The Oval Office

Few people will ever see the President's oval office in the White House, but it is easy to view this exact replica at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta. Part of the Presidential Library system administered by the Federal government, this center was opened in 1986, five years after Carter's 1976-1981 presidency ended. It reproduces every detail of Carter's real office, including his actual furniture and simulations of the actual views of the White House grounds through the windows.

Regardless of what you think about Carter's role as a president, visiting this museum is unexpectedly fascinating. It displays many of the gifts that the Carters received, has great photographs and exhibits, and helps you visualize many aspects of the daily life of a U.S. president. Its setting in a 35 acre wooded park with an elaborate Japanese garden, cherry orchard, waterfalls, and lakes is spectacular as well.

There are a number of interesting and beautiful places to visit in Georgia, but downtown Atlanta does not at first appear to be a worthwhile tourist destination. Only a few minutes from downtown, the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum is a nice surprise.