Mount Vernon (Virginia)

George Washington's Mansion, on his Mount Vernon estate

Mount Vernon is a district in Fairfax County, Virginia, situated on the Potomac River. It takes its name from the country home and plantation of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America.


The Washington family acquired the land, then known as Little Hunting Creek Plantation, in the late 17th century. When Washington's elder half-brother inherited the land, he named it Mount Vernon in honor of Edward Vernon, a hero of the War of Jenkins's Ear and his commanding officer in the navy. Washington inherited the land in 1754 and had the manor house built up in phases from 1758 to 1778. In the mid-19th century, the Washington family sold it to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, who have since maintained it and the grounds for the benefit of the public.

Get in

Mount Vernon is located 13 miles south of Washington, D.C.


The Mount Vernon estate lies at the southern terminus of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which follows the Potomac River from I-495 in Langley to the northwest. Along the way, it passes through parts of McLean, Arlington, and Old Town Alexandria, including Reagan Washington National Airport. The parkway, itself a national park, is pleasantly scenic.

Public Transportation

Fairfax Connector Bus 101 +1 703 339-7200 provides daily local service between Huntington (northside), the southern terminus of the Metro Yellow Line, and the Mount Vernon estate. Buses depart approximately every thirty minutes and the bus ride is about twenty-five minutes. SmarTrip or cash fare is $1.75.

Tour Bus

Several tour companies operate bus tours from Washington to Mount Vernon.


The fully paved, 18-mile-long Mount Vernon Trail follows the Potomac River from Theodore Roosevelt Island in Arlington all the way to the Mount Vernon estate. The trail is scenic, passing almost entirely through parkland, including the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. "Bike and Roll" tours are also available during the warm season, whereby you ride a rented bike from Alexandria to Mount Vernon, then return by boat. See "Bike and Roll" below under "Do."


While you cannot dock your own boat at Mount Vernon, several cruise companies offer Mount Vernon excursions.

Get around

The Mount Vernon estate is compact, but beyond the manor house, there are some steep hills. Private motor vehicles are not allowed on the grounds, but a half-hourly shuttle service connects the Education Center near the entrance, the Pioneer Farm, and the Wharf between 9:15AM and 4:45PM. During the peak tourist season between April 1 and October 31, an hourly shuttle also runs between noon and 5:30PM between the Education Center and the Distillery & Gristmill.

To go beyond the estate, a car is recommended. Fairfax Connector bus 101 stops at Fort Hunt Park, which is also accessible on foot or by bicycle from the Mount Vernon Trail.


Life sized model of General George Washington




Go next

Routes through Mount Vernon

Washington, D.C. Alexandria  N  S  Lorton Richmond

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, February 23, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.