A visit to George Washington's Virginia home, Mount Vernon, is an easy escape from Washington D.C. – one that the president himself enjoyed. It's also a journey through history: the country estate of this quintessential gentleman has been meticulously restored and affords a glimpse of rural gentility from a time long gone.
On the Potomac banks, the 19-room mansion displays George and Martha's colonial tastes, while the outbuildings and slave quarters show what was needed for the functioning of the estate. George and Martha are both buried here, as requested by the first president in his will.
The modern Ford Orientation Center is a must-see on the grounds. It features a 20-minute film that shows Washington's courage under fire, including his pivotal crossing of the Delaware River. Another highlight is the sleek Reynolds Museum and Education Center, home to galleries and theaters, which provide more insight into Washington's life.