you specific recommendations for wineries if you’re interested. I’ll add that cideries are also becoming more popular in the area.

I imagine that you’ll be interested in some active things to do so let us know if you need some hiking recommendations etc. There are some really neat inns in the area and wonderful restaurants if you haven’t already lined those up.
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Old Jun 9th, 2018, 08:58 AM
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this is an old TR link to a visit to Montpelier and Big Meadows Lodge. I thought the information about the lodge and the Hoover camp might be of interest. My husband (who hadn't been with me the first time) and I also visited Montpelier last April and they continue to do a lot of work. The freeman farm was open this time and an interesting but minor ad-on to the tour of the main house
Long weekend Virginia trip: Montpelier/shenandoah Park
The lunch cafe at Montpelier is quite good, affiliated with The Barbeque Exchange in Gordonsville.

I know there are also beer breweries in the Charlotteville/Orange area as well One of the owners of the B & B where we stayed last spring was the beer expert; his wife knew more about wine. I am not surprised to hear that the area also has cideries.

Birdie--I would be interested in your winery recommendations. WE hope to go back to the Orange area after one of our trips to the DC area.
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Old Jun 9th, 2018, 10:37 AM
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I agree, you should love Monticello. Just google colonial homes in VA and plan to stay a couple of months!! LOL. Enjoy.

I can't remember the wine company, but DH and I took a cooking class at The Inn at Meander Plantation* and they had a pairing dinner from a VA vintner and it was superb!

*The Inn has sold so I can't report about current status.
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Old Jun 13th, 2018, 07:17 AM
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TDudette, we stayed there shortly after the sale and met the new owners. They’re young and seem very nice. From what I can see on the web site, it looks like they’ve freshened the rooms up a bit.

Vttraveler, I like some of the wineries that are closer to Monticello than you will be. They’re worth a stop, if you’re near there.

Here’s a map of the Monticello wine trail which includes the area you’ll be visiting.

https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...l+Brochure.pdf

Near Monticello, I like Jefferson and Michael Shaps. Bleinham is pretty but I found they’re wines to be bleh. Some people like Trump wines but...

Closer to Orange is a very small place called Reynard Florence which produces some decent wine. I think Horton port is very good. Barboursville is a gorgeous property and a great place for lunch. when we visited, their main restaurant was closed for an event so we had charcuterie at their Library 1821 which turned out to be perfect for us. The tasting room offers tastings of about 14 different wines but you can also purchase glasses of later vintages and their more premium wines at the Library. We tried most of those wines and had a couple of glasses of their highly touted Octagan wines and didn’t walk out with a single bottle. We did end up purchasing a few at RF. Wine preferences are individual so you may love something I didn’t enjoy. There are dozens of wineries in that area and it’s so much fun to try varietals you’re not familiar with.

I’d love to hear what you liked when you return. Please report back.

(Please for give my spelling and grammatical mistakes. The formatting here is cutting off half of my post and I can’t access it for editing.)

Last edited by Birdie; Jun 13th, 2018 at 07:20 AM.
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Old Jun 13th, 2018, 07:28 AM
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Great information - thank you so much for sharing!
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Old Jun 13th, 2018, 09:05 AM
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Thanks for the Meander Plantation info, Birdie. The food was outstanding so I hope they kept the cooking staff. There were 2 chefs when we were there; one for pastry (she was in culinary school with Alton Brown and mentioned that his video and digital abilities were very helpful with his initial TV success). They were excellent teachers.

As Birdie wrote, please report back, volcanogirl!
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Old Jun 14th, 2018, 05:06 AM
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My husband and I just did the Behind the Scenes tour about a month ago and we loved it. We are from the area and went often when we were younger for school field trips, but I enjoyed it so much more now. If you like to read, read Americaís First Daughter before you go. It actually made me want to go back to Monticello and it was pretty cool to already know about some of the things the tour guides were talking about that were more family related.

Other things to do in the Charlottesville area: we have so many wineries and breweries, as well as cideries that someone mentioned. There are also a few distilleries popping up, like Silverback and Ragged Branch. Route 151 is always a good time, plenty of wineries/breweries/etc. to choose from along that road. Do a little research, there may be some type of festival going on in the area too. If you choose 151 for a day, Blue Mountain Brewery or Devilís Backbone are great for eating. I think my favorite winery is Pippin Hill so far, and Bold Rock definitely for cidery. Downtown Staunton (just across Afton Mtn) is also a neat little town to visit with shops and such along the historic main street.

There are are plenty of hiking trails too if that interests you, you will be right where Skyline Drive meets the Blue Ridge Parkway, so plenty of opportunities in each direction.
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Old Jun 14th, 2018, 08:31 AM
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We ate at Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton - the pulled pork sandwich was great!!
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Old Jun 17th, 2018, 09:04 AM
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Birdie--Thanks for the Virginia winery info. We probably won't go to that area again until the fall, but of course that would be a good time to visit wineries. I had a great-great-great grandfather who lived in Culpepper so we are hoping to go there.

on our way to MD at the end of June we are planning to stop in Thurmont MD. I remember seeing vineyards in that area last year. Do you know anything about those?
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