The Inn at Monticello, our Virginia country inn, occupies a charming manor house built in 1856. The property originally served as a farm consisting of more than 1,200 acres. In 1988, the house became a bed and breakfast inn. The Inn is now situated on five acres of beautiful wooded land, with a stream running through the property.
Our bed and breakfast is located in an historic part of Charlottesville. Guests sometimes ask, "Did Thomas Jefferson own the land where the Inn is situated?" No, but he was a close neighbor. The Inn at Monticello is located on Route 20, the "Constitution Route," just down the hill from Mr. Jefferson's own Monticello Mountain. Guests can drive the 2.5 miles to Monticello in less than 5 minutes, or they may walk there in 30 minutes on the beautiful Saunders trail that begins just across the road from the Inn.
Other notable former neighbors include Benjamin Franklin Ficklin, who helped to start the Pony Express in 1860, and who also briefly owned Monticello during the Civil War, and Commodore Uriah Levy and his nephew Jefferson Levy, who owned Monticello after Thomas Jefferson's death.
We are also just around the corner from historic Michie Tavern. Originally built in 1784, the Tavern was moved to its current location in 1927 to accommodate visitors to Monticello.
About four miles from us is Ash Lawn-Highland, the home of James Monroe, fifth President of the U.S. Guests can get an aerial view of his estate from the apple and peach groves of Carter Mountain Orchard, located next to Michie Tavern.
On the way to Ash Lawn-Highland, visitors will pass Jefferson Vineyards, the site where Thomas Jefferson first tried winemaking. In 1773, Jefferson met Filippo Mazzei, an Italian farmer and businessman, who was interested in producing and selling wine in the British Colonies. Jefferson gave Mazzei 400 acres near Monticello to establish a vineyard, and Mazzei began planting vines in 1774. He built a house named Colle, which still stands today. In 1779 Mazzei returned to Europe and became a secret arms merchant for Virginia during the American Revolution, and later a diplomat.
Innkeepers Bob and Carolyn have welcomed guests to the Inn at Monticello since 2006. Bob is a University of Virginia alumnus and was previously a lawyer in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Carolyn, a Georgetown alumna, worked in pharmaceutical clinical research, and continues to do so on a consulting basis. Both grew up in Maryland and met in Philadelphia.
The Inn's Birman cat, Daisy, sometimes ventures from her quarters to greet guests, and welcomes having her head scratched.