If you can't find the Hoover Tower when visiting Stanford University, don't worry. Just look up in the sky from any vantage point vaguely near the center of campus and walk towards the tallest building you see. Easily found by even the most casual visitor, the hours (7 days a week, 10-4) and cost (2$) are as delightful as the views from above.
After paying your admission fee and before entering the elevators, please note that there are two mini-museums of the Hoovers on the ground floor; the President's is on the right and the First Lady's on the left. I spent maybe 45 minutes in each and they are similar in layout, arranged chronologically from childhood through college and obviously containing the years in the White House and beyond. Far from being an exhaustive review of their lives or the Presidency, the permanent exhibits have a common thread of emphasizing Mr. and Mrs. Hoover's interactions with Stanford as well as the world at large. Sprinkled among the story boards and video monitors are various personal objects relating to the time period, such as Mrs. Hoover's embroidery or the President's gifts from foreign dignitaries.
After reviewing the first floor showcases, a visit to the top is a must. The elevators move quickly and the docents give a small description of the tower and bells on the ride up. Sweeping views of the campus and surrounding grounds greet you as the elevator door opens. Associated pictures of buildings and landmarks you see in the distance are posted inside the tower for identification purposes, and on a clear day you can even see San Francisco (!).
Overall I enjoyed my visit here and found the experience a rarity in travel: easily accessible, inexpensive, and enjoyable on both an educational and emotional level. Thumbs up.
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