Happening Now

14 Food Trails Worthy of Packing an Extra Pair of Comfortable Pants (March 2019)

Exploring Algiers Point, New Orleans' Second Oldest Neighborhood (January 2019)

Postcard from Bristol Tennessee/Virginia (January 2019)

21 "Spirited" Stays Throughout The South (October 2018)

Checking In for the Night: Nine Bed-and-Breakfasts Throughout the South (October 2018)

Rhythm is Deep during Cumberland Caverns Live at Cumberland Caverns (September 2018)

Postcard from Panama City, Florida (August 2018)

Take a Tour of The Lewis Ranch (July 2018)

Reservations, Please! New and Upcoming Properties in the South (July 2018)

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Four Very Different Museum in One Place on the Mississippi State University Campus (July 2018)

Explore Revolutionary War Sites in the South (July 2018)

So Cool, It's Hot: Southern Summer Bucket List (June 2018)

"It's Ours!" Tennessee Town Reclaims Long Island Iced Tea (June 2018)

In a Travel Slump? Find Some Getaway Inspiration with These Four Destinations (June 2018)

Remember and Honor: Seven Military Museums to Visit Year Round (May 2018)

Postcard from Tupelo, Mississippi (May 2018)

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Seven Museums (and a Bonus) Not to Miss in New Orleans' French Quarter (May 2018)

Relax, Recharge and Refresh at Coldwater Gardens in Milton, Florida (April 2018)

Let's Go! Reconnect and Create Memories at These Seven Family Fun Destinations (March 2018)

So Many Reasons to Visit Nashville, Tennessee (February 2018)

Gowns, Costumes and History: 11 Museums (and a Bonus) That Highlight Mardi Gras (January 2018)

Take a Retro U.S. Road Trip with "Addicted to Americana" (January 2018)

Experience Valhalla Resort Hotel in Helen, Georgia (December 2017)

Shop Local: Nine Places to Find Distinctive Gifts (November 2017)

Pose, Snap, Post at Any of These Top Seven Instagrammable Georgia State Parks and Historic Site Locations (November 2017)

A Quick Peek Inside the Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta (November 2017)

It's Coming! Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange, Georgia to Open at the end of May 2018 (October 2017)

Take the Scenic Route: Three Drives not to Miss in the South (October 2017)

Postcard from Winston-Salem, North Carolina (September 2017)

Go, See, Do, Stay: Exploring Three Destinations in the Ozark Mountains (August 2017)

Edgar Degas and the Degas House in New Orleans (August 2017)

Find Unique Experiences in the South (and America) with "100 Things to Do in America Before You Die" (July 2017)

Dive in Gulf County, Florida with Daly's Watersports' "Discover Scuba Diving" (June 2017)

Unpacking the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama (June 2017)

Get Out(side) and Explore Seven of North Alabama's Natural Attractions (May 2017)

10 Things Not to Miss When Visiting Dollywood (May 2017)

Let the Concierge be Your Guide for Adventure in Gulf County, Florida (April 2017)

Discover Farmview Market in Madison, Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Natchitoches, Louisiana (October 2016)

Discover the Essence of the Florida Panhandle at State Parks (October 2016)

Experience Fayetteville, North Carolina (October 2016)

Nine Fun Ways to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Lexington, Kentucky (September 2016)

Get Out and Explore: Six States, 16 State Parks (September 2016)

Checking In...The Henderson in Destin, Florida (September 2016)

What to Do in Blowing Rock, North Carolina (September 2016)

Postcard from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (June 2016)

From Alligators to Whale Sharks: 10 Aquariums in the South to Explore (May 2016)

Postcard from LaGrange, Georgia (April 2016)

Nine Experiences to Enjoy in Bowling Green, Kentucky (March 2016)

Postcard from Middleburg, Virginia (February 2016)

Go, See, Do: Six Getaway-Worthy Southern Destinations (January 2016)

16 Things to Do in the South in 2016 (January 2016)

Rider or Not, There are Many Reasons to Visit Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson (October 2015)

The Great Georgia Escape: Discovering (and Enjoying) Big Canoe (September 2015)

Quick Glimpse into Birmingham, Alabama's Growing Culinary Scene (August 2015)

Discover the Vast Musical Side of the South with the Americana Music Triangle (June 2015)

Take Grilling to the Next Level with Grillocracy.com (June 2015)

True Cajun Experience Found at Crawfish Haven/Mrs. Rose's Bed and Breakfast (May 2015)

Experience Acre in Auburn, Alabama (May 2015)

