The Retreat

Tour Policies

Visitor Guidelines

House Accessibility

Handicapped access is available to the upper level of the house via a lift. The lift must be operated by a Poplar Forest staff member. Please inquire at the Museum Shop if you need assistance.

The distance from the start of the tour to the house is 200 feet over a lawn with no sidewalk or paved road. There are 7 stairs to the front door.  If needed, a staff operated golf cart may be requested to drive visitors across the lawn. Visitors may use wheelchairs or walkers inside the house. The house has bow-backed Windsor chairs for those who are unable to stand for extended periods of time.

Service animals  are permitted in all buildings including the historic house.


No bags or backpacks may be carried on a visitor’s back during house tours.


Photography and videography for personal use only are permitted inside the house at the discretion of your tour guide. Still photography and video recording for personal use only are permitted on the grounds. Photoshoots (pregnancy, wedding, engagement, prom, family photos, etc.) are not permitted any where on the property (including near the walking trails) unless coordinated with staff in advance. Information about scheduling a photoshoot can be found here.


Smoking is prohibited in all buildings and on the grounds. A designated smoking area is located near the visitor parking area.


Pets are welcome on the grounds. Pets must be leashed at all times and are not allowed (excluding service animals) in any buildings. Please clean up after your pet. A limited number of temporary kennels are available onsite to house your pet during your tour. Locks for the kennels are free of charge and available in the Museum Shop.


Food and Drink

Picnic tables are available on site. Visitors may purchase a small assortment of snacks and drinks in the Museum Shop. Food, drink and chewing gum are not permitted in the house.

Cell Phones

Please turn off or silence cell phones while touring the house.

Visiting with Children

Strollers are permitted on the grounds and in the house. Parents of active or restless young children may be asked to take turns touring the house as a courtesy to other visitors.

Severe Weather

Virginia can be subject to sudden storms with lightning. Please take shelter in the lower level of the house, admissions/museum shop or exhibit buildings. Do not take shelter under trees during storms where you could be subject to injuries.



All weapons, including firearms, knives, or sharp objects are strictly prohibited.

Lost and Found

Any item left unattended on the property will be taken to the lost and found in the Museum Shop. People missing items can call 434-534-8120.



Restrooms are located adjacent to the admissions/Museum Shop and are handicapped accessible.


Solicitation and outside sales

Under no circumstances can products or services be solicited or sold on property without express permission from the President & CEO.  Those violating this policy will be asked to leave the property.