Celebrating Presidents Day in Georgia at a state park

FDR's Little White House - Warm Springs, Georgia
The Little White House in Warm Springs, Ga. (Photo courtesy GDEcD)

ATLANTA — President’s Day is an opportunity to honor the 44 men who have served as the Leader of the Free World and learn a little history.

Georgia has deep connections to presidential history. In honor of the day, Georgia’s state parks have outlined four places to explore on this federal holiday.

Roosevelt’s Little White House, Warm Springs

Franklin Roosevelt was first attracted to the small town of Warm Springs in 1924 while looking for a cure for polio. He then constructed the Little White House as his personal retreat in 1932 and visited it frequently during his presidency until his death in 1945. Step back in time and explore the impeccably preserved house, which features FDR’s 1938 Ford convertible and the half-finished portrait that Roosevelt was sitting for at the time of his death. For those looking to extend their visit, accommodations may be found in the nearby F.D. Roosevelt State Park.

For more information on this site, visit GaStateParks.org/LittleWhiteHouse.

F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain

Located near the Little White House and encompassing over 9,000 acres, this is the largest state park in Georgia. It features more than 40 miles of trails, most notably the popular Pine Mountain Trail. Bring a picnic lunch and relax at Dowdell’s Knob, a favorite overlook of the former president. It is marked by a life-size sculpture of Roosevelt. For those wishing to plan an overnight stay in the park, campsites and cottages are available for booking.

For more information on the park, visit GaStateParks.org/FDRoosevelt.

SAM Shortline Excursion Train, Cordele

Take a trip back in time and enjoy a train ride through Georgia in vintage 1949 railcars on the SAM Shortline. This railroad runs from Cordele to Archery. The train stops in quaint towns filled with fun attractions, restaurants and shopping and one is the city of Plains, Georgia, which is the hometown and current home of former president Jimmy Carter. The city’s depot was Carter’s campaign headquarters and visitors can learn more about him at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.

For train schedule and tickets, visit GaStateParks.org/SAMShortline.

Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site, Fitzgerald

While the Confederate president might not be a traditional first thought for President’s Day, a visit to Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site signifies the monument where he was arrested by Union forces in 1865. Davis and his remaining staff members were camped in this pine forest, not knowing that pursuit was so close behind. At dawn, gunfire ensued until the federal forces realized they had been shooting at one another. Today, visit the monument to learn more about this battle, and the site also offers a museum and gift shop.

For more information, visit GaStateParks.org/JeffersonDavis.

Editor’s Note: State park descriptions are courtesy Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites.

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