Date of Visit: July 2021
My boys and I did a package deal with Old Town Trolley Tours and got our tickets extremely discounted with the Moonlight Tour for Mount Vernon.
In my mind Mount Vernon was not that far away from us in Bethesda but in reality its a little bit of a drive (30 or so minutes depending on traffic).
If you want to get deeper into the Enslaved workers or the history of the estate that is not mentioned or focused on as much in the regular tours – my son and I found these articles
- A tale of two Mount Vernons: How Washington’s estate separates his story from his slaves’
- Time To Tell The Truth About Slavery At Mount Vernon
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon Highlights More Stories Of Enslaved People
- George Washington And Slavery
Before visiting the estate/mansion we were able to secure our entry time for the house at the front gate with the tickets we got from Old Town Trolley, you cannot do that until the exact day of the visit at the front gate, you otherwise can plan your time ahead on the website.
We tried to get there early towards opening time which paid off when it came to how far away we had to park. It was an extremely hot day so we knew that there would be some outside time spent at the estate.
The women that manage the line for the mansion tours with their walkie talkies and waving of a stick are militant and unfriendly. We had a question as to where we should be in line or what time slot was lined up next but the one women said to us “just wait of there, we haven’t called you yet” and my question was “what time slot was just called, so I know how long we have” – the reason being so my kids and I could look a the adjacent garden and not miss our change with our timed ticket (as they were running a few tours behind). They were extremely organized and unfriendly. Perhaps it was the heat.
The tour of the house itself was impressive and interesting. We enjoyed learning about all of the details of the mansion and realizing that we were walking down the same steps and into rooms that people of history had. We really enjoyed seeing the back porch and the view onto the water. Thankfully the house is now air-conditioned because it was a very hot day.
We wandered around to other parts of the estate including the gardens, slave quarters and many of the outbuildings that had different presentations and workers.
We really enjoyed this historical experience but it did leave us wishing we had researched more to better understand the actual history of the estate and George Washington. We loved finding out the details of how the river was used for transportation to and from Washington DC as well.
The grounds and gardens are beautiful – there is just so much to see and experience here.
There is also a small museum that offers more insight into Washington’s life and the challenges he faced as President holding the newly-formed nation together. Washington owned a number of slaves and this issue is well-addressed in the museum. The slave quarters near the main house can also be visited.