The Retreat

Tours & Exhibits

Your tour of Poplar Forest is certain to deliver you new insights on architecture, 19th-century culture—including an understanding of the enslaved community—and the unique accomplishments of one of our country’s most influential citizens.

House Tours

A guided house tour is the only way to see the main level of Jefferson’s retreat home. Admission includes a guided tour of the upper level, along with a self-guided exploration of the exhibits in the lower level of the house, the Wing of Offices, the ornamental grounds and the slave quarters site. Guided house tours are offered daily from mid-March through December 30, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and running every half-hour, with the final tour of the day beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Winter Weekends

The retreat house is open for “Winter Reflections at Home with Mr. Jefferson,” beginning in mid-January and continuing through mid-March. Winter Weekends allow for relaxation and reflection at Jefferson’s retreat, to explore at your own pace. Guides are available to answer questions, and special archaeological artifacts from the collections will be temporarily on display. Winter Weekend hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays only.

Enslaved Community Tours

Discover the men, women and children who lived and toiled at Poplar Forest—enslaved individuals who, in the words of Mr. Jefferson, “labor for my happiness.” A specially trained docent will guide you along the grounds and tell authentic stories of resistance, despair, and perseverance among the men, women and children enslaved at Poplar Forest. This elective tour is free with regular admission and available on most Saturdays and Sundays from mid-March through December.

Exhibits

Exhibits that explore archaeology, restoration and the history of Poplar Forest are available at the restoration workshop, archaeology laboratory, slave quarter site and in the lower level of the house. In addition, visitors may explore the first computer model of Jefferson’s ornamental landscape within the circular road on a touch-screen kiosk in the lower level exhibit hall. Access to all exhibits is included in the price of general admission.