Must-see historic presidential sites
Presidents Day will be celebrated this year on Monday, Feb. 17. If you have the day off from work, make the most out of the day by taking your family to explore museums, memorials or a national monument that honors U.S. presidents. Here are a few popular historic presidential sites.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Nearly 3 million tourists come to the Black Hills of South Dakota to visit Mount Rushmore and admire the sculpted faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. If you have a few hours to spare, take a walk on the Presidential Trail to get a closer view of the mountain sculpture, visit the Sculptor's Studio or visit the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center to view exhibits and a brief film about the sculpture.
Located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Lincoln Memorial measures 190 feet long, 119 feet wide and nearly 100 feet high and is surrounded by a peristyle of 36 fluted Doric columns: One for each of the 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death. In the central hall is the white marble statue of Lincoln, which is 19 feet high. The area where the statue stands is 60 feet wide, 74 feet long and 60 feet high. An estimated 6 million people visit the memorial annually.
Gerald R. Ford Museum
Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Ford Museum was open to the public in 1981. The permanent exhibits at the museum feature interactive videos and holographic displays so that visitors can feel like participants in history. Visitors can go back in time and travel around the world with President Ford through video, take a holographic tour of the Ford White House, check out the 1970s Gallery, tour the Watergate exhibit and experience a day in the Oval Office exhibit, a replica of the original design, which uses lighting and sound to create the experience.
President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' Home
This historic site is located in Washington, D.C., and was designated a National Monument by President Clinton in 2000. The cottage, where Lincoln resided for a quarter of his presidency, was first opened to the public in 2008. Visitors can get an intimate look at the president's family life and presidency. President Lincoln's original briefcase that held his handwritten notes will be on display through June 30, 2014, along with the original Civil War diary and personal artifacts of Albert Nelson See, a member of Lincoln’s Presidential Guard. Visitors can choose to take The Signature Cottage tour, a one-hour guided tour of the cottage, or The Emancipation Tour, which explores Lincoln's road to emancipation.
The boyhood home of President Woodrow Wilson
Spend Presidents Day exploring the childhood house of President Woodrow Wilson. This house museum in Augusta, Georgia, depicts the life of the 28th U.S. president and his childhood during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Tours will be available on Feb. 17 in honor of President's Day. Visitors can listen to stories about the South's secession as well as preparations for war and more.
Interested in exploring more sites around the nation? Find more historic presidential sites.