Four upcoming developments at George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Tourism is again on the upswing at one of the top attractions in Southeast Fairfax County. George Washington’s Mount Vernon had 830,000 visitors last year according to vice president of communications Matt Briney, nearly double the number of visitors from the previous year. Based on current attendance figures, Briney expects the site could welcome a million guests in 2023 — a return to the attraction’s pre-pandemic visitation numbers.
In coming months, several key milestones and special events are slated to take place at or around the Mount Vernon estate. Following are four of them:
1. Around April 17, the scaffolding will come down from the exterior of Mount Vernon’s Mansion following a multi-year project to restore it to its 1799 appearance. Later this year, the building will undergo another extensive revitalization project with the upgrade of its climate control system to better protect the Mansion and its historic contents. The estate is gearing up for the nation’s 250th birthday in 2026, according to a report from Mount Vernon’s latest magazine.
2. Later this spring, an upgraded route to George Washington’s home will be unveiled as the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Trail fully opens for pedestrian and bike access from Richmond Highway. According to Briney, Fairfax County officials allowed Mount Vernon to provide input into the design of the pedestrian bridge over Dogue Creek. The bridge will feature elements of the neighboring George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill, which recently reopened again for seasonal tours.
The soon-to-be-complete multiuse trail represents “a great opportunity to connect Mount Vernon to the public transportation options planned on Route 1,” said Briney, adding that it’s their understanding that the county is looking into expanding the Capital Bikeshare program along that section of trail.
3. This fall, the George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon will celebrate its tenth anniversary. Plans are in the works for a benefit gala Sept. 30 on the Mansion’s east lawn. The library also offers free Ford Evening Book Talks throughout the year.
4. On Oct. 21, Mount Vernon will serve as the finish line for participants in the eighth annual Tour de Mount Vernon bike ride organized by Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck. The ride will take place on a temporarily closed George Washington Memorial Parkway. Free admission to Mount Vernon will be provided to those who complete the ride, said Briney, adding that “It’s a great way to expose people to all the great activities available in our region.”