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The turquoise Princess phone in the corner was the first clue that the Plains Historic Inn in Plains, Georgia was going to be different from any other place we’d ever stayed. The second was the note from former President Jimmy Carter welcoming guests to the inn.
The Plains Historic Inn is located right on Main Street, the quaint block-long avenue that became famous to millions of Americans in 1976 when Jimmy Carter ran for president. The town is the anchor for the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site which is run by the National Park Service. Despite traveling all over the world, Mr. Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn still live in town, just a few blocks away.
The Inn’s seven rooms are decorated in the style of different decades of Jimmy Carter’s life; from his birth in the 1920s to his return to Plains in 1980. Rosalynn Carter helped select and find the antiques for each room while her part-time carpenter husband built out walls and refinished the wooden stairs.
We stayed in the 1950s room in all its retro glory. Besides the Princess phone there was an old-fashioned TV, the type with a 7″ black-and-white monitor nestled in a large piece of wood furniture. (For those who want to watch current shows, a modern flat-screen TV sits above it.)
Each room is also decorated with magazines of the period which are fun to flip through to see the old ads. Speaking of advertising, the 1960s room feels very Mad Men, making it a perfect spot to watch the show on Sunday evenings.
Guests can soak in a claw foot tub in the 1920s room while those feeling particularly presidential should book the 1980s room; with its formal décor it appears as if it just popped out of the White House.
Most of the weekend guests at the Plains Historic Inn are there to watch Mr. Carter teach Sunday School at the Marantha Baptist Church, where he teaches two or three days a month. Innkeeper Miss Jan is able to get front row seats for her guests to witness history in action.
Even without the Jimmy Carter connection, the Inn is one of the coolest places we’ve stayed anywhere. If you can visit when Mr. Carter is preaching, so much the better.
The Carters were incredibly gracious to pose with us and Little Rocky afterwards.
For information on the Inn go to: Plains Historic Inn
For President Carter’s Sunday School teaching schedule go to: Marantha Baptist Church
Click here for the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.