History buffs should take time this fall to plan a trip and make explore one of America’s thirteen Presidential Libraries, which are located across the country. Established by 1955’s Presidential Libraries Act, the libraries aren’t traditional libraries per se, as they function as archives and museums commemorating the documents and artifacts of a President for public study and display. The libraries and museums belong to the American people! Plan a trip to one of the five below for a unique experience this autumn!
1. John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, MA
Head up to Boston to explore the 35th President’s Library and Museum. The facility is located in the Dorchester neighborhood and is next to other points of interest, such as UMass Boston and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The building was designed by architect I.M. Pei and contains the Kennedy Administration’s original papers and correspondence, with the eloquent President’s historic speeches being a major focus. Stay nearby at the affordable Ramada Inn for convenience.
2. Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, CA
Located in Orange County’s Yorba Linda, where the 37th President was born, the Nixon Library and Museum is also the final resting place of the former President. The campus is 9 acres so visitors can easily spend a day exploring, as the facility also includes the National Historic Landmark of the President’s birthplace. Other highlights include a replica of the White House’s Lincoln Sitting Room, decorated as it would been during Nixon’s time in office, and an exploration of the space program during the Nixon presidency. Opt to stay nearby at the Ayres Suites Yorba Linda!
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY
For true history buffs, FDR’s Library and Museum is a must-see as it was the first presidential library built, and was created under the President’s personal direction. The facility is located on the Roosevelt family estate Springwood, and highlights the lives of both the President and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The extensive audio and video collection, highlighting FDR and Eleanor’s lives during World War II as well as the President’s famous “fireside chats,” is particularly of interest. Visitors should consider staying at the Days Inn in nearby Poughkeepsie, just a fifteen minute drive from the library.
4. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs in Simi Valley, CA
Designed by architect Hugh Stubbins, the 40th President’s library and final resting place is currently the largest of the thirteen presidential libraries. Located at 40 Presidential Drive (in honor of Reagan’s place in presidential history), the facility hosts events including lectures and book signings. Another highlight is the chance to see the Air Force One Pavilion, where visitors can step aboard the same plane used by President Reagan. Travelers wishing to stay close by and take their time exploring should consider the Best Western Posada Hotel & Suites.
5. William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, AR
Situated on nearly 20 acres of land next to the Arkansas River, the 42nd President’s Presidential Center and Park contains the largest library by far. Clinton’s archives are also the largest, containing two million photographs, 80 million pages of documents, and 79,000 artifacts. Other highlights include full-scale replicas of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room as they were during the Clinton administration. One of the best options for staying nearby is the Comfort Inn & Suites Presidential, which is just a ten-minute walk from the library!