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. Beginning July 2, 2020, guided house tours will be offered hourly from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., seven days a week, with capacity limited to a maximum of 10 people per tour.

Winter Weekends

The retreat house is open for “Winter Weekends: At Home with Mr. Jefferson,” from mid-January 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 Talks

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 introduce you to the only intact enslaved quarter on the property and tell authentic stories of resistance, despair, and perseverance among the men, women and children enslaved at Poplar Forest. This elective talk is free with regular admission and available on most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from April through October.


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.