For a wonderful weekend outing with your family or friends, tour the homes of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and Woodrow Wilson, four Presidents who left indelible imprints on American history.
These historic properties are located within a 90-minute drive of one another in the beautiful Virginia countryside. Add a side trip to historic Barboursville, where you can see Barboursville Ruins, once home to James Barbour, Governor of Virginia and friend to Jefferson and Madison in the early nineteenth century.
Begin your weekend at James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange County. Madison, 4th President of the United States and Father of the Constitution, shared his lifelong home with his beloved wife Dolley, America's first “First Lady.” Make a reservation for Montpelier’s 90-minute in-depth tour “Meet the Madisons” to learn intimate details about the Madisons’ style, taste, friendships, and accomplishments. The Mere Distinction of Colour exhibition is included with the purchase of any tour, offering visitors the opportunity to hear the stories of those enslaved at Montpelier told by their living descendants. Walk the grounds, gardens, and 8+ miles of trails. Enjoy lunch at the Exchange Café and peruse the Museum Shop and galleries.
For overnight accommodations, stay at one of the Inns at Montpelier, a consortium of bed and breakfasts in Orange and Madison counties.
A 10-minute drive to the village of Barboursville is where you will find the Barboursville Ruins and Vineyard. The house was designed by Thomas Jefferson and was, at one time, considered the most valuable residence in the area. After touring the grounds, be sure to sample award winning wine at Barboursville Vineyard.
On the second day, head down to Charlottesville, home to UNESCO World Heritage sites The University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. At the home of the 3rd President and author of the Declaration of Independence, tour Jefferson's famed home, learn about the landscape of slavery on Mulberry Row or on the Hemings Family tour, and walk the Saunders-Monticello Trail.
Just up the road from Monticello is Highland, the residence of 5th President and proclaimer of the "Montoe Doctrine," James Monroe, from 1799-1823. The home features a rich collection of objects original to the Monroes, as well as period pieces.
After leaving Charlottesville, head to nearby Staunton to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. Take a self-guided tour through galleries exploring Wilson's early years, his eventful presidency, suffrage, prohibition, and World War I.
Last Updated: 02/01/2018
11350 Constitution Hwy
Montpelier Station, VA 229570 MI
11350 Constitution Highway
Montpelier Station, VA 229570.01 MI
11350 Constitution Highway
Montpelier Station, VA 229570.02 MI
11407 Constitution Hwy
Montpelier Station, VA 229570.19 MI
146 Caves Ford Lane
Orange, VA 229602.14 MI