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 & State University campus. Ready to learn more? Here are 17+ 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.
CAN’T-MISS THINGS TO DO IN MILLEDGEVILLE
AUTHOR FLANNERY O’CONNOR HOME AT ANDALUSIA FARM
Flannery O’Connor is one of the most notable authors of southern gothic literature in the mid-20th century, writing short stories and novels addressing religion and her experience in the American South. Andalusia Farm served as her home 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 March 2023, the Andalusia Interpretive Center opened after GCSU acquired the historic property. The Interpretive Center sits just off of Highway 441 only a few miles north of Milledgeville at the front gates of Andalusia Farm, the home of Flannery O’Connor.
Guests entering the interpretive center are greeted by one of the most iconic pictures of Flannery — her standing on the steps of the Andalusia Farmhouse with her peacocks.
Grab a copy of Wiseblood from the bookshelf and have a relaxing read in a rocking chair on the porch overlooking the property to get an authentic view of life on the fabled farm. Take a guided tour of the house museum with a GCSU docent and see the famous peacocks. Several benches and vintage chairs are placed beneath a shady oak where O’Connor often sat, perfect for reflection and remorse that the author died too early.
Pro Tip: Andalusia is having a moment or two, in film. Watch these movies before you head over for a visit. Flannery, a critically acclaimed award-winning film, has sparked joy and renewed interest in the feisty female author. In addition, director Ethan Hawke also took a deep dive into O’Connor’s life for his new film Wildcat, hoping to tell her story in a way that helps the viewer make sense of her worldview. You can watch Wildcat on Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix.
Along an unassuming country road, just outside of downtown lies one of Milledgeville’s best community resources, Comfort Farms. 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, they also support veterans.
With a beautiful mission of helping veterans in crisis, the Saturday Farmers Market has assisted over 80 veterans in the past three years. Displaced veterans suffering from PTSD and other invisible hardships have since been reintegrated into families, society and the economy.
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).
Without barriers or visible limits, the vastness of a sunrise over Lake Sinclair is awe-inspiring and downright blissful, which means that I am happy and at peace.
Bring your boat or rent one from a local marina like Twin Lakes. If exploring on a solo adventure makes you happy, rent a jet ski.
Get out there and explore! Stop by Oconee Outfitters for bikes, canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards. Book a private float down the Oconee River or have equipment delivered to your door at your vacation rental on Lake Sinclair.
I had a brief moment of clarity about how to get on the board during my private paddle board lesson from the owner when he dropped off my gear. Find your balance with a meditative paddle on the lake or try a few yoga poses.
These guys have all the insight on the best places to go, so be sure to get suggestions and recommendations before you head out. Namaste.
OUTDOOR THINGS TO DO IN MILLEDGEVILLE GA
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 and exciting for beginners. You’ll also find intermediate and advanced trails, plus a connector that connects with the Selma Erwin Nature Preserve Trails.
The trails are great for biking, but they’re also awesome for a walk or run. Grab a sandwich from Pickle Barrel Cafe and head here for a picnic along the banks of the Oconee River.
OCONEE RIVER GREENWAY
Bike, jog, fish, or launch your boat from the Oconee River Greenway Park and Riverwalk, a beautiful place to explore. Two small loops are perfect for kids who can bike from half a mile up to 1.5 miles along the paved route, while safely catching glimpses of the river.
Find several fishing stations and boat ramp to put in your canoe or launch your kayak to explore the waters here. The Oconee River Greenway is open during daylight hours seven days a week. Parking is free, and leashed pets are welcome!
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.
LIVING HISTORY IN MILLEDGEVILLE GA
GEORGIA’S OLD GOVERNOR’S MANSION
The governors of the state of Georgia did not always reside on West Paces Ferry in Atlanta; from 1838 to 1868 they lived in Milledgeville in this 1852 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.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM AT GEORGIA COLLEGE
Inside Georgia College sits a secret treasure – a 2,500-square-foot natural history museum!
