The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
During our trip to California, my Mom and I made a spur of the moment stop at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Unfortunately, we only had about half an hour to go through the museum, but I could have spent all day walking around. I am incredibly grateful for having the chance to visit this beautiful Presidential Library.
About the Reagan Presidential Library
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is 40 miles from Los Angeles, in Simi Valley, California. It is the largest Presidential Library. Upon its opening in 1991, it was the first time that five US Presidents had gathered in the same place: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carer, Ronald Reagan, and George H W Bush. The $60 million ($137 million in 2015) Library was funded entirely through private donations.
The museum is open from 10-5 every day (except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day). Admission is as follows: $29 General, $26 Senior (ages 62+), $19 Youth (11-17), $16 Child (3-10), and children ages 2 and younger can access the museum at no charge. Parking at the Library is free.
Tours of the Library
Self-guided tours generally take two to three hours. Museum tours are available for large groups. This state of the art museum showcases Ronald Reagan’s life, from childhood until his death, through twenty-four galleries. There is even a full-size replica of Reagan’s Oval Office. Eight years worth of Reagan’s diaries are scattered throughout the museum. It was awesome to see how he felt about different situations he was presented with while President of the United States.
There are two dining choices at Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Library. The “Ronald Reagan Pub”, offering self-service food, is by the Air Force One Pavillion. The second food choice, “Reagan’s Country Cafe”, is open to the public. It features self-serve and made to order items, next to the Berlin Wall exhibit and Museum Store.
Air Force One
A cool exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is the Air Force One Pavillon. This massive airplane even contains room for a Presidential motorcade and helicopter. Air Force One, the “flying White House”, has flown seven US Presidents. The grounds at the museum are made to look like the White House Lawn and there is even a piece of the Berlin Wall on the property.
The amount of Nancy Reagan memorabilia throughout the museum is incredible; I really enjoyed learning about her life as well. Visitors can definitely see the strong bond that Ronald and Nancy had. Some of Nancy’s beautiful dresses are on display and the museum showcases all of her contributions to the US. What a powerful woman!
My Favorite Exhibit
My favorite thing at the Library was an Inaugural Address podium where visitors can stand and have their picture taken. The background is the same as it was when Reagan gave his Inaugural Address. I was thrilled that my favorite family, The Bush Family, is in the background (even though my mom cut out George H W in this picture). I also loved all of the Reagan quotes throughout the museum. They were very moving.
The Reagans’ Resting Place
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library serves as the final resting place of both Ronald and Nancy Reagan. We visited the museum only days after Nancy’s funeral. Fresh flowers were still scattered around the entrance. It was a very powerful thing to experience.
Visit This Beautiful Presidential Library
If you find yourself in the Simi Valley area, do yourself a favor and stop at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. With tons of history in one museum, it is something that you do not want to miss. Plus, you may learn a thing or two about President Reagan in the process.
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Taylor Pittman Hardy wrote this article.
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The Iconic Hearst Castle
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