Mount Vernon painting 

George and Martha Washington loved to entertain hundreds of guests each year at their beautiful Mount Vernon estate.  But I doubt that our First President and Lady ever guessed that, over two hundred years later, their home would have housed tens of millions of visitors!  However, the General probably wouldn’t mind, according to what he wrote in a 1794 letter: “I have no objection to any sober or orderly person’s gratifying their curiosity in viewing the buildings, Gardens, &ca. about Mount Vernon.

The beautiful home of our nation’s First President has been a popular tourist destination for decades, and now even Americans who don’t have the chance to see it in person can experience Mount Vernon right at home with the Mount Vernon Virtual Mansion Tour.  With panoramic views of the beautiful rooms in George Washington’s three-story home and opportunities to explore many of the mansion’s most treasured heirlooms and curiosities, it’s a simple way to learn about one of the greatest families in American history.

I was surprised to see how beautiful the home was, and to learn how involved President Washington was in designing his home; from selecting the vibrant green paint color in the small dining room, to ordering a little stove for the third-story bedroom to keep his guests warm.  The brightly-painted walls are sprinkled with cherished prints of the Washington’s friends and family members, and one can imagine the grandeous formal dining room filled with important guests and statesmen.  Many of the beautiful paintings were purchased by General Washington from American painters, as he sought to encourage unique art in the new nation.  Martha Washington’s influence is easy to see, too, from the embroidered seat cushions in the music room, to her famous (infamous?) recipe for Great Cake also available on the website (40 eggs…4 pounds of butter…a pint of wine!).  It’s easy to picture our first President in his beautiful south-wing study, surrounded by his vast collection of nearly 900 books.  It was here where many of the ideas which helped to shape our nation were born.  Or see the couple’s personal bedroom, with its serene, simplistic decorations, where Lady Washington ran her household and enjoyed her daily hour of Bible study.  Finally, climb up to the cupola for a gorgeous view of the estate and river surrounding.

Also, be sure to visit “Discover the Mansion House Farm: A Virtual Tour“, to see the extensive, 8,000 acre grounds of the estate, from the stables to the kitchen, to Washington’s own beloved greenhouse and gardens.

Mount Vernon is America’s most beloved and visited historical home.  Experience it for yourself online, and learn a little more about the man who was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”