By Foot, Carriage, Bike, or Automobile
If Norman Rockwell would have visited Madison, he would have definitely painted the line-up of red-white-and-blue flags flying from the Greek Revival, Neoclassical Victorian and Romanesque homes along sun-dappled, oak-lined streets in and around the historic district. There is no doubt about it: Madison is Rockwell Country, with a twist of ‘Pleasantville’.
As you travel in to town under the canopy of ancient oaks that line the columned front porches, you’re sure to feel the quietude of our quaint, unique town envelop you. Notable for being one of the largest historic districts in the State of Georgia and just designated by Budget Travel as one of the ‘Most Picturesque Villages in the World’, Madison stands as a true testament to the time when cotton was king. If you want to rendezvous with the past, these historic streets encompass a wealth of Antebellum and Victorian buildings – from simple cottages to opulent mansions.
Madison boasts a variety of activities to entertain and educate visitors about the nation’s most romantic era. At the Visitors Center on the square (open daily), visitors can pick up the walking/driving guide and begin a 1.4 mile route through the downtown and historic district. Many antique dealers and local ambient dining establishments can be enjoyed along this route, which includes a multitude of fine residences. Madison also has several places open daily for touring, including the restored beaux-arts Courthouse, three house museums, The African American Museum and the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center—one of the first graded school houses in the South.
For a full listing of Tourism Information on Madison & Morgan County please visit www.visitmadisonga.com
Although Madison is most famous for its homes, it is more than a place with a well-documented historic pedigree. The vibrant downtown boasts over 165 antiques dealers, boutique shops, unique eateries – plenty to keep the most avid of shoppers and gourmands busy. The city also hosts food, art, music and agricultural festivals throughout the year, many of which are centered around Madison’s Town Park.
Rutledge – Just Down the Road
Just west of Madison by 9 short miles lies Rutledge (founded in 1871), a town of only 800 and the gateway to Hard Labor Creek State Park – Georgia’s largest state park. Surrounded by cotton fields, Rutledge’s historic district (only a half block square) is virtually unchanged since the ‘heyday’ of the railroad. Tucked less than 3 miles from Interstate I-20, the city of Rutledge offers quaint shops, unique restaurants and a myriad of events and festivals throughout the year. Rutledge is also home to the Sunflower Farm, a photographer’s dream and a beautiful place for a wedding of your dreams. Additionally, Southern Living Magazine just listed Rutledge as a place to get off the road (Interstate I20) for good eats, too!
Rich with abundant water, prime agricultural soils, family farming heritage and easy access to the largest food markets in Georgia, the area in and around Morgan County is fast becoming the hub of the local food movement. From sunflowers to local cheeses, to cotton, to fresh peaches, to the best darn milk you’ve ever tasted, to delicious and beautiful organic vegetables, to nuts and fresh delicious meats – Morgan County has it all, and the list goes on. Use FARMeander to plan your visit – see a few farms in a day, come back for one of our festivals, or spend the night and make the weekend of it!
Out-and-About in Morgan County
One of a few unique stops just outside of town that are ‘must sees’ is Southern Cross Guest Ranch, with full board, riding, and instruction. Just around the corner is the internationally renowned museum of German-born artist Steffen Thomas. Morgan County also borders beautiful Lake Oconee which was listed in 2013 by Southern Living Magazine as one of the South’s Greatest Lakes!
Inns, Bed & Breakfasts, and Hotels
In Morgan County, you have a choice of spending the night in a modern hotel, historic and country style B&Bs, national lodging chains, or our state park and other camping facilities. We are even home to the only ‘Dude Ranch’ in the South…There is truly something to suit every taste and budget. Once described in the 1845 Guide to Georgia as the “Most cultured and aristocratic town on the stagecoach route from Charlestown to New Orleans”, Madison continues to be a popular overnight destination for those exploring those towns steeped in rich history.
Tour of Homes
Madison hosts two of the largest home tours in the State of Georgia each year – a Spring Tour of Homes, Churches and Gardens the first weekend in May and a Holiday Home Tour in December. Featuring a nice mix of architectural styles and dates built, these two events are the highlights of the year, bringing many visitors from around the world.
The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center- Circa 1895 | (706) 342-4743 | www.mmcc-arts.org
Known as the first graded school house in the Southeast, the Cultural Center now serves as the Arts focal point of the town and hosts a myriad of events throughout the year. Within, you may tour Madison’s rich history, museums and art galleries. Open Daily (except Mondays). Available for special events.
Morgan County African American Museum – Circa 1895 | (706) 342-9191 | www.mcaam.org
Preserving the heritage and promoting awareness of African American contributions to the culture of the South.
Heritage Hall – Circa 1811 | (706) 342-9627 | www.friendsofheritagehall.org
Known as the ‘Antebellum Dame’ of Madison, you may enjoy daily tours of this mansion and exquisite antiques. Available for special events.
The Rogers House (Circa 1810) and Rose Cottage (Circa 1891) | (706) 342-9627 | www.friendsofheritagehall.org
Enjoy daily tours of these unique historic homes, located just behind the old courthouse on the square.
Steffen Thomas Museum of Art | (706) 342-7557 | www.steffenthomas.org
Tour the museum of sculptures and paintings by Steffen Thomas located just 5 minutes from Madison in the beautiful countryside of Buckhead.