A Stop in Staunton, Virginia

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is on North Coalter Street in Staunton, Virginia.

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential LIbrary is on North Coalter Street in Staunton, Virginia.

I spent Father’s Day weekend at my parents’ house in Maryland. On my way back to North Carolina on Monday afternoon, I took a Staunton, Virginia, exit off of I-81 to stretch my legs and fuel up. A brown and white road sign for the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library caught my eye, so out of curiosity I traveled the 3.2 miles down into town. The route was well marked and I found the historic attraction easily.

The Woodrow Wilson Library is actually a series of buildings that includes Wilson’s birthplace, an Admissions & Gift Shop, and the Woodrow Wilson Museum. I was told that the library per se, with all its documents and archives, is not open daily to the public but is available by appointment for research purposes.


The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is a series of beautiful buildings: Museum (far left); Admissions & Gift Shop (middle); & the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace (foreground), where President Wilson was born on December 28, 1856.

I was feeling a bit stingy and a bit tight on time so I didn’t pay the $14 Admission fee, which covered a self-paced tour of the museum and a guided tour of Wilson’s birthplace. I did, however, peer through the glass panels of the museum where I spied President Wilson’s shiny black 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine. An advocate for the automobile, Wilson took rides nearly every day during his presidency.  The Pierce-Arrow was a beauty!


The glass-paneled garage at the Woodrow Wilson Museum contains Wilson’s 1919 Pierce-Arrow.

Behind the buildings was the best free attraction I could have hoped for: historic gardens! The grounds were sloping, so the gardens had a tiered effect.  Here are some of the pictures I took before hitting the open road once again. Enjoy!


The back side of the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace faces the historic gardens and is even prettier than the front, I think.


From the patio of the Birthplace, a view of one of the summer houses in the historic gardens at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. The buildings in the background are part of Mary Baldwin College.


The lower tier of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library historic gardens is a maze of hedges.


Here, I’m standing in one of the two summer houses. In the background is the maze of shrubs formally referred to as a “boxwood bowknot parterre.”


A peaceful spot in the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library historic gardens. (Staunton, Virginia)

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