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Top 10 Tips for Visiting First Ladies National Historic Site

Front of the Saxton House with red, white, and blue bunting between the 8 pillars on the front porch and a brown metal sign with gold words First Ladies National Historic Site.
The Saxton House at First Ladies National Historic Site

NPS

Plan like a park ranger and use these insider tips to have a great visit to First Ladies National Historic Site. We’re expecting an especially busy summer season and want everyone to have a great experience. A little advance trip planning can ensure that your only surprises are happy ones. Check out our top 10 list to get the most out of your visit

Plan Like a Park Ranger

Looking for all the basic information about First Ladies NHS in one convenient place?  

Be sure to check out our parks website, www.nps.gov/fila for all your questions about the site. There you can Plan Your VisitLearn About the Park, or even learn how to Get Involved !  

Need to find info about the site on the go?  

Be sure to download the new NPS Mobile App and have access to information about 425 National Park Service sites right from your phone, including us! You can even download park info ahead of time and have access when low on cell service. Download it now for free through the App Store and Google Play.  

Throughout the National Park System there are dozens of varieties of National Park units. As an urban National Park unit, we are dedicated to serving our community, as well that those who travel to visit us. Any updates or current conditions about the site are always available to you on our website, or by phone. We also care deeply about visitor safety and encourage guests to check the weather and review our safety policies before their visit.  

Navigating the site in an urban setting can be challenging. To help with this, we created a Getting Around First Ladies National Historic Site video for visitors to watch before their visit. We also have written directions along with a series of site maps for use as well. 

The Getting Around video does cover all accessible parking and entry points, but you can also find additional information on our site’s accessibility page. 

Begin your visit at the Education Center, located in the historic City National Bank. At the education center visitors can explore our museum of rotating exhibits, watch the film, and get their official Passport to your National Parks cancellation. 

In the Education Center you can participate in our Jr. Ranger Program. Junior Rangers are those who vow to help Explore, Learn, and Protect our national parks. Our Junior Ranger books are available for children 8 and under and everyone 9 and over. They are also available online, or you can request a book be mailed to your home! Once you complete your book, you will earn a collectable Junior Ranger badge. There are more than 400+ Jr. Ranger programs and badges you can collect.  

We offer limited tours of the Saxton Home. A knowledgeable docent or park ranger will guide you through the former home of Ida McKinley. By learning the story of this former first lady, you'll be able to understand the difficulties of this very public position. 

You can also tour the Saxton House from home though our Virtual Video Tour and our Photo Gallery Tour, and earn a virtual Passport to your National Parks cancellation stamp. 

If you're looking for a bite to eat near First Ladies National Historic Site, check out the many restaurants in downtown Canton. There are also a variety of lodging options in Stark County. You can also request a free travel guide for trip planning from the Canton-Stark County Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Interested in learning who is a first lady, or more about a specific first lady?  

The National First Ladies Library maintains the foremost repository of scholarly research and information about the First Ladies of the United States. The NFLL works collaboratively with the National Park Service and others to operate, support, enhance and promote the First Ladies National Historic Site. To learn more about a specific first lady go to their Research Page for biographies and bibliographies on each first lady, along with additional research tools.  
 

Looking to visit other National Parks near by?  

In Ohio we are fortunate to have 8 different National Park units spanning over 2,000 years of history and culture for the buckeye state. Civil rights and military history, natural and scenic resources, the birthplace of aviation, first lady history, the war of 1812, presidential legacies, and prehistoric culture can all be discovered here in your Ohio National Parks

While visiting First Ladies NHS, along with other National Park Service locations, we ask visitors to recreate responsiblyleave no trace, and practice patience. National Parks are busy places, and like most attractions you’ll visit this year, we may be short-staffed. But if you can give us a little more time, we are always here to help.    

Last updated: June 2, 2021