Five places to rendezvous with presidents

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The White House may be the official residence of the U.S. president, but it's only a temporary address. The former homes and libraries of presidents offer an inside look into the lives of the select few who served as the nation's leader.

As we witness a new leader take office and celebrate past commanders-in-chief on President's Day this month, CNN asked William Clotworthy, author of "Homes and Libraries of the Presidents," to recommend five places for travelers to see a very human side of history's presidents.

There's more than split rails at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville, Kentucky. The site, run by the National Park Service, offers exhibits and walking tours so the visitor can experience a little of the frontier life that shaped the nation's 16th president.

Ronald Reagan's final resting place can also be an excellent starting point for those curious about his life. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California, not only houses all Reagan's official presidential papers and records, but also includes such personal objects as his college letter sweater, movie memorabilia from his film career and even a glass jelly bean jar.

Home to George Washington for most of his adult life, Mount Vernon in Virginia has been open to a curious public since 1860. Nearly 80 million visitors have toured the first president's home since then, making it the most popular historic home in the United States. On Presidents' Day, admission is free.

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