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“Interactive Learning Environment” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gerald R. Ford Museum

Gerald R. Ford Museum
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Grand Rapids' pride in native son and 38th American President Gerald R. Ford is reflected in the museum that honors him, which transports you back to the 70s through interactive displays and holograms, including a chance to eavesdrop on an eventful day in the Oval Office.
Chicago, Ilinois
Level Contributor
46 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Interactive Learning Environment”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2014

I learned a lot about President Gerald R. Ford by visiting this museum. One of the most interesting exhibits was a replica of the Oval Office where you could choose different areas to learn about that included actual recordings from that era. If your child is a Boy Scout, this would be an especially interesting place to visit since President Ford was a big supporter of the Scouts and the impact it had on his childhood and upbringing.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank pauljen09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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726 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
91 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A great slice of history for $7”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2014

I never thought about the fact that Ford was President for just 2.5 years and that neither his Presidency and Vice Presidency were from elections. Its a great story of the the times, the contexts of his position (Watergate), and a snapshot of some current political figures in their very early years. Its not huge but I managed to stay engrossed for close to 3 hours and we left wanting to know more about some of the lives it covered.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank ti727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Most entertaining!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2014

This was the first presidential museum/library my husband and I have ever visited. My husband is an historian and has worked with major exhibits, and he was most impressed by this museum. They use mixed media to share information. Be sure to start with the 20 minute file to set the scene. Also, we found that you could gain a great deal of knowledge at any level you chose---skim for basics or delve deeper into more text provided. Regardless of your political leanings, you're likely to end up with great respect for this president and with a deeper understanding of the era Ford represents. The museum does a fabulous job of reflecting Ford's political views and contributions and his personal life as well. I think people of all ages would enjoy this museum. Let me add, the day we visited it was pouring rain and we were heading to the airport afterwards. We wanted a quick bite to eat somewhere. The museum guard directed us to the Holiday Inn across the street. We didn't have high expectations but were pleasantly surprised that the soup and sandwiches were both unique and delicious! Give it a try!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Cheryl S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan, USA
Level Contributor
55 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Doesn't Matter Whether You Liked The Guy Or Not...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2014

Gerald R. Ford was president only a short time, but a whole lot was going on then. Watergate, of course, and the fall of Saigon, but there was also the MAYAGUEZ Incident, WIN, the Helsinki Accords, a very controversial presidential pardon and multiple assassination attempts.

This museum does a fine job presenting the history of America's only (nationally) unelected vice-president and president; the displays are well thought out, informative and decently unbiased. An interesting history refresher for those of us who lived through the era, and a highly worthwhile presentation of that history for those who didn't.

No fan of the Accidental President during his reign, over time my feelings have mellowed a bit and I've found myself able to again study the man and his policies (including a trip to this museum) without a lot of my former bias.

Which may have come from that the legacy of Gerald Ford has grown more positive over time, especially as historians and others reassess that infamous pardon. The courage Ford exhibited making the decision and the fact I believe history has shown it to be the correct decision are why I find myself willing to concede, as Tip O'Neill--a Democrat Speaker of the House--is quoted as saying, "Ford...(was) the right man at the right time..."

What I got out of the Gerald R. Ford Museum was a worthy, intelligent presentation of a generally decent man.

Make the time and go see for yourself.

BTB: every item I perused in the gift shop was made in the USA--unlike at most every other important museum I've visited in the US. Thanks, GR Ford Museum--keep it up!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank paxMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, Mi
Level Contributor
121 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Small but a great museum to visit.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2014

This is a wonderful small Presidential museum right in the heart of Grand Rapids. The location is lovely and the burial sites are peaceful, even though located in the middle of a city. The permanent exhibits are well done and their special exhibits are always nice. You can't help coming away with a different view of President & Mrs. Ford after visiting and viewing the movie. Special people at a difficult time in our history.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Janice1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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