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.
Docent-Guided House Tours
A docent-guided house tour gives you an in-depth look at the main level of Jefferson’s retreat home, led by an official Poplar Forest docent. Admission includes a guided tour of the upper level, along with self-guided exploration of the exhibits in the lower level of the house, the Wing of Offices, the ornamental grounds, the 1857 Slave Dwelling and the slave quarter site. Docent-guided house tours are offered at 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. based on docent availability.
Self-Guided House Tours
Explore the main level of Jefferson’s retreat home at your own pace, using the Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest app. The app features an audio tour of the main level of the house and a tour of the Wing of Offices that can be listened to with headphones or read. Admission includes the app-guided tour of the upper level, along with further self-guided exploration of the exhibits in the lower level of the house, the Wing of Offices, the ornamental grounds, the 1857 Slave Dwelling and the slave quarter site. Please note that the use of headphones is required while using the app to explore the house. The self-guided house tour ticket is currently only available for purchase on-site in the Poplar Forest Museum Shop. Regular admission rates apply.
Enslaved Community Exhibits and Talks
Discover the enslaved men, women and children who lived and labored at Poplar Forest. Experience the only intact enslaved quarter on the property, constructed in 1857 to house three enslaved households and read stories of those who were enslaved by Jefferson and later owners. When available, a specially trained docent will introduce you to and tell stories of resistance, survival, and perseverance among the men, women and children enslaved at Poplar Forest. Docents are available from April through October, either for the talks or to answer visitor questions. Additionally, the Enslaved Community Exhibit Room is open daily for self-guided exploration.
Exhibits that explore archaeology, restoration and the history of Poplar Forest—including that of the enslaved community—are available at the restoration workshop, archaeology laboratory, slave quarter site, 1857 slave dwelling and in the lower level of the house. Access to all exhibits is included in the price of general admission.
The retreat house is open for “Winter Weekends: At Home with Mr. Jefferson,” from mid-January to mid-March. Explore the octagonal villa on a guided or self-guided 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.