If you happen to be in Southern California, be sure to take some time to stop by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Spend your day wandering through the tour and end with a fantastic lunch in the cafe. Located in Simi Valley about 1 hour Northwest of Los Angeles, the museum is a wonderful showcase of the Presidents achievements. Perfect for a bit of family fun, good food and a bit of history.
The museum was very well thought out and breaks up the tour with a combination of displays and videos. The displays vary from personal belongings, documents, etc… to formal printed commentary of his accomplishments. Also on display at the museum is a section devoted to Nancy Reagan, a lifesize replica of the oval office including Reagans personal decor, and Reagans Air Force One Jet.
The tour starts with artifacts and commentary from his youth including papers he had written in school and radio announcements of football games. You then proceed to his political career as California State Govenor and then finally his Presidential accolades.
Among the most intresting things on exhibit I thought was the suit he was wearing when he was shot in an assasination attempt, along with some video of the attempt and audio of a conversation at the hospital following.
I also found it very interesting to see and read pages of his personal diary. He had kept daily entries from the day he was in office.
My daughters favorite part was the Oval Office replica. How impressive!
Even more impressive yet was Air Force One… Yes the Jet is actually there at the museum and you are able to walk through and see where he had spent so many hours traveling throughout the world!
For kids, my older daughter enjoyed it as she has had a bit of Presidential history already at school. My younger one enjoyed parts of it, they do break it up and video is helpful. Some of it is fun for little ones to look at, but they will get bored so I wouldn’t recommend bringing them unless you know they are patient and into history!
NOW…. Because I am all about food- my review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include the dining options!
There are 2 options to stop for food as you proceed. There is a small cafe area about midway through in the Air Force One area, and another larger cafe at the end of the tour. I was very pleased to find several Vegetarian options at the cafe as well. I had the Garden burger and sweet potato fries and they were delicious! They have quick cold options ready to grab and go, or a hot “grill” where they make your food to order. Everyone found something they loved (even the kids – plenty of kids meal choices). There is plenty of tables available, so no worries of not having a place to sit. We all sat around and chatted about what we liked best, what we learned and compared what we picked up in the gift shop.
All in all, it was a great way to spend a drizzly day with the family. I had forgotten about many of the the things he had done and learned so much more. It was a lot to take in over one visit, so come with a clear mind ready to learn!
To find out more about the museum, visiting hours, fees, and exhibits, visit the website HERE.
This article was originally featured at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Disclaimer: I received the admission free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
What a great review of a dear man and his wife. We lived in So. CA many years ago, but never got to the museum. Would love to see it if I ever get out that direction. Thanks for sharing this.