I love living in the D.C. area. I do! And apparently, so did a lot of our presidents. A trip to the Nation’s Capital gets you mighty close to many of their homes, so if you weren’t already aware, here’s everything you need to know about visiting the nearby presidential homes on your next trip to D.C.!
The homes below are listed in order by distance from the White House, nearest to farthest!
The White House
President: Every President from John Adams to Present (#2-Present)
Location: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; Washington, D.C.
Distance from D.C.: 0 Miles
A list of Presidential homes is not complete without the most famous house in the country: the White House! Ironically enough, George Washington is the only president who never lived in the White House, and John Adams only lived there a very short while before his term was up! It’s withstood a great fire, earthquakes, name changes, multiple renovations, many redecorations, and plenty of first ladies throughout its history. Tours are limited, so if you want to get up-close and personal with the Executive Mansion, you’ll have to request your tour 2-4 month in advance!
Read on: How to Visit the White House
The Woodrow Wilson House
President: Woodrow Wilson (#28)
Location: 2340 S Street, NW; Washington, D.C.
Distance from D.C.: 1.5 Miles
If you’re already in D.C., you can’t miss the opportunity to visit the Woodrow Wilson House near Dupont Circle and Embassy Row. After retiring from the Presidency and the White House in 1921, President Wilson and his wife lived at this house until his death in 1924. The tour is excellent, not to mention the history and the beautiful architecture!
Lincoln’s Cottage and Soldier’s Home
President: Abraham Lincoln (#16), James Buchanan (#15), Rutherford B. Hayes (#19), Chester Arthur (#21)
Location: 140 Rock Creek Church Rd, NW; Washington, D.C.
Distance from D.C.: 4 Miles
Lincoln’s Cottage is off the beaten path in D.C., but if you’re interested in Lincoln or presidential homes, it is worth your time to visit! This is the place where Lincoln penned the Emancipation Proclamation, and it has been a National Historic Landmark since 1973! Interestingly, Lincoln’s Cottage was also a summer retreat for the three other presidents mentioned above!
Washington’s Mount Vernon
President: George Washington (#1)
Location: 3600 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy; Mount Vernon, VA
Distance from D.C.: 17 Miles
Aside from the White House, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens is quite possibly the most famous presndential home in United States! It’s one of my favorite day trips from D.C., and I highly recommend a visit! Your ticket includes the house tour, estate grounds, George and Martha’s tomb, museum, and don’t forget the distillery and gristmill! If you’re short of a car, I recommend visiting by boat from Alexandria or National Harbor!
Washington’s Ferry Farm & Kenmore
President: George Washington (#1)
Location: 268 King’s Hwy; Fredericksburg, VA
Distance from D.C.: 53 Miles
More from Washington? You bet! He’s our hometown boy, after all. Washington moved to Ferry Farm with his family at age 6; Kenmore was his sister’s home nearby after she married. Neither of these sites is quite as famous as Mount Vernon, but it’s still worthwhile for a day trip as this is where he spent such formative years!
President: Dwight Eisenhower (#34)
Location: 1195 Baltimore Pike; Gettysburg, PA
Distance from D.C.: 81 Miles
Heading to Gettysburg? Do not miss the Eisenhower House! Eisenhower was not just a history lover, he was a Civil War enthusiast. And what better place to buy a home than in the midst of the battlefield? He not only used it as his weekend retreat during his presidency, but also the place to bring international dignitaries for meetings and entertainment purposes. You can tour the home and grounds for yourself during your visit to Gettysburg!
President: James Madison (#4)
Location: 11350 Constitution Hwy; Montpelier Station, VA
Distance from D.C.: 92 Miles
Montpelier is one of my most favorite president’s homes. Madison was someone I think I would have liked to be friends with. I mean, he put yellow doors on his house! Madison spoke multiple languages, read more languages than he spoke, and studied international governments from the past to determine how we should shape our own government. Madison wrote our Constitution accordingly. This is a good one to visit along with Monticello and Highland, as they are both nearby!
President: James Monroe (#5)
Location: 2050 James Monroe Pkwy; Charlottesville, VA
Distance from D.C.: 115 Miles
James Monroe’s Highland is a beautiful, historic plantation and home adjacent to Monticello. Monroe bought the home and property in 1793 and raised his family here with his wife Elizabeth. On the tour you’ll learn about his policies, his military career, his family, and his presidency. Less is known about him, perhaps, than the other Virginian presidents, so learning a bit about him will be eye-opening to most people! Ever heard of Florida? You can thank Monroe for that!
President: Thomas Jefferson (#3)
Location: 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy; Charlottesville, VA
Distance from D.C.: 116 Miles
I’m not sure which is more famous: Mount Vernon or Monticello. But I do know Monticello has a lot more crazy contraptions! Jefferson was a tinkerer, so there are lots of interesting artifacts, inventions, and quirks to see and learn about. Plus the grounds are gorgeous, and the views from the house are unbeatable. When Jefferson chose this spot, he did so on purpose.
President: James Buchanan (#15)
Location: 230 North President Ave; Lancaster, PA
Distance from D.C.: 122 Miles
James Buchanan’s Wheatland is nestled in Lancaster County, PA: Amish Country! You’ll take a tour with a guide in period costume (not something every house museum does, but I love it when they do!), and you’ll get insider info about our nation’s 15th president and his private life.
Woodrow Wilson’s Birthplace
President: Woodrow Wilson (#28)
Location: 20 N. Coalter St; Staunton, VA
Distance from D.C.: 153 Miles
That’s right! Another Woodrow Wilson spot. He didn’t live here terribly long, but he was born in this house in the heart of Staunton, and it well worth your visit if you’re headed that way. There’s also a small museum about his presidency and World War I and the defining moments of the generation who lived through it.
Want more? Check out my Washignton, D.C., Page for all the best resources for your trip!
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