Welcome to the Monticello Explorer, where you can virtually tour the plantation that served as, not only a home, but as a functional plantation to Thomas Jefferson. I suggest starting at the top of the page with the Help tab. This will bring up another window that really details how to functionally explore this site. It is well worth the effort of understanding how everything works so you can really get the most out of the site.
There are two ways to navigate the site. One is with the sections on the main page and the second is the Plantation and House tabs. I chose the sections on the main page, which are divided between Explore and Tour.
Explore – this is where you can really explore Monticello. See how the plantation changed throughout Jefferson’s lifetime. A 5,000 acre plantation requires a lot of upkeep and it went through many changes over the years.
You can also explore the house itself. With this area, you can go through a 3D recreation of the house and learn all about the people who lived there as well. I found the tour through the house to be amazing. You can change the angle of what you are looking at by holding down the left mouse button and dragging. Or you can click on the little orange camera icons to see actual photos of the rooms.
Tour – this is also a pretty fun section. Go on tour of Monticello with curator Susan R. Stein and learn all about the house and about Jefferson. Or, you can learn all about what life was like at Monticello for everyone from family, servants/slaves and friends. This is the nitty-gritty section where you can see what happened day in and day out at Monticello. Also, who could not want to tour the grounds and gardens there? Visit these exquisite areas with Director of Gardens and Grounds Peter Hatch. The gardens are lush and well laid out. You learn all about Jefferson’s approach to gardening of mixing nature with cultivation, of failing at growing one type of plant only to be successful with another and you really get to see a lot of the insight and beauty of these gardens. (I really could talk for hours about their loveliness, but you should just go see it on your own)!
This site is truly a well put together look into the past that captures the beauty and charm of Monticello while bringing it into your own house via your computer.