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.

Winter Weekends

The retreat house will be open for “Winter Weekends: At Mr. Jefferson’s Home,” from January 16 through March 14, 2021. Explore the octagonal villa on a guided tour (capacity limited to a maximum of 5 people per tour), walk the plantation grounds, visit the slave quarter site and browse the exhibits in the lower level of the house and 1857 Slave Dwelling. Winter Weekend hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays only.

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. During Winter Weekends and when our regular season resumes on March 15, 2021, guided house tours will be offered hourly from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with capacity limited to a maximum of 5 people per tour.

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

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.