Americus, Georgia is not exactly on a main thoroughfare. You probably wouldn't "just happen" to find yourself there accidentally. That's why I want to entice you to plan a deliberate visit to this smallish, south Georgia town. It's two and a half hours south of Atlanta and about an hour southeast of Columbus. You'll drive on rural roads passing acres of pecan trees, pine thickets, and farmland to get there. The drive will set the tone for your time in this pleasant slice of Americana, exploring my 3 reasons for visiting -- all starting with the letter H.
Windsor Hotel, crown jewel of downtown Americus, has been reigning proudly since it was built in 1892. The rich wood interior with lavish architectural details is a pleasing reflection of the past. You will hear some creaking in the floors and an occasional unevenness when you walk across them. Well, wouldn't you be creaking and uneven if you'd been welcoming guests for 132 years?!! The rooms, I assure you, are comfortable and furnished nicely.
There are other lodging options in Americus, but I urge you to let the Windsor Hotel be your first choice. Parking is free downtown, and there is a convenient lot behind the hotel. Breakfast is not included in the room rate, but it is available for a very reasonable price on the second floor in the Rosemary & Thyme restaurant.
A HAPPY NUMBER OF SHOPS AND EATERIES WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE
A giant plus for staying at the Windsor Hotel is the fact that you can eat and shop within a few steps of your guest room.
Some of my favorite shops were The Maze (owned by one of Rosalyn Carter's relatives), Three's Company Too, Kinnebrew, Minick's Interiors (their gift-wrapping is beautiful), Americus-Sumter Council for the Arts Gallery, and Horne Pecan Company.
Casual dining choices include Sweet Georgia Baking Company, Gyro City Mediterranean, and Little Brother's Bistro. A new upscale restaurant is The Spot. I found delicious food in all of these.
(Lunch at Little Brother's Bistro)
HISTORY -- The Civil War, a Past President, and a Walking Tour
Plains, Georgia is in the same county as Americus and only a 9-mile drive from downtown. Plains will forever be associated with our 39th U.S. President who was born there, graduated from high school there, and returned there after leaving the White House in January 1981. Please don't go to this area without touring the Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm, Plains High School Museum, and driving a few miles to see Maranatha Baptist Church where he taught Sunday School for many years. I wrote a blog in November about the Carters. Read it here.
Nine miles in the opposite direction, you will find Andersonville, home of a National Historic Site and the National Prisoner of War Museum. There you will learn the disturbing details of a time during the Civil War when "man's inhumanity to man" was at its worst. This is not a pleasant place, but it IS an important place.
Check in at the Visitor's Center and find out about the Haunted Walking Tour. No goblins will jump out at you, but you will learn fascinating details about former residents and bizarre happenings in the town.
I hope something in this post has caused you to want to go see it for yourself. Have a great time!