Montpelier offers special interest tours, behind-the-scenes experiences, and quarterly walking tours.
Space is limited for all Behind-the-Scenes tours. Please purchase your tickets a minimum of 48-hours in advance of the tour time to ensure your reservation.
Buy your tickets in advance by calling 540.672.2728 ext. 119.
Meet the Madisons: In-Depth Mansion Tour
Thursday - Sunday at 9:30 a.m. —11:00 a.m. : Admission ticket plus $27 : 48 hour advance purchase required
Enjoy an extended mansion tour before the rush of the crowds. This special 90–minute experience will allow you to focus on the in–depth details that reveal the Madisons’ style, taste, friendships, and accomplishments.
Let it Be Red: Behind-the-Scenes with the Curators
Admission ticket plus $42
Dolley Madison once asked a friend to purchase for Montpelier fabric of any color, but “let it be red.” See how Montpelier’s curators examine the latest discoveries in this behind–the–scenes tour. Discussion may include artwork, furniture, décor, and artifacts.
Special Interest Tours
April - October
Tickets for the following Special Interest Tours may be purchased at the Montpelier Visitor Center on the day of your visit.
The Enslaved Community Tour
2nd, 3rd, and 4th Saturday of every month, Every Sunday, 1:00 PM: $5 with purchase of mansion tour, $10 for Enslaved Community Tour alone : Begins at Visitor Center. Journey through the lives of more than 200 enslaved individuals during the Madison period. Visit the village where they lived, the cellars and fields where they worked, and the cemetery where they now rest. Learn from the stories of individuals, families, and their often-complex relationships with the Madisons.
Garden and Grounds Tour
Sundays, 1:00 PM : $5 with purchase of mansion tour, $10 for Garden and Grounds Tour alone : Begins at Visitor Center. Peel back 250 years of landscaping, one layer at a time, to reveal how people changed the land - and how the land changed them. Learn in depth how the grounds of Montpelier became a trove of champion trees and unique plantings, cultivated with great care and attention over its generations of preservation.
In the Ground and in the Lab: Special Tour with Archaeologists
Thursdays, 1:00 PM : $5 with purchase of mansion tour, $10 for In The Ground Tour alone : Begins at Visitor Center
Take a guided tour of an active dig site, and learn how archaeologists restore ceramics and process artifacts in the archaeology lab.
Journey from Slavery to Freedom
First Saturday of every month, 1:00 PM : $5 with purchase of mansion tour, $10 for Journey Tour alone : Begins at Visitor Center. Experience nearly 300 years of African American history, visiting sites and original structures on the Montpelier plantation that bring to life generations of enslaved individuals through Emancipation, and shed light on living and working through Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, and the Civil Rights Movement. A walking and driving tour.
How Best Do We Govern Ourselves? (Constitution Mansion Tour)
Fridays and Saturdays , 1:00 PM : Admission ticket plus $5 : Begins at Visitor Center. A unique look at the home of James Madison from the perspective of his greatest legacy. Join a Montpelier Interpreter who will utilize the spaces and furnishings of the mansion to reveal the story of how Madison took the age-old idea of self-government and made it a reality. This is not a tour about art and artifacts but is a quest in search of the essential principles of the Constitution.
Family Friendly Tour
Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00 AM : Free with regular admission : Begins at Visitor Center.
Bring the family for this free tour designed to engage all ages, touching on history, governance, and life on a working plantation. Join other families as we focus on the "fun stuff" and explore James Madison's Montpelier.
Quarterly Walking Tours
Tickets for the following Quarterly Walking Tours may be purchased at the Montpelier Visitor Center on the day of your visit.
The Big Woods Walk: Exploring Montpelier's Landmark Forest
Sunday 2:00—April 7, July 14 and October 20 : $5 with purchase of mansion tour, $10 for Big Woods Walk alone : Begins at Visitor Center
Hike through Montpelier’s Landmark Forest—a rare hardwood old growth forest consisting of towering poplars, stately oaks, and sprawling beeches. Learn about ecology, conservation, and Madison's role as an early environmentalist. The trail is a gentle 1-mile loop.
Civil War Trail & Gilmore Farm Walking Tour
Saturday 2:30—4:00 PM—February 16, April 20, August 17 and November 16 : Free Admission : Begins at parking lot across Route 20 from the Montpelier Station Train Depot. Walk in the footsteps of McGowan's Brigade on Montpelier's Civil War Trail, carving a path through archaeological remains of this Confederate winter camp to a reconstructed camp street. Conclude at the cabin and farm of the George Gilmore, born into slavery at Montpelier in 1810 and turned farmer and landowner after Emancipation, on the site of an abandoned Confederate hut.
Working Woods Walk
Begins Sunday 2:00—April 14, July 21, and October 27 : $5 with purchase of mansion tour, $10 for Working Woods Walk at Visitor Center. Venture deep into the Montpelier Demonstration Forest on a two-hour hike. Learn from experts about conservation and cultivation strategies that generate mutual benefit to man and nature, both in the Madisons' time and today.
Call for reservation 540-672-2728 ext. 119
Montpelier offers private tours to individuals and small groups looking for a more intimate in-depth tour experience. Guided, 90–minute tour, eight–person maximum.
$500 (up to 8 people maximum), by reservation.