The gardens are also quite pretty, although a few weeks earlier the flowers would have been a little more lively.
If you go in the springtime you'll get to see the farm animals out and about. This includes a pair of talkative lambs, who were racing each other along the fence.
After visiting Mount Vernon, it's a half-hour drive to Old Town Alexandria, which is one of my favorite spots — King Street is lined with shops and restaurants, and there's a nice view of the water.
Restaurant Eve has a lunchtime bar menu, and you get to pick any two items for $13.50. I had a great salad with blue cheese and golden raisins and a sandwich of pork and piquillo peppers. Another delicious item included this little birthday cake, which is just about a million times cuter than any cupcake I've ever seen.