The Georgia College William P. Wall Museum of Natural History holds one of the largest vertebrate paleontology collections in the Southeast, and it is an official repository for National Park Service specimens.
Visit the Paleozoic, Mesozioc and Cenozoic Eras and see fossils from Georgia and all around the world! Located in Herty Hall, Georgia College’s Natural History Museum offers an explanation of the history of life through geological time. The museum also boasts a planetarium which is open for special events, including stargazing, throughout the year.
The museum is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30p.m.
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, the Brown-Stetson-Sanford House, or Andalusia Farm while you’re there.
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.
She encouraged her students to excel in all they did and to “reach for the stars” no matter what obstacles lay before them. As a woman, and one of color, she speaks for many who are voiceless and still acts as a role model. You’ll definitely want to visit the place where this woman changed lives.
The Sallie Ellis Davis House is open for tours by appointment only. To schedule a tour, please call their office at 478-445-5889.
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.
CEDAR LANE CEMETERY
You’ve probably heard about Memory Hill Cemetery; Flannery O’Connor is buried there 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 was once known as the world’s largest mental institution. The hospital still serves some patients, but has significantly downsized — leaving behind buildings and a complex history.
You can take the Central State Campus Trolley Tour on select Saturdays to learn more about its history.
LE PIED DU MONT BOUCHERIE FESTIVAL (WINTER)
The Le Pied Du Mont Boucherie Festival serves as a fundraiser and educational gathering of butchers, chefs, farmers and veterans coming together to celebrate the start of growing season.
The event supports the STAG VETS INC Agro-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program to help combat veterans transition effectively into civilian life at Comfort Farms (mentioned above), the nation’s first Veterans Acute Crisis Agriculture Center.
The Le Pied Du Mont Boucherie Festival is a two-day educational event, designed to bring the community together to witness the craft of butchers, farmers, and chefs who work together throughout the growing season to prepare seasonal and delicious meals from local, sustainable and organic sources.
LOCKERLY IN LIGHTS (HOLIDAYS)
Enjoy the holidays at Lockerly Arboretum! A family-friendly event, Lockerly in Lights in Milledgeville allows guests to drive (or walk!) through a winter wonderland filled with shimmering lights and festive, holiday cheer on Friday and Saturday nights.
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.
Friday nights are drive-through only at $15 per car, cash only. There are no advance tickets for Friday nights. Saturday nights are walk-through only and advance tickets are required. Tickets for the walk-through nights are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.
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.
DAY TRIPS FROM ATLANTA (printable)
Download this 1-page checklist of Day Trips from Atlanta to print at home or your local print shop. Perfect to keep in a binder, bring on your adventure or just put on the refrigerator!
(PS. Some of this list is detailed in our article, 31 Day Trips From Atlanta That Should Be Top of Your Bucket List.)
Format: PDF, US Letter Size, Portrait (8.5”x11”)
You will receive one PDF file. File will be emailed and available for download up to three times upon payment. No physical item will be shipped.
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 and 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 and 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
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- MACON: 23+ Magnificent Things To Do In Macon GA You Won’t Want To Miss
- WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures
- SPRING BREAK: 13+ Perfect Spring Break Ideas For Fun-Loving Families In 2023
- WHISTLE STOP CAFE: A Secret Film Set & Awesome Fried Green Tomatoes Restaurant
WHERE TO STAY IN MILLEDGEVILLE
We make no guarantees of any price listed on our site. We are not responsible for content on external web sites linked from ours, including linked resources, an external blog post, any partner site, hotel property sites, or affiliate sites. We only write about places we love in an attempt to help you in your adventures, but we can’t guarantee you will love them, too.
Posts may contain affiliate links at no cost to you. Several of our trips are also compensated by the respective tourism boards for the city or state we are visiting. This never impacts how we share the destination with you – opinions are always our own and we pride ourselves on that. We do not sell links or accept unsolicited guest posts under any circumstances. Don’t even ask.
United States Copyright, 365 Atlanta Family, LLC