Mount Vernon is one of my favorite places around Washington, D.C. When asked where I would take visitors coming from out of town, my response was “Mount Vernon.” It’s just a special place, especially on a clear and gorgeous day. If you haven’t been here, it’s definitely worth checking out and here are the top 10 reasons why you should visit Mount Vernon.
Why You Should Visit Mount Vernon
It’s Not That Far From Washington, D.C.
True, it can be a bit of a challenge to get here especially without a car, but Mount Vernon really isn’t that far from Washington, D.C. The distance from The White House is less than 20 miles and the commute (without traffic) is just over 30 minutes.
It Hosts a Spectacular Reenactment of the American Revolution
One of the best reasons to visit Mount Vernon is to see the reenactments. It’s big and it’s grand. Volunteers from all over the United States flock to the estate, set up camp just as they would have in 1776, and prepare for one of the largest reenactments of battles fought in the American Revolutionary War. The muskets are real, the uniforms are authentic, and the commentary is truly entertaining.
It’s Public Transport Accessible
If you don’t have a car, there are several ways to reach Mount Vernon. You can take the yellow line Metro all the way to Huntington Station and transfer to the Fairfax Connector Bus #101 towards Fort Hunt. It will drop you down in front of Mount Vernon’s gate. For a more scenic view, you can take a boat ride from the Washington, National, or Alexandria harbors. Rates vary and the schedule is dependent on the weather. Finally, if time isn’t much of a factor, you can also bike the paved Mount Vernon trail. The 18-mile long trail starts at Theodore Roosevelt Island and goes all the way south to Mount Vernon. There are entrance points in Rosslyn, Crystal City, and Alexandria.
The Drive Is Scenic
The last 10-mile drive to Mount Vernon is one of the most scenic views you’ll have anywhere near Washington, D.C. There is the view of the Potomac River on one side and the small hills and large leafy trees on another. There are also several lookout points where you can stop to enjoy the view.
There’s WiFi Around the Estate
This is perhaps the coolest feature the estate has for me especially since my work allows me the flexibility to work anywhere where there’s Internet connectivity. Not very many tourist attractions I know offer this type of access. You can be anywhere on the estate, whether it be on the forest trail or General Washington’s burial site itself, and you’ll still be able to connect to WiFi with no issues.
The Views are Fantastic All Year Round
It won’t take much to convince me to go back and visit Mount Vernon again. The views all around the estate are reasons enough. The main house’s back porch overlooks the Potomac River and a large dense forest in Maryland. It doesn’t even matter what time of the year you go. There’s something magical about seeing fresh snow on the grounds, particularly on top of the towering trees. Spring in Washington highlights the gardens that are in full bloom, while summer showcases the busy river below as sailboats glide along the Potomac. Then there’s autumn and the foliage. The forest that surrounds the estate combined with the changing colors of the trees across the river make for some incredible views.
It’s Close to Alexandria Too
Alexandria is metropolitan D.C.’s oldest city. Historic Old Town Alexandria is a charming spot, filled with boutique shops, world-class restaurants, and has a classic small town feel. There’s also plenty of history. Alexandria was once a busy slave port and was considered the hometown of iconic individuals like George Washington and Robert E. Lee.
There Are Plenty of Things To Do
There’s the main house tour of course, but that’s just one of the many sights you can see when you visit Mount Vernon. There’s also a small museum, a theater that shows a 25-minute video about the estate and its history, a greenhouse, and a couple of memorial sites. You can check out the gardens, head down to the waterfront or visit the smaller stalls where you can learn about the different segments of life in the 18th century.
It’s Open 365 Days a Year
When everything else is close in Washington, D.C., for the holidays, Mount Vernon remains open. It’s open even on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It’s a Historic Site
Mount Vernon has been in the Washington family for generations even before General Washington himself inherited it in 1754. Its well-restored mansion clearly showcases what the house would have been like during the time period. It contains many of George Washington’s original furniture and a few notable gifts such as the key to the Bastille given to the General by the Marquis de Lafayette.