You’ve probably heard Milledgeville GA referred to as Georgia’s Antebellum Capital. And while that is a fair assessment, it is so much more. If you love exploring the outdoors while taking in a bit of Georgia’s history, this is just the spot!
Head to Milledgeville in Middle Georgia to soak up the sun at Lake Sinclair, bike along the Oconee River, tour the historic district filled with culture and art, and see the surprises offered on the Georgia College campus. Ready to learn more? Here are 21 of the best things to do in Milledgeville GA that you don’t want to miss!
COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN MILLEDGEVILLE
- Perfect for Fun Couples. This newly built Cozy Treehouse features an awesome rain head shower, living space with gas fireplace, comfy queen bed with huge window, and more. The kitchen has a fridge, Keurig, toaster oven, and microwave.
- Best Bed and Breakfast. The Inn on North Jefferson is a newly renovated Inn on North Jefferson Street is walking distance from restaurants and shops in Downtown Milledgeville. This beautiful antebellum home features a pool, multiple fireplaces, beautiful rooms, and more. With every reservation comes a breakfast at the award winning Local Yolkal Cafe.
- Best Historical Stay. The historical landmark, Rockwell House, once occupied by a Georgia governor and featured on the HGTV series Life Under Renovation offers breathtaking architectural features with a delightfully fresh interior design. Explore the charm for yourself as they now offer four individual guest suites or private overnight bookings of the entire house.
- Best Campsites. Thinking of roughing it along Lake Sinclair? Try a site at Little River. They include RV hookups or tent camping options. Pick one of the 39 waterfront sites for a little more, but it’s definitely worth it. Amenities include a playground, roped off swimming area, boat launch and dock, and more.
OUTDOOR THINGS TO DO IN MILLEDGEVILLE GA
You’re ready to play outdoors, but you just need some equipment? Then head to Oconee Outfitters for bikes, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, you name it. They can deliver to Lake Sinclair or Lake Oconee – so no excuses.
These guys have all the insight on the best places to go, so if you’re doing something with a group, be sure to also ask them about helping you plan a guided event.
Read More: LAKE SINCLAIR 17+ MORE REASONS NATURE LOVERS SHOULD VISIT MILLEDGEVILLE
If you’re a mountain biker (or want to be one) then make your way to Bartram Forest for more than 15 miles of great trails. The Green Trail is super easy for beginners, but not at all boring. There are also intermediate and advanced trails, plus a connector that sends you over to Selma Erwin Nature Preserve Trails.
If you’re not a biker, we still encourage you to visit. Grab a sandwich from Pickle Barrell Cafe and head here for a picnic along the banks of the Oconee.
OCONEE RIVER GREENWAY
Bike, jog, bring a fishing pole, or launch your boat from the Oconee River Greenway Park and Riverwalk.
The Greenway is a beautiful place to explore. Two small loops mean the kids can bike anywhere from .5 – 1.5 miles along the paved route, while safely catching glimpses of the river.
You’ll also find several fishing stations and boat ramp. This is a great place to put in your canoe or kayak and explore the waters here. The Oconee River Greenway is open during daylight hours 7 days a week. Parking is free, and leashed pets are welcome!
Read More: KAYAKING IN GEORGIA: 23+ UNBEATABLE SPOTS FOR PADDLERS TO LAUNCH
When the kiddos asked me to define an arboretum, I used the wording given to me by Lockerly: It’s a garden…for trees.
The locals love Lockerly Arboretum’s regular events and summer camps…but there is so much for a visitor, also! You’ll find 50 acres of beautiful shrubbery, trees, camellias, conifers and more to explore. The gardens are free to roam, and this is another great place for a picnic. They also have hiking trails here.
The Museum District is the cultural hub of Milledgeville, Georgia, with landmarks, art galleries, shopping opportunities, antique dealers, restaurants…it’s the genuine heartbeat of the area. It may not be your “traditional” outdoor escape, but walking the streets of downtown is a must!
