Download GPX file for this article
38.7353-77.0953Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

George Washington's Mansion, on his Mount Vernon estate

Mount Vernon is a district in Fairfax County, Virginia, situated on the Potomac River. It takes its name from the country home and plantation of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America.

Since 2008, Mount Vernon has been on UNESCO's tentative list for its structures from the 18th century.


The Washington family acquired the land, then known as Little Hunting Creek Plantation, in the late 17th century. When Washington's elder half-brother inherited the land, he named it Mount Vernon in honor of Edward Vernon, a hero of the War of Jenkins's Ear and his commanding officer in the navy. Washington inherited the land in 1754 and had the manor house built up in phases from 1758 to 1778. In the mid-19th century, the Washington family sold it to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, who have since maintained it and the grounds for the benefit of the public.

Get in[edit]

Mount Vernon is 13 mi (21 km) miles south of Washington, D.C.

By car[edit]

The Mount Vernon estate lies at the southern terminus of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which follows the Potomac River from I-495 in Langley to the northwest. Along the way, it passes through parts of McLean, Arlington, and Old Town Alexandria, including Reagan Washington National Airport. The parkway, which is a national park, is pleasantly scenic.

By public transportation[edit]

  • Fairfax Connector Bus 101, +1 703 339-7200. provides daily local service between Huntington (northside), the southern terminus of the Metro Yellow Line, and the Mount Vernon estate. Buses depart approximately every 30 minutes and the bus ride is about 30 minutes. If transferring from the Metro Yellow Line, make sure to exit downward to the south bus stop (not up to the park&ride bus stop). free since COVID, was $1.75.

By tour bus[edit]

Several tour companies operate bus tours from Washington to Mount Vernon.

  • Gray Line, +1-800-862-1400, offers tours of Mount Vernon bundled with tours of Old Town Alexandria, Arlington National Cemetery, or Washington, D.C. daily except certain holidays (check website for details). Prices start at $55 adults, $30 children. Departs from Washington Union Station.
  • DC Trails[dead link], +1-800-225-1106, offers a full-day package including a drive through Old Town Alexandria and self-guided activities at the estate. Prices start at $53 adults, $23 children.
  • OnBoard Tours, +1-301-839-5261, offers a package that includes guided walks through Arlington National Cemetery and the Mount Vernon estate. Prices start at $69.99 adults, $59.99 children.

By bicycle[edit]

The fully paved, 18-mile-long Mount Vernon Trail follows the Potomac River from Theodore Roosevelt Island in Arlington all the way to the Mount Vernon estate. The trail is scenic, passing almost entirely through parkland, including the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. "Bike and Roll" tours are also available during the warm season, whereby you ride a rented bike from Alexandria to Mount Vernon, then return by boat. See "Bike and Roll" below under "Do."

By boat[edit]

While you cannot dock your own boat at Mount Vernon, several cruise companies offer Mount Vernon excursions.

Get around[edit]

Map of Mount Vernon (Virginia)

The Mount Vernon estate is compact, but beyond the manor house, there are some steep hills. Private motor vehicles are not allowed on the grounds, but a half-hourly shuttle service connects the Education Center near the entrance, the Pioneer Farm, and the Wharf between 9:15AM and 4:45PM. During the peak tourist season between April 1 and October 31, an hourly shuttle also runs between noon and 5:30PM between the Education Center and the Distillery & Gristmill.

To go beyond the estate, a car is recommended. Fairfax Connector bus 101 stops at Fort Hunt Park, which is also accessible on foot or by bicycle from the Mount Vernon Trail.


