Travel is more than just relaxing on beaches and enjoying delectable cuisine. Travel is an education, a way to learn more about the people and places around us.

While in Plains, Ga. in July 2021, we experienced a history lesson and a science lesson in one beautiful story. It starts with a former First Lady and continues with a movement to save one of God’s most beautiful creatures.

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable butterflies with its orange and black color and a wingspan of up to four inches. The monarchs were disappearing as the plant they needed to survive, milkwood was disappearing too, according to The Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail’s website.

The former First Lady of the United States and Georgia decided to create a garden for them in her hometown of Plains. The idea grew outside of her small Georgia town. According to the butterfly trail’s website, you can now find gardens at schools, residences and in public places.

There are trails in many of the 50 states and even outside of the U.S. Two are in Japan.

The Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail locations

Since I discovered the butterfly trails, I wanted to see more of them. But my middle-aged brain sometimes forgets things. I also hoped I would capture a photo of one of the beautiful butterflies. I haven’t.

We did make a point of looking for it on Neely Hill in my hometown, of Rome, Ga. This is where Rome’s most recognized landmark, the clock tower stands. That is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year but especially when the flowers are in bloom.

One of the newest gardens is just outside of Rome in the gorgeous town of Cave Spring.

The butterfly trail could serve as a great guide to seeing beautiful gardens and places around the South and the U.S. You can learn more about the locations here.

Plains, Ga. is also worth a visit if you love presidential history and Southern small towns. You can read more about our visit to Plains here.

Rosalynn Carter passed away Sunday at the age of 96. She will be remembered for our contributions to mental health and her charitable work with her husband, former President Jimmy Carter. The Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail is just part of the beauty she created.

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