Travel Journal – Ford Museum in Grand Rapids

Gerald R. Ford Museum, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

Visit to Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids MI

by Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer

This past September, after a doctor appointment in Grand Rapids, our family decided to visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you get the chance to be in Grand Rapids, take the opportunity to visit whether you are young or old. The museum has two levels and depicts much of President Ford’s life.

Gerald R. Ford Museum athletic display, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

Gerald R. Ford became president after Nixon resigned in 1974 and served until 1977 and lost the election to Carter. While we were there, we learned that he played football for the University of Michigan and was offered pay to play with the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packer football teams, but he declined. Ford played other sports: golf, tennis, skiing and swimming.

Gerald R. Ford quote, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

As you go throughout the museum, you will see the remakes of the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room, the setting of a dining table for an event that you can customize a menu for. Also, the history of him being in the Navy and a Navy ship that was named after him after he passed away on December 26, 2006. You will see his desk that was in his Grand Rapids office that has items from his congressional desk in Washington, D.C..

Gerald R. Ford Museum remake of Oval Office, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

Not only is this museum about him, it is also about the life of his wife, Betty. From being First Lady, her wardrobe, and to health struggles that she endured. A replica scale-down model of the White House is on display as you can navigate on touch screens what is where in and around the White House. Our daughter definitely had a huge history lesson that day!

Gerald R. Ford Museum display of medals, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

There are places where you can grab a seat and enjoy an informative video that depict times of Ford’s life. A gift shop can also be found on the main level. On your way out, the tombs of President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford are on the grounds next to the Grand River. There is a pedestrian bridge that you can look over the river and enjoy the view of downtown Grand Rapids.

The Grand River flows next to Gerald R. Ford Museum through Downtown Grand Rapids MI, Photo by Rebecka Hoyt

The website for the museum has a lot more information, where you can see some exhibits, the museum store, as well as short & long videos. If you have not been here yet, I highly recommend it.

About The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum: The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is a 54,000 square foot educational and cultural facility, located on the bank of the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. This setting provides a prestigious venue for a meeting, reception, and/or dinner. The Museum offers a 15,000 square foot permanent exhibit, and a 3,500 square foot changing exhibit gallery. Convenient parking.

  • Website:
  • Typical Hours:
    • Monday – Saturday: 10am-5pm
    • Sunday: Noon-5pm
    • Last entry to museum: 4pm
  • Admission: 
    • $11.00 for adults
    • $9.00 for senior citizens and military service members
    • $8.00 for college students with ID
    • $5.00 for youth ages 6-18
    • Free for children under the age of 5
    • Free Parking is Available for all Museum Patrons

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