Log In
Join Now

Presidential Pitstops: Exploring the Homes and Histories of America's Early Leaders

Amy Leal-profile-image
Amy Leal
February 14, 2024

Dive into the homes and histories of America's early presidents, pairing each historical visit with charming local stays at Harvest Host locations. From Mount Vernon to The Hermitage, explore where America's leaders shaped the nation.

Presidential Pitstops: Exploring the Homes and Histories of America's Early Leaders

Gear up, history buffs and road trippers! We’re taking you on a trip through time and across the some of the United State’s historic landscapes. As the nation buzzes with anticipation for the upcoming 2024 elections, what better time to hit the road and explore the homes and libraries of America's early presidents? 

On this leg of the trip, we'll share  the stories of five trailblazing leaders who laid the foundation for the United States. But it's not just history on this adventure—we've sprinkled in some local charm with Harvest Host locations near each historic landmark. From the rustic retreats of Mount Vernon to the refined elegance of Monticello, every stop promises a unique blend of history and hospitality.

Mount Vernon: George Washington's Presidential Haven

Mount vernon.jpg Our journey into American political history starts with George Washington, America’s first president. Washington led the nation to victory in the Revolutionary War. Mount Vernon, Virginia, just 13 miles south of Washington, D.C., is his historic home. While he may or may not have chopped down a cherry tree, Washington had a reputation for honesty. As a National Historic Landmark, Mount Vernon offers a glimpse into the life of a visionary leader and boasts a breathtaking view of the Potomac River. 

Relax and unwind at another Harvest Hosts favorite, Cedar Run Brewery. It’s Nokesville, Virginia’s oldest brewery, nestled on Evergreen Acres' 97-acre farm (the last Christmas tree farm in Prince William County). Experience true farm-to-glass simplicity as you savor expertly crafted brews. On weekends, the brewery often hosts food trucks and live music. 

cedar brewing.jpeg

Reserve your spot at Cedar Run Brewery here

Learn more about visiting Mount Vernon here

Abraham Lincoln’s Presidential Library 

abraham lincoln.png Today’s presidential candidates have some large shoes to fill if they want to be like our 16th president. Abraham Lincoln led the nation through its darkest hours during the Civil War. The echoes of his bold actions, though costing him his life, reverberate through history. Explore his legacy at the Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois, where cutting-edge technology brings him to life through holograms and immersive exhibits. 

Why not stay the night at Fifty Four Farms, a first-generation cattle farm located just over 30 minutes from Lincoln’s library and museum? Explore their Farmers Market, where you ‘ll find homegrown beef and pork products. Harvest Hosts recommends Fifty Four Farms for their wonderful hospitality and hands-on farm experiences. Guests can get up close and personal with the animals, help out with farm chores, join a farm tour, or simply relax and observe farm life.  fifty four farms.jpeg

Explore the Lincoln Presidential Library here.

Book your stay at Fifty Four Farms here.

Monticello: Thomas Jefferson's Architectural Masterpiece

monticello.jpeg Monticello is the home of Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father. He was the third President of the United States, and wordsmith behind the Declaration of Independence. 

At the tender age of 26, Jefferson inherited the "little mountain," a picturesque estate Charlottesville, Virginia. Monticello, a neoclassical masterpiece, reflects his visionary design. It showcases a blend of elegance and innovation. Jefferson's sojourn in France left an indelible mark on Monticello, with French influences woven seamlessly into its structure. Today, Monticello stands as a National Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Journey into the heart of craft cider at Blue Toad Cider, where your hosts use locally grown Nelson County, Virginia apples for a naturally drinkable delight. This host takes pride in their authentic, responsibility produced hard ciders. Treat yourself to the Blue Toad experience with flights, tastings, and food. Loved by many Harvest Host members, Blue Toad Cider is located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just 40 minutes from Monticello. Cheers to unique, hand-crafted memories!! blue toad cider.jpeg Learn more about visiting Monticello here.

Get to know Blue Toad Cider and book your stay here.

Polk's Legacy: A Presidential Crossroads in Columbia

james polk.jpeg Nestled in Columbia, Tennessee, you’ll find the home of James Polk, our 11th president. Polk is part of a chapter of American history marked by ambition and sacrifice. Polk's presidency, though brief—just one term—left a lasting mark on the nation. His legacy includes victory in the Mexican-American War and the annexation of the West. Polk died three months after leaving office.

Step into his modest home, where two portraits, taken only two years apart, poignantly capture the toll of the presidency on his health. 

After your tour of Polk’s home, head over to your host for the night, Nash Family Creamery. It’s part of a family dairy farm that produces cheese right on site! Also well-known for their homemade ice cream and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, this is the place to stay and savor farm-fresh goodness. Every scoop and melt-in-your-mouth bite tells a story of family, flavor, and fond memories.

nash family creamery.jpeg Learn more about James Polk and his home here

Reserve your stay with Nash Family Creamery here.

The Hermitage: Andrew Jackson's Presidential Retreat

andrew jackson.jpeg Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, experienced several political triumphs, including the annexing of Arkansas and Michigan. Visit The Hermitage, his elegant retreat, located in the heart of Tennessee. 

On the property, sits a Greek-inspired tomb and memorial dedicated to Jackson's beloved wife, Rachel. In 1791, they married, but little did Rachel know, she hadn't officially untangled herself from first husband, Lewis Robards. It wasn't until after the official divorce that she and Jackson decided to re-marry in 1794. Rachel passed away just months before Jackson assumed the presidency in 1829. 

Stay for the night at another preferred Harvest Host location, Marrowbone Creek Brewing Co. Nestled in Ashland City, TN, surrounded by rivers, creeks, and bluffs just 30 minutes from Nashville, what better place to indulge in craft beer and elevated pub fare? If you arrive on Saturday (and some select Fridays), you can enjoy live music. The brewery also has a  pet- and kid-friendly beer garden! 

marrowbone creek.jpeg

Explore The Hermitage here.

Reserve your stay with Marrowbone Creek Brewing Co. here.

Each presidential residence reflects the stories of leaders who shaped the course of a nation. From the grandeur of Mount Vernon to the architectural tapestry of Monticello, and the corridors of The Hermitage, these sites weave a rich narrative of American history. Remember to experience the local charm of these famous landmarks by exploring Harvest Hosts locations along the way. For more information on unique stays, connect with us through the chat system at harvesthosts.com and let the journey continue. Safe travels!

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,612 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Amy Leal-profile-image
Amy Leal
I’m a free-spirited travel and lifestyle writer who loves the RV life. I spent several years living in my vintage Holiday Rambler and exploring the beautiful United States. Today, I live in a casita on the Sea of Cortez and take shorter road trips. I’m excited to trace new maps with stories of Mexico’s sun-soaked magic and the joy of roaming without borders.