Experience the Mississippi Delta with These Four Destinations (January 2015)

Four Days, Three Destinations: Exploring Columbia County and Augusta, Ga., and Aiken, S.C. (January 2015)

Finding the Perfect Southern Destination for Your Next Getaway (January 2015)

So Many Fun Ways to Spend Your Holiday Gift Cash in the South (December 2014)

Behind the Scenes: The Personal Collection (and Memories) at the Gone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square (December 2014)

Spending a Day or Weekend in Bardstown, Kentucky (September 2014)

"Celebrate" Your Getaway to The Pearl on Rosemary Beach (September 2014)

College Football Hall of Fame Debuts in Atlanta (August 2014)

Discover Alabama's Varied Culinary Side during Alabama Restaurant Week (August 2014)

Get Out and Enjoy Scallop Season (and Scallops) on St. Joseph Bay in Gulf County, Florida (August 2014)

Bringing the Past and Present Together in Rock Hill, S.C. with "75 Years, Still One Gear" (July 2014)

Four Reasons to Plan a Getaway to Sunny Isles Beach, Florida (July 2014)

So Many Ways in the South to Make This Summer One to Remember (June 2014)

Amp Up Your Doughnut Making (and Eating) Experience with Sublime Doughnuts' Kamal Grant's Cookbook (May 2014)

Streamsong Resort: A Golfing Resort Beyond the Ordinary in Florida (April 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Douglas Olsen (March 2014)

Celebrating Farmers and Farm Life with the Farm Star Living Website and App (March 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Sam Lodovico, The Resort at Glade Springs (February 2014)

Checking Out Charleston's Culinary Scene with Charleston Culinary Tours (February 2014)

Discovering Downtown Birmingham, Ala. with Alabama Road Trips (January 2014)

Season Two of "Emeril's Florida" Highlights Culinary Gems of South Walton (January 2014)

Chatting with Barbecue Champion and Restaurateur Melissa Cookston (November 2013)

"Cast Iron Chef" Competition to Heat Up the 3rd annual Brooks County Skillet Festival (October 2013)

Crowd Pleasing Recipes to Amp Up Tailgating (September 2013)

Discovering Georgia's Lake Oconee Area (July 2013)

Honoring the Man in Black: Johnny Cash Museum (June 2013)

Experience Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (June 2013)

Build Your Own Memorable Experience in Columbus, Georgia (May 2013)

South Walton’s Art Culture: People Behind the Creations (May 2013)

Louisville, Kentucky Beyond the Derby (May 2013)

City Insider: Mark Wyant, owner, The Saint Hotel in New Orleans (February 2013)

Dining Out at Osteria Tulia (January 2013)

Discover Florida's Charm with Emeril's Florida (January 2013)

Taste Nostalgia (and Fun) with Pure Sodaworks (December 2012)

Find Serenity (and More) at Red Horse Inn (December 2012)

In Tall Cotton: Chef Cory Bahr and Restaurant Cotton (November 2012)

Under the Grand Chapiteau with Cirque du Soleil’s Totem (November 2012)

Feelin’ Presidential: Presidential Sites Throughout the South (October 2012)

Eight Cool Southern College Towns (September 2012)

Mark Your Calendar... Fabulous Southern Fall Music Festivals (September 2012)

In the Kitchen with Chef Eric Fulkerson (August 2012)

Visiting The Inn at Magnolia Oaks (August 2012)

Journey to New Orleans Plantation Country (August 2012)

Turn Your Vacation into an Experience at the Plantation on Crystal River (July 2012)

Dazzle Your Summer with Fata Morgana (July 2012)

Coming Home to Hightower Creek Vineyards (July 2012)

Exploring I-95 in the South with Barbara Barnes, Author of What’s Great About I-95: Maine to Florida (July 2012)

Timeless Experiences Await You at High Hampton Inn (June 2012)

Discover Cummins Falls, Tennessee's Newest State Park (June 2012)

See Savannah on a Segway Tour (June 2012)

Newest Addition to Biloxi, Mississippi - Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant (May 2012)

Coming Home: Chef David Guas set for New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (May 2012)

Experience Southern Sweetness with South Carolina's Firefly Distillery (May 2012)

The Running of the 71st Iroquois Steeplechase (May 2012)

100 Years and Counting: Riding the African Queen (May 2012)

Get Into the Wild with Safari Wilderness Ranch (May 2012)

Discover Another Side of Spartanburg with the Underground Guide to Spartanburg (April 2012)

Get Out and Explore National Parks During National Park Week (April 2012)

