Our entire purpose of visiting Charlottesville, Virginia, was to see Thomas Jefferson's famed home, Monticello. We ended up discovering many gems in the area, but this was a wonderful stop for sure.
After checking in at the visitor's center, you can either ride a shuttle bus or hike up to the home. The hike is only a little over half a mile, but it is up hill. The upsides to hiking is you walk right by the estate cemetery where Jefferson and his family are buried.
We opted to view the home via the self guided tour, which is let inside in groups by time. There are also many options for guided tours as well.
**TIP: book your time or tours a few days ahead as they do tend to fill up**
Our favorite part of his home was the entry way that was full of artifacts that he received from Lewis & Clark - mastodon bones, Native American peace offerings, antlers, hunting relics and more. Thomas Jefferson famously quoted, "I cannot live without books," and it was pleasing to see his library full of titles.
The basement of the house with the inner workings of the property (kitchen, cellars, ice house, etc) are also open for touring, and there is a lot of information about slavery at Monticello as well.
It is a beautifully estate, as expected, but what makes it especially interesting is that Jefferson designed it himself. We ended our tour with a lovely walk in the expansive gardens.
Check out our video from Charlottesville HERE.