Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

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We're still trying to sell our house.  Today is Sunday and we need to get out of the way for an Open House.  We haven't been to Monticello in 15 years so maybe its time to go again.  Its a little over a two hour drive to Charlottesville, so why not.

Visitor Center.  Use back button to return.When we were last there, you parked near the house and could walk.  Now they have a nice, new visitor's center and you catch a shuttle bus.  Its enough of a climb up hill that its worth it.  You can get sandwiches and drinks at the visitor's center as well.  You purchase tickets for the tour here too.  You can also purchase tickets in advance over the internet.  The only disadvantage is that all tickets are for a specific time so you shouldn't be late.
Vegetable garden.  Use back button to return.
We had about 20 minutes to kill, so we wandered the grounds for a while taking pictures.  The back of the house is what you find on the nickel.  The front isn't particularly recognizable.  Taking a tour of the grounds would be good too but we didn't have time to explore our options.

Front of house.  Use back button to return.When the tour starts, you're shown into the house.  Touch nothing and take no pictures.  I thought our guide was interesting, funny and very professional.  You only get to see the main level and the cellar.  That is enough to enjoy the house and learn about Jefferson.  The cellar is where the house servants lived and where the kitchen was located.  They had a dumbwaiter to get the food from down below to the dining room.

If you want to see the interior, Monticello's web site has tours and photos set up.  They're not better than being there but will let you have an advance look.
Jefferson Cemetery.  Use back button to return.
Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the US.  He was also an innovator as you can see in his house.  That's about all the history I'll get into but much information is available at the house and on the web.

As you leave Monticello, walk down by Mulberry Row past the gardens.  Keep going to the cemetery.  From there, its only a short walk to the visitor's center and your car.  It isn't worth riding the bus back down.

During these tough economic times, here's a day trip for many that will let you learn some history too.  There's directions on their website and Monticello is easy to find.  If you want to make it a weekend, there's also several wineries in that area but that's another topic.