James Madison Museum
James Madison Museum
5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
A presidential and cultural museum that features the Presidents Room, Black History Exhibit Room, a small gallery and a Temporary Exhibit Room. In the Presidents Room you will enjoy artifacts of Madison, Jefferson, Monroe and Z. Taylor. The Black History Room has 3 themes (Forgotten Patriots, Atlantic Slave Trade and Post-Emancipation). The biggest surprise for nearly every visitor is the large Hall of Agriculture and Transportation. In this large wing sits a 1730's house originally built for Gov. Alexander Spotswood for a tenant farm in Orange; a 1924 Model T and horse-drawn conveyances as well as a myriad of farm implements and items used during pre-mechanized farm life. Groups are welcome.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles85 reviews
Excellent
66
Very good
18
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Jeff M
Washington DC, DC50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Couples
Stayed at a Inn near Orange and had a few hours to burn before heading home and happened upon this gem! Highly recommended! Planned on only an hour and ended up staying 2 1/2 hrs. A ton to read. The docent was very knowledgeable and friendly! A must do!
Written November 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. I am delighted that you had a good visit! I am also embarrassed that it took so long for me to get back to TripAdvisor to respond. I hope you can visit again to enjoy our outdoor "Charters of Freedom" exhibit that will be constructed in April 2022.
Written March 16, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

etweeden
London, UK751 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Family
Tripadvisor needs to do something about the content on this listing. It is easy to pass right by this museum - but that would be a serious mistake. This museum is living proof that great things come in 'small packages' although I don't think that 13,000 square feet of museum space is so small. They are open from 9-4 Monday through Friday, and in peak season from 1-4 on weekends. This is the best $5 admission fee you will ever spend in Virginia! They have many personal artifacts that belonged to James and Dolley, and donated by descendants in the family, such as the Campeche Chair (gift from Jefferson) that Madison sat in while drafting the Bill of rights, Dolley's full length oval mirror, a punch bowl with paintings of James' family members, a liniment bottle from Madison, and eyeglasses that were used by both Dolley and James. The museum also has the Original Virginia Ratifying documents of the Constitution. The museum also contains portraits and early 'period' articles on the Madisons, as well as some clothing. There is also a great collection of items relating to President Zachary Taylor - a second cousin to James Madison. My family (on my Mom's side) are all descendants of farmers, so the agricultural section was particularly interesting to me. Finally, there is an entire early 18th century house in the rear of the museum, showcasing all of the techniques used in constructing the house. Fascinating. But the best thing about this museum is the staff. They are not only friendly in the finest Virginian sense of that word, but they are living treasure houses of stories about local history and the 'greater' Madison Family! It is great to go into a museum and feel 'at home' visiting with the people, not just surrounded by 'things' with labels! This museum is a MUST stop before Montpelier, that is if you want to truly understand what life was like back then and see some of the items the Madison's used personally and socially on a daily basis. Five bucks is just not enough. Leave a little 'something' extra for them if you can. They need a new roof! Enjoy!
Written October 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so very much for your kind words of praise. We love this museum and are delighted to share its many treasures with guests to Orange, Virginia.
Written January 9, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

John M
Raleigh, NC143 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Couples
My wife and I visited the James Madison Museum. We expected to spend about 30 minutes there. Two hours later we were walking out. I was quite impressed with the different displays inside. One area dealt with early farm equipment, another with slavery and of course, James Madison. Along with James Madison there is information on James Monroe and Zachary Taylor. Hopefully, you will meet Bethany who happens to be a power house of information and willing to spend time answering your questions. Check this little museum out when visiting Orange, VA and Montpelier.
Written July 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your generous praise. I love sharing this wonderful museum and the rich heritage of Orange. I hope 2016 began well and will be a wonderful year for you and your wife. Sincerely, Bethany
Written January 8, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AG2_12
San Jose, CA57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Friends
We happened upon this museum by accident and it was a great fine. The dedicated staff shared their knowledge and made James and Dolly Madison come alive for us. The history of the town is also unique and interesting. Definitely worth a visit!
Written May 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to comment on your experience. We are very proud of this museum and the diverse history we present to our guests. I hope you an return again soon.
Written May 18, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Seeall50states
Washington DC, DC41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Couples
Sept 14th was my birthday and we were driving to visit James Madison Museum and House in Orange, VA. The museum is small, but very nice. The museum is ran by Bethany and she gave us a tour. Stop by the museum first and then go to James and Dolly Madison's House. Since it was my birthday, Bethany took a pictures with me.
Also, help Bethany and the city of Orange maintain the museum by sending a donation. It is a great place to learn about the 5th President.
Did you know that James Madison and Zachary Taylor-the 12th President were cousins? I didn't. Bethany told me.
Thanks for a great day Bethany and helping me celebrate my birthday.
ARMYWalker2020 - Lizz@56
Written September 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi, Lizz, I posted the photo - it was such fun meeting you and your husband! Thank you for the donation; hopefully, you received the card for your taxes this year. I hope that your birthday trip might become annual - Best Wishes -
Written November 25, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

donwest48
Charleston, SC347 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Couples
The James Madison Museum is located in downtown Orange, Virginia. (Closed on Monday!)

