Presidential Treats and Retreats - Page 2

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Theodore Roosevelt
Even though Theodore Roosevelt is considered to be the most well traveled of all presidents, there aren't many places to follow in his footsteps. Luckily for us, historians and Roosevelt admirers reconstructed the New York City brownstone in which Teddy spent his formative years, telling his story within. Upstate, find Buffalo's Ansley Wilcox House, where Roosevelt was sworn in after the assassination of William McKinley. There is the surprising 17-foot monolith of Teddy that stands tall in a grove on the little spit of land called Roosevelt Island, in the Potomac channel between D.C. and Rosslyn, Virginia. But perhaps the best spot to recapture the spirit of our outdoors president is to head to North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the region Teddy credited to crystallizing his conservationist ideals, to changing his life.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
One of the most evocative presidential monuments ever created—and D.C.'s newest— is dedicated to FDR. The open-air memorial, on the banks of the Tidal Basin across from Jefferson, preserves the legacy of this great leader in four contemplative galleries (one for each presidential term). The nation's first Presidential Library, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, stands in Hyde Park, New York, along with Springwood, home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, and Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill Cottage. The 300-acre site is full of trails and camping facilities, so you can really soak up the world of our longest-standing president.
John F. Kennedy
Think John F Kennedy, think Dallas and Boston. Located in the School Book Depository, where the fatal shots were fired, the Sixth Floor Museum in Dealy Plaza, Dallas, is dedicated to the life and times of JFK; it explores the assassination as well as its investigation. Boston's John F. Kennedy Presidential Library features an Ernest Hemingway collection in addition to presenting the "essence" of the President's life and career. (The Kennedy compound, just a distant away, out on Cape Cod, is only for those with high connections, but the ambience of Hyannis may draw you anyway.) Kennedy's legacy as patron of the arts lives on in the performing arts hall that carries his name; The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., continues his mission of bringing music and plays to the people. For a more somber memorial to Kennedy, cross the Memorial Bridge over to Virginia and visit Arlington National Cemetery, which contains the Kennedy's grave, marked by its eternal flame.

Richard Nixon
Located in Yorba Linda, California, the boyhood home of Richard Nixon has been restored by a private foundation and includes the presidential library, Pat Nixon's extensive gardens, and the final resting places for both Nixon and his wife. But the scandal that cost him the presidency is how many more remember him. Take a wander around the Watergate complex in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and soak up the political atmosphere. Lots of high-level types still take up residence there (remember someone named Monica?).

Jimmy Carter
No other president in recent years has had such ties to his hometown as Jimmy Carter. The Jimmy Carter National Preservation District encompasses the area surrounding Plains, Georgia, and includes the President's current residence, his boyhood home, the school in which he was educated as well as the railroad depot, which was used as campaign headquarters during the Presidential election in 1976. The Carter Center, where his worldwide social work is conducted, is only open by appointment.

Washington, D.C.—Presidential Moments
Once you've seen the White House, ground zero for any political junkie, head out for the more esoteric presidential spots.
The Washington Hilton, the Dupont Circle hotel where John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan. Worth a drive-by.
The Blair House, across from the White House, where Harry Truman escaped an assassin's bullet; he lived there while the White House underwent renovations.
The Octagon House (which is actually hexagonal) was where the Madisons lived after the British burned the White House in 1814.
The Smithsonian Institution's exhibit on the life and times of our First Ladies' inaugural gowns and more.
The Smithsonian's brand new celebration of "The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden" opened its doors this November.

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Best Hotels in Washington, DC

$443
Average/night*
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#1
Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square
$349
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#2
Palomar Washington DC, a Kimpton Hotel
$463
Average/night*
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#3
InterContinental THE WILLARD WASHINGTON D.C.
$429
Average/night*
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#4
Park Hyatt Washington

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