4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Whiskey in the White House

Follow in Washington's footsteps just a short drive south of D.C.

The Washington homestead at northern Virginia's George Washington Birthplace National Monument.
The Washington homestead at northern Virginia's George Washington Birthplace National Monument.

"George Washington slept here!" And he did, too. Truth be told, he slept there as well. And there. What can I say? The man got around. With four family homes, you’d expect as much. He was partial to the spirits, too, but I’ll get to that.

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, 15 miles south of Washington, D.C., is perhaps the most known of his homes. It also happens to be the most popular historic estate in America, drawing over a million visitors annually.

Although the original 18th-century estate totaled 8,000 acres, about 500 acres are preserved today. Aside from the mansion and gardens, Pioneer Farm – modeling some of the progressive farming practices Washington tested and implemented, such as his 16-sided treading barn, along with his cutting-edge gristmill and highly lucrative distillery – can also be toured at Mount Vernon.

Always the entrepreneur, Washington had been urged by his farm manager, Scotsman James Anderson, to enter the whiskey business. Though skeptical at first, by the time of his death in 1799, his distillery was the country’s largest producer of liquid gold. The George Washington Distillery now serves as the gateway to the American Whiskey Trail.

Colonial farm at the Washington Birthplace National Monument.

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

However, though George died at Mount Vernon and is buried there, that’s not where he was born. About an hour and a half south of D.C. is the George Washington Birthplace National Monument.

Situated along the Potomac River, Popes Creek Plantation was home for wee Georgie in his early years. Walking the trails along the river and through the woods, it's easy to imagine the toddler taking his first steps, cooing at the ducks and geese floating on the river, and squealing at the pigs left to free range throughout the woods. It's a simple but beautiful natural place – as in unmanicured. It was here that Washington learned the basics of environmental stewardship.

Consisting of 367 acres that had been part of the ancestral home of the Washington's since 1657, the national monument includes the burial site of five generations of Washington's, as well as colonial replica structures. Unfortunately, the house our first president was born in burned in 1779.

Tobacco dries in a drying barn.

The George Washington Birthplace National Monument is a living colonial farm complete with costumed interpreters and demonstrations. With picturesque trails meandering along the river, a colonial homestead and garden, a petting zoo with heritage livestock, a weaving shed, smithy, tobacco fields and drying barns, this park offers a great family off-the-beaten-path experience. It's quiet, comparatively speaking, with really lovely scenery – a perfect place for a picnic hike. (Or so I decided with my five grandkids in tow, like ducklings in a row, singing a much altered version of Yankee Doodle Dandy.) Interpretive signage throughout the woods and marshlands allowed my family to reenact things that young George had done, literally walking in his footsteps.

Unlike my wee ones, George was born into the tidewater land-owning aristocracy. Besides Mount Vernon and Pope’s Creek, he also lived at a few other properties, including the family's Ferry Farm across the Rappahannock River from colonial Fredericksburg and Bush Hill Plantation on Barbados.

Well, aside from the White House that is.

If you go

Unless you're absolutely NEEDING to deal with D.C. metro traffic, I'd recommend staying in Fredericksburg instead. Fly into Richmond, rent a car, and drive north a half hour. The elegant Kenmore Inn, chock full of colonial antiques, is a historic hotel and tavern linked to George's only sister, Betty. Once the largest motor lodge on the Eastern shoreboard, the Victorian Inn at the Olde Silk Mill employed hundreds of women to spin Italian silk during the 1880s.

Though there are many authentic taverns and Irish pubs in the downtown district, why limit yourself to ale when you can truly get into the pioneer spirit (forgive the pun) at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery? Take a tour and sample their copper-stilled whiskey. They also brew vodka and gin.

A local favorite is French restaurant La Petite Auberge, though the Bavarian in the old train depot is also popular, often with lines out the door.

There's a plethora of colonial plantations in the vicinity, and certainly all along the James River, if you want to stick to the theme. Also, just a few hours south is horse n' buggy cobblestoned Colonial Williamsburg and the living museum at Jamestowne.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Wahoo send anglers to the ER

Their Hawaiian name, ‘ono’, means ‘delicious’
Next Article

MTS can't get enough bus drivers

While trolley expands to UCSD, eight percent of weekday bus trips cut
The Washington homestead at northern Virginia's George Washington Birthplace National Monument.
The Washington homestead at northern Virginia's George Washington Birthplace National Monument.

