The best thing about our road trip was that we were able to drive to places of interest on ‘our schedule’. We were now in Charlottesville Virginia and had Presidents to visit!
Eight U.S. Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson were born in Virginia, we had chosen to visit Jefferson’s Monticello and Madison’s Montpelier.
Monticello built in 1772 was Thomas Jefferson plantation. Jefferson was the 3rd President of the U.S. and the author of the Declaration of Independence and founder of the University of Virginia. In 1987 Monticello and the nearby University of Virginia were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Jefferson and friend at Monticello!
Having explored the house and museum, we joined a small group of Charlottesville-ites to hear Gabriele Rausse Director of Gardens and Grounds and a Virginia winemaker to hear about Monticello’s newest vineyard Montalto and enjoy a glass of wine or two! As a special treat the event was held at Kenwood, the Robert H Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, where Roosevelt located his Camp David during his presidency.
Kenwood the Robert H Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies. The next day we departed early in the rain to visit Montpelier, 2,650 acres of rolling hills, spacious horse pastures and spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, home to President James and Dolley Madison. It was overcast and drizzling as we arrived at the historic Montpelier Station located near the entrance.
James Madison, the 4th President is hailed as the Father of the Constitution for being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution and as the key champion and author of the United States Bill of Rights.
Words and Images by Jan Knox
931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Monticello is open every day of the year, including Sundays, except Christmas.
Kenwood: Home of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies
www.monticello.org (Research & Collections)
11350 Constitution Highway,
Montpelier Station, VA 22957
2100 Bond Street, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, 22901
Tel: +1 434 995 5200
Shopping and Restaurants:
Stonefield centre next to the hotel (good):
Regal Stonefield Cinema and Imax
Parallel 38 (Mediterranean Restaurant)
Travinia Italian Kitchen (Modern American Italian Restaurant)