Glide Through Downtown Memphis on the Segway Experience of Memphis Tour (April 2012)

Congratulations to Our "Adventure Time Getaway" Winner (April 2012)

The Tennessee Aquarium, 20 Years Later and Still Going Strong (March 2012)

Fashion Weeks Show Off Stylish South (March 2012)

What to do When You’re Not Breathing Baseball During Spring Training in Florida (March 2012)

Tables are Set for Restaurant Weeks in the South (January 2012)

Congratulations to our Couples Comedy Getaway Winner (December 2011)

Discovering South Florida’s Three Distinctively Different Kimpton Hotels (November 2011)

Congratulations to our Back To Nature Getaway Winner (November 2011)

“Fall” for the Outdoors and More in Wilmington, North Carolina (October 2011)

Festivals, Football, Foliage and Fun: The Many Reasons Fall is Great in the South (October 2011)

The New Must-Do’s in Raleigh, North Carolina (September 2011)

Culinary Delights and Cultural Gems Await You Along SW Alabama's Culinary Trail (September 2011)

Exploring Seaside with the Seaside Walking Tour (September 2011)

Ending the Summer with a Bang: Labor Day Weekend Fun in the South (September 2011)

Celebrating Food and Music at The Shed in Ocean Springs, Miss. (August 2011)

Extend Your Summer with an Outdoor Concert (August 2011)

Discover Southern Charm and Hospitality at Fairview Inn in Jackson, Mississippi (August 2011)

Living History (and More) Awaits You at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (August 2011)

Exploring New Orleans’ Culinary Scene During COOLinary (August 2011)

Celebrate Hampton Bear and Teddy Bears at High Hampton Inn (July 2011)

Fireworks, Parades and More: 25 Ways to Have a “Blast” This 4th of July Weekend in the South (July 2011)

Simply Southern...James Madison Inn in Madison, Ga. (June 2011)

Fun and Free (or Inexpensive) Ways to Celebrate Dad this Father's Day (June 2011)

Congratulations to Our Simply Delightful Getaway Winner (June 2011)

Discovering One of Florida’s Surprises: Paddling the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (April 2011)

Rediscovering old Florida at the Florida House Inn (March 2011)

Sip and Taste at the 26th annual Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival (March 2011)

Congratulations to our "Savannah's Best" Getaway Winner (March 2011)

Let’s Play Ball! Spring Training in Florida (February 2011)

Getting Back to Nature: Touring Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (February 2011)

Spotting Winter Wildlife (and Possibly Whales) in Virginia Beach, Virginia (January 2011)

Congratulations to our “Let’s Just Go” Getaway Winner (January 2011)

Finding “Treasures” on Jekyll Island, Georgia (January 2011)

Yo, Ho Ho: Exploring the Life of Pirates at the Pirate and Treasure Museum (January 2011)

It’s All About Experiences This Year in the South (January 2011)

Holidays are Hot at Hotels Across the South (December 2010)

It’s Nice on Ice–Where to Go Ice Skating in the South This Holiday Season (December 2010)

Congratulations to our Private Island Getaway Winner (December 2010)

Celebrating the Holiday Season in Williamsburg Virginia (December 2010)

Discovering Nu Wray Inn in Burnsville North Carolina (December 2010)

Thanksgiving Day Chef Competition at Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation (November 2010)

Many Reasons to Celebrate the Holiday Season at Gaylord Opryland (November 2010)

Discover the Birdhouse Trail in Monroeville Alabama (November 2010)

Congratulations to Our Casino Giveaway Winner (November 2010)

Get Out This Saturday for VISIT FLORIDA’s Great Beach Walk (November 2010)

Nathan Beaver set to Return to Perform in Madison Georgia (November 2010)

Fall for Fishing Along North Carolina’s Coast (October 2010)

Savor the Flavor in Polk County, Florida One Bite at a Time (October 2010)

Congratulations to Our Beach Giveaway Winner! (September 2010)

Discovering Mississippi's Culinary Trail (August 2010)

Going Coastal…Now is the Perfect Time to Visit the Florida Panhandle (August 2010)

Ways You Can Support the Recovery Effort in the Gulf (June 2010)

Get Out and Go to Alabama’s Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Soak in the Sun (and Fun) Along Florida's West Coast Beaches (June 2010)

It's New - The Titanic Museum Attraction (June 2010)

Celebrate Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country in 2010 (June 2010)

Tell Orlando (and the World) Why the City Makes You Smile (June 2010)

Fun Awaits You Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Staying Current on the Oil Spill in the Gulf (May 2010)

Where to Go for the Latest on the Nashville Floods (May 2010)

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Published: October 2012
Feelin’ Presidential: Presidential Sites Throughout the South  

reported by Sara Porch

While elections come and go, you can get your fix on all things commander-in-chief at the many historic presidential sites scattered across the South.

