During his fifty-year career, Ronald Reagan inspired US citizens and world leaders to aspire to and to achieve more than they had previously imagined.
His legacy lives on for all to embrace and to discover at the Reagan Presidential Library where notable public figures, exhibits, and ongoing events depict and showcase Ronald Reagan’s esteemed values, actions, and his fierce pioneering spirit of determination, vision, and “peace through strength.”.
The Library Layout
The Library’s introductory sections include the late president’s childhood, acting career and his California governor days.
The central section starts with his nomination as the republic party candidate for president and continues through his two elections and presidency days.
Highlights of the White House Years include a replica of the Reagan Oval Office office decorated in brown hues, with the iconic a jar of jelly beans on the desk, newspaper clips of the assassination attempt in March of 1981 and first lady Nancy Reagan’s dresses to various official functions.
Furthermore, the Library has an entire section dedicated to the Cold War era with recorded video clips, pictures and even a replica of a Berlin tunnel that connected East Germany to its Western counterpart.
Guests can enjoy exploring the fascinating Air Force One Pavilion and walk on board the real Air Force One aircraft donning tail number 27000, that flew not only Ronald Reagan but six other US presidents as well.
Many guests are surprised by the modest size of the bedroom and personal quarters in comparison to the office and kitchen.Across from the aircraft, the pavilion showcases several presidential motorcade vehicles including a Johnson-era Sikorsky VH-3 Sea King, the 1984 presidential parade limousine, a 1982 LAPD police car, two 1980s police motorcycles, and a 1986 Secret Service vehicle.
Visitors exploring the grounds can visit Ronald Reagan’s grave and memorial overlooking the Pacific Ocean as well as a large piece of the Berlin Wall.Furthermore, there are picnic areas for those who wish to enjoy dining outdoors.
Know before you go
With its vast expanse of exhibits, it is necessary for most visitors to allow about 3 to 4 full hours to enjoy the galleries and grounds.
The museum operates on a self-guided tour with tour guides available for large groups.
Comfortable walking shoes are a must for trekking the multiple areas of the grounds perched on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean on one side, and a superb canyon view to the East.
Parking is free, and there is also an area for special needs parking in close to the entrance.Patrons with disabilities can also use the visitor drop-off located at the entrance in the front.
Admission of $16 grants entry to all galleries, exhibits, and all of the outdoor grounds. The entire loop through the museum is approximately ½ mile long. A $7.00, rental fee allows the use of an audio-visual tour device.
Autism Travel Tips
The museum is quite autism friendly and manages to captivate kids with autism with its interactive displays.
If your kid is a history buff like ours, the $7.00 rental fee, for the audio-visual tour on the museum’s I-pod is a good idea.
Air Force One is a historical artifact and, therefore, is the only place in the Museum that is not wheelchair user accessible.
Other locations contain ramps or elevators to allow easy access throughout the museum.
Flash photography is prohibited inside the museum, but visitors are encouraged to take as many pictures and selfies with the different exhibits with their camera or the I-pod rental.
Additionally, no photography of any kind is allowed inside Air Force. One
There are two on-site cafes: the Country Cafe located on the west side of the property overlooking the Pacific Ocean with a smaller menu and the Ronald Reagan Pub, in the Air Force One Pavilion with a larger selection of beverages, pre-packaged sandwiches, salads, and desserts.
The gift shop is hands down the best we’ve seen in any presidential library and worth exploring.
Aside from the standard books and t-shirts there are many kids’ toys and the obligatory jelly bellies in boxes and jars bearing the presidential seal.
Disclaimer: Special thanks to the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum that provided us with complimentary tickets for the review. However, the tips and opinions shared are always our own.