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Why You Need to See Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Monticello is an impressive sight to behold. Situated right outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, this elegant structure was designed, built, and inhabited by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

What You Need To Know Before Visiting Monticello

How To Pronounce Monticello: When you say Monticello, it sounds like there is an invisible H. It is pronounced "MontiCHELLo."

Learn What Monticello Means: Monticello comes from an Italian word meaning "little mountain." When you visit, you'll understand the name fits. The plantation is located on the summit of a peak in the Southwest Mountains. The peak is over 800 feet tall so Monticello truly sits on a little mountain.

Plan Your Day Accordingly: It's recommended that you allow yourself at least 2 hours to visit Monticello. Monticello is also handicap-accessible and a smoke-free facility.

Buy Your Tickets In Advance: You can purchase your tickets to Monticello online.

Why You Should Visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.

1. The Interior Is Extraordinary

If you want to truly experience Monticello, you need to explore its rooms. From its size to its opulent furnishings, you'll be inspired by the grand environment Jefferson called home. Jefferson originally used a neoclassical design for the main house inspired by his extensive research of architecture from ancient Rome and the Italian Renaissance. The construction of Monticello started in 1768, but wasn't fully complete until several decades later. This is because Jefferson later incorporated other popular design elements into the plantation during the course of his presidency. In total, he spent over forty years of his life designing and redesigning Monticello. It was, in his words, his "essay in architecture." Today, many call it his autobiography.

Jefferson also designed the University of Virginia, which is close to Monticello.

2. The History Is Fascinating

Can you guess the value of the house back in 1800? Jefferson estimated it to be $6,300 for insurance purposes. Another interesting fact about Monticello, about 60% of the furnishings you'll see may be original to Jefferson. Other pieces are original to the period or are authentic reproductions. You'll also learn how many rooms there are in the entire structure, what happened to Monticello after Jefferson's death, and where Jefferson is buried today.

Gardens at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

3. The Gardens Are Breathtaking

The gardens at Monticello are considered a botanical masterpiece. Jefferson planted flower gardens, an extensive vegetable garden, and fruit gardens. His collection of flowers included both ornamental and useful plants. In his vegetable garden, he grew over 300 varieties on a 1,000-foot long terrace. His fruit gardens are also impressive. Jefferson grew 170 different varieties of apples, peaches, grapes, and more in his orchards. There are two vineyards at Monticello. Thomas Jefferson is considered the nation's first wine lover, connoisseur, and maker.

4. Can't-Miss Annual Events

From archaeology walking tours to winemaking workshops, there's always something exciting going on at Monticello. Make sure to check Monticello's calendar of events when you visit.

Where To Stay Near Monticello

There are four Select Registry inns near Thomas Jefferson's home in Charlottesville, Virginia. If you're seeking an intimate getaway, book a room at the Foxfield Inn, a warm country inn with five guest rooms. After a long day of exploring Monticello, relax in the inn's outdoor hot tub and gaze up at the stars.

And don't forget about the lovely Arcady Vineyard Bed and Breakfast in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is an intimate wine retreat with 4 guest rooms and 21 wooded acres to explore. Plus, it's perfect for wine lovers; the Arcady Vineyard Bed and Breakfast is an active vineyard and it's also situated near a number of other local wineries.

Photo credits: Konstantin L / Adobe Image and Little NY / Adobe Image

Best Places to Stay in Charlottesville

arcady vineyard
Arcady's Madison Suite deck with wood Adirondack chairs and a table overlooking lush green grass and trees
Breakfast with pancakes
arcady aerial
vineyard
barrel table tops
outdoor patio
guest room
guest room with a view
bathroom
living room
port wine and local artisan chocolate
back patio

Arcady Vineyard Bed and Breakfast

Charlottesville, VA

outdoor firepit infront of Foxfield Inn building
Foxfield Inn - Common Area
Foxfield Inn - Patio
Foxfield Inn - Breakfast
Foxfield Inn - Outdoor Hot Tub
hot tub and porch with shady trees
exterior grounds with shady trees and walking paths
Jetted tub for two with brass faucet
bottle of champagne with rose petals and fireplace in background
Foxfield Inn - Common Area - TV room
Foxfield Inn - Audobon Room
Foxfield Inn - Grounds in Autumn
Foxfield Inn - Grounds with building in the background
Foxfield Inn - Cheese and Charcuterie Board with wine glasses
Foxfield Inn - Chocolate covered strawberries

Foxfield Inn

Charlottesville, VA

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