Monticello is located just outside of Charlottesville, VA. It took maybe fifteen minutes to get there from the town. You drive up a small country road and eventually park at the visitor’s center.
The large center houses a gift store, museum, theater for viewing Monticello’s history, and a café. It’s also where you buy admission at $24. Once that admission is purchased, you can head to the estate itself, which is another mile up the mountain. There is a leisurely walking trail that will take you past the Jefferson and Randolph family graveyard, or you can take the shuttle from the back of the visitor center’s grounds. Despite it being a hot, hot day and having one of the workers try to convince us it was too steep for that weather, we took the trail.
I’m not entirely sure what the worker who tried to warn us off of it meant by steep, but it was not difficult terrain, though there are some inclines. But as a lover of graveyards, I’m glad we opted for the trail.
You can’t go in it, but the graveyard does hold Jefferson’s remains as well as those of most of the rest of his family and their descendants—well, his legal descendants at least. The African American gravesite is back toward the visitor center and in a much different state of repair.by