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Do's and Don'ts

Monticello welcomes nearly half a million guests each year. We want your visit to be enjoyable and safe. To ensure the best experience for every guest, we ask that you review and observe the following guidelines and regulations:

What You Can Do at Monticello

  • Tour the Monticello House at the time reserved on your ticket. Staff are available to help get you started.
  • Learn more about our complimentary outdoor Gardens and Grounds Tours and Slavery at Monticello Tours.
  • Explore the gardens and grounds, including Mulberry Row, the main street of the 5,000-acre Monticello plantation.
  • Plan to spend time in the living and working areas on the cellar level of the House, including the kitchen and wine cellar.
  • Feel free to bring a bag or backpack beyond the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center if it is less than 11” X 15” X 6” (28 X 38 X 15 CM). Bags this size or smaller are permitted on your House tour.
  • Take exterior photos for personal use only.
  • Enjoy a ride up on one our shuttle buses or hike the walking trail from the Visitor Center to the House and/or back down to the Visitor Center.

What You Cannot Do at Monticello

The safety of our guests and staff and the preservation of Monticello is our first priority. To that end, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation has developed a variety of safety and security measures:

  • All bags, purses, backpacks, diaper bags, waist packs, etc., will be examined. Bags and containers larger than 11” X 15” X 6” (28 X 38 X 15 CM) are prohibited beyond the Visitor Center and on the mountaintop. Please follow staff directions to prepare for bag checks and avoid delays.
  • Monticello and all of its grounds are a non-smoking facility. This includes electronic smoking products.
  • Photography or videography for non-personal use is prohibited without advance arrangement. For more information please see our Filming and Photography Guidelines.
  • Operating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) on Foundation property is strictly prohibited.
  • Eating, drinking and chewing gum are prohibited in the House.
  • Eating, drinking and flash photography are prohibited in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Gallery exhibitions.
  • ALL weapons, including firearms, knives (including pocket knives and pen knives), mace (or pepper spray), any dangerous items, and any "dual-use" items that could be dangerous are strictly prohibited. A security officer will assist you in securing these items if you are observed with them anywhere on the property.
  • Guests may not display or carry placards, signs, or banners, including flags on poles that cannot be stowed in a small bag. Clothing that contains offensive or abusive language or symbols is not permitted.
  • Guests may not engage in disorderly conduct or participate in unauthorized assemblies. Solicitation or advertising is not permitted.

Additional Safety Information

  • Inclement weather: in the event of sudden thunderstorms or threat of high winds, our security officers are authorized to suspend our regular operations until conditions allow for a safe resumption of tours and programs. If a tour or program is suspended due to inclement weather, we will ensure that every ticketed guest will have the opportunity to experience the reserved tour or program or receive a full refund.
  • Guests may be subject to other screening or security measures, including metal detection.
  • We use a variety of methods in keeping Monticello safe including uniformed security officers and various forms of video surveillance monitoring throughout our property.

Additional Considerations

  • Some wheelchairs may be too large for use in the House. Approved-size wheelchairs are available from staff for use in the House.
  • Electronic devices must be turned off during tours of the House.
  • Small strollers are allowed in, and may be borrowed for use while in, the House.
  • As a courtesy, guests with active or restless young children are asked to take turns touring the House.
  • Pets are allowed on the grounds of Monticello, if leashed. With the exception of certified service dogs, pets are not allowed in any buildings, including the House, or on the shuttle buses.
  • If you are considering a musical performance at Monticello, please consult our Musical Performance Policy.
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