Yesterday was Woodrow Wilson’s birthday. To celebrate the occasion, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum offered a free admission open house. This was my first visit to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum and I found the experience to be quite interesting and memorable.
The museum did a great job laying out the museum and crafting the atmosphere to match the time and emotion of the period. For example, in the World War I Trench exhibit the wall is lined with sandbags, realistic battle sound effects play in the background, and the area is dimly lit. The museum has an impressive collection of artifacts from the war as well as Wilson family belongings and period artifacts such as election memorabilia.
The museum is best described as an immersive history lesson. Information about Wilson’s life, his family, WWI, and other topics is throughout the museum and displayed alongside documents and objects that relate to the text. A few large and especially impressive exhibits are scattered around the museum such as Woodrow Wilson’s Pierce-Arrow limousine, a World War 1 trench, and Wilson’s Princeton Study.
I also enjoyed the guided tour of Woodrow Wilson’s birthplace which is located next to the museum. It is filled with his families belongings and furnishings from the period. The tour guides seemed enthusiastic and genuinely interested in presenting their section of the manse.
Following my visit to the museum, I had a wonderful dinner at Mill Street Grill. Harrisonburg, VA has several excellent fine dining options and there is no need to leave the city to enjoy great food. But if you are visiting Staunton, VA attractions such as the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, Frontier Culture Museum, or the American Shakespeare Center, there are also many fantastic places to eat in Staunton.
Check out our Getaways in Virginia page to view our Woodrow Wilson, Staunton, & Shakespeare package. This is a great deal that includes two nights stay in one of our beautiful queen rooms, tickets to any nightly performance at the American Shakespeare Center, tickets to either the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum or the Frontier Culture Museum, and of course our gourmet “Breakfast to Remember” each morning during your stay with us.