Tour places like Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion (more below), the Brown-Stetson-Sanford House, or Andalusia Farm (more below), the Home of Flannery O’Connor (more below), while you’re there.
Along an unassuming country road, just outside of downtown lies one of Milledgeville’s best kept secrets — Comfort Farms. Comfort Farms aids in the therapy of veterans suffering from PTSD and other visible disabilities while recognizing butchers, farmers, and chefs who work together throughout the growing season to prepare seasonal and delicious meals from local, sustainable and organic sources.
Comfort Farms raises hogs, chickens, turkeys, and ducks while also cultivating heirloom seeds and seasonal vegetables grown in raised garden beds and greenhouses all for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Experience the farm via their Saturday Farmers Markets, Boucherie Festival (January) or Amateur BBQ Competition (September).
GEORGIA’S OLD GOVERNOR’S MANSION
The governors of the state did not always reside on West Paces Ferry in Atlanta; from 1838 to 1868 they lived in Milledgeville in this Greek Revival home, now known as Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion.
The mansion home to the governors of Georgia was also occupied by General Sherman during his March to the Sea. After the war, the government seat moved to Atlanta, and the building was abandoned. Today it is a museum, with creative events and myriad stories.
Andalusia Farm served as the home of famed American short-story author and novelist Flannery O’Connor from 1951-1964. In that time, she completed the bulk of her literary work, as the farm’s environment influenced the setting of many of her writings.
In 2023, Andalusia opened their multimillion dollar interpretative/visitors center. The center encompasses 5,300 square feet of exhibition, artifact storage, retail and conference space. The Center is designed around an open-concept storage facility allowing visitors greater access to the many personal affects collected at Andalusia. Visitors also will be able to view the work of curatorial staff to catalogue and preserve O’Connor’s material legacy.
First settled in 1814, Andalusia was a cotton plantation and farm until it was purchased by Flannery’s uncle Dr. Bernard Cline in 1931. While living in the Cline House in downtown Milledgeville, the farm served as a retreat where Flannery and her relatives could go to spend their free time out in the countryside. During the O’Connor’s residency, the site contained 14 buildings with over 520 acres of land that were used for dairy and beef farming.
Following a diagnosis of Lupus in 1951, O’Connor moved to Andalusia to live under the care of her mother Regina Cline O’Connor. During the 13 years she lived at Andalusia (1951 – 1964), she completed the bulk of her literary work, as the farm’s environment influenced the setting of many of her writings.
Today, Andalusia Farm is part of Georgia College’s campus and serves as a house museum. In early 2022 it was designated as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. Andalusia Farm is open for public tours Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Tours begin on the hour and the last tour begins at 4 p.m.
HISTORIC TROLLEY TOUR
Our family is a HUGE fan of trolley tours! It’s great for the kids, and a wonderful (restful) way to learn about the character of the town, and really take it all in. Milledgeville’s Historic Trolley Tours are one of the best.
Enjoy a 1-hour guided tour of entertaining history from the Civil War through modern day Georgia College, with special tidbits you won’t learn anywhere else!
WALKING TOUR OF MILLEDGEVILLE
Take a Historic Walking Tour of Milledgeville and learn more about what makes this Georgia city so great.
Pick up your free map at the Visitor’s Center (200 West Hancock Street) and take a self-guided tour past sites like Statehouse Square, and homes that feature examples of Federal-style architecture, enhanced by noteworthy Greek Revival, Victorian and Classic revival houses.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM AT GEORGIA COLLEGE
Inside The Georgia College sits a secret treasure – a 2,500-square-foot natural history museum!
In fact, the Georgia College William P. Wall Museum of Natural History holds one largest vertebrate paleontology collections in the Southeast, and it is an official repository for National Park Service specimens. All this – and it’s FREE!
