Visit Jimmy Carter National Parks Hisoric Site in Plains, Gerogia- Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter learned the importance of hard work, honesty, virtue, love and mercy in the quaint, rural town of Plains, Georgia.
History and Things to Do
Working as full partners, the Carters have dedicated their lives to peace, human rights and public service throughout the world. Come explore the community that influenced and shaped the life and values of the 39th President of the U. S.
Rosalynn Carter Gallery - The First Lady From Plains Georgia exhibit provides visitors with a glimpse into the life of a First Lady. The displays focus on her life experiences from childhood to her work in the field of mental health. It offers a unique view of the presidency through the eyes of the First Lady.
The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site and Preservation District was established to benefit, inspire and educate the American people and "to preserve the key sites and structures associated with Jimmy Carter during his lifespan; to provide for the interpretation on the life and Presidency of Jimmy Carter; and to present the history of a small rural southern town." But, what about Rosalynn Carter? She worked by her husband's side supporting him both as a wife and partner. This exhibit, Rosalynn Carter:
First Lady From Plains, Georgia documents the life of a once shy, small-town girl from rural southwest Georgia who grows up to inspire a nation and command the attention of the world as a strong, confident First Lady working alongside the Nation's President.
The gallery focuses on:
The Early Years: Growing up in Plains, Georgia
Military Life and The Return to Plains
The Governor's Mansion
The '76 Campaign and The White House
Office of the First Lady
The Post-Presidency and Life Today
It provides visitors the opportunity to learn about how the Carters have always lived according to a philosophy of hard work, adherence to principles, compassion, stewardship, integrity, and courage. This philosophy has its basis in the roots of the culture in which the Carters were raised.
Plains High School serves as the park museum/visitor center. Visitors find a restored and furnished classroom, principle's office and auditorium. Other rooms feature exhibits that explain the Carters' lives in Plains, including political and business careers, education, family, religion and post presidency. There is a 25 minute video that focuses on the life and accomplishments of Jimmy Carter told by those who know him best, his friends, neighbors and family.
The Plains Train Depot contains a self-guided museum with exhibits focusing on the 1976 Presidential Campaign. It served as a train depot from 1888 to 1951, when passenger service to the area was discontinued. The building was opened in 1976 as Jimmy Carter's Presidential Campaign Headquarters and during that time approximately 10,000 people a day came to Plains to find out about candidate Carter. Many state primary victories, as well as the presidential victory, were held in the streets around the depot.
Garden and windmill
The garden and windmill offer unique insight into life on the farm.
The Boyhood Farm was owned by Earl Carter, Jimmy's father, from 1928 until the late 1940s. Jimmy Carter lived here from the age of four until he departed for college. The farm is restored to its appearance before electricity was installed in 1938. As you stroll along the walking path, stop and read the wayside exhibits at various points along the way. Push the buttons on the audio stations to listen to Jimmy Carter share stories about his childhood. Visit the boyhood home and explore the other buildings on the farm. Stop by the large barn to greet the goats and Francis, the mule.
Educational, Junior Ranger and Boyscout Activities
For Teachers Plan A Field Trip
The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site includes the Plains High School Museum, the Plains Depot, and the Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm providing the perfect indoor and outdoor
classroom for field trip studies. Teachers have several options for bringing students to visit the park. We can assist you in arranging guided day programs or a self-guided
tour. Field trips may be scheduled electronically or for additional information contact:Annette Wise, Instructional Specialist
Phone: 229-824-4104 ext.16
Educators have a variety of opportunities to bring lessons from the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site to their students. Classes may also visit the historic site to learn in a setting similar to that which helped foster the ideals of the 39th President of the United States. The Education Program for the historic site is operated through a partnership between the National Park Service, the Georgia Department of Education and Sumter County (GA) Schools. Through the Education Program, teachers can find a
variety of resources which include classroom activities, workshop information, guidance on scheduling field trips, workshop opportunities, and much, much more.
Be A Junior Ranger
The Junior Ranger Program provides a way for young people ages 7 to 12 to expand their knowledge about President and Mrs. Carter, the historic site, and the National Park
Service. If you are planning a visit, stop by the park visitor center and pick up a Junior Ranger Booklet. If you get stumped on a question, you can ask your parents for
Please feel free to download our Junior Ranger Booklet (PDF, 1.37MB). Upon completion, you can receive a certificate and badge after mailing the booklet to the park. The
mailing information is listed inside.
