- Meet George Washington
- Visit His Estate
- Support His Vision
- Educational Resources
We recommend that you plan to spend a minimum of 2-3 hours touring the Estate. There is a lot to see and do, and you can easily spend a whole day if you want to experience everything that is offered. A time to enter the Mansion line is printed on your online ticket or the admission ticket purchased upon your arrival at Mount Vernon. Times are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. During periods of busy visitation in the spring, summer, holidays and special event weekends, you might receive a Mansion line entry time up to two hours from your arrival time. However, this time period allows our visitors to see other parts of the Estate, instead of standing in line. Once you enter the Mansion line, our goal is that you should only have to wait for 15 minutes or less.
Peak Visitation Periods
Our busiest visitation period is from March 15 - May 31, when we have large numbers of students visiting Mount Vernon as part of their annual school trip to Washington. Our heavy student visitation occurs on both weekdays and weekends. Many of the school buses arrive at our opening time and leave the Estate by 10:30 - 11:00, so the Estate is usually not as crowded in the afternoon. Typically, Mondays are our least crowded day of the week, although they are still very busy during the spring season.
If you have flexibility in your schedule, consider visiting outside of our peak periods. Months with our lowest attendance are typically January, February, December, September and August, although there are some heavier visitation days within those months, as described below.
In addition to the student visitation period described above, the following days are typically VERY busy - Presidents' Day Monday (Free Day, our busiest day of the year), the week preceding and including Easter Sunday (usually school spring break), Memorial Day weekend, July 4, Labor Day weekend, Craft Fair weekend in September, Fall Harvest weekend in October, Thanksgiving weekend, and the week between Christmas and New Year's. If you plan to attend on these days, you should COME EARLY in the day to complete your Mansion tour before the larger crowds arrive. For all of these days except for Presidents' Day Free Day, make sure that you buy your admission tickets online, AND print them out to lessen the likelihood of waits in purchasing your admission tickets.
What to Wear & Bring
We recommend walking shoes and comfortable clothing. Please keep in mind that Mount Vernon is very much an outdoor experience so prepare accordingly for various weather conditions. Virginia can be hot and humid in the summer so bottled water is encouraged! We allow bottled water on the grounds, but please leave other beverages and food outside the gates.
Don't forget your camera - photography is permitted and encouraged in all areas except for the Mansion, Museum, and the gallery featuring the General's dentures in the Education Center.
Guest Costume Policy
To ensure a consistent and high-quality guest experience, we ask all visitors who wish to wear costumes/period-inspired attire on Mount Vernon property to abide by the following rules: 1) Guests may not portray or resemble George Washington, Martha Washington, or other important/recognizable historical figures; 2) Guests may not, in any form, interpret or perform for other Mount Vernon guests (outside of their party); 3) Guests may not act, or appear to act, as a representative of Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon reserves the right to refuse access to adult guests in costume if deemed inappropriate or distracting, as determined by Mount Vernon personnel. For more information, please contact Mount Vernon’s Interpretation & Events Division at 703‐780‐2000.
Getting Around at Mount Vernon
For those visitors who have mobility challenges or difficulty walking, please review the Accessibility Information tab under Visit His Estate, General Information, so that you can be prepared to maximize the enjoyment of your visit to Mount Vernon.
Flag Raising Ceremony at the Gate
Each morning when Mount Vernon opens to the public, the American flag is raised above the Main Gate. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to do the honors!
Seeing the Mansion's Third Floor
After her husband's death in 1799, Martha Washington closed the bedroom they shared and moved to the Mansion's third floor. This area of the Mansion is open during the program "Christmas at Mount Vernon", which is offered the day after Thanksgiving - January 6.
Dogs are Welcome
Mount Vernon welcomes visitors to bring dogs on leashes during daytime visitation hours, but you must remain with your dog at all times while on the property. Dogs are allowed around the estate but not in the historic buildings, Museum or Education Center exhibition galleries. Please pick up after your pet. We have doggie water bowls at the entrance to the Estate property and at the entrance to the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center. Visitors with dogs are requested to walk though the Orientation Center and the Education Center as part of their visit, without stopping to look at any of the exhibits.
You will want to save a few minutes in your day to sit on the Washingtons' "back porch", also known as the piazza. A long row of Windsor chairs await you, and the view of the Potomac is unparalleled. Even if it has been years since a visitor has been to Mount Vernon, they always remember the stunning view!
Dining & Shopping
The Food Court is a good choice for people on the go, while the Mount Vernon Inn is an excellent seated lunch and dinner experience. The Inn does not accept lunch reservations so please plan accordingly. To make the most of your time, we suggest getting on the wait list - if there is one - before you browse through the shops that are just steps from the Inn. You should then feel free to look for your souvenirs as the host will call your name while you're perusing the "west" shop.
Picnics and outside food and beverages, except for water, are not allowed on the Estate. Food and drink purchased at the Pavilion must be consumed before you enter the Estate grounds.