The Centerpiece of the Montpelier Experience
James and Dolley regularly welcomed guests to their home, and the centerpiece of the Montpelier experience today is still the Mansion.
A 45-minute guided tour takes visitors through five first-floor spaces including the Madison's stately Drawing Room, filled with art and conversation pieces, and the Dining Room, where they hosted dinner parties for distinguished guests, friends, and family. Also on the first floor is the presidential era Library, whose books and maps reveal the brilliant and curious mind of James Madison. The tour continues upstairs to a furnished Bedchamber before entering into the Old Library, where Madison studiously prepared for the Constitutional Convention. At the conclusion of the tour, visitors may browse the War of 1812 exhibit, as well as the exhibits in the cellars that feature Dolley's Kitchen and important working spaces of the enslaved community.
Next, take a moment to reflect at Mr. Madison’s Temple, a neo-classical design that stands above what used to be the property’s ice-well. Then stroll the Annie duPont Formal Garden. Originally established in Madison’s time as a house garden, it was redesigned in the early 1900s by Annie duPont with flowerbeds, walkways, marble statues and urns.
You may also want to visit the Archaeology Lab, the active archaeological dig site (in season), the Madison family cemetery, enslaved community cemetery, the Landmark Forest, Gilmore Cabin, or Train Depot.