From childhood homes to presidential retreats, these historic locations allow you to get inside the mind, and sometimes the bedroom, of the men who occupied the United States’ highest office.


Eisenhower Birthplace State Historical Site allows visitors to see the humble beginnings of the United States’ 34th president. Located in Denison, the simple two-story house is the birthplace of Dwight D. Eisenhower and depicts what life was like in a burgeoning railroad town. There’s a 30-minute guided tour of the home, and afterwards you can enjoy learning more about the first Texas-born president in the Visitors Center.

When visiting the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park, you’ll see where the nation’s 36th president was born, lived and died.With a free driving pass from the visitor center, you can tour the former president’s spacious ranch, known as the “Texas White House.” The guided tour includes a look inside Johnson’s personal office. Just down the street from his home are Johnson’s birthplace and final resting place at the Johnson family cemetery. If you have more time, you can continue your tour by driving only fourteen miles to Johnson City. Here you can visit Johnson’s home from the age of five to 15 and the Johnson Settlement, a cattle driving headquarter that Johnson’s grandfather and great uncle began in the 1860s.

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers two presidential sites, The Presidential Museum and the George H.W. Bush House. While the Bush Home gives visitors the opportunity to see where George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, and George W. Bush lived during their time in Odessa, the nearby Presidential Museum gives visitors a unique insight into the office of the presidency. The museum contains campaign memorabilia, historical documents and the Leadership Library of the Presidents with over 5,000 volumes. Don’t miss the Dishong collection of First Lady miniature dolls. While on the topic of the 41st president, the George H.W. Bush Library is located on the campus of Texas A&M University. It holds over 44,000,000 pages of documents, 2,000,000 photographs, thousands of sound and video recordings, and 100,000 artifacts.

Only thirty minutes away from Odessa in Midland, is the George W. Bush Childhood Home. Tour the home the 43rd president lived in while attending elementary school and junior high. The house has been fully restored to its original 1950s appearance, when the Bush family lived there.


Woodrow Wilson is famous for leading America through WWI and forming the League of Nations, but the Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home tells the story of a young boy growing up in Augusta during the American Civil War. The Manse, a home belonging to a Presbyterian minister, has been restored to its appearance in the 1860s, when Wilson lived there. Tours of the Manse are available to see where Wilson first heard of Lincoln’s election and the start of the Civil War. Visitors can stand in the same front yard that Wilson did as he watched Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, walk through the streets of Augusta in chains on his way to prison.

Warm Springs Historic District is a unique presidential site because it was both a place of residence and a therapeutic retreat for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. With the exception of 1942, from 1924 to 1945 Roosevelt came to Warm Springs to use its healing waters to treat his polio. Roosevelt found the waters to be so beneficial that in 1926 he bought the resort and later built a cottage nearby for him and his wives. The cottage became known as the “Little White House.”  Both are open for tours.B. He suffered a stroke while sitting for a portrait in the Little White House, and died later that afternoon. The “Unfinished Portrait” of Roosevelt still sits in the house and is the highlight of the home’s tour. Since his death, the house has remained unchanged and provides an authentic representation of the celebrated president’s life.

With a population of only 683, Plains is a small rural community that also happens to be the hometown of the 39th president, Jimmy Carter. The former president’s influence on the town is still evident at Plains High School and the train depot. Plains High School has been transformed into a museum and visitors center dedicated to the school’s most famous alumni. A classroom, principle’s office, and auditorium have been restored and furnished in a 1930s style, when Carter attended the school. The school also holds an exhibit and a video that portrays Carter’s life in Plains and his presidency. Plains’ train depot was a functioning train station from 1888 to 1951, but in 1976 it was turned into Carter’s political campaign headquarters. Now you  can take a self guided tour through the museum-depot’s exhibit on the 1976 presidential campaign. Sitting just outside of Plains is Carter’s boyhood farm, where he lived from the age of four until he left for college. Take a guided walking tour or listen to Carter himself share stories about his childhood at audio stations. Plains may be a small farming town, but it remains apart of American history as the birthplace of a president and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum celebrates Georgia’s only president. Located in Atlanta, it is both a research facility and a museum. On display are photos and historic memorabilia from Carter’s presidency as well as a full scale replica of the  Oval Office during the Carter administration.


