I am a complete Europhile, and jump at every opportunity to travel there...so until last week, I had never made it to Virginia...but since we were on our way from the Greenbrier to D.C., we wanted to take the opportunity to visit Monticello, outside Charlottesville, about two hours south of D.C.
Thomas Jefferson was such a cool guy--and visiting his house is a treat, not just because you can learn about who he was, but also because you can experience his many interests. We especially loved the tour of the house (you are given a time slot when you buy a ticket, and keep in mind it can be for two hours from when you arrive), and seeing all the influences from his travels, plus his gardens and the fish pond, where he kept caught fish alive until they were ready to be cooked.
It's also just a beautiful place to let your kids run around if they take no interest in the tour--there is a huge lawn, the gardens to walk through, and a tunnel that goes under the house where they kept the wine, beer, and other storage.
We loved showing our daughter Clara the nickel after our visit, because now it made sense to her, and she is keen for us to plant the seeds from the Children's Garden packet that we bought at the gift shop.