The Thomas Jefferson Poplar Forest is a national historic site in the nearby town of Forest, Virginia that once served as the private retreat of former president Thomas Jefferson. Learn more below about this incredible attraction in the Smith Mountain Lake area!
Poplar Forest VA: A Remarkable Home Designed by President Thomas Jefferson
Designed by Jefferson, Poplar Forest VA gives modern day visitors insight into daily nineteenth century living, the enslaved community, architecture, and the many accomplishments of one of the most influential and controversial citizens in early American history. The home was built by several engineers and Jefferson himself actually.
At Poplar Forest, you and your guests can take a guided tour of the upper level of the house and a self-guided exploration of the lower level of the house. The lower level of the house includes exhibits on archaeology, a computer model of Jefferson’s ornamental landscape, and the Wing of Offices. Poplar Forest is renowned as one of Jefferson’s finest works; he had a talent for architecture, and Poplar Forest’s intricate design and octagonal shape was one of his crowning achievements. Artifacts and exhibits throughout the house showcase facets of his personal life and his creativity, as well as the enslaved people who made his lifestyle possible. This tour is offered daily between 10:00am and 4:00pm, from mid-March through December 30th each year.
Additionally, guided tours of the slave quarters are available. These engaging tours explore the lives, hardship, and resiliency of the enslaved individuals who lived and labored at Poplar Forest through authentic stories. Free with regular admission, this tour is offered on most Saturdays and Sundays from mid-March through December.
Admission tickets for Poplar Forest VA range from $4.00 for children ages six to eleven years to $16.00 for an adult ticket. Discounts are available for college students, military members with ID, seniors ages sixty-five years and older, and group tours. Admission is free for children under the age of six. Poplar Forest also offers tickets that allow you to access both Poplar Forest and the National D-Day Memorial for $19.00.
Thomas Jefferson Poplar Forest is located at 1542 Bateman Bridge Road, Forest, VA 24551-0419. You can also reach the facility by phone at (434) 525-1806. The house is open daily between 10:00am and 5:00pm from March 15th through December 30th, closing for Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and periods of restoration work.
Enjoy the Best of Nearby Attractions
For those travelers that arrive in Smith Mountain Lake with a passion for encounters with the past, a stop at the Jefferson Poplar Forest is bound to be an incredible and meaningful highlight of their getaway experience. From options to tour the home or admire the grounds, to insight into a lifestyle that defined an era and still begs questions of self-reflection today, this is an iconic historical destination that provides for plenty of reasons to return time and again. For those that visit and are looking to expand on options for adventure, the area offers up much in the way of potential for fun. Here are a few places to add to your list of must-see destinations when you’re in the mood to round out that already inviting itinerary.
Poplar Forest Golf Course
For those travelers to the Smith Mountain Lake region whose passion for history is only rivaled by their passion for time spent on the greens, following up time at the Poplar Forest with time on the Poplar Forest Golf Course is sure to be the best choice possible. Situated at 960 Ramblewood Road in Forest, The Poplar Forest Golf Course is marketed as the perfect place to play and practice. This all ages and skill levels destination make for a fun day of golf whether you’re new to the sport or have been swinging afternoons away for a lifetime. The scenery is eye-catching, and the course is challenging yet fun. This 9-hole championship course is integrated into Jefferson’s summer home grounds, giving a round here a unique edge that makes for a wonderful tale to tell when you’ve returned home once again. Make sure to book a tee time while you’re in town or if you’re looking to freshen up your skills, private lessons at the club can also be reserved upon request.
Divine Designs and Delights
Situated at 1045 Thomas Jefferson Road, Divine Designs and Delights is a great addition to a day at Poplar Forest, particularly for those in the mood to browse a unique collection of one of a kind souvenirs and goods available for purchase. From custom gift baskets and wreaths to home goods, jewelry and handcrafted apparel, Divine Designs and Delights promises to be as fun to browse as it is to pick up that perfect gift to commemorate your time in Virginia. The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 am until 5:30 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.
Experience the Wonders of Smith Mountain Lake with Premier Vacation Rentals
For more specifics on Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest home and other fantastic sights worth seeing in the Smith Mountain Lake area, contact our reservation specialists and ask about booking your lodgings in one of our incredible vacation rental properties today!