Presidents Day: 50 presidential must-sees, from Lonely Planet
Presidents Day is a good time to mull what presidential places in America are worth a look-see. Lonely Planet gathered 50 — one from each state — that provide good vacation ideas, whether for the long weekend or summer vacation.
Here are five destinations in the West that made the grade.
Arizona-Nevada: Hoover Dam plays the name game, from Hoover Dam (current name) to Boulder Dam (preferred by President Franklin Roosevelt, as a dis of his predecessor). No matter, here’s the real news you can use: “[T]he Arizona side has free parking, but Nevada’s has the ‘Dam T-shirt’ shop, tours and bad coffee.” It’s 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas and costs $11 for adults and $9 for kids 4 to 16 to tour the power plant, and $30 for adults and kids for a jumbo tour that includes the dam’s pasageways. Buy tickets from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Hawaii: This has to be the coolest presidential stop. Get an ice cream cone at the Baskin Robbins at 1618 King St. in Honolulu. Why? Because that’s where Barack Obama scooped out the cold stuff as a teen. Lonely Planet declares it “a bona fide presidential historic site.”
Colorado: Who knew? The third-floor rotunda at the state Capitol contains portraits of every U.S. president. The paintings were all done by artist Lawrence Williams, according to the state’s website. (The Mohave Museum in Kingman, Ariz., also has paintings of the presidents and first ladies by Williams.)
Alaska: Little Nenana, 65 miles southwest of Fairbanks, is the site of the final golden spike to complete the Alaska Railroad. Warren Harding arrived in 1923 to do the honors. Lonely Planet offers this historic tidbit: “[S]ome say he missed the spike on his first two tries. Two weeks later Harding died.”
Utah: The pick here is the Beehive House in Salt Lake City, the one-time home of Brigham Young built between 1853 and 1855. The presidential tie-in is Teddy Roosevelt, who apparently once slept here.