The other week, Papa and I went back in time to the 18th century to visit George Mason’s Gunston Hall, located in Lorton, Virginia along the Potomac River just outside of Washington, DC. On my Instagram (follow me @_thepinkchickadee!!), I have shared a bit about my adventures at Gunston Hall already. A few months ago, I found a Groupon for two tickets/$8.00 to tour a historic Virginia mansion. Best part?! It was located about 15 minutes from my house! It turned out to be the home of George Mason – a Founding Father. BUT, today, I am here to share a bit more about this magnificent historical experience of mine and Papa’s.
So, George Mason was an influential player in the creation of the Bill of Rights. He was also at the Constitutional Convention and fought in the American Revolutionary War. Although he may not be as notable as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, or James Monroe to us all today, he made a major impact on our country and with providing equal rights to ALL humans. In fact, within the museum at Gunston Hall, there’s an exhibit placing an emphasis on ALL of the rights that George Mason helped grant fellow Americans, including women, BIPOC Americans, Americans with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ Americans. George Mason may just have been the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of his time. Indeed, George Mason paved the way for Ruth Bader Ginsburg to pave the way, herself. That exhibit within Gunston Hall’s museum, to me, showcased the importance of the impact that he made and helped create on all Americans, despite his name not being as prominent as others’ within our history textbooks.
Gunston Hall is located about a 25 minute drive from George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Both mansions are located along the Potomac River, which runs through Washington, DC. Historically speaking, ships could come directly to both George Mason’s and George Washington’s homes, bringing in goods from abroad after most likely arriving from abroad in Alexandria, Virginia. Fun fact: Alexandria, Virginia is a Northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC with the CUTEST Old Town Alexandria in its heart and also located along the Potomac River. Alexandria, Virginia ALSO used to be the United States capital way way way back in the day aka centuries ago! Mount Vernon is located in Mount Vernon, Virginia just South of and around Alexandria, Virginia while Lorton, Virginia is South of Alexandria, Virginia. Lorton, Virginia is right by where I grew up and reside so it’s crazy to think that such a historic gem is nearby!
Unlike George Washington’s Mount Vernon, George Mason’s Gunston Hall is not as well-known. Y’all, I am from the Lorton, Virginia area and hadn’t had been to Gunston Hall in the decades that I have lived here. CRAZY!! Gunston Hall is definitely not as big of a property as Mount Vernon, but it does have some beautiful trails to explore along the Potomac River nearby and a complimentary tour offered every hour or half hour – I forget which since we signed up when we arrived for a tour – HAHA! The mansion was definitely a Grand Millienial like myself’s paradise!!! Not to mention, Gunston Hall has a museum featuring historical significances of George Mason’s time period and emphasizing his pioneering of providing all humans with equal rights here in the United States.
For $8.00 total, I got two tickets to tour a historic mansion, walk its gorgeous grounds overlooking the Potomac River, and visit a museum. While a lot smaller than other historic mansions, George Mason’s Gunston Hall is definitely worth the $8.00 for you and a guest to enjoy a historic afternoon along the Potomac River, admire the gorgeous historical mansion, and learn a few fun facts. It’s a hidden gem for sure that I wish I knew about sooner. My biggest piece of advice is to check Groupon for tickets and get a 3 month voucher, so you can pick a date that works for you or plan ahead on their website. Do whatever suits you fancy, but be sure to have a great time!
For more information on George Mason’s Gunston Hall, check out their website: https://gunstonhall.org
XOXO – Katie <3