Amtrak Virginia has joined the Presidents Passport—a travel program offering tourists special promotions, discounts and travel tips for visits to the Charlottesville, Va. area in 2012.
Amtrak Virginia’s Northeast Regional Service which provides convenient service from the Northeast Corridor to Charlottesville has joined the Presidents Passport as a travel sponsor offering 40 percent off companion fares on trips to and from Charlottesville.
The Presidents Passport provides travelers the perfect opportunity to explore the Charlottesville area, its three presidential homes—Monticello, Montpelier and Ash Lawn-Highland—and soak up the rich historical and cultural offerings.
Amtrak joins an impressive group of partners—Monticello, Montpelier, the Smithsonian, Ash-Lawn Highland, the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Virginia Tourism Corporation and more than 50 hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and shops in the Charlottesville area.
The Presidents Passport was designed to build on the excitement surrounding the opening of the new landmark Smithsonian/Monticello exhibition opening in D.C.,
Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty, and to encourage visitors to explore the extensive history and “intersection of rural lifestyle and urban sophistication” in Charlottesville, Albemarle, and surrounding areas.
To receive this special Amtrak offer, travelers will need to register for the Presidents Passport online at Monticello.org/passport where they will also receive insider’s travel tips to the Charlottesville region in addition to special offers and discounts for lodging, dining, shopping and entertainment. Passports are available on-site at the Smithsonian Exhibition in D.C. as well as at Monticello, Montpelier and the CACVB in downtown Charlottesville. Passports are also downloadable online at www.monticello.org/passport.
Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty, a joint effort of Monticello and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) opened at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History on the National Mall, in Washington DC, January 27, 2012.
Monticello’s outdoor exhibition “Landscape of Slavery: Mulberry Row at Monticello,” debuted February 17, which brings to life the stories of the scores of people—enslaved and free—who lived and worked on Jefferson’s 5,000 acre plantation. Once considered Monticello’s Main Street, Mulberry Row, was a constantly changing hub of activity, lined with more than 20 dwellings, workshops, and sheds. Today, little physical evidence can be seen of the buildings which made up Mulberry Row. This new outdoor exhibition features mini-exhibits at key sites, a new website, and computer animations illuminates Mulberry Row and provide visitors with a clearer picture of the landscape of slavery.
A new exhibition at Montpelier helps visitors visualize the areas where domestic and skilled slaves lived and worked during Madison’s time. The South Yard includes newly constructed frames of outbuildings, including smokehouses, an outdoor kitchen and slave quarters. The buildings are located where the original buildings stood. The area helps tell the story of enslaved community members like Paul Jennings, the trusted manservant who attended James Madison; Sukey, who attended Dolley; and Ailsey Payne, who cooked in the Madison’s kitchen during their retirement years. Visitors can also see Mt. Pleasant, where Madison family slaves carved the plantation out of the wilderness, the mansion’s cellar kitchens, the Slave Cemetery, the Gilmore Farm, where emancipated Montpelier slaves settled after the Civil War, and the segregated 1910 Train Depot. In the spring visitors can also watch an archaeological dig of the agricultural complex in progress.
Ash Lawn-Highland, just 2.5 miles from Monticello, is the 535-acre estate of President James Monroe. A Revolutionary War hero, Monroe served as senator, governor, ambassador, Louisiana Purchase negotiator, secretary of state and secretary of war. He enunciated the Monroe Doctrine, and his presidency (1817-1825) was called the “Era of Good Feelings.”
The Amtrak Virginia 40 percent off companion rail fare promotion is available exclusively at Monticello.org/Passport. The promotion is valid for sale now through December 14, 2012 for travel on Northeast Regional trains 147, 171, 145, 176 and 156 to Charlottesville, Va. only. Advance reservations are required a minimum of three days prior to travel. Seating is limited and subject to availability. Blackout dates and restrictions do apply.