Are you thinking about a day trip to Mount Vernon from Washington DC? Wondering what the best way to get from Washington DC to Mount Vernon is and what Mount Vernon tours are available?
You are in the right place. Visiting Mount Vernon is amazing! It is one of my favorite east coast historical sites!
I have been many times and I am excited to share with you all of the fantastic Mount Vernon tour options. Some of these do include transportation, you can even cruise to Mount Vernon by boat!
In this post, we are going to go over lots of different transportation options to get from Washington DC to Mount Vernon. We will also review some of the best Mount Vernon tours available. I will also share some fantastic tips for visiting Mount Vernon.
Let’s start with the best ways to get from Washington DC to Mount Vernon!
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Where is Mt. Vernon Plantation? (George Washingtons Home)
George Washingtons Mount Vernon is located South of Washington DC. Getting from Washington DC to Mount Vernon takes about 37 minutes if you plan on driving.
We are going to explore a lot of different options for getting to Mount Vernon from Washington DC.
How Far is Mt. Vernon from DC?
From Washington DC to Mount Vernon it is about 15 miles. US-1 is typically the fastest route unless there is traffic! (Which is not uncommon in DC.)
Is Mount Vernon Worth Visiting?
If you are planning a day trip from Washington DC to Mount Vernon and asking the question “Is Mount Vernon worth visiting?” The answer is YES!
Let’s start with George Washington. He was the father of our country and one of the most amazing people who has ever lived. Getting a glimpse into his life is awesome!
You might be asking is worth it if I have kids with me. The answer is still YES. There are lots of activities at Mount Vernon for kids. In the museum, there are fun things to do at Mount Vernon for kids. It is very interactive.
Visiting Mount Vernon and going on a Mount Vernon tour will be one of the highlights of your entire Washington DC trip.
How to Get From Washinton DC to Mount Vernon
You might be asking yourself “How do I get to Mount Vernon?” Well, there are actually a few ways we are going to go over.
Getting From Washington DC to Mount Vernon
- Tour Group
Drive to Mount Vernon
If you drove to the Washington DC area and have a car then driving is the best option for you.
The drive from Washington DC to Mount Vernon is beautiful and easy. The traffic is not bad once you get out of the city. For the most part, you will be on backroads.
Rent A Car
If you are staying in DC, you really don’t need a car to explore the area. You can walk almost everywhere. However, if you want to get out of the city renting a car is a great option.
On our last trip car rental prices were crazy! We were able to find a Turo and use a car for a day to explore Mount Vernon and some of the cool places around DC.
Take the Bus and Metro to Mt. Vernon
Bad News! The Metro does not go to Mount Vernon. If you want to use public transportation you will need to use both the metro system and the bus system.
Using public transportation can take you over an hour or more to get from Washington DC to Mount Vernon.
However, if you still want to try out this option you will want to take the yellow line to the end. Once you get off, you will have to go to the “kiss and ride lot” and jump on the 101 or 151. Be sure to check bus schedule times. Times can range from every 10 minutes up to a half hour.
Crusie to Mount Vernon
A Mount Vernon boat tour is a unique way to get to George Washingtons’ home. It does take much longer than driving or using the public transportation system. But going on a Potomac River cruise to Mount Vernon is an experience all its own.
Where Do the Mount Vernon Boat Tours Start?
There are two areas to embark on and take a cruise to Mount Vernon. You can jump on at the Wharf in DC or you can hop on in Alexandria. The tours typically take 1.5 hours each way.
Mount Vernon boat tours are only available from May – October.
Mount Vernon Boat Tours
Mount Vernon Tour Length: 6 hours?
The Mount Vernon Boat tour is a fun way to explore the area. A Mount Vernon river cruise is a great way to relax and enjoy the view.
The price is actually pretty good! The price includes not only the Potomac river cruise to Mount Vernon and back but also includes admission to Mount Vernon and allows you 3 hours to tour around.
You can book tickets for either the Washington DC Wharf or in Alexandria.
A Mount Vernon Boat ride is a great option for transportation from Washington DC to Mount Vernon.
Best Mount Vernon Tours
If water isn’t your thing, and you don’t have access to a car don’t worry, There are still options available for you!
A lot of Mount Vernon tours that include transportation will also include a private guide. Keep that in mind when deciding which option looks the best to you.
How Long Does it Take to Tour Mount Vernon?
You will want to plan at least 3-4 hours for the basic tour and museum area. If you want to do an additional tour you could easily spend most of your day at Mount Vernon. Each Mount Vernon tour length for specialized tours are slightly different.
Bike Tour to Mount Vernon
Biking to Mount Vernon is perfect in Spring and Fall. You can bike from Alexandria. There is also another great option to bike there and cruise back.
There are nice trails that parallel the main road. It will take you about an hour to bike from Alexandria to Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon Visitor Center
As you begin your Mt. Vernon visit you will want to start in the Mount Vernon Visitor Center. This is the area where you can purchase tickets if you haven’t or add additional tours.
Mount Vernon Audio Guide
You can also get your headset so that you can do a self-guided audio tour around the grounds. The workers will give you the Mount Vernon information that will help you on your visit to Mt. Vernon.
Mount Vernon Hours and Admission
Okay, now that you know how you are going to get from Washington DC to Mount Vernon, let’s start planning your visit to Mount Vernon.
Admission to Mount Vernon
Adults (12+): $26
Children (6-11): $13
Mount Vernon Hours
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
If you purchased a Mount Vernon tour you will not have to worry about booking your tickets online.
However, if you are driving yourself BOOK ONLINE! The tickets for the Mansion tour do sell out. There are only a limited amount of tickets available for purchase at the estate.
What to Do at Mount Vernon
There are lots of cool things to do at Mount Vernon. Let’s explore what is included in the general admission ticket for Mount Vernon.
Your Basic Admission Ticket Includes:
- Audio Tour
- Mansion Tour
- Historic Area: Outbuildings
- Farm Trails
- Museum Entry
- Distillery & Gritsmill
Inside Mount Vernon
After you check in at the Mount Vernon Visitor Center you will want to head to the Mount Vernon estate and get ready for your tour.
I love touring the George Washingtons’ estate! It is absolutely gorgeous. The interior tour is about walking in George Washingtons’ house and getting a glimpse of what life was like when he was alive.
Highlights of the George Washington Mansion Tour
George Washingtons’ home was 10 times the size of an average colonial home. The first floor includes more of the formal areas where the Washingtons entertained and hosted. The second floor was designed with bedchambers for friends and family.
The Mount Vernon Tour Includes the Following Rooms:
- New Room
- Front Parlor
- Little Parlor
- Central Passage
- Downstairs Bedchamber
- Dining Room
- Butlers Pantry
- Blue Room
- Lafayette Bed Chamber
- Hall Bedchamber
- Chintz Room
- Yellow Room
- Washingtons Bed chambers
The third floor is not included in the tour. It was mostly used for storage.
I have toured Mount Vernon many times. I love the ceilings. I think the craftsmanship is so beautiful. Washington loved bright colors and it is fun looking at all the different rooms and the colors he decorated with.
The tour is only about 20 minutes. That is a perfect amount of time if you are visiting Mount Vernon with kids.
The Grounds at Mount Vernon
After you finish the Mount Vernon interior tour, you can head outside and explore more. You can do a self-guided audio tour.
Historic Outbuildings at Mount Vernon
- Spinning House
- Green House
- Slave Quarters
- Salt House
- Wash House
- Ice House
- Garden House
- Servants Hall
Additional Mount Vernon Tours
If you would like to do an additional tour after you explore the Mansion you can head over to the Mount Vernon Visitor Center and see what other tours are being offered. Some of the tour tickets are free while other tours have a $10 charge.
The Enslaved People of Mount Vernon Tour
This Mount Vernon tour is led by a guide. It will give you a good understanding of what life was like as a slave at Mount Vernon. You will hear stories and learn about the personal experiences of the enslaved people.
National Treasure Tour
Any National Treasure fans? This one-hour tour will take you to some of the filming sites in the movie. This tour is a mix of history and Hollywood. We love National Treasure!
I haven’t had a chance to go on this tour but now I want to!
In-Depth Mount Vernon Tour Guide
This is a one-hour guided tour that gives you access to areas that are not normally accessible.
Hamilton the Musical Tour
This tour is for your die-hard Hamilton fans. (You know who you are!) This tour will go over the views of George Washington and his role in the Musical. Singing is optional!
Mrs. Washington’s Mount Vernon
This is a fun tour that does include the mansion. Mrs. Washington will take you through Mount Vernon and you can learn about her role as mistress of Mount Vernon. This tour is 45 minutes.
Through My Eyes Tour
This one-hour tour is led by someone who knows George Washington well; A step grand-daughter, a secretary, or a farm manager. This guide will let you know the day-in and day-out happenings at Mount Vernon.
George Washington loved his vine and fig trees. After serving 16 years his greatest desire was to return to Mount Vernon and retire. You can learn about all the plants, and gardens of Mount Vernon on the Founding Flower tour.
Mount Vernon Tour Thoughts
I think these additional Mount Vernon tours are perfect if you have already been to Mount Vernon and want a new experience. If it is your first time, you might just want to stick to the main tour but if you have time these tours are great options to consider.
George Washingtons Gravesite
George Washington died December 14, 1799, in his bed-chamber in Mount Vernon. He had a throat infection that could have easily been treated with antibiotics, if only they had been invented. (That didn’t happen until 1928.)
As you walk outside you will see the original tomb where Washington was laid to rest. In Washington’s will he wanted a new tomb to be constructed. It took three decades to get around to completing it. It was finished in the 1830s. This tomb is where he and Martha and other family members are now at rest.
You can pay your respects when you visit Mount Vernon.
Musuem at Mount Vernon
The museum at Mount Vernon is amazing! There are exhibits, a 4D film, and an education center all about the life of George Washington.
Mount Vernon was in bad shape in 1853. At this point, it was decided to take Mount Vernon and restore it. The Mount Vernon Ladies Society went on a treasure hunt to find George Washingtons’ belongings.
Some of the original items that belonged to the Washingtons are on display in the museum.
You can discover Washington and view all the amazing parts of his life in the museum.
Mount Vernon for Kids
I am a kid at heart and that is probably why I absolutely loved the next three museum activities at Mount Vernon for kids.
This film is so cool. It is the perfect thing to do at Mount Vernon for kids. You actually get to hear cannons fire and snow actually falls from the sky.
You will get to be with Washington as he fights in the Revolutionary war at Boston, Trenton, and Yorktown. This is an interactive experience everyone will love!
If you are wondering if Mount Vernon with kids is a good idea, this next area of the museum will put your mind at ease. The Be Washington exhibit is awesome. It is one of the best activities at Mount Vernon for kids. In fact, we didn’t want to leave!
Be Washington is an interactive experience that allows you to lead like Washington. You will be given hard choices and will have to make decisions about major events that happened in the Revolutionary War. It is really fun!
Hands-on-History Education Center
We lived in DC when my oldest kids were little. This is the best place at Mount Vernon for kids that are little. We loved this area. There is a colonial doll house, puzzles, crafts, and storytime. You can also dress up in colonial clothes and put on a play.
It is currently closed. Hopefully, it opens back up soon!
Mount Vernon Distillery and Gristmill
If you have any extra time, the distillery and gristmill at Mount Vernon is open on the weekends from April – October.
This area is 2.7 miles away from Mount Vernon. It is a fully functional gristmill and distillery. If you visit the Mount Vernon Inn you will be able to taste the quality of the distillery.
Gift Shop at Mount Vernon
Once you have finished your Mount Vernon tour you can head to the gift shop. There are two gift shops. One is a traditional shop with souvenirs, the other is a fine china shop.
We love getting souvenirs. Visiting the gift shop is an activity at Mount Vernon for kids they will love. I know my kids love it!
Are you Ready to Take a Mount Vernon Tour
Hopefully, this post helps you answer a few questions. Starting with how to get from Washington DC to Mount Vernon, second what Mount Vernon tours to purchase, and lastly, what to expect when you arrive.
My family loves Mount Vernon. We love all the activities at Mount Vernon for kids. George Washington is the best! Visiting Mount Vernon is my absolute favorite thing to do in Washington DC!
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