River Farm Estate
7931 East Boulevard Drive, Alexandria, VA 22308
Monday through Friday 9 am - 5 pm, Saturdays from April to October 9 am - 1 pm
farms-orchards, museums, outdoor-adventures
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The Headquarters of the American Horticulture Society opens the gates for families to explore.
Formerly The River Estate of George Washington, he purchased the property officially in 1760. While Washington never actually lived at the Farm, and the residence of numerous family members of he and First Lady Martha Washington over the years. It changed hands a couple times before being purchased by the American Horticulture Society with the financial support of Enid Annenberg Haupt, philanthropist, and member of the board.
The River Farm is a peaceful place to wander and the gates at the entrance stood for fifty years at River Farm before the discovery that they formerly stood at the White House for almost one hundred and twenty years. There is a four-season garden with a variety of perennial plants carefully coordinated to encourage year-round gardening.
The first floor of the Estate House is open to the public, and it is beautifully maintained, with rotating artwork and seasonal decor. The kids love visiting around the holidays and counting the many wreaths and trees throughout the space.
There is a variety of wildlife around the meadow and down by the water. The kids located large nests and watched carefully for a variety of birds. While we did not see one, Bald Eagles are known to fly over the property.
There are two trees potentially on the property when Washington owned it, including an old Black Walnut Tree, and an Orange Osage that may have been a gift from Thomas Jefferson. There is an orchard, a children's garden with a ship play structure, and there is also a "Green Garage," an exhibit devoted to the education of sustainable gardening as well as picnic seating areas.
Mount Vernon is eight minutes away and the River Farm is the northernmost of his properties and former farms on the Potomac. It stands very close to the Mount Vernon Trail, so a fun destination along a stroller run or bike ride. Collingwood Park Playground is less than a mile away in the southbound direction, toward Mount Vernon on the trail so also an excellent place to stop on your adventure.
Grab a bite to eat in the dining room of quaint Mount Vernon Inn, or drop into The Haven Restaurant and Pizzeria right off GW Parkway on your way back toward the city.