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“Madisons' Refuge”

James Madison's Montpelier
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Montpelier is the lifelong home of James Madison, fourth President of the United States, Father of the Constitution, and Architect of the Bill of Rights; and his wife, Dolley, America's first "First Lady." The historic home and grounds are open to visitors and adult and student groups seven days a week. House tours are complemented by the permanent exhibition "The Mere Distinction of Colour"; walking tours; galleries; the Museum Shop; the Madison family and slave cemeteries; an archaeology lab and active archaeological dig sites; formal gardens; 8+ miles of forest trails, and award-winning food at the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center's Exchange Cafe. Located 25 miles north of Charlottesville and 4 miles south of historic Orange on Route 20, Constitution Highway. Montpelier is administered by The Montpelier Foundation and is a National Trust Historic Site. Montpelier is a monument to James Madison, a museum of American history, and a center for constitutional education that engages the public with the enduring legacy of Madison's most powerful idea: government by the people.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Raleigh, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Madisons' Refuge”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

In October I visited Montpelier for the first time. What a treat to view the hard work of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Montpelier Foundation! Thanks to the Duponts we can enjoy the grand estate of James and Dolley Madison. A splendid couple-James the intelligent introvert and Dolley the vivacious extrovert! The guides do triple duty-descriptions of the restoration, anecdotes about James and Dolley and the importance of Madison in our group of Founding Fathers! History should be a habit! Check out the visitors' center, café and shop and the center for the study of our Constitution. Worth as much time as you can allocate! A feast for the eyes as well as the mind.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Nancy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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870 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Shippensburg, PA
Level Contributor
98 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Excellent tour guide”
Reviewed November 23, 2013

We recently visited Montpelier. Our tour guide, Joyce was fantastic! She knew everything and relayed information that made it exciting. Beautiful surroundings. A definite must see.

Visited November 2013
Thank dlmorrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hilliard, Ohio
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Visit the history you forgot!”
Reviewed November 18, 2013

The restoration work being done to this property is invaluable. The tour guide was excellent and really gave us a sense of how important James Madison was in developing our constitution and how important the house was in the history of that development. Well worth the tour.

Visited October 2013
Thank Murphysmom50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
834 reviews
143 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 403 helpful votes
“historic home still being furnished, but worth a visit”
Reviewed November 12, 2013

My partner and I went on a tour of James Madison's Montpelier recently, and overall, we felt that it was a well-maintained house but a bit lacking in activities for such an important man.

First of all, let me say that the restoration work that the Montpelier Foundation is doing is invaluable, and obviously and admittedly not complete yet. While we did take a tour of the house, the upstairs did not really have furniture in it and was just blank room after blank room. I understand from what they said on the tour that they got a grant to furnish and fill the room where Madison wrote the Constitution, so that is great news. Renovating the whole house and stripping it down from how the DuPont's had it – the former owners – and making it look like what it look like James Madison's time takes money and takes time.

While Montpelier is clearly outshined by nearby Monticello, visiting James Madison's house (and especially the place where he wrote the Constitution) is definitely something that I would recommend. There are a few exhibitions in the visitor's center, and the place was actually pretty packed when we were there.

Visited November 2013
Thank jg325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
76 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Continuing Our Walk Through History”
Reviewed November 11, 2013

This visit to Madison's home showed how hard the National Trust is working to restore this wonderful place of history. Again we saw and heard things you cannot see or read in a book. It is definitely worth the trip!

Visited October 2013
Thank cidblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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