There is good news as well as bad news about living near an important point of interest. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum falls into that category for us. First of all, the good news is it’s located in Southern California. But that’s also the bad news. Because the library is in Southern California we consequently put off visiting. The rationale: it would always be there so, we’ll visit someday. After all, it is fairly close. Just a mere (near?) 120 miles away. One way. Hence, driving time should clock in at about 2.5 hours. One way. However, when you factor in freeway traffic with whatever other variables, all bets are off. But as a result of our first visit we wish we’d made the effort to go much sooner. Bad news: Traffic and the perceived increased distance and added travel time. Good news: We finally went. And we’re glad we did.
Presidential libraries are a lasting legacy to those who have occupied the highest office in the land. And as legacies go this library does a great job in preserving the history of an era. It also goes a long way in honoring the the 40th President of the United States.
This bigger than life statue depicts President Reagan in a setting he felt so comfortable in. He enjoyed horseback riding most of all in the great California outdoors. With breathtaking vistas it’s no wonder this location was chosen to house the library and museum as well as the Reagan Institute. The entire complex is rather impressive.
Vistors are greeted upon entering the main building by attentive docents that are ready, willing and able to assist. Permanent exhibits on display include a portion of the Berlin Wall, Air Force One Pavillion, and Oval Office exhibit.
This fragment of the Berlin Wall is prominently visible in the expansive garden area. Probably even more noteworthy because of the famous line in a speech about tearing down this very wall.
The limousine used by the president during his time in office is on display.
The vehicle is notable because of its high visibility and has the distinction of being a means of protection as well as transportation.
The aircraft used as Air Force One at the time is also on display. It can be toured from one end to the other, inside and out. A staff photographer takes photos of those waiting to board Air Force One that can be purchased later as a souvenir keepsake.
The hangar housing the jet was custom built to accommodate the sheer enormity of its size. Quite an impressive sight. There are displays in the hangar area that provide interesting facts about the destinations flown, number of flight hours logged as well as hundreds of thousands of miles traveled. Fun facts to ponder.
In addition to permanent exhibits there are special events that will enhance the overall experience. Special events include: lecture series, book signings, commemoration services, temporary exhibits and much more. Noteworthy is the upcoming opening on October 22, 2016 of Interactive! The Exhibition – How Pop Culture Reshapes Technology. It’s touted as a hands-on and immersive journey of innovation as well as science and wonder.
Vatican Splendors: A Journey Through Faith and Art, opened March 6, 2016. It will be on display until August 28, 2016. The 10,000 square foot exhibition comprises one of the largest Vatican collections ever to tour the US. Michelangelo, Bernini, Guercinp and many other world renowned artists have their works of art as part of the exhibit. This exhibit is consequently billed as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The priceless works of art are especially relevant because of their religous and historical significance.
The museum staff has displayed the artifacts in ways that accentuate the intricate and delicate artistry involved.
Many of the artifacts are made with precious metals and one of a kind gems and are considered priceless.
The library’s hilltop location showcases the majesty as well as the expansiveness of the state the Reagans called home. President and Mrs. Reagan personally chose the grounds of the library complex for their final resting places. No doubt because of the tranquil setting and beautiful surroundings.
“I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”
– Ronald Wilson Reagan
– February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute
Ronald Reagan Library and Museum
40 Presidential Drive
Simi Valley, CA 93065
Main Phone: 805-520-9702
Museum Hours: 10am – 5pm, seven days a week, EXCEPT: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day