TRIP IDEA

A Half Day In Herbert Hoover's Hometown

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Mothers walk with their young children in a park with bright autumn foliage.
Duration Half Day
Topic(s) Architecture and Building, Birthplace, Burial, Cemetery and Gravesite, Prairies, Landscape Design, Monuments and Memorials, Presidents, Schools and Education, Churches, Commerce, Great Depression
Activities Junior Ranger Program, Self-Guided Tours - Walking, Museum Exhibits
Type Kid Friendly, Relaxed, Educational
Parks Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Whether you are taking a break from your drive on Interstate 80 or visiting eastern Iowa, park rangers recommend setting aside a half day to explore Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The park is only a half mile from exit 254 in a charming small town with food, gas, shopping, and rich historical heritage; and only ten miles from Iowa City, eastern Iowa's cultural, educational, and medical hub.

Activities
  • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

    Get Started At The Visitor Center

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Museum Exhibits
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
    • Duration: 30–60 Minutes
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day
    A ranger at an information desk assists a park visitor.

    Start your visit at the Visitor Center, where park rangers are available to answer questions and help you get oriented. Allow yourself about 30 minutes in the Visitor Center, which is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.

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  • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

    Be A Junior Ranger

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Junior Ranger Program
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day
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    The Junior Ranger program helps kids get involved and learn more about Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. Anyone can become a Junior Ranger by completing activities during a visit to the park.

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  • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

    Explore With The Mobile App

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Self-Guided Tours - Walking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    A screen from a mobile app shows shows a map and a highlighted feature.

    Use the mobile app on your visit to West Branch, Iowa to discover the places and people that shaped the early life of the 31st President.

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  • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

    Take A Self-guided Tour

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Self-Guided Tours - Walking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
    • Duration: 30 Minutes
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time
    Mothers walk with their young children in a park with bright autumn foliage.

    The grounds of the historic site are open 24 hours a day. Get the park map and guide and a Junior Ranger activity book from the Visitor Center. Download the mobile app to your phone or borrow a tablet. Then visit the Birthplace Cottage, Blacksmith Shop, Schoolhouse, Friends Meetinghouse, Statue of Isis, Gravesite, and other historic features of the park.

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  • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

    Tour The Presidential Library & Museum

    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Museum Exhibits
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum
    • Duration: 1–3 Hours
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day
    A sprawling one story public building of rough-faced yellowish stone has a white portico entrance.

    The Presidential Library and Museum is independently operated and maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), a federal agency. This museum houses millions of papers and over 300 collections relating to both President and Mrs. Hoover, their friends, and associates. Permanent galleries exhibiting artifacts of President Hoover's life take you from his boyhood in Iowa, through his public service career, and final years in New York.

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  • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

    Visit Downtown West Branch

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Self-Guided Tours - Walking
    • Pets: Yes
    • Location: West Branch Commercial Historic District
    • Duration: 30–60 Minutes
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Night
    The red awning on green wooden store matches it red and cream trim.

    The West Branch Commercial Historic District is just outside the historic site along Downey and Main streets. It is a national historic district which preserves fifteen downtown buildings built from 1875 through 1929. The buildings house shops and restaurants.

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Last updated: May 7, 2017