Poplar Forest, very near to Smith Mountain Lake, is a National Historic Landmark and Thomas Jefferson’s personal retreat. Here you can visit, what is believed to be, the first octagonal home in America designed and built by Jefferson himself. Tour the home and visit the landscape, which was meticulously restore in 2011 back to Jefferson’s design using early 19th century techniques. It is such an interesting tour where you learn about architecture, preservation and live in the early 19th century. On the plantation, there is continuous excavation where they find artifacts from the plantation occupants that lived and worked at Poplar Forest. You will discover Jefferson’s vision for his gardens, ornamental plantings and farm at Poplar Forest as it emerges through archaeology.
This Landmark is open for visitors through December 15 (closed Thanksgiving Day). If you are visiting the lake with family and friends, you can arrange a group tour any time of the year. Next week is their annual event, Barrels, Bottles & Casks Summer Tours on July 27th and 28th. This is a great opportunity to get a refreshing look at history! This is a tasting tour that begins in Mr. Jefferson’s kitchen and progress through the villa with stops along the way to sample beverages while guides share insights about the foods and drinks that Jefferson and the enslaved residents consumed during the hot summer months. The tours conclude with an ice cream social in the lower level. Admission to the Summertime Barrels, Bottles & Casks tasting tour is $25 per person and reservations are required. You can purchase your tickets by clicking here.
Plan your stay at Mariners Landing Resort online at smlvaca.com and take a 30 minute drive to Jefferson’s Poplar Forest located at 1542 Bateman Bridge Road, Forest, VA 24551!
We will bring you all the fun things to do around the lake all year long!