AAA Editor Notes
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is at 2943 SMU Blvd., on the Southern Methodist University campus. Housed inside the 226,565-square-foot, LEED-certified George W. Bush Presidential Center complex, the museum features artifacts and multimedia exhibits pertaining to the 43rd U.S. president's time in office.
The Decision Points Theater offers an inside look at some of the difficult decisions Bush was faced with during his 8-year term. Using touch screens, visitors gather information about Bush-era crisis situations (think Hurricane Katrina and the 2003 invasion of Iraq) and evaluate the former president's response to those events.
Condolence letters, a damaged 22-foot-long steel beam retrieved from the World Trade Center debris, and other poignant reminders of the 9/11 terrorist attacks are displayed in the Sept. 11 Remembrance exhibit. Other noteworthy exhibits focus on topics like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 2000 presidential election, the No Child Left Behind initiative, the global impact of and fight against AIDS, first lady and SMU alumna Laura Bush's travels, and the Bush family's life in the White House.
Items in the museum's collection include photos, documents, campaign memorabilia, videos, news clips, replicas, statues and gifts from admirers and heads of state. A full-size reproduction of the Oval Office opens out to a rose garden—a lovely, tranquil spot for reflection—that overlooks a hilly, 15-acre park reminiscent of a Texas prairie. With pathways and seating areas surrounded by native trees, wildflowers, grasses and plants, the park is a great place to stroll and relax after your museum tour.
Note: The parking lot is small and requires the use of a credit card. As an alternative, park for free at the DART Mockingbird Station (5465 Mockingbird Ln.) and take the Bush Center/Meadows Museum shuttle (Route 743). A limited number of tickets is available each day; purchasing tickets in advance online is recommended. Upon arrival, visitors must pass through a metal detector.
Food is available. Time: Allow 2 hours minimum.