James Monroe's Highland, Charlottesville

Once the private home of James Monroe, the country's fifth president, James Monroe's Highland is now a working farm, museum, and a performing arts venue open to the public year-round. Monroe and his family purchased the property in 1793 and lived in the modest house until personal debt forced them to sell the entire estate in 1825. To see just how this American president lived away from the public eye, join a short tour of the house, which contains a collection of original Monroe family furnishings. You can also visit Thomas Jefferson's famous "Monticello" plantation--visible from the Monroe house porch--by purchasing a discounted combination ticket for both historic sites. Check online for opening hours and tour rates. Make James Monroe's Highland a centerpiece of your Charlottesville vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Charlottesville trip builder tool .
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James Monroe's Highland Reviews
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  • Although the original house is no longer there, it is still worth a visit to learn more about Monroe and his role as a founding father and early president. The staff are very friendly and knowledgable...  more »
  • Went here after Monticello. The history between TJ & JM was interesting to learn about.Go early and beat the crowds.If you like history you will like the tour. The tour guide told some interesting sto...  more »
  • This is a wonderful place. Staff is super friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Beautiful views. Wonderful boxed lunches  more »
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  • While not as showy or large as neighboring Monticello, Highland is fascinating and well worth visiting. Our guide told us about Highland's ongoing archaeological digs that help us understand more about the estate and grounds. Even the rooms are still being discovered as researchers try to restore Monroe's home to what he would've seen. My favorite part was the dining and interpreted study rooms. They're filled with Monroe family objects that seem homey. The dining room also had displays of the Monroe presidential china, which started the eagle symbol of the President. And the animals on the estate are equally cute. We saw cows, sheep, a donkey, chickens and a peahen.
  • A beautiful piece of land with a history of a somewhat forgotten president. Turns out he was kind of a big deal. Some amazing original furniture, decor, and historically significant pieces. We had a great docent to provide our tour. Also, they are finding lost history and architecture every year, so worth stopping back in from time to time.
  • Attended the annual sheep shearing. Fun event for children, families. Easy parking. Nominal entrance fee. Beautiful grounds. Great for weddings and similar events.
  • Informative guide, peaceful and much less crowded than Monticello. Would have like to have been able to see the excavation of the foundation of Monroe's original home.
  • Nice but only a small part of the current home was there when Monroe owned it. Tour this home and then go to Monteccillo.

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Where to stay in Charlottesville

Hotels and inns in Charlottesville's lively downtown area offer proximity to the city's main attractions, but they can be on the expensive side. There are several more inexpensive options located along or near Emmet Street, which is a short drive from the main thoroughfare. Alternatively, immerse yourself in local history by staying at a centuries-old bed and breakfast. Many of these establishments are complete with fine period furnishings.
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