Every visitor to Charlottesville should spend a half a day at Monticello. Simply put, it is spectacular. The home has been meticulously restored inside and out by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Expect to spend about three hours on the property. Some helpful hints about visiting Monticello;
It is highly recommended to buy your tickets online ahead of time
. You can do this easily at www.monticello.org/site/visit/tickets-tours
. Tickets are $25 for all ages.
The gates are open from 8:30am - 6 pm. The first tour is at 9:00am and the last tour is at 5:10 pm. The GPS address is 931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA 22902.
The tickets to the house are for a specific time. They ask that you arrive on site 30 minutes ahead of time so that you have time to park, get your tickets at will call and then take the bus up to the house.
You are welcome to arrive early. The Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center offers a wealth of information on Jefferson and his ideals, thoughts on liberty, architecture and multifaceted life and talents. This is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with Jefferson and his time before heading to the house.
If you plan ahead of time, you may be lucky enough to get tickets to the Behind the Scenes House Tour. After the standard house tour, your guide will lead you up the staircase to the second floor where additional bedrooms are found and to the iconic Dome Room on the third Floor. The stairs are very steep and not handicap accessible. This ticket is $55 and includes the House and Gardens.
There is a cafe on site which serves assortment of danishes, sandwiches, pizza, snacks and beverages. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.
The grounds and the gardens are magnificent. You may tour them before or after the house but you must have a ticket to the house to have access to them. Jefferson was a master gardener indeed and the Historic Gardens are made up of the Flower, Vegetable and Fruit Gardens. You are welcome to take home a bit of Monticello from the Garden Shop at the Thomas Jefferson Visitors Center.
If you still haven't learned quite enough, there are Slavery at Monticello Tours and Garden and Grounds Tours which are complimentary on the hour April - October.
On your way out the driveway, stop by the graveyard and see Thomas Jefferson's Gravestone.For more detailed information, visit www.monticello.org.