The Roadtrip Chronicles continues! The next stop on our Georgia tour was in the tiny little town of Americus, 3 1/2 hours and 210 miles west of Savannah. With a population of roughly 17,000, it's a small town with a big personality. Americus is home to many well-known organizations, including Habitat for Humanity's international headquarters, the Rosaylnn Carter Institute for Giving, and the Fuller Center for Housing international headquarters. As for the reason why this little community was a destination on our journey - you'll have to stay tuned! What I can say is that it met all our needs for a quiet and charming area to relax before beginning the next chapter of our journey.
1. Visit the Historic Windsor Hotel
Built in 1892, this Victorian-style hotel was designed to draw in visitors from the north during the winter months. Special architectural features included a tower and turret, 100 rooms, balconies, and an expansive atrium lobby. After joining the Best Western family and completing recent multi-million dollar renovations, the Windsor held its grand re-opening in 2010, featuring special guests former President and Mrs. Carter. Whether you choose to stay here or elsewhere, be sure to check out the gorgeous architectural details while walking downtown.
2. Work at Koinonia Farm
Founded in 1942 as an intentional Christian community, Koinonia Farm established itself on the principles of community, equality, and social consciousness. The families and visitors of the farm decided to focus their efforts on improving the poor-quality local housing, a movement that eventually formed Habitat for Humanity, and later, the Fuller Center for Housing. Today, visitors can stop by for a few hours, or a few nights, as they tour the farm, learn about the history, and even participate in daily farm operations. Retreats and conferences are also held at Koinonia, where visitors are invited to stay, work, and serve.
3. Volunteer with New Horizons
Americus is the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity, and home to the organization's international headquarters. New Horizons, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, seeks to complete the same mission of eradicating housing and poverty issues, but works in a concentrated area, focusing on the town of Americus and surrounding communities. If you've ever wondered about Habitat for Humanity, their mission, goals, and the work that they do, visit New Horizons and experience putting the work on a local level.
4. Learn at the Global Village and Discovery Center
If you don't have time to put in a day's work volunteering with New Horizons, you can check out all that Habitat for Humanity is doing by visiting the Global Village and Discovery Center. Located at Habitat for Humanity's headquarters, this center features 15 life-size Habitat houses from around the world. Walk through the outdoor facilities and learn about the devastating effects poverty has had in communities world-wide, as well as what Habitat for Humanity is doing to provide relief.
5. Grab a drink at Thirteenth Colony Distilleries
Thirteenth Colony Distilleries is a 44,000 square foot facility in Americus and the only craft distillery in the state of Georgia. They have a range of products from whiskey to vodka to gin, and have won several gold medals for their work. Stop by for a drink (or two or three) and experience all there is to know about fine southern distilling.
I travel and then I write about it. I hope you enjoy my experiences, and can learn from my trial and errors!