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James Monroe's Highland, Charlottesville

(650+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site Tourist Spot
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. Put James Monroe's Highland and other Charlottesville attractions into our Charlottesville vacation generator, and watch your holiday take shape.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Ground were nicely kept; buildings, also. Went to visitors center and purchased some pickled vegetables, etc. Nice drive to this location.  more »
  • We only stayed about an hour there but learned a lot about Mr. Monroe and the property. Our tour guide was outstanding.  more »
  • We were pleasantly surprised with this tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable. Tour takes about 30 minutes. There are some original pieces in the home. It was well worth the stop to see. I bought...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • Attended the annual sheep shearing. Fun event for children, families. Easy parking. Nominal entrance fee. Beautiful grounds. Great for weddings and similar events.
  • I was only able to see the grounds because it closes at 5. I'm sure that of I had been in time to take it all in, it would be great. Speaking solely on the grounds, they are incredibly beautiful. I watched the sun set and it took my breath away. It's also right next door to Monticello, so it's worth even a quick stop.
  • Compared to Monticello, it was a much more relaxed and enjoyable tour albeit a smaller event. Monticello has become VERY touristy and the amount of people can be overwhelming. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and expounded on some little known facts about an oft forgotten, but very influential President. Well worth a visit, especially if you can find a ticket coupon online. Just an fyi, the gift shop has kid-oriented materials, but the tour is more adult-oriented. Please note that you tour the guest cottage and grounds. The original Monroe house was lost to a fire but many original Monroe pieces are on display.
  • Interesting tour. Around the corner from Montecello and a third of the cost. Previous tours discussed Monroe's legacy in Africa as well as in the US. Recent excavations changed the tour making it more about what historians think may have existed in the space.