Thomas Jefferson himself designed much of Monticello, his plantation home. After serving as Secretary of State, the United States's third president incorporated the designs of French villas into his plantation, which features extensive gardens, a small body of water that reflects the house and Monticello Cemetery, where Jefferson is buried.
Today, Monticello, located near the University of Virginia, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The sprawling plantation house serves as a museum with a variety of tours available, all of which seek to educate the public on the life and times of Jefferson. Restoration and archaeological pursuits continue on the grounds, and as recently as the early 2000s, archaeologists uncovered a burial ground for slaves. The controversial topic of Jefferson's ownership of slaves is discussed in many of the educational tours.
Monticello is open every day of the year except Christmas Day, and its hours vary depending on the season and day. Monticello is located near Charlottesville, Virginia, and a typical visit can take a half day up to a full day. The site includes a visitors' center, tours of Jefferson's home, films, exhibitions and gardens. Visitors can explore the grounds, gardens and the Monticello graveyard.