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Behind the Scenes at Monticello

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Have you always wanted to go upstairs at Monticello? These exclusive, daytime tours take you behind the scenes: to bedrooms once occupied by members of the Jefferson family on the second floor; to the iconic Dome Room on the third floor; and to the new, interactive “Crossroads” exhibition under the house. You’ll see unique interior architectural features, learn about ongoing historic restoration efforts, and gain insight into what one of Jefferson’s granddaughters called “the bustle and hurry” of life at Monticello.  This behind the scenes tour is offered daily at 11:00am and 2:30. it last about an hour.

Also included in the behind the Scenes Tour:

The standard Tour: Get an intimate look at the extraordinary house Thomas Jefferson built and furnished for himself and his family. See the furnishings, art, books, gadgets and other objects that reveal Jefferson’s unique mind. The guided House Tour covers the rooms on Monticello’s first floor and lasts about 35 minutes.  The House tour without the behind the scenes look is $24 for adults or $8 for children.  You can purchase tickets and make reservations online 

On-Line Tickets

Gardens and Grounds Tours (April-October) Explore Jefferson’s lifelong interest in gardening, botany, and agriculture while enjoying the beauty and variety of Monticello’s restored  flower and vegetable gardens, grove and orchards. Monticello interpreters lead these 45-minute walking tours, offering historical background, plant identification, and stories about the gardens along the way. Reservations for this tour are not required. Tours begin near the South Pavilion on Monticello’s  West Lawn.

Slavery at Monticello Tours (April-October) 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m These guided outdoor tours focusing on the experiences of the enslaved people who lived and labored on the Monticello plantation are offered six times a day, April 1 – October 31. Included in price of admission. Reservations for this tour are not required. Tours begin on the east end (paved area) of Mulberry Row, near the Mountaintop Museum Shop.

Film, Exhibitions, and Griffin Discovery Room at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center are all included with your admission.


Scheduling a Behind the Scenes Tour

Tickets for the behind the Scenes Tour typically sell out in advance. To make your tour reservation online.  

Purchase Tickets Online
Ticket price $42 per person.

Please plan to arrive at Monticello at least 30 minutes before the time of your reservation. Be sure to consider the timing if you’re also scheduling a first-floor House Tour (which runs every five minutes throughout the day and lasts about 30 minutes).

Guidelines for Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Please arrive at Monticello at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled tour time. (The time listed on your reservation and tickets is the time that you are to be at the East Walk, the area directly in front of Monticello where the house tour groups are formed.)

Accessibility and Children: Because the upper floors of Monticello can be reached only by steep, narrow stairs, this tour is not handicapped-accessible and is not recommended for individuals who may have difficulty climbing or descending as many as 75 stairs unassisted. Children must be able to climb and descend stairs unassisted by an adult. These tours are recommended for adults and children 7 and older.

Reservations and tickets are valid only on the date specified. There will be no refunds unless the tour is canceled by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. All visitors, regardless of age, must have a ticket to take this tour.

Other Guidelines

Bags and Backpacks. No bags or backpacks exceeding 11″ by 15″ by 4″ are allowed beyond the Shuttle Station.

In the House. Eating, drinking, chewing gum, and using tobacco products are prohibited in the house. Cell phones and other electronic devices must be turned off. Still photography, filming, and video recording are prohibited. Visitors are urged not to touch or lean on walls or furnishings.

On the Grounds. The West Lawn is open to visitors. Otherwise, visitors are asked to keep to the designated paths and trails while on the grounds. Smoking is not permitted near the House or its dependencies and terraces.

Photography. Still photography, filming, and video recording for personal use are permitted on the grounds of Monticello. No photography of any kind is allowed inside the house.

Pets. Pets are allowed on the grounds if leashed. Pets (excluding certified service dogs) are not allowed in any buildings or on the shuttle buses. Visitors bringing pets are required to clean up after them.

Smoking. Smoking is prohibited in all buildings, in the shuttle buses, and in the vicinity of the house. Smokers are asked to be careful with their matches, lighters, ashes, etc.


Inn on Poplar Hill

278 Caroline Street Orange, VA 22960 540-672-6840


Well behaved, supervised children are welcome. We have a large selection of games and other distractions to keep them busy. We do ask that you let us know in advance if you plan on bringing young ones with you. The Magnolia room is the best choice for a family room. It has a King Bed and a matching twin with a hidden trundle bed. We charge $25 per night for each additional guest. Please note, unsupervised children will be given a cookie and a free kitten.