This ode to the 39th President of the United States of America is located in Plains, Georgia. The visitor center is located in what used to be Plains High School, the school that Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, attended as teenagers. You can also visit The Boyhood Farm, The Depot, Maranatha Baptist Church, and several buildings in downtown Plains that maintain constant celebration of the hometown hero.
Presidential Hometown Passport
Aside from the junior ranger book, visitors can also complete the Presidential Hometown Passport. This program takes you on a tour of the town where Carter grew up and returned to after his time in office. We visited the Carter Peanut Warehouse (currently home to delicious peanut butter ice cream), a smiling peanut that was once featured at a campaign rally in Indiana, Carter’s boyhood home and farm, Maranatha Baptist Church (you can catch him leading Sunday School here several times a month), and the Plains Depot that served as his campaign headquarters. Visit twelve of the sites in the book to earn a special medal!
Explore Learn Protect
Explore: Grab your peanut butter ice cream from the old Carter Peanut Warehouse and walk around the downtown area to visit the Plains Depot and Billy Carter’s Service Station if you want to step back in time. The boyhood farm is still home to goats, chickens, horses, and a few cats. This is one NPS site that doesn’t require you to stay at least 25-50 yards away from animals. Don’t forget to wander down the road from the visitor center to snap a selfie with the smiling peanut!
Learn: Participate in the junior ranger program, visit the boyhood farm/house, and check out the museum at the visitor’s center to learn about Carter’s childhood (the beginning of his journey to join the Navy, an early love of reading, and work on the farm and in the family store to instill a strong work ethic), his time in office ( one of only four presidents to win a Nobel Peace Prize, the development of the Department of Education and Department of Energy, and lots of conservation efforts), and his life as a civilian (he can still be found working hard at Habitat for Humanity sites and teaching at Maranatha Baptist Church.)
Protect: Be mindful of the artifacts and historic buildings that you encounter while visiting the site. Fill free to drop a few dollars in the donation box located in the visitor center to help with upkeep of the site and continue educational efforts that are offered here.