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Gerald R. Ford Museum, Grand Rapids

4.5
#2 of 34 in Things to do in Grand Rapids
Specialty Museum Museum
Interactive exhibits and a collection of 20,000 artifacts and memorabilia at Gerald R. Ford Museum allow you to learn about the life of the former president, his wife, and political partners. Browse through hands-on galleries, see videos and holographic displays, and experience sound and light shows portraying historical events and highlights. You can join in a typical work day at the Oval Office complete with actors voicing Ford, Rockefeller, and other important people. For a taste of pop-culture from the era, you can view memorabilia from the 1970s including platform shoes and eight-track tapes. The museum is also Ford'sĀ final resting place. Put Gerald R. Ford Museum at the forefront of your travel plans using our Grand Rapids vacation builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
809 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We're attempting to visit all the Presidential Museums. Was shocked to find out that President Ford's father abandoned he and his mother, and the President changed his name to reflect his step-father ...  more »
  • A legendary museum filled with history. This is definitely a great stop in Grand Rapids. Good parking and beautiful setting along the Grand River and overlooking the city. Enjoyed! PS: Nice reception ...  more »
  • The museum is a lovely tribute to President Ford, who is buried on the grounds. The grounds are gorgeous! The museum was recently expanded and remodeled and is even better then before. Good parking lo...  more »
Google
  • We had a GREAT visit. Took a trip from WI over to Grand Rapids, with only plans to visit the zoo, and the city, and decide what we wanted to do. On our first night we drove around the city and found the city museum and the Gerald R Ford Museum. We learned so much and the whole family had a good time! Great stop while in Grand Rapids.
  • The updated core exhibit is beautiful an fascinating. Prepare for a complete story of GRF's life from birth to burial, including his accidental presidency, presented through a comprehensive variety of artifacts, interactive screens, photographs, and recreations of the Oval Office and cabinet Room. Give yourself a couple of hours to do this place justice. A variety of programs are available for children too, so make sure to check their website if you're planning on bringing younger visitors.
  • I was a little disappointed with this preside tial museum, as I have been to a few. It seemed less a snapshot of the era, and more a monument to a perfect man, and an edifice to excessive patriotism. There was a public relations film for the Boy Scouts, which seemed out of place, and over-the-top America The Beautiful music that could be heard continually throughout the museum. And foot-tall superlative adjectives that supposedly describe this President. Lastly, finding this place was not easy, with the road construction and the GPS leading me to the service entrance. Instead of a building an advertisement to Ford and how he was the perfect cotizen, why not showcase the major events taking place at the time, and his struggles? A little humility wouldn't kill you. I actually enjoyed the first floor art exhibit more than the Ford exhibit. Unlike other museums, I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Sorry.
  • Enjoyable afternoon experience. Great way to interact and learn history. Walk the halls and tour the decade of President Gerald R Ford! Additionally they have beautiful grounds surrounding the museum that are worth making extra time to enjoy. Easy walking bridge to downtown Grand Rapids shopping and dining as well. This is on the GR Must See list!
  • If you are a teacher, you need to talk with the GR Ford Foundation to help set up a classroom or grade level visit. After having hundreds of our students go down to the museum this year, the feedback has been that the trip was nothing short of exceptional. Thanks to Clare and her staff for being amazing with our kids!

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Where to stay in Grand Rapids

Only five hotels provide lodging downtown, but each charms its guests with a distinctive character. A small collection of bed and breakfasts and inns populate Old Town. These hotels are a five-minute walk from the city's main attractions, top restaurants, and conference centers, so they tend to fill up fast. Book a room early to ensure you get the lodging of your choice. There are also hotel chains near the airport and in residential areas; public transport and taxi service link these to the city's downtown.
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