Mount Vernon Warnings and Dangers

  • Warnings and Dangers
    by Yaqui
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by Yaqui
  • NO  SMOKING!
    NO SMOKING!
    by matcrazy1

Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Mount Vernon

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    Steep Steps

    by Yaqui Written Jul 22, 2011

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    1 more image

    I do not know how many steps there are down to the wharf, but there is a lot. We did the steps twice, and the Forest Trail. Just to let visitors know if you want to see the wharf and the farm you will either have to walk back up the steps or take the Forest Trail to get you back to the main area of Mount Vernon.

    Mount Vernon is eight miles south of Alexandria, located at the large traffic circle at the end of Parkway.

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    Steep Hills

    by b1bob Updated Jul 6, 2006

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    mind the step

    The hills in the forest trail can be steep, uneven and bumpy. I almost tripped on several occasions myself. Roots and stones are also obstacles. It is probably not meant for those who have medical conditions that prohibit strenuous activity and, preserving the way it was in 1799, it is not wheelchair accessible. (Historical integrity or no, I think the federales will force them to make this part of the tour wheelchair accessible.)

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    No credit card accepted

    by matcrazy1 Written Jan 12, 2005

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    WARNING

    No credit cards were accepted in the food court of Mount Vernor Estate. It was very rare and unique in the USA generally. I have never seen it in such busy and often visited place. No wonder, they put this information in front of the court.

    Just in case... there is an ATM in the hallway. Like usual in the USA it accepts cards of Visa and American Express systems but not Eurocard/Mastercard.

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    Closed to the public

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jan 12, 2005

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    THE  GREENHOUSE COVERED BY SCAFFOLDING

    The Greenhouse Complex (on my picture) was partly covered by scaffolding and closed to the public due to renovation works in October 2004. The original Greenhouse burned down in 1835. The current structure was rebuilt on the original site in 1951.

    The Greenhouse provided a winter shelter for tropical and semi-tropical plants such as orange, lemon, lime, coffee, sago palm and aloe. There are two long ground floor buildings joined the Greenhous on its both sides. They contain several living quarters, archeology and restoration museum and the Lady Washington Shop, which was open.

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    Bans

    by matcrazy1 Written Jan 10, 2005

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    NO  SMOKING!

    SMOKE FREE AREA
    Warning for heavy smokers: the area of Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens is smoke free that means smoking cigarettes is forbidden from time you cross the entrance gate till you leave the estate by exit gate. Well, it's not so easy not to smoke 3 - 4 hours (average time needed for fast visitors) for some folks... I saw a few smoking in hidden places of upper part of the estate, guess whom...

    OTHER BANS
    1. Photography is not allowed in the Mansion -more in my tourist trap tip;
    2. No food and beverage, except bottled water, is allowed on the estate;
    3. Never take flowers or other plant materials;
    4. Do not feed the animals.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Slippery stairs

    by matcrazy1 Written Jan 9, 2005

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    SLIPPERY  STAIRS

    There are long and steep stairs down to the Potomac River on fastest trail from the Washington's Mansion called just Steep Incline. Well, keep in mind that wet steps after rain maybe slippery especially when covered by falling leaves in the fall. There are handrails on both sides but, anyway, better look down and watch your steps.

    Just in case... brr... you must have valid health insurance at least for emergency to survive the most expensive but usually of excellent quality medical procedures.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Overcrowded mansion tour

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jan 7, 2005

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    THE  LINE  TO  THE  MANSION

    I enjoyed a lot beauty of impressive interiors of the George Washington's estate. But the tour itself was intolerably crowded which never more happened to me during my (up to that point) two trips to the USA.

    After more than a half hours'. wait we entered the mansion. Unfortunately they put inside the mansion too many (over 5, I think) approx. 20 - person groups at one time following the rule: one room - one group. That's why the line went fast, but I could often hear two or three guides at one time: my group guide, the previous and the next one. With my limited understanding of spoken English, I coudn't understand a word. The visitors traffic on stairs (two-way) was as heavy as on an itinerary to the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museum.


    SUGGESTIONS
    For visitors
    If possible and especially if you are not a native English keep close to your guide just to hear her/him clearly. Avoid more crowded summer weekends (and long American weekends) and morning hours.

    For Mount Vernon staff/management
    Try to put less visitors inside at one time even if it longer the line.
    Analyse the visitors traffic and think over:
    - fixed schedule of tours with time marked on each ticket (the way I visited the US Capitol in Washington DC, 3 days later);
    - self-guided tours (including audio-tour rental) at less crowded time/period;
    - longer opening hours (9.00 am to... 9.00 pm daily).

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Waiting in a long line

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jan 6, 2005

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    THE  LINE AND  THE  SERVANTS'  HALL

    The longest line I was forced to wait in during my southern odyssey was just in Mount Vernon - to join the guided tour inside the Washington's mansion. Well, it took us over 30 min., I think, before midday on Friday in the middle of October 2004.
    Well, it was not that bad as the line moved quite fast, went through the Servants' Hall (on my picture) and it was good time to talk with Nat, meet and watch other visitors and take a few pictures.

    SUGGESTIONS
    1. I think that the longest line is some time (at least 30 min.) after opening, so it maybe better to visit the mansion right after opening (if you are punctual :-) or in the afternoon after seeing other attractions of the estate.

    2. I would expect more visitors and longer line on summer weekends and especially on American long weekends around the following national holidays:
    - Memorial Day (last Monday of May),
    - Independence Day (July, 4),
    - Labour Day (first Monday of September)
    - Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday of November).
    If possible, better avoid those dates or follow the suggestion 1.

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    Waiting in a short line

    by matcrazy1 Written Jan 6, 2005

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    IN  A  LINE  TO  THE  TICKET  OFFICE

    We arrived to Mount Vernon before midday on typical Friday in the middle of October. There were quite many visitors, so we had to wait a few minutes in a line to the ticket office. Well, that was not so bad, I can't complain and the most important, I easy found a place to park a car a few minutes walk from the entrance.

    Just one more my small observation, not unique to Mount Vernon, but generally to the USA (the best seen in US post offices). Folks always stay in a line in a distance one from the next one. Touching others is not acceptable and rude, just in case... always say sorry or excuse me... In my country, Poland and many other European countries (add Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia) it at least sometimes works another way.

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    Renovation works and closed gate

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jan 6, 2005

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    HAEBY GUARDED AND CLOSED TEXAS GATE

    The main entrance, on my picture, was called the Texas gate. I have no idea why but it was... heavy guarded :-) and closed due to renovation works behind in October 2004. Well, this area of the estate was fenced and closed, so we were forced to walk around. There was new, large Visitors Center under construction there.

    Well, I noticed, that right many tourist attractions - both privately and state owned properties - were under reconstruction or renovation in the South and Virginia (for example the first US Capitol in Williamsburg and current Virginia State Capitol in Richmond). Did it prove good budget situation and economic boom in the South?

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    No food, bags and parcels

    by matcrazy1 Updated Jan 6, 2005

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    WARNING  INFO!

    There was warning sign, on my picture, put by the entrance to the Mount Vernor Estate and Gardens.

    Urszula had a small city backpack and no-one from the security guards pay any attention to it. Maybe because that day the main entrance through the Texas Gate was closed. We entered the estate through temporarily entrance.

    As to food, keep in mind that despite the place is relaxing with a lot of green space of forests and meadows it's historical place and outdoor museum not a picnic area. Bottled water is allowed but no food and beverage in the estate.

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