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Fall Day Trip to Monticello

October 25, 2011

Originally I was going to use this visit to Monticello as part of my Staycation series but quickly realized that a 3-hour drive didn’t exactly count as a staycation. So — day trip it is!

Monticello is nestled in one of the most beautiful parts of Virginia –Thomas Jefferson himself believed it the most beautiful place in the world. As fall slowly sets in and the leaves begin to change, it’s easy to see why.

My last trip to Monticello was actually pretty recent — last November — when the leaves were at their peak. Needless to say, not much has changed since that last visit but I was simply happy to be out in the countryside and surrounded by fall beauty.

Touring the inside of the house, where you can see so many of Jefferson’s ingenious and time-saving inventions, is meant to be the highlight. He could read six different languages and centuries before the Internet, surrounded himself with books on every possible subject as his own personal Internet.

You can’t take photos inside the house but the library looks pretty much just like this — minus the man in 18th century clothes. Jefferson donated his personal book collection to form the Library of Congress, and spent the later years of his life reacquiring thousands more books.

Well, except for that kitchen. It’s located under a passageway away from the main house and while I loved the huge fireplace and copper pots, I can imagine food would often arrive lukewarm on the Jeffersons’ table.

The most beautiful part of Monticello is the garden. I’m not sure whether it’s the rolling hills, neat rows of plantings or a little sunhouse on the edge of it all, but I’d be happy to spend a few days just reading and relaxing here.

Jefferson was more than just a gentleman farmer, keeping meticulous notes on everything from first frosts to last blooms. Today the garden is planted with the same varieties of many herbs, vegetables and flowers that the former president himself grew.

And since you can’t go to Monticello without saying hello to the man himself…


Notice anything missing from his grave marker?

Have you been to Monticello? Is there a presidential home or historical marker near you? Needless to say, we’re crammed with them here!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. krissy m. murphy permalink
    October 25, 2011 8:44 am

    Nice pics! I live in Cville but have yet to visit…

    • October 25, 2011 8:57 am

      It’s definitely worth checking out! It looked like there were hiking/biking trails up to the house, too, so that might make a fun fall or spring outing.

  2. October 25, 2011 9:26 am

    What?!?! His head stone doesn’t say President?!!!! I never knew that! Your pics make me miss Cville!

    • October 25, 2011 10:32 am

      Jefferson actually called the presidency a “splendid misery.” He just had too many accomplishments for one headstone!

  3. Errign permalink
    October 25, 2011 12:05 pm

    I’ve never been to Monticello, but it’s gorgeous! I like the gardens 🙂

  4. October 25, 2011 12:23 pm

    Cool! Thanks for the pics and info. My hubby was bugging me to go there. Maybe we’ll get there… one day… maybe. 🙂

    • October 25, 2011 5:49 pm

      How far away do you live? There were people there from all over the country and the world — worth tying in with a larger trip to the DC area if you’re from far away. 🙂

  5. October 25, 2011 5:29 pm

    I loved it there when I visited back in 2009. It was July, and there was something almost majestic about seeing such a rolling expanse of green with all the grass and trees. It must be so beautiful with all the leaves changing color now!

  6. Ye old townsperson permalink
    October 27, 2011 4:45 pm

    Does he have his own brew?? That’s my benchmark for a good house tour

    • October 27, 2011 8:30 pm

      No beer but there *were* a few Monticello wines (all from nearby Barboursville Winery, I think).


  1. Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia estate Monticello highlights slaves’ stories in new website « LE ARTISTE BOOTS

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