Distance: 89 miles, two-hour drive
Designated by Southern Living magazine as one of “The Prettiest Small Towns in Georgia,” Milledgeville perfectly charms guests with captivating tales, southern delicacies and gracious hospitality.
Founded in 1803, Milledgeville is the only city in the country – with the exception of Washington D.C. – actually designed to be a capital city. A history buff’s paradise nestled within a true college town, Milledgeville has an eclectic mix of activities for anyone to enjoy. Over ten blocks of historic architecture are filled with coffee shops, clothing boutiques, great food and family residences.
Formerly the state capital, Milledgeville is now better known as home to Georgia College & State University (Go Bobcats!). The creamsicle-colored Old Governor’s Mansion still stands and is considered one of the finest examples of Greek revival-style in the nation. The mansion served as the home of ten governors and their families, and infamously as one of General Sherman’s headquarters before continuing his March to the Sea (the scoundrel).
Begin your day with ‘The First Lady of Georgia’ at the hip and cute Blackbird Coffee Shop. Grab a muffin and some coffee and head out for a walk around the downtown historic district. Streets not to miss: Liberty, Greene and Clarke. The aforementioned Old Governor’s Mansion is on Clarke Street and offers tours daily on the hour. If you’re looking for a detailed downtown tour, hop on Milly the Trolley at the convention and visitors’ bureau. The tour starts at 10:00 am on weekdays and 11:00 am on Saturdays.
For lunch, head to Goodie Gallery for the perfect fixins’ for a picnic on the Oconee River Greenway. You can work off your lunch on the many walking trails along the river or take a kayaking excursion through Mac’s Yaks or Oconee Outfitters. After you get your exercise for the day, you’ll have earned a trip to Sweet Treats Ice Cream downtown. Take some time to wander through the local shops while enjoying a cone.
Be sure to save time to meander through the Georgia College & State University campus. Millions of dollars have been put into the authentic preservation of the historic buildings and architecture of this once all female campus. Catch the nationally-ranked GCSU baseball team at the West Campus Athletic Facilities in the spring and buy a ‘GCSU Football: Undefeated Since 1889’ t-shirt.
Any GCSU alum can tell you about the intoxicating aroma of Amici pizza and wings. Don’t miss honey hot wings and buffalo gar-chee-mar (buffalo garlic cheese bread). For those looking for finer dining options, you can’t beat Aubri Lane’s. You’ll lose the downtown atmosphere, but after sipping champagne and eating haute cuisine overlooking Lake Sinclair, you won’t care. Make a reservation or try your luck on the availability of a private dining table located in an old bank vault.
Continue the historic charm of your trip by booking a night at the Antebellum Inn Bed & Breakfast located in the historic neighborhood of campus. If staying downtown until the wee hours is more your thing, grab a hip loft at Soho Lofts.