Trip Ideas

4 History Stops Your Family Needs to See

From a folk art wonderland to a president's boyhood farm, these sites in Middle Georgia specialize in telling unforgettable tales.

  • Pasaquan

    Lesli Peterson

The Presidential Pathways region of Georgia is most widely known for Providence Canyon and Callaway Gardens. While we adore those places, we recently took an "off the beaten path" history tour with our kids. Here are four stops we made that your family is sure to love, as well.

Andersonville National Historic Site in Andersonville

Andersonville National Historic Site. Photo by Lesli Peterson

This national park in Andersonville is located on the land of Camp Sumter, one of several Civil War POW camps. Andersonville National Historic Site is infamous because the population bulged from the recommended 20,000 soldiers to more than 45,000, with exceptionally harsh conditions over 14 months.

Today, it sits as a memorial to the 13,000 who died here, as well as all American POWs throughout history.

Andersonville National Historic Site in Andersonville, Georgia

When you bring the kids, like we did, be sure to ask about the free Junior Ranger Program. It should take about 1.5 hours to complete. And, don't forget to stamp your National Park Service passport.

Pasaquan in Buena Vista

Today, Pasaquan is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered among the most important visionary art environments in the United States. It was home to Eddie Owens Martin (known as St. EOM), and he transformed it into a magnificent folk art installation in Buena Vista.

Pasaquan in Buena Vista, Georgia. Photo by Lesli Peterson

Through the pain-staking work of the Pasaquan Preservation Society, it was maintained after Martin's death. It closed for two years while the Kohler Foundation and Columbus State University renovated the art.

Thankfully, it opened to the public again last year, more amazing than ever. In fact, CNN named it one of the "16 Intriguing Things to See and Do in the U.S. in 2016." Take note that it is closed July and December.

Take a look at the video and photos we took on our adventure with the kids.

Biblical History Center in LaGrange 

Lesli Peterson

The Biblical History Center was founded by Dr. James Fleming, a Christian archeologist who lived and studied in Israel. Through financial help from the Callaway family, Dr. Fleming created a museum in LaGrange with the goal of putting the Bible into perspective via a "living history" exhibit.

We toured the grounds as well as the Archeological Replicas and the Biblical Life Artifacts Gallery, which contains more than 250 biblical period artifacts from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Grape presses at the Biblical History Center in LaGrange.

If you want to experience something special, schedule a Passover Meal at the Center. Our guide explained the ancient customs of the time, from the opening blessing to the incorrect depiction of da Vinici’s Last Supper painting. The meal costs extra, but it's worth the cost if you plan to visit.

Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains

SAM Shortline in Plains, Georgia. Photo by Lesli Peterson

The sprawling Jimmy Carter National Historic Site offers several points of interest, including the Official State School of Georgia (previously Plains High School), where Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter graduated. The kids will adore arriving at the Train Depot via the SAM Shortline; it served as Jimmy Carter's Presidential Campaign Headquarters.  A little further down the road you can visit Carter’s Boyhood Farm where he was raised. 

Learn about President Carter's childhood on a tour of the farm where he grew up in Plains.

The Carters still live in Plains. Although their home is off the touring circuit, you might catch a glimpse of President Carter at Maranatha Baptist Church. He teaches Sunday School at various times of the year. The schedule is posted on the church webpage.


Lesli Peterson is Georgia’s official Family Explorer. Find more of her family-friendly tips and trip ideas on ExploreGeorgia.org, and visit 365AtlantaFamily.com for more itineraries and tips. 

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