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Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace

Location: Yorba Linda: 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays
Cost: $11.95 for adults and children 12 and above, $4.75 for children 7 to 11. (Children 6 and under admitted free.) Discounts available for seniors, students and active military as follows: Seniors (62 and older) are $8.50; military (with ID) are $6.95; students are $6.95 National dates of remembrance are usually offered as free admission days: President’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Veteran’s Day, Sept. 11
For ages: All

There are only 17 presidential libraries in the country, and we’ve got one of them right in our backyard. In fact, the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace is considered one of the most active presidential libraries in the country in terms of special exhibits and event programming.

Open since 1990, the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace is a 52,000-square-foot glimpse into life and politics in the 1950s through the 1960s.

With 22 permanent galleries across its marble floors – in addition to numerous changing exhibits throughout the year – there’s plenty to keep everyone busy. For an extra-musical tip, try to go on a Sunday near 2 p.m., when free concerts are held year-round.

Permanent exhibits include an actual presidential limousine parked in the “Domestic Affairs” gallery, a room of life-size bronze statues such as Winston Churchill in the “World Leaders” room, First Lady gowns at the “Gowns” exhibit, and a recording of the conversation between the president and the Apollo 11 astronauts when they landed on the moon.

Tucked among the gardens is the 1910 farmhouse where Richard Nixon was born.

Guests can see a 12-foot-high section of the Berlin Wall; walk through an exact replica of the White House East Room (available for weddings and special events); wander among the nine rolling acres through the First Lady’s beautiful rose gardens; and even visit the actual childhood farmhouse (built in 1910 from a catalog kit!) of the 37th president, who grew up in Yorba Linda.

The museum houses numerous changing exhibits throughout the year as well, from “Barbie as First Lady” and “Rockin’ the White House: Four Decades of Presidents and Popular Music” to a September 11 remembrance where 16 tons of steel from the World Trade Center were on display. Other temporary exhibits have included baseball memorabilia (since many presidents were baseball fans); a tribute to Bob Hope and his USO tours; a look at George Washington as architect; a 70-foot White House model with tiny working televisions and small carpets that reproduced the originals stitch by stitch (I saw that one!); and numerous holiday-themed exhibits, such as holiday cards to the White House or Christmas tree decorations. (Visit the Richard Nixon Foundation Web site to find out what rotating exhibit might be scheduled during your visit.)

A reflecting pond is part of the beautiful grounds.

Throughout the year, speakers, visitors and guests also arrive to give presentations — from Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

The museum also hosts celebrations on special national dates: President’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Veteran’s Day, Sept. 11 and others. Free admission is usually offered on those days (visit the Richard Nixon Foundation Web site to check before your visit).

Tours are available. Events such as weddings and dances may be scheduled for the grounds.

Where to park: Parking is free and plentiful in a lot off Yorba Linda Blvd. right in front of the museum

What to bring: Admission fee, camera. A souvenir shop is inside the museum. Strollers welcome.

For more information: (714) 993-5075  or visit the Richard Nixon Foundation Web site.

Have you ever been to the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace? Have any fun tips to share?

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