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“Not as well known as Monticello but A Must See”

Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Forest
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Poplar Forest is Thomas Jefferson's personal retreat and plantation located in Forest, Virginia. It is one of only two homes that Mr. Jefferson designed and built for his own use.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Poplar Forest is not as well known as Monticello but should not be missed. The staff were very friendly and very informative. There were not that many visitors here so the tour of the house was not rushed and the guide was able to take the time to answer all your questions. If you plan on visiting Monticello then take the time to visit Poplar Forest you will not be disappointed!

Thank Shelby30375
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"thomas jefferson"
in 72 reviews
"summer home"
in 14 reviews
"restoration process"
in 8 reviews
"original design"
in 6 reviews
"construction techniques"
in 5 reviews
"restoration work"
in 5 reviews
"jefferson designed"
in 7 reviews
"guided tour"
in 16 reviews
"combination ticket"
in 5 reviews
"front of the house"
in 4 reviews
"gift shop"
in 16 reviews
"his life"
in 8 reviews
"well worth the trip"
in 7 reviews
"the main house"
in 5 reviews
"special events"
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"house tour"
in 9 reviews
"american history"
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Reviewed August 15, 2013

Poplar Forest is a work in progress that is fascinating. In 1986 the property, summer home of Thomas Jefferson, passed from private hands into an historical organization's hands for restoration and display to the public. They have been slowly researching the original Jeffersonian design of the home and outbuildings. When I say a work in progress, it is literal - think about Monticello without the plaster walls or furniture - it is totally fascinating for those who wonder how you get from bare walls to a museum house. When we were there July 29 we were lucky enough to have one of the historical archetectual carpenters (if that is a title) who is actually restoring the place answer questions during the guided tour. They are using a combination of historical documents (letters t and from Jefferson and his slave carpenter) along with on site archectual investigations of the building to restore it back to early 1800s appearance. The tours are informative (even more so it you get lucky enough to encounter the archeologists or carpenters) and you can spend as much time as you like walking around the grounds, which are lovely. The gift shop has a diverse selection of items and prices. The 45 minute group tours (on the hour when we went) were small - because the scale of the house is relatively small.

Thank DebsAlexandriaVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

My boyfriend and I stumbled upon this little piece of history on our way home from a mini vacation. Although it was a 94 degree day (it felt even hotter) and the gnats were less than friendly, we truly enjoyed this site. The price of the tour was very reasonable, and they even offer discounts for AAA members, students, servicemen/women, etc. The women working in the gift shop were extremely friendly and outgoing. The tour itself was wonderful! Our guide was friendly, personable, and knowledgeable. Even though it was the last tour of the day, we never felt rushed.I also appreciated that we were allowed to mill around outside and take a self-guided tour of the downstairs area.

I would love to go back in a year or so to see the advancements that have been made in the reconstruction of this house.

2  Thank turtledovelove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013 via mobile

After seeing Monticello we decided to stop in Lynchburg to visit Jeffersons game away home called Poplar Forest. Not as spectacular as Monticello it is none the less interesting. The grounds and house are all very tidy and there is evidence of archeological work here and there. At this point the exterior if the house is pretty much complete but the interior is just above bare bones. Still it is interesting to see what has been discovered about the Jefferson design and how work has progressed in restoring and preserving the house. House access is by guided tour only.

1  Thank Senatorwho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 12, 2013

When purchasing tickets for Monticello, we were given a coupon for half off the price of admission to Jefferson's second home, Poplar Forest. It is located one and a half hours from Charlottesville near Lynchburg. It was a pleasant drive but somewhat hard to find once you got to Lynchburg. It is located in a residential area. I am glad we made the effort to find it. The Foundation is in the process of making restorations. They have a long way to go on the interior but the exterior has been restored to Jefferson's original plans. This was Jefferson's retreat where he came for solitude and relaxation. Some of the same architectural elements that are found at Monticello are here as well, only on a smaller scale. I can't wait to see the progress that is made over the next few years.

1  Thank Travelinglibrarian54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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