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Video:A Tour of Mount Vernon

with Holly Deambrosi

Mount Vernon is the plantation home of George Washington, the nation's first president, and is situated just outside of Washington, D.C. Here are some tips on visiting Mount Vernon, including when to go, what to see and how to get there.See Transcript

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Transcript:A Tour of Mount Vernon

Above the banks of the beautiful Potomac River is America's most visited historic home. This estate is Mount Vernon, the plantation of the United States' first President, George Washington.

This historic site, maintained by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, is 16 miles south of Washington, DC, at the southern end of the George Washington parkway. General admission is currently $15 for adults and $7 for children ages 6 to 11. Open every day of the year, Mount Vernon draws 1 million visitors annually.

What to See at Mount Vernon

At the Ford Orientation Center and the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center, visitors can peruse displays of over 700 artifacts that include furnishings, rare books, jewelry, and Revolutionary War items. Theaters present short films about George Washington. At the mansion, you can see many of the original furnishings and items that the Washington family owned.

The plantation has more than a dozen buildings. From April through October, tours and events besides the mansion tour include George Washington's Pioneer Farmer Site, a Garden & Landscape Tour, a Slave Life Tour at the Slave Burial Ground and Memorial, and a Tribute at the Tomb. These sites are also accessible throughout the year. Other sites on the plantation include the Wharf, the Forest Trail, and the Distillery & Gristmill.

Mount Vernon Boasts Hundreds of Acres of Farming and Gardening

Of the hundreds of acres that make up Mount Vernon, 50 are open to the public, including 4 acres at the Pioneer Farmer Site and 6 acres of gardens. Washington used the Fruit Garden and Nursery as a test garden to see whether new seeds would sprout on the estate and whether new plants would thrive elsewhere on the grounds.

The Lower Garden's fruit, vegetables, and herbs kept Mount Vernon's kitchen supplied with garden-fresh produce. The Upper Garden includes an array of trees, flowers, and vegetable beds.

Sightseeing Cruises on the Potomac Also Offered at Mount Vernon

From the middle of March until October, the estate also offers narrated, 40-minute cruises on the Potomac River. This sightseeing tour on the water gives visitors another view of the estate. If you want to take it all in, plan to visit for several hours, a whole day, or maybe even a second trip.

The estate tends to have more visitors in the morning, on weekends, and from April through October, although weekend activity slows down after school starts up again in August and September. There's no doubt that the beauty and historical significance of Mount Vernon will give you enriching experiences to remember for years to come.

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