Life sized model of General George Washington
  • 1 George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, +1 703 780-2000, . Apr-Oct 9AM-5PM, Nov-Mar 9AM-4PM. Tour the original mansion that George Washington built, lived, and died in, then visit the outbuildings, gardens, and fields to learn more about history, farming, and the man. Periodic concerts, historical demonstrations, and other performances are held throughout the day. Tickets are $2 off online when purchased 3 days in advance. $28/adult, $12/youth, children free. Mount Vernon (Q731635) on Wikidata Mount Vernon on Wikipedia
    • The Mansion Tour. The main attraction: see the rooms that George Washington designed himself and their majestic setting over the Potomac River. This is the only guided portion of the estate and require a timed ticket (included with admission); however the time is just a guideline since tours of the mansion operate continuously. Long lines are common on weekends so consider doing this first.
    • 2 Washington's Tomb. The final resting places of George Washington and his wife Martha. Tribute at the Tomb wreath-laying ceremonies take place at 10AM and 2PM, April – October, and at noon November – March. Washington's Tomb (Q56546631) on Wikidata
    • Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Educational Center. Apr-Oct 9AM-6PM, Nov-Mar 9AM-5PM. Museum of multimedia exhibits which span the life of George Washington. Don't miss the most famous dentures in history!
    • Slave Memorial and Burial Ground. A memorial honoring the slaves who lived and worked at Mount Vernon. Slave Life at Mount Vernon tours are offered at 10AM, noon, and 2PM, April - October, and start at the Mansion.
  • 3 George Washington's Whiskey Distillery and Gristmill, 5513 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, Alexandria (on Route 235, three miles south of Mount Vernon Estate). 10AM to 5PM; April - October. Watch the water-powered mill operate as it did at the time when George Washington developed it as a cutting edge technology. included with Mansion admission (see listing above). Admission can also be purchased at Distillery. George Washington's Gristmill (Q5545904) on Wikidata George Washington's Gristmill on Wikipedia


  • George Washington: Pioneer Farmer Site (Part of the Mount Vernon Estate; 5 minute walk south of the mansion). A 4-acre, colonial farm exhibition highlighting the buildings, tools, and techniques Washington used on the site.
  • Bike and Boat, 3 Cameron Street (On the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront), +1 202 842-2453. 10AM. From Old Town Alexandria, take a self-guided ride 9 miles down the Mount Vernon Trail to the estate, then return via boat, including a narrated tour of the riverfront. Reservations required at least 24 hours in advance; space is limited. $68 adult, $40 children 6–12, $20 children 2–5.


  • The Lady Washington Shop (inside Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, near the Upper Gardens). Colonial gift shop with a feminine theme featuring chinaware, needlework, and garden items.
  • The Shops at Mount Vernon (Near the main gate), +1 703 799-6301. March-October 9AM- 6PM, November-February 9AM-5PM. Large gift shop which includes the largest George Washington bookstore in the world, a Christmas Corner with year-round holiday themed gifts, and colonial reproduction gifts. (No admission necessary to enter).


  • Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway (by the entrance to the Estate), +1 703 799-6800. Su 10AM–5PM, M 11AM-5PM, Tu-F 11AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-8PM. Elegant dining with a colonial theme. Open for lunch and candlelit dinners (reservations recommended). Also has a small bar and serves Mount Vernon beers and George Washington whiskey. $15-35.


  • Mount Vernon beers. Produced in collaboration with Dynasty Brewing Co, the Rules of Civility beer series pays homage to George Washington. Available to drink at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant and available for purchase in the gift shop.
  • Mount Vernon distilled spirits. Each bottle is produced using 18th-century distilling methods and techniques at George Washington’s reconstructed distillery. Available to drink at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant and for purchase at the gift shop or the distillery. $100-225/bottle.


  • 1 SpringHill Suites Alexandria, 6065 Richmond Highway, 22303, +1 571-481-4441, . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Suites with fridge and microwave, complimentary breakfast, indoor pool, whirlpool (for guests 16 years+) and fitness center; free wired and wireless Internet throughout the hotel, onsite business center, free shuttle to the Huntington Metro Center.

Go next[edit]

  • Washington, D.C. - Explore America's national capital
  • Arlington - Location of the Pentagon, Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Statue), and Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Alexandria - former hometown to famous American heroes and rebels that claims some of the richest history in the DC metro area
  • Visitors to President Washington's plantation at Mount Vernon may also want to visit Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, James Monroe's home, Ash Lawn Highland, or James Madison's home, Montpelier, all near Charlottesville, Virginia.
Routes through Mount Vernon
Washington, D.C.Alexandria  N  S  LortonRichmond

This city travel guide to Mount Vernon is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.