CEDAR LANE CEMETERY
You’ve probably heard about Memory Hill Cemetery; Flannery O’Connor is buried here along with other prominent Georgia residents. And that is cool…but you know us. We love the AWESOME. For that, I recommend a visit to Cedar Lane Cemetery.
Here you will find a memorial made up of discarded metal grave markers, commemorating more than 25,000 individuals buried on the grounds who died while being patients at the Central State Hospital, Georgia’s first public psychiatric hospital.
Which is what leads me to the next must-do…
CENTRAL STATE HOSPITAL
Central State Hospital has many buildings that are falling into disrepair (spooooky!) so head to the museum on Broad Street in the Old Train Depot across from the CSH Auditorium. It highlights the more than 150-year existence of the hospital.
If you’re like us, you need more! Take a guided driving tour of the campus, which takes about an hour. You still can’t go near the buildings though; security guards are keeping watch. Both tours (plus the cemetery) are FREE.
Read More: ABANDONED INSANE ASYLUM: CENTRAL STATE HOSPITAL MILLEDGEVILLE GA
SALLIE ELLIS DAVIS HOUSE
The Sallie Ellis Davis House was the home of a dedicated and passionate Baldwin County educator. Davis was born in 1877 to an African American woman and a native Irish man. While she could easily have chosen to live her life as a daughter of privilege, Davis was responsible for educating hundreds of African American children despite the odds in a segregated South.
Ms. Davis worked her entire career as a teacher and principal at the Eddy School to touch the lives of Baldwin County children. She believed that through a combination of hard work and education one could accomplish anything. Her legacy, preserved in her home, is one of excellence. She encouraged her students to excel in all they did and to “reach for the stars” no matter what obstacles lay before them.
The Sallie Ellis Davis House is open for tours by appointment only. To schedule a tour, please call their office at 478-445-5889.
BEACH BASH (SUMMER)
If you’re thinking of exploring Milledgeville for the first time, this is your perfect excuse. Kick off your summer as they bring the beach to you at their Beach Bash held on the First Friday in June.
Eighty tons of sand will be dropped in the Post Office parking lot for a super fun beach party starting at 5pm. Bring your beach chair to relax while the kids enjoy beach toys, games, and more! Then, dig your toes in the sand and relax for a special showing of the movie Surf’s Up at dark.
LOCKERLY IN LIGHTS (HOLIDAYS)
Enjoy the holidays at Lockerly Arboretum! A family-friendly event, Lockerly in Lights in Milledgeville allows guests to drive through a winter wonderland filled with shimmering lights and festive, holiday cheer.
The one mile holiday lights display has emerged as a new seasonal favorite by offering guests a rare opportunity to experience Lockerly amid the moonlight.
The cost is $10 per car. Check or cash only.
DEEP ROOTS FESTIVAL (FALL)
The Deep Roots Festival is a lively cultural arts and music festival that beckons travelers from all over with an antique car show, live music, artist market, and a “LittleRoots KidZone.”
The festival also plays host to an MBN sanctioned BBQ cook-off contest featuring the ever-popular People’s Choice award that will draw BBQ connoisseurs from around the Southeast.
It’s a can’t-miss event held every October.
What is Milledgeville GA best known for?
Milledgeville, GA is best known for its pre-Civil War history and for being a vibrant college town. Milledgeville is one of Georgia’s oldest cities, and was the state capital in the 1800s. It’s also home to Georgia College u0026amp; State University and Georgia Military College.
Who was Milledgeville named after?
The town of Milledgeville was named for John Milledge, a Revolutionary leader, member of Congress, Georgia governor, and donor of most of the land on which Georgia College u0026amp; State University was built.
Why is Milledgeville important to Georgia?
Milledgeville is important to Georgia because it served as the fourth capital of Georgia (1804-68), including throughout the Civil War (1861-65).
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO GEORGIA
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WHERE TO STAY IN MILLEDGEVILLE
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