We rarely have weekdays off together, so when they do happen like on Veteran’s Day, we try to make the most of them. This year, we went out to the Hudson River Valley to make a visit to the Home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Presidential Library.
Usually it costs $18.00 per person to visit both of the buildings, but because of the holiday, there was no charge to get into the National Park Service site. Getting both sites for $18 total was a great deal and they were totally worth the full price.
We got a wicked late start but luckily the 3 ½ hour drive was rather pretty and empty. Our luck continued at the site when we were able to slip onto the 2 pm tour and have enough time beforehand to go through the Library.
There are currently 13 Presidential Libraries throughout the United States. The first ones built were for Presidents Roosevelt and Harry Truman, but FDR’s was the first opened to the public. These libraries would hold the papers and documents created by the President during their terms and also the gifts that they were given during their time in office.
We made it back to the Visitor Center in time for our tour of the property and house.
Inside the VC, we met at one of the coolest floors I had ever seen: a mosaic of the property and local area. Who wouldn’t love to have something like this in their home?
We then were guided to the outside of the library and final resting place of FDR, Eleanor (whose real first name is Anna!), and two of their dogs on our way to the house. Adorning the outside is the Presidential Flag that FDR created himself.
Inside we were able to roam the first floor after a short talk and then were allowed upstairs in two different groups. Perhaps the most poignant item on display in the house is FDR’s elevator. He was supposedly scared of fire and refused to allow an engine driven elevator to be installed. Instead, he pulled himself up and down from the different floors using ropes. Definitely a testimony to his stubborn nature!
If you are in the area, this is a great stop to make. FDR created so many things during his Presidency that still have an affect on us today. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop on your way out of the Visitor Center…there are some really fun things to buy as souveniers.
There are a number of other places in the area to visit after you are done with the home and library. Consider making a weekend of it and get your nerd on!
Other Cool Sites in the Area:
Things to Know Before You Go:
- You must go on a guided tour to go into the house, but can do the library separately.
- There is ample free parking at the site, which is great.
- Uncle Sam’s Canteen serves lunch, coffee, and snacks at the Visitor Center but is only open from April 1 to October 31, so bring food with you if you visit from November to March.
- Dogs are allowed on the property, but not inside the buildings.
- Plan ahead by checking their website: https://www.nps.gov/hofr/index.htm
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