Harry Truman’s Little White House initially served as Navy headquarters during the Spanish American War, WWI, and WWII, but became Harry S. Truman’s favorite vacation spot during his presidency. Located  in Key West,  it a tropical retreat for five other presidents. Now it acts as a museum, but is sometimes still used as a place for government business and the occasional vacation. Professional docents provide fully guided tours that focus on Truman’s presidency, the Cold War, Naval history, and the history of Key West.


While the 11th president of the United States, James Polk may not be the most famous of the 44 commanders in chief, the James Polk House holds a multitude of historic artifacts and an intriguing presidential exhibit. The 1816 house stands in Columbia and is a perfect example of Federal style architecture. There are over 1,000 of Polk and his wife’s, possessions on display through out the home. One of the most significant artifacts is a photograph of Polk and his cabinet. Not only is this the first photograph of a president and his cabinet, but it is also the first photograph of the inside of the White House. After touring Polk’s home and the exhibit,  walk over to Polk’s sister’s home nearby. Here you  can see daguerreotypes of the president and his wife, White House gifts, campaign memorabilia form the election of 1844, and Mrs. Polk’s inaugural fan.

At the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, you  can see two homes and the final resting place of the 17th and first impeached president. Johnson’s early home in Greenville,  displays Johnson’s life before becoming president as well as his beginning political career. After visiting Johnson’s early home, visitors can take an intimate twelve person tour through The Homestead, the house Johnson returned to after his presidency. The home has been restored to its original 1870s appearance with most of its original furnishings. Before leaving the house, make sure to find the graffiti left by Civil War soldiers on the exterior of the home. During the war, the home was occupied by Union and Confederate soldiers, and both left their mark on Johnson’s home. One legible line of graffiti reads, “Fools names and monkey faces are often seen in public places.” You  can also see Johnson’s grave at Monument Hill. It is said that this patriotic president was buried wrapped in an American flag, holding a copy of the Constitution.


Illinois may be known as the land of Lincoln, but at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace will quickly remind you that America’s revered 16th president started his life in a modest log cabin in Hodgenville,. At the site’s visitor center, guests can tour exhibits about Lincoln’s childhood and pioneer life. You can even see a bible that belonged to Lincoln’s parents and greatly influenced Lincoln’s own ideas. Outside of the visitor center, is the “First Lincoln Memorial.” After walking up the memorial’s 56 steps, one for each year of Lincoln’s life, visitors enter the site of Honest Abe’s birthplace. Inside the memorial stands a symbolic log cabin that reminds everyone of America’s limitless possibilities.


Mount Vernon sits on the banks of the beautiful Potomac River, and was home to our nation’s first president, George Washington, for over four decades. The house now stands as it would have looked in 1799, the year of Washington’s death. The mansion has original furnishings and numerous Washington possessions, including Washington’s key to the Bastille and the swivel chair he used during his presidency. While touring the home be sure to visit Washington’s master bedroom on the second floor. This room was Washington and his wife’s retreat for forty years,and  the room where he died. Martha Washington closed it after his death, but now you can see this historic space. After visiting the master bedroom, you  can see Washington’s tomb. Mount Vernon is also home to the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center. See the famous Houdon bust of Washington, which offers  the most accurate likeness of Washington. There are also three life size wax models of Washington at ages 19, 45 and 57. These models were made using forensic anthropology, and are a must see for anyone who wants to stand in front the nation’s first president. The center also has Washington’s famous dentures on display. Don’t be too disappointed when you learn that they made from animal teeth rather than the fabled wood.

After visiting Monticello, it should come as no surprise that Thomas Jefferson, America’s 3rd president and the writer of the Declaration of Independence, died in 1826 more than $107,000 in debt. Jefferson meticulously designed and built the 5,000 acre plantation for more than 40 years. The expansive grounds may seem overwhelming at first, but Monticello offers several different tours that can fit into any visitor’s day.. In addition to touring the  house, you can walk through the plantation’s beautiful gardens. Although most of Monticello’s flowers were destroyed after Jefferson’s death, the gardens have been restored based on Jefferson’s original sketches.

photo credit: (top left) Three Presidents, Julia Fuge, Charlottesville CVB; (top right) LBJ, Austin CVB; (middle left) FDR Little White House, Explore Georgia; (bottom right) Andrew Johnson National Cemetery, Tennessee Department of Tourism Development; (bottom left) fish pond and Monticello, Mary Porter, Charlottesville CVB