Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum#1 in Best Things To Do in Grand Rapids
Price & Hours
To learn about the life of the 38th president of the United States, consider a visit to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Though he was born in Omaha, Nebraska, Ford spent much of his life in Grand Rapids. The museum showcases more than 19,000 artifacts related to the president, including items from the 1976 presidential campaign, American bicentennial gifts, and gowns and dresses worn by the president's wife, Betty Ford. Throughout the museum, visitors will learn about Ford's childhood in Grand Rapids, his time at the University of Michigan and Yale Law School, his unique ascendency to vice president and eventually his time as the 38th president of the United States. Visitors also have the chance to see a replica of Ford's White House Oval Office and the original Watergate burglar tools, among other highlights.
Past visitors were pleasantly surprised by the museum's volume of artifacts and said it's a must-do while in Grand Rapids. Reviewers also said the museum is a great stop for both kids and adults.
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is located in downtown Grand Rapids along the Grand River. It's easily accessible from the DASH bus, the No. 7 bus and by car. Parking is available on-site and is free. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission costs $10 for adults, $4 for youths ages 6 to 18 and is free for children 5 and younger. Discounts are available for college students, military members and seniors. If you purchased a Culture Pass GR, your museum admission is covered. For more information, visit the museum's official website.
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#2 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
For an art-filled afternoon spent outdoors, head to the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Among its 158 acres is Michigan's largest tropical conservatory, five indoor theme gardens, outdoor gardens, nature trails and sculpture gardens, among other features. Highlights for past visitors include the five-story, 15,000-square foot conservatory, the 8-acre Japanese garden and the sculpture garden, which showcases the likes of Auguste Rodin, Barbara Hepworth and Richard Serra, among other artists.
Recent travelers described the park as a "must-see" and advised future visitors to wear comfortable walking shoes. Others praised the interactive children's garden, which includes treehouses, a log cabin, a maze and a sense garden, among other features. If you can, reviewers recommended timing your visit for the park's annual butterfly exhibition. During the temporary tropical butterfly exhibition, which is held in March and April, more than 7,000 butterflies take flight in the conservatory.
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