American presidents inspired these grand old hotels
Pair history with exploration when you and the family check into a storied hotel inspired by an American leader.
Here are five to consider:
1. McKinley Grand Hotel, Canton, Ohio
This boutique, independent hotel is the ideal home base from which to learn about our 25th president.
Visit the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum for interactive, hands-on science exhibits, a planetarium and a historical library.
The permanent McKinley Gallery display chronicles the path of a leader who was teaching in a country school when the Civil War broke out.
Born in 1843, he served 14 years in the U.S. House before becoming president. A second term was cut short by his death at the hands of an assassin.
Family travelers can also visit the nearby Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ask about seasonal and football-related packages.
2. The Jefferson, Washington, D.C.
Get comfortable in this 95-room famed hotel and learn about its epicurean, intellectual, farmer, inventor and presidential namesake.
Kids will get a kick out of the free and fun “Where’s Tommy?” tour of the capital city. Begin the adventure in the Beaux Arts-style hotel’s cozy library before making your way to eight locations where Thomas Jefferson is remembered.
Notice the lobby sky light that was discovered during a recent renovation and admire the collection of antiques, historic artwork and original, signed documents that mix with modern amenities.
For every room booked, the hotel honors Jefferson’s devotion to education and love of literature by sponsoring the purchase of a children’s book for the D.C. Public Library’s Books from Birth program. The program sends all enrolled D.C. children one Imagination Library book to keep each month from birth until they turn 5.
3. Bungalow Hotel, Long Branch, N.J.
President Ulysses S. Grant declared Long Branch the nation’s “Summer Capital” in 1869.
Located on the iconic Jersey Shore, the coastal enclave also boasts the oceanfront Seven Presidents Park, where six additional men, fans of the coastal town and leaders who shared the same top job, are honored. Visitors can access the park’s mile of public beach, volleyball courts, a playground, shelters and changing facilities.
Today, guests can also enjoy Pier Village, a mixed-use beachfront, Victorian-inspired community where restaurants, shopping and beach time provide modern respite.
The Bungalow Hotel, located just steps from the beachfront boardwalk, offers rooms and suites with kitchenettes.
4. The Roosevelt, New Orleans
This historic 504-room hotel was first officially named to honor President Theodore Roosevelt in 1923 and recognize his efforts to build the Panama Canal, an event that served the city of New Orleans well.
For a brief time, the landmark hotel operated under a different moniker. Then, it closed for a $145 million restoration after Hurricane Katrina and reopened, once again, as The Roosevelt.
Just steps beyond the old-world grandeur of the hotel, you’ll find the famed French Quarter, shopping, museums, galleries and, of course, music.
A personal concierge is available to help craft a family-friendly vacation. Ask about the Family Fun package to create a memorable getaway in the Big Easy.
5. U.S. Grant Hotel, San Diego
Located in the city’s historic Gaslamp Quarter, the grand hotel was renovated by our 18th president’s son, Ulysses S. Grant Jr.
Enjoy classic architecture combined with modern decor for a relaxing and luxurious family getaway.
Take note of the hotel’s $6.5 million collection of artwork, created by world-renowned artists from various backgrounds. The sculptures, ironwork, murals and paintings express the cultural landmark’s blend of history and modern approach to hospitality.
Enjoy nearby shopping, and the famed Southern California beaches and amusement parks, just a short drive away.
Lynn O’Rourke Hayes is an author and family travel expert (TNS). Her website is lohayes.com .