Just over an hour from Marietta and Macon, clocking in at under an hour from Atlanta, you will find the beautiful town of Madison, Georgia. Located off I-20 and on the Antebellum Trail, Madison is truly a town with something for everyone!
1. ‘Perk’ Up!
Start the day with a cup of amazing coffee at Perk Avenue, located in the historic downtown area. Perk Avenue also offers breakfast, lunch, ice cream, and often offers live music on weekends.
2. Look back at history through the antebellum architecture.
This beautiful city is filled with history, especially when it comes to the antebellum architecture here. One popular way to take it all in and not miss some of the finer details is to purchase a combo tour to Heritage Hall, Rogers House, & Rose Cottage for $15 (students $10, under 12 are free). Friendly and informed docents will guide you through each home, providing information on the history, furnishings, and local legend.
3. Heritage Hall
Crystal Jackson Photography
Many of the docents are lifelong Madison natives, so you will be treated to the personal touches that they add to the stories. All three of these historic homes are within walking distance of the historic Madison Square.
Crystal Jackson Photography
4. Check out the African-American Museum.
Be sure to take the time to visit the Morgan County African-American Museum, located around the corner from Towne Park near the James Madison Inn. Tickets are only $5 for adults ($3 students, $2.50 for senior citizens).
5. Soak in some local culture.
Take time out to visit the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, which offers concerts, lectures, and more all throughout the year. Only a short walk from Heritage Hall, the cultural center is sure to both educate and delight its visitors. They have information about haunted tours offered during the year as well!
6. Admire the art…or create your own!
For art enthusiasts, enjoy the galleries and shops located in the historic downtown area or take time to show off your artistic talent at The Painted Pineapple, located inside the Ice House by Towne Park
7. Find hidden treasures.
Antique enthusiasts will enjoy the variety of antique stores offered downtown. Wander through the shelves stacked high with history while browsing these shops, then head outside of the historic district for one of our favorites: the Flea Market, an antique store near the Ingles shopping center.
8. Explore the city on foot or on wheels.
Stop in at the visitor's center to say hello and hear some helpful tips for your visit. You can pick up a local map of the area, which shows a walking tour if you'd like to tour Madison by foot, popular bicycle paths, and directions if you prefer to drive around. You are able to rent a bicycle from MADCycles, located in the Ice House across from Town Park, or even take a carriage tour. All of these options are wonderful, but we are fans of walking; the slower pace gives you extra time to ogle over the best parts!
Aside from the historical architecture, exploring the whole city and surrounding areas will reveal some amazing gardens and homes. If you are in the area for more than just a day trip, the visitor’s center is happy to help offer suggestions for nearby scenic sites for your stay.
9. Stop by Clover House Market Café for a lovely lunch (and a sweet treat!)
For lunch, stop by the Clover House Market Café (formerly known as the Wild Card Café), located in the historic downtown. This café offers healthy and delicious salads, soups, and sandwiches. Don’t miss the daily desserts! Stay a while and be charmed by the wild cards at each table, and take some time to browse the Clover House Market, located right inside the café.
10. Join in on the festivities.
11. Hit the trail for a one-of-a-kind dinner.
For dinner, there are many wonderful restaurants right in the historic downtown area, but here’s one off the beaten path; Southern Cross Guest Ranch serves lunch at 1pm and dinner at 6pm daily.
Reservations are required for those who are not staying at the ranch, but it is well worth the reservation and short drive. Southern Cross also has a horseback-riding program for those looking for an outdoor adventure!
12. There is always something new to look forward to!
Antique Sweets will be back August 2016! After suffering damage from a fire late last year, we can’t wait for this wonderful business to reopen near the end of summer! A local favorite, Antique Sweets offers handmade chocolate (the bulldog bites are a specialty), homemade ice cream, and much more!
Residents and visitors alike are proud to announce that Madison will soon boast a local zoo and safari park, perfect for an afternoon activity or a family vacation!
Whether you are traveling alone, as a couple, or even as a family, Madison offers something for everyone! Mark your day with the sounds of the courthouse bells tolling each hour, and enjoy the beauty of this little southern gem.