Do's & Don'ts | Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Do's & Don'ts | Monticello

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 learning stations.
  • Explore the gardens and grounds, including Mulberry Row, the main street of the 5,000-acre Monticello plantation.
  • 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.
  • Non-flash photography or videography for personal, educational and non-commercial use is permitted on the property inside and outside the house. For more information about professional and commercial photography, please see our Filming and Photography Guidelines.

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:

  • Clear plastic bags (not exceeding 12” x 6” x 12”) are required and all bags will be inspected. A one-gallon clear plastic storage bag is acceptable. Clear bags are available for purchase at The Shop at Monticello. Exceptions to these policies will be made for all medically necessary items after proper inspection.
  • Monticello and all of its grounds are a non-smoking facility. This includes electronic smoking products.
  • Operating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) on Foundation property is strictly prohibited.
  • Eating, drinking and chewing gum are prohibited in the main House.
  • Eating, drinking and flash photography are prohibited in the main House and in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Gallery exhibitions.
  • All weapons, including firearms, knives or sharp objects 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

  • Reservations and tickets are valid only on the date specified. There will be no refunds unless the tour is canceled by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.
  • Some wheelchairs may be too large for use in the House. Approved-size wheelchairs are available from staff for use in 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.
  • Dogs are allowed on the grounds of Monticello, if leashed, except on the day of the Heritage Harvest Festival. Only certified service dogs are allowed in any buildings at Monticello, including the House, or on the shuttle buses.
  • If you are considering a musical performance at Monticello, please consult our Musical Performance Policy.