Georgia's first lady invites visitors back to governor's mansion

The Georgia Governor’s Mansion reopened for public tours about a year ago, but staff said it is only recently that the number of visitors has started to rebound after the coronavirus pandemic.

First lady Marty Kemp said she wants Georgians to know they are invited to tour the home and property on West Paces Ferry Road.

"It’s the people’s house," said Mrs. Kemp. "So, we encourage them to come."

Prior to the pandemic, visitors were only allowed to walk through the first floor of the mansion. Now, Mrs. Kemp has opened up the grounds during tours as well.

"I just want them to feel welcome, and come to the mansion, and just enjoy the beauty of it, ‘cause you know, it is 18 acres," said Kemp.

The first lady highlighted some of the changes she has made to the property, including a large woodland area that features a winding path flanked by native plants. The new landscaping also incorporates a dry creek bed and pond to help with drainage on the property.

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The Kemps have refurbished former Georgia first lady Elizabeth Carlock Harris’ rose garden behind the mansion.

"[We wanted] to restore it and make sure it was still as pretty as she wanted to have it in 1983," explained Mrs. Kemp.

They have also added a chicken coop, a beehive and a "Georgia Grown" garden, which helps stock the mansion’s kitchen. Visitors can buy jars of honey produced by the "First Hive."

"People that are in Atlanta, or in the surrounding counties, that don’t have access to go to rural Georgia, you know, I want them to be able to see some of the things that we offer in the state," said Mrs. Kemp. "To support our farmers is so important, because I mean, no farms, no food."

The governor’s mansion is open for tours from February to October on Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Visitors must sign up online