Walking up to a mile, uneven paths, limited access to some areas of the houses. At Monticello, we take a shuttle ride from the Visitor Center to the house. The grounds include steep paths and steps. The Visitor Center exhibits at Monticello provide an alternative for the less mobile. At Michie Tavern, only the dining room is handicapped accessible. Some interior steps at Highland can be avoided by going back outside, around the house, and rejoining the group below.
At the hotel.
Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe were friends and neighbors in rural Albemarle County. With our expert, examine their lives and philosophies. We will also consider the world of the landed gentry and how it contrasted with that of the small farmers, women, and the slaves who made such a lifestyle possible. Learn something of the mindset this way of life gave to both men and how it affected their politics and careers. We board our motor coach for a field trip to Highland, once the home of James Monroe. This is a small, homey dwelling in contrast to the stately mansions of Monroe's friends and neighbors. Recent archaeology has determined that the current structure was a guest residence and that Monroe's home was a much larger nearby building that no longer exists. Information on these finds will be provided during the visit. Learn how the existing house has evolved through the centuries with different owners. Imagine participating in the Monroe tradition of welcoming friends, neighbors, and dignitaries. Stroll the grounds to see the gardens and ash tree-lined entrance while taking in spectacular views of the surrounding mountains
At historic Michie Tavern, journey back to the 18th century with a traditional Bill of Fare including fried chicken, black eyed peas, cornbread, and much more (good Southern cooking!) . This tavern founded in 1784 by Scotsman William Michie (rhymes with sticky) was a social center of the community. After lunch, we will have time to independently explore the building, grounds, and dependencies.
Our motor coach next takes us to Jefferson’s amazing home, Monticello, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As we walk through the magnificent mansion, you will glimpse the genius of Jefferson in the architecture he employed, a wonderful homage to Roman antiquity. No less delightful are the many innovative gadgets that he devised and that now fill the main floor, carefully preserved and presented for the latter day visitor. Step back in time to the President's retirement years not only in the house visit but also in walks through the extensive ornamental and kitchen gardens and the Jefferson family cemetery.
In our private dining room at the hotel.
Having visited his home, what could be a better way to end the day than with a conversation with one of the Founding Fathers? A very convincing historical interpreter gives you a first person perspective on James Monroe and his celebrated friends of the Virginia Piedmont in “A Visit with Colonel Monroe.”