Historical Hike Patch
Historical Hike patch that may be ordered upon completion of the hike. Jimmy Carter Historical Hike
This hike is designed for Boy and Girl Scout groups, but is also available for all hikers interested in learning about President Carter's life and presidency. Groups should have a hike leader over the age of 21. It is a 5-mile walking history lesson through the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site and Plains, Georgia. The hike starts at the Plains High School, out to the Carter Boyhood Farm- roughly 2 miles from town, and returns to Plains.
The hike was established as an Eagle Scout Project for Matthew Hart of Boy Scout Troop 231 in Americus and is administered by Boy Scout Troop 27 in Americus. Most of the hike is on public land owned by the National Park Service; however part of the hike is adjacent to private property owned by the citizens of Plains. Please keep off these lands. Please abide by the rules of the hike. Please feel free to download a copy of the Jimmy Carter Historical Boyscout Hike(PDF, 175KB).
Upon completion of the hike and answering the required questions, you may order a patch for a small fee. Mail the completed form with a money order in the correct amout to: Jimmy Carter Historical Hike
Boy Scouts of America-Troop 27
402 Rigas Road
Americus, GA 31709-2720
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Phone & Address
Phone: Visitor Information - 229-824-4104 - Address: 300 N Bond St, Plains Georgia 31780
Operating Hours, Seasons & Phone Contact
The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site welcomes visitors with free admission to the park daily. We suggest that you start your visit at the Plains High School which houses the park's Visitor Center and Museum. The historic site is open daily except on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Operating Hours are as follows for the different facilities in the park:
The Plains High School Visitor Center and Museum - 9 am until 5 pm
The 1976 Presidential Campaign Headquarters- The Train Depot Museum - 9 am until 4:30 pm
The Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm- where Jimmy Carter lived from the age of 4 until starting college - 10 am until 5 pm
Fees & Reservations
Entrance to the historic site is free. There are no parking fees. A donation box is available at the Plains High School Museum/Visitor Center.
Interested in bringing a church, civic, social or other organized group to the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site? Guides and demonstrators may be available to address
your group upon your request. Availability is dependent upon current staffing and the season. Two weeks advance notice of your group's arrival is appreciated and will
ensure a better experience for your group. Park staff is available to help you plan your visit to the site. Please contact us with your group's name, tour date, group
size and expected arrival time. We look forward to seeing you in Plains!
Special Use Permits are required for all activities outside of normal visitor use. Activities could include the use of park facilities or property for organized meetings, family reunions or commercial filming. Special Use Permits are issued at the Superintendent’s discretion and an application process is required. Requests may be denied due to the lack of sufficient time to process the request or due to event impacts on park resources. A fee may be required for processing the application. Additional fees may be required to reimburse the National Park Service for expenses incurred as a result of supervising the permit. Fees for Special Use Permits, when applicable, must be paid before the special use, event, assembly, or meeting. For more information, please contact us.
Directions from Atlanta
From Atlanta on Interstate 85
Take I-85 South and bear right onto ramp at exit 21 to I-185 South (GA-411 S, Chet Atkins Pkwy). Continue on I-185 S (GA-411 S, Chet Atkins Pkwy) and bear right onto off-ramp at exit 1A to US-27 S (US-280 E, GA-520 E). See directions from Columbus to Plains below.
Prepare Your Trip - Things To Know Before You Come
There is no public transportation in the town of Plains.
If you are visiting with the SAM Shortline Excursion Train, please watch for traffic and listen for the train horn. If you are left by the train, there may be no way of
returning to your departing station in Cordele or Americus.
The town of Plains may be small, but a major US Highway (280) runs through Plains. Caution must be used when walking and driving in order reduce accidents.
Enjoy your walk around town in order to get a closer view of the buildings and the scenery, but please observe all traffic and park regulations.
Be aware of snakes, poison ivy, wasps, bees and fire ants (characterized by the red sandy mounds) which can have a painful sting. Always wear shoes to protect yourself.
Visitors must be aware to respect the privacy and rights of the residents of Plains.
Weather in SW Georgia can change in the blink of an eye during the summer months. Thunderstorms and high temperatures can make it unpleasant for visitors. Check the local forecast and dress appropriately.
There are no drink machines in the park facilities; however, there are plenty of places in town to get refreshments.