James Madison’s Montpelier
United States history pervades Virginia. From Civil War battlefields to presidential houses, there’s plenty for a history buff to do in our area. You may have heard of the popular historical destinations: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, James Monroe’s Highland, and Staunton’s Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. Another must see tour? James Madison’s Montpelier.
Located twenty minutes north of Charlottesville, this 2,650 acre estate has a long and fascinating history.
Although in the world of presidential house tours Montpelier is fairly new on the scene, their historians and excavation crew is hard at work to bring more and more of the property’s history to the public. For instance, the Gilmore Cabin is the “fist Freedman’s site in the United States,” and Montpelier offers outstanding articles on the enslaved peoples who lived there.
If going on a couple tours is not enough history for you, then join in one of Montpelier’s ongoing excavations. Work side by side with professional archeologists during one of their many week-long programs. Get hands on with history while supporting a program actively working to uncover history.
The property is home to multiple walking and hiking trails as well. Take a short hike on the Montpelier Civil War trail where Confederate troops camped, or maybe the Montpelier Loop Trail is more up your alley. Either way, there are over eight miles of trails to keep you moving on a beautiful spring day.
Did we mention there’s also a Montpelier Wine Festival? Oh, yeah. Taste wines from a selection of premiere Virginia wineries while enjoying the fabulous view. The Festival is May 6-7; get your tickets here.