Mount Vernon is the happiest place on Earth. No. Seriously. It beats out Disney in my book. Everything about it is a historical site gone right. From its painstakingly accurate representations of George Washington's home and grounds to a state of the art museum that matches media with in depth historical interpretations, Mount Vernon is a testament to the man Washington was.
1. Only 25 visitors at a time are allowed into the actual house, preventing it from getting unbearably crowded. Each section has its own guide that points out items of interest and tells you what occurred in each area. These people know their stuff - I didn't hear a question they couldn't answer. And Martha Washington had some good decorating sense!
2. Washington's tomb, built to his specifications in the early 19th century. It's in a secluded area of the grounds and it almost feels magnetic, pulling you forward to look upon the markers for George and Martha. It was quiet and serene, and twice daily ceremonies are held at the site.
3. The view! Washington was right when he said "No estate in United America is more pleasantly situated than this."
4. The education center, which just opened recently and is a testament to where museums can go with a little funding and a lot of ingenuity. From videos to interactive exhibits to a great children's room, the Mount Vernon museum did so many things right. The best part, by far, was a film about Washington's role in the American Revolution, complete with rumbling seats, fog machines, and multiple screens showing reenactments. So cool!
5. The Mount Vernon Inn, with its 18th century theme (including costumes for the servers!) and really nicely priced lunch menu... rosemary chicken to die for!
I think that's it. I also visited American University and absolutely loved it! Oh, and we visited the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum and I was consistently underwhelmed... I also felt bad for Pluto, whose "dwarf planet" status led workers to cover it in black plastic bags and attach tacky captions explaining its new title. An example to come once I find internet that works consistently (which is why this post has no title).
That's all for now! More museum reviews to come, I'm sure!