Plains Georgia – In Search of Jimmy Carter 39th President

We started our day early on February 7th and headed out to Plains, Georgia (population 727) in hopes of catching a glimpse of President Jimmy Carter. We had been told that he could often be seen around town. Our first stop was the Welcome Center. I’ll swear, the people of Georgia are a friendly and helpful lot. The lady there encouraged us to get a picture with the life sized cutout of the President, in case we didn’t catch him in town, so we did!

Plains is a quiet, friendly and bucolic farm of town that is known for being the home of the 39th President Jimmy Carter and the Peanut Festival. Main Street is home to a historic inn and antique shop and the Plains Peanut Store that serves peanut butter ice cream. The owners are generous and offer samples because they know that once you TRY the peanut butter ice cream you will have to have more. I recommend the Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream simply because it is delicious and there is nothing like it. Yum! Billy Carter’s service station is just across the street from main street stores.

The next stop was the Plains High School where Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter graduated high school. It has been turned into a very nice museum that is a must see. Of particular interest to me was the exhibit about the Carter Center. President Carter continues to touch peoples’ lives all around the world. More info here:

Next stop Marantha Baptist Church where President Carter still teaches Sunday School two Sunday’s a month.

On to President Carter’s childhood home, which is now the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site. He lived on a working farm in a house built in the early 1900’s. There was no electricity and heat was by stove or fireplace. A windmill provided water to the house and there was a bathroom in the house with only cold water with a bucket used as a shower head. There were two hand pumps on the porch, where laundry was done.

President Carter’s Presidential Campaign Headquarters in the old train depot is a museum with artifacts from the campaign and information on how he won the presidency.

Historic homes in Plains.

We did not get to see the President’s current home/compound. Secret Service agents do not allow you to get close. We went back to Main Street and ate at the Buffalo Cafe, an excellent eatery with homemade foods, down to earth staff, good service and good value. I had the best chicken salad and cole slaw that I’ve ever eaten. Eat there if you can. After our late lunch we headed over to the Plain’s Peanut Store and had a heaping helping of Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream. You must sit on the bench outside as you eat it and talk to the locals, who come up to welcome you to their town and ask you to come back. The epitome of inclusiveness.

I’ll leave this of trivia with you: President Carter was the first US president born in a hospital. Plains is an incredible experience. If you get the chance to go, don’t pass it up!