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Tips for Your Visit

    • Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your house tour reservation, if you buy tickets in advance online
      It takes approximately 30 minutes to collect tickets and ride the Monticello shuttle bus from the ticketing area to the house itself. Because Monticello uses timed ticketing to expedite the house tour process, you face a significant delay if you miss your tour time.
    • Leave time to see the film and exhibits at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center.
      The to the historic mountaintop through dynamic content presenting fresh perspectives on Monticello and the enduring significance of Jefferson's life and ideas.
    • See the 15-minute introductory film Thomas Jefferson's World. Preferably, you'll want to before taking the shuttle up to the mountaintop.  The film runs every 20 minutes, so plan to arrive approximately 1 hour prior to your house tour reservation.
    • Plan to spend about 1 hour exploring the exhibitions at the visitor center.
    • Monticello is, in large part, an outdoor experience, so wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
    • For the best experience, buy your tickets online!
      Monticello uses timed ticketing to expedite the house tour process. Make house tour reservations in advance to ensure your preferred tour time and avoid (sometimes lengthy) waits for the next available House Tour. We offer online reservations for our other timed ticket tours: Family Friendly Tours and our evening Signature Tours online. Groups of 25 or more can schedule a tour by calling Group Reservations at (434) 984-9880
    • Plan your visit to experience Monticello at its best.
      June - September are particularly nice; the gardens are in bloom and visitors can take advantage of two additional guided tours included in the price of general admission – the seasonal Gardens and Grounds Tour and the Plantation Community Tour. It is generally best to visit in the morning (before 11) and late afternoon (after 3). Weekends and holidays are our busiest days.  Although it can be very busy, our annual July 4th Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony is a particularly inspiring and moving event.
    • Get tips for visiting with kids.
      Monticello also offers special, interactive Family Friendly Tours and other hands-on activities specifically for young visitors.  Learn more »
    • Touring the house requires at least 1 hour, and there is a lot more to see and do
      House tours last 30 minutes, and you should allow 15 minutes for the shuttle bus rides to and from the house. The price of admission includes two guided 45 minute walking tours - the Gardens and Grounds and Plantation Community Tours - available April - October. You may also shop for Jeffersonian gifts and plants in our Museum Shop, stop by the Café at Monticello for a snack, or hike the Thomas Jefferson Parkway (aka Saunders Monticello Trail).
    • Time your visit with one our special events
      Special activities occur on the mountain year-round; see our Events Calendar for details.
    • Learn about Thomas Jefferson and Monticello prior to your arrival
      The official Monticello Guidebook and a biography of Thomas Jefferson are available for purchase online. This website also provides some information about Thomas Jefferson, an overview of the property, and a virtual Monticello Explorer.
    • Hike the Saunders-Monticello Trail to Monticello.
      The Saunders-Monticello Trail (aka Thomas Jefferson Parkway) is a linear, 89-acre park that features an arboretum, pond, and overlook. A 2-mile trail leads through the park to a stone-arch span bridge at the entrance to Monticello. Comprised partly of on-grade sections made of finely crushed, packed stone and partly of raised boardwalk, the trail is open to pedestrians, cyclists, and to those in wheelchairs. With a maximum grade of five percent, the trail is completely accessible as it climbs steadily from the trailhead parking lot to the entrance to Monticello.
    • Special Assistance/Accessibility
      The Thomas Jefferson Foundation is committed to providing superior customer service to all visitors to Monticello. We offer a variety of services to ensure the best possible accessibility to the Monticello house, grounds and facilities in recognition of the diversity of our general public's abilities and needs.
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      tlively's picture
      A must see info for any first-time visitor to Monticello.
      Travis Lively
      ksmeltzer's picture
      Anything that espouses comfortable footwear is alright by me! This list of insider tips is a great resource for visitors to Monticello, especially if they haven't been here before or in a while (since, say, our fabulous new visitor center opened in April 2009).
      Kristie Smeltzer
      jgalle's picture
      As a mother of a two-year old, this is the place I go to find out more about activities for kids at Monticello. The Griffin Discovery Room can occupy even toddlers for hours and the Mountaintop Hands-On Activity Center is a nice break from tours for kids of all ages. And don't forget the West Lawn itself--the expansive, grassy lawn, the wonderful gardens, and the fish pond provide lots of spaces for explorartion, bug-hunting, color-naming, plant identification and general romping.
      Jillian Galle
      jgalle's picture
      Be sure to check out these insiders' tips for all the details on orchestating the perfect visit!
      Jillian Galle
      ejones's picture
      Great way to maximize your limited time or minimize the hassle of visit planning.


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