Q: Why should I visit Shirley Plantation? A: Shirley Plantation is Virginia’s oldest plantation dating back to 1613 and America’s oldest family-owned business started in 1638. Shirley Plantation is the most intact and authentic colonial plantation in the country including all original buildings and no reproduced structures. It is also the only plantation where the family descendants still live in the house and work the property.
Q: When is Shirley Plantation open? A: Shirley Plantation is open daily, except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Hours vary by season. Please click here for Hours of Operations.
Q: How long does it take to get to Shirley Plantation? A: From downtown Richmond, it is an approximately 30 minute drive. From downtown Williamsburg, it is an approximately 40 minute drive.
Q: How long does it take to tour Shirley Plantation? A: The guided tour of the Great House takes approximately 35 – 40 minutes. The remainder of the tour is self-guided and at a casual pace takes approximately 30 minutes.
Q: Is there a place to eat near Shirley Plantation? A: Yes. The gift shop sells snacks and drinks, and there are two restaurants located near Shirley Plantation: • Cul’s Courthouse Grille is located approximately 9 miles east of Shirley on Route 5, near the Charles City County Court House • Dockside restaurant is located approximately 5 miles from Shirley Plantation on Route 106
Q: Do I have to pay admissions if I only want to tour the grounds? A: Yes. Admission is required to tour the grounds. Admission includes a self-guided tour of the grounds and out buildings as well as a guided tour of the Great House
Q: Can I tour the Great House without a guide and on my own? A: No. A guide is required to tour. The house is still a private family home and this is why a tour guide is required.
Q: Is there a gift shop at Shirley Plantation? A: Yes! There is a gift shop at Shirley Plantation specializing in one-of-a-kind Shirley Plantation gifts and souvenirs.
Q: What can I expect to see when I visit Shirley Plantation? A: A guided tour of Great House, which has been home to the Hill-Carter family since 1723, features original family furnishing, artwork, and stories from the 11 generations that have lived here; a self-guided tour of the 8 original out-buildings and majestic grounds includes gardens and 350 year-old Willow Oak tree on the banks of the James River.
Q: Is my donation to Shirley Plantation tax deductible? A: Yes, your donation to Shirley Plantation Foundation is tax deductible. Please click here for more information regarding Shirley Plantation Foundation.
Q: May I take pictures? A: Visitors are welcome to take pictures of the grounds, out-buildings, and exterior of the Great House. Photography is not allowed inside the Great House.
Q: Does the family live there NOW? A: Yes. Direct descendants of Edward Hill still live in the house today.
Q: Are there slave quarters on Shirley Plantation? A: No. There are no remaining slave quarters on Shirley Plantation. There is an exhibit detailing the slave quarters that existed on Shirley Plantation as well as items used in the daily lives of slaves.
Q: Is tobacco or cotton still grown at Shirley Plantation? A: Tobacco is no longer grown on Shirley Plantation. Cotton is still grown as part of a crop rotation of cotton, corn, soybean and wheat.
Q: May I picnic at Shirley Plantation? A: Admission includes access to the grounds on which you are welcome to picnic.
Q: Can I have my wedding or special event at Shirley Plantation? A: Yes. Please click here for more information on Weddings at Shirley Plantation.