Yesterday I began a short trip report on my Kentucky Derby experience from last year. It involved flying to Dallas, then driving to Kentucky via Arkansas and Tennessee. My goal is to visit every U.S. Presidential Library and document it here. I’m already up to nine (of 14), though this will be my first “museum review” on the blog. Tomorrow I will cover the Bill Clinton library in Little Rock. Because of the inherent political nature of these museum reviews, I will limit my commentary, or at least do my best.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is a must-see stop if you are in the Dallas area.
There is so much I could say about his presidency and my “coming of age” during his eight years in the White House, but I will simply state that his museum is beautiful and contains something very fun.
First, the facts. The museum is located on the grounds of Southern Methodist University (2943 SMU Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75205) in North Dallas. Museum hours are from 9AM-5PM Monday thru Friday and 12PM-5pm On Sundays. Admission is $16 with various senior, adult, military, and student discounts available. A small parking lot is available on site: $5 for the first hour and $0.75 for each additional half hour. On the ground is also a restaurant called Café 43, with a “local first, Texas second” menu (.pdf). Hours are from 11AM-3PM. Also on the premises is a “Courtyard Café”, serving lighter fare and open from 8:30AM-4PM.
Mandatory security screening, just like at an airport, takes place as you enter the museum. After paying for your ticket, you can head right to the special exhibit (rotates roughly every quarter) or to the left for the permanent exhibits. The highlight of the museum is a 1:1 replica Oval Office. A photographer will be in the rom to snap a professional picture of you behind the Resolute Desk, but you can use your own phones or cameras to take pictures.
Here’s a look inside the museum:
The story of the Bush Administration is certainly one-sided, as are all presidential libraries, but supporter or not, it is worth recounting the Bush years at this museum. Give yourself a half day to fully experience it.