Montpelier--the James & Dolley Madison Estate--is located a short drive outside Orange.
Written June 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for trying to clear things up. "JAMES MADISON'S MONTPELIER" is the life-long home of James Madison. "The James Madison Museum" has been dedicated to sharing the story of the Father of the Constitution, the Presidentiss, and Orange, Virginia history since 1976. Close to 13,000 square feet of exhibits that include belongings of James and Dolley Madison (we share with other museums), a Hall of Agriculture and Transportation, and a treasure trove of artifacts from the 1700's onward. Merely $5.00 per person (age 6 and over), we are open Tuesday - Saturday, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Written July 18, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Eric S
Williamsburg, VA197 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
Typical of small-town museums, this one has a bit of everything. We had a great time poking around and learning more about the local history. The docents were super-helpful.
Written October 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. I must apologize that it has taken far too long to respond. I am glad you enjoyed your visit. I hope you will come again sometime in 2022 to enjoy our "Charters of Freedom" outdoor exhibit that is being constructed in April.
Written March 16, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Laura_Van_Blaricom
Palos Hills, IL61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Solo
While the museum is named after James Madison, it is not only separate from Montpelier, but is not 100% focused on him.It also has items related to Zachary Taylor. It is an excellent place to explore and learn about local history of Orange County, VA. Artifacts range from old farm equipment to semi-modern day uniforms and much more in between!

The museum is not far from Montpelier at all and is worth a visit! Another benefit of this location is that it is only about a half hour away from the Wilderness Battlefield with Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg battlefields a short distance away as well.

When it comes to tourist attractions, the price is very reasonable and budget friendly. The employees are very friendly and give an introduction and are eager to answer any questions during your self guided tour.

I was pressed for time, so I didn't get to spend as much time there as I wanted to. I do know when I'm in the area again, I will be stopping by! .

Be aware that the parking situation is a little confusing, but there are still plenty of spaces to park within a short walking distance.

Virginia is one of those states where, there is so much to see and do. Many historical locations overlap, so there is always something to explore and discover!
Written June 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you, Laura, for your detailed review of our museum, it is sincerely appreciated. People are a bit mislead when they believe it is a one-room museum - we have 6,000 sq. feet of exhibits; as you were able to see. I hope that during your next trip that you will be able to stay longer and enjoy the artifacts and their stories. Best - Bethany
Written June 22, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

WHGC
Madison, VA89 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Couples
My wife and I volunteer at James Madison's Montpelier and have taken tours there many times, but I had not previously been to the James Madison Museum in Orange. Today we took friends to Montpelier, then stopped at the James Madison Museum to see what they might have to offer. We were absolutely delighted. The museum includes information not only on James Madison, but on everyday life during Madison's time, other Virginia-born Presidents, the history of Orange County and life in the enslaved community. We were told that the exhibits change with some frequency. We were delighted to see several items that were documented to have belonged to James Madison, including his favorite Campeche chair. The museum also had his grandfather's will, and a newspaper with his obituary. Well worth a visit. They are open 11 - 5 Tuesday through Saturday and the admission is $5.50 for adults (18+) and $2.50 for youth (6 - 17).
Written May 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
It was delightful meeting both of you and your two friends! Your knowledge of James, Dolley and Montpelier was evident and enabled us to chat more deeply. Thank you for writing about your visit with us. I sincerely hope you return soon.
Written June 1, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mrfiz
Virginia Beach, VA509 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Couples
This could more correctly be called the Orange County Museum. While James Madison has a prominent presentation there is a lot more to see such as black history in Orange, a rebuilt farm house, old cars, buggies, sleighs and rotating displays. The current display features women's dress styles from the 1800's to the 1920's.
There is a lot on Governor Alexander Spotswood, Thomas Jefferson, Zachary Taylor and other Virginia notables.
Carol, our guide, was very knowledgable as she showed us through the various rooms then left us to explore on our own.
If you are a student of Presidential history, Virginia history or the Civil War you can spend hours in this place.
The admission fee is only $5.00 per person which is much less than the $20.00 fee charged at Montpelier the family home of President James Madison about five miles outside of Orange.
Written April 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for your review and assessment of our museum. We hope to make each guest feel involved and appreciated. Hopefully, you will visit again when next in the Piedmont.
Written May 12, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 82
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

James Madison Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All things to do in Orange
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars