If you have been to Washington, D.C. you have probably seen the National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, and more national monuments than you can name. Visiting D.C. (even for us residents) can be exhausting for any family. An excellent way to slow down and enjoy family time is by visiting Mount Vernon with your family.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Gardens and Estate is located just outside of D.C. in Northern Virginia. Although there is no metro station nearby, the home of the first President of the United States is a short drive, bus ride, or boat ride away.
Located on the scenic banks of the Potomac, Mount Vernon is a pocket of colonial countryside tucked away in a major metropolitan area. A true breath of fresh air with less noise, more trees, and a variety of things to see and do. Our family has had the pleasure of visiting numerous times in the past year (we purchased annual passes) and we always enjoy it.
Visiting the manor house is a must and entry is included with admission on a timed ticket. If you are visiting on the weekend or during the warmer months, you may be standing in line for a while. Strollers must be parked outside and no food or beverages is permitted inside the house. Our family usually has a drink and light snack while we are standing in line to avoid any tantrums or hungry tummies when we are inside.
One of our favorite attractions at Mount Vernon is visiting the livestock. There are chickens, hogs, sheep, cows, and sometimes horses. When my son and I made a trip in the early spring, we were delighted to see so many baby animals! In the hotter months, the animals are usually kept out of the sun and heat for their own comfort.
You can leisurely stroll with your family along the paths (covered in gravel but stroller friendly) and visit the stables, salt house, slave quarters, blacksmith (with live demos) and many other buildings that assisted in the function and operations of this colonial estate. Visiting the final resting place of George Washington and his wife Martha is also a must.
There is a path that runs parallel to the Potomac where you can actually catch a boat ride at the wharf for an additional fee (and sometimes FREE during special events). Although often crowded during special events or holiday weekends, the Mount Vernon area is large and open if you need a little space from the crowds.
I like to pack a few light snacks and sometimes take a very small cooler to keep beverages cool for my son. There are gift shops, a food court, restaurant, and museum on site as well. When planning a visit to Mount Vernon, you should set aside a day to take advantage of the unique history, landscape, and experiences Mount Vernon offers.
You can follow our family adventures on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #jalsVists.
DISCLAIMER: This post, the images, and the words contained are my own. This post was NOT solicited by George Washington’s Mount Vernon Gardens and Estate. No product, incentive, or compensation was received by me or my family in exchange for this post.
© 2013, Jennifer. All rights reserved.