The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is located in Simi Valley, California. During a vacation, we stopped at the Library since we are both huge fans of President Reagan.
It takes about an hour in average traffic to drive from Los Angeles over to Simi Valley and to the Library & Museum.
I have never been to California or to Simi Valley. This is an absolutely magnificent area. The Library is sitting on about 100 acres of pure heaven. Standing most anywhere at a window or on the pristine grounds, you can see beautiful mountains, green, lush valleys and the Pacific Ocean is a sight to behold. I have not seen the Pacific Ocean before so I was so amazed.
The Library & Museum stays open year round. Ronald Reagan made the dedication speech for the complex in 1991. In that speech he said, “The doors of this library are open now and all are welcome. The judgment of history is left to you, the people.” From 10 am till 5 pm, 7 days a week, everyday except Thanksgiving Day. You can see this speech and hear it at the Library.
When you walk through the doors of the Library Building your anticipation of the historical information you can access is exciting. The Reagan Presidential Library has over 10,000 books and publications relating to Ronald Reagan. The tour guide told us there were millions of pages of papers from his years in the White House. Papers from his time as California’s governor are there as well. There are over 1 million pictures and thousands of videos and audio recordings.
My favorite part of the Library was the opportunity to see some of the old movies that Ronald Reagan was in. They have all of that in the Library.
The Museum is history right in front of you. There are millions of artifacts ranging from when Reagan was a boy, following him all through his life. It shows his college life and the years he spent in radio. My favorite part of the Museum was the Gallery of Presidents. This area shows you every single President since George Washington. What a fabulous exhibit.
Of course, my first encounter and knowledge of Ronald Reagan was his movie career and his television career as the man you saw on Death Valley Days. You can see many great memory provoking posters and other memorabilia of those days in his life.
Another touching view of the Reagan giant was his love story marriage with Nancy Reagan. The Museum gives you a look into that part of their storybook lives. They were so sweet right from the beginning. True love in a wonderful story.
The Museum follows Ronald Reagan throughout the years he was Governor and through the years of his historical Presidency. From the reviving of the economy to seeing a piece of the Berlin Wall, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum has the entire story of him and those moments people my age and older remember well.
When we went in 2006, they had recently opened what has proven to be a favorite part of the complex. Something that Ronald Reagan wanted from his days as President. He wanted the average citizen of the United States to be able to board Air Force One and see where the President worked and traveled.
In a room that is huge to say the least, Air Force One has been pulled in and has been turned into a showcase for the event area. Sitting under the great span of wings is amazing. Tables are arranged to be situated underneath the wings. The entire wall in the spectacular event area is glass. From floor to ceiling on that side is all glass. The view is like no other. They hold many eventful catered activities here. Weddings and other fancy events are held in this part of the complex.
You can actually tour Air Force One. Only a few people at a time can go through but the key is getting there early in the day. We were there when they opened at 10 am. We were told they close early if they have lots of visitors, so that everyone has a chance to go through Air Force One. Holidays are not great times to go here. It appears they can get pretty jammed packed during those times.
The Ronald Reagan Country Café is the place to grab some great lunch. In the Learning Center, glass surrounds the dining area. You can see the majestic mountains and that beautiful ocean. The food is wonderful. I had some Steakhouse Chili, cornbread and an F-14 Fighter Dog. What a great lunch. Less than 15.00 for all with drink. There is also the Ronald Reagan Pub which we did not utilize but it looked like lots of fun to stop in and have a drink.
The entire complex is an adventure. Ronald Reagan was a great President. His legacy will live with honor and with many reminders of the good work he did. This is a wonderful day trip if you are in the Los Angeles area. Well worth a drive over to see.
There is an admission charge from $3 to $12 depending on age. Under 11 years old gets in free. The audio tour is an extra charge. Worth it.