"George Washington slept here!" And he did, too. Truth be told, he slept there as well. And there. What can I say? The man got around. With four family homes, you’d expect as much. He was partial to the spirits, too, but I’ll get to that.

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, 15 miles south of Washington, D.C., is perhaps the most known of his homes. It also happens to be the most popular historic estate in America, drawing over a million visitors annually.

Although the original 18th-century estate totaled 8,000 acres, about 500 acres are preserved today. Aside from the mansion and gardens, Pioneer Farm – modeling some of the progressive farming practices Washington tested and implemented, such as his 16-sided treading barn, along with his cutting-edge gristmill and highly lucrative distillery – can also be toured at Mount Vernon.

Always the entrepreneur, Washington had been urged by his farm manager, Scotsman James Anderson, to enter the whiskey business. Though skeptical at first, by the time of his death in 1799, his distillery was the country’s largest producer of liquid gold. The George Washington Distillery now serves as the gateway to the American Whiskey Trail.

Colonial farm at the Washington Birthplace National Monument.

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

However, though George died at Mount Vernon and is buried there, that’s not where he was born. About an hour and a half south of D.C. is the George Washington Birthplace National Monument.

Situated along the Potomac River, Popes Creek Plantation was home for wee Georgie in his early years. Walking the trails along the river and through the woods, it's easy to imagine the toddler taking his first steps, cooing at the ducks and geese floating on the river, and squealing at the pigs left to free range throughout the woods. It's a simple but beautiful natural place – as in unmanicured. It was here that Washington learned the basics of environmental stewardship.

Consisting of 367 acres that had been part of the ancestral home of the Washington's since 1657, the national monument includes the burial site of five generations of Washington's, as well as colonial replica structures. Unfortunately, the house our first president was born in burned in 1779.

Tobacco dries in a drying barn.

The George Washington Birthplace National Monument is a living colonial farm complete with costumed interpreters and demonstrations. With picturesque trails meandering along the river, a colonial homestead and garden, a petting zoo with heritage livestock, a weaving shed, smithy, tobacco fields and drying barns, this park offers a great family off-the-beaten-path experience. It's quiet, comparatively speaking, with really lovely scenery – a perfect place for a picnic hike. (Or so I decided with my five grandkids in tow, like ducklings in a row, singing a much altered version of Yankee Doodle Dandy.) Interpretive signage throughout the woods and marshlands allowed my family to reenact things that young George had done, literally walking in his footsteps.

Unlike my wee ones, George was born into the tidewater land-owning aristocracy. Besides Mount Vernon and Pope’s Creek, he also lived at a few other properties, including the family's Ferry Farm across the Rappahannock River from colonial Fredericksburg and Bush Hill Plantation on Barbados.

Well, aside from the White House that is.

If you go

Unless you're absolutely NEEDING to deal with D.C. metro traffic, I'd recommend staying in Fredericksburg instead. Fly into Richmond, rent a car, and drive north a half hour. The elegant Kenmore Inn, chock full of colonial antiques, is a historic hotel and tavern linked to George's only sister, Betty. Once the largest motor lodge on the Eastern shoreboard, the Victorian Inn at the Olde Silk Mill employed hundreds of women to spin Italian silk during the 1880s.

Though there are many authentic taverns and Irish pubs in the downtown district, why limit yourself to ale when you can truly get into the pioneer spirit (forgive the pun) at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery? Take a tour and sample their copper-stilled whiskey. They also brew vodka and gin.

A local favorite is French restaurant La Petite Auberge, though the Bavarian in the old train depot is also popular, often with lines out the door.

There's a plethora of colonial plantations in the vicinity, and certainly all along the James River, if you want to stick to the theme. Also, just a few hours south is horse n' buggy cobblestoned Colonial Williamsburg and the living museum at Jamestowne.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Wahoo send anglers to the ER

Their Hawaiian name, ‘ono’, means ‘delicious’
Next Article

Hope Springs, Eternal, Golf Alpha Bravo, Beach Bunny And Miloe

Events December 9-December 10, 2021
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close