Value added, that's what local football schedules can give - ideas about vacations within driving distance. If the team on the school bus can get there, so can friends and families!
Consider Milledgeville. That's where the Blue Devils play Sept 12. If you're reading this after the game, here are some reasons to visit anytime.
It's pretty. Downtown Milledgeville is enticing with wide streets, plenty of flowers and historic buildings that look loved and cared for. Restaurants are abundant, reflecting local owners who seem to care about their community.
I experienced Aubri Lane's for dinner, where the flank steak, vegetable risotto, tomato bisque and white chocolate bread pudding were exquisite. Dining downtown in a bank built in 1884, original hammered tin ceiling in place, had the extra flair of the owner-chef Jason Medders adding his childhood Louisiana Bayou touches to the menu.
Shopping didn't fit my framework except for window peeping but I'd recommend allowing time to discover what looked to me like boutiques with a flair, individually owned stores instead of chains you've already seen. Milledgeville was home to Georgia's governors from 1839 - 1868 and their house is grandly interpreted now as the Old Governor's Mansion. Antebellum, Civil War and early reconstruction history abounds. Those governors received salaries but not entertainment budgets so don't look for a grand dining room. Do look for details because Curator Matthew Davis has the complete inventory of household goods from 1851. Facts like the original keys are still used to lock up each night.
Real people lived here and died here so the guided tour connected me to Georgia history in personal ways. Says Davis: "We talk about the truth of history and let the visitors ask their own perspective questions."
Allow a couple of hours for admiring and for musing.
Old is in title of another interesting option in Milledgeville - the Old Capital Museum. 1807 Gothic building this one is, a museum shaped by a dynamic executive director on the campus of Georgia Military College, Dr. Amy Wright.
Insider tip: ask for a tour with her. The Marquis de Lafayette traveled to Milledgeville, visiting Revolutionary War
veterans so put yourself in 1776 during a visit here. He's part of dozens of carefully interpreted pieces of local history.
Then go upstairs in the Old Capital Museum and muse about the mood in the legislature where Georgia's four-day secession convention was held in 1861 with 297 delegates.
Seems the good folks in the Methodist Church next door complained about the disturbance. Wonder if they could have influenced the vote?
Just outside the historic district find two more Milledgeville visits of value: Lockerly and Andalusia.
Lockerly Hall is a cotton plantation now arboretum open for touring, both the house and the grounds. Might consider
taking a picnic here.
Flannery O'Connor moved to Andalusia in 1951 to write and to cope with the challenges of lupus. Re-read some of
her short stories before you go for an even richer experience. Flannery O'Connor moved to Andalusia in 1951 to write and to cope with the challenges of lupus. Re-read some of her short stories before you go for an even richer experience.
"For many visitors, coming to Andalusia is like a pilgrimage," says Executive Director Craig Amason, "recognizing
elements of what they've read. "Andalusia inspired Flannery O'Connor, so seeing the place which inspired her," Amason suggests, "is what many visitors do."
Rocking on the front porch, listening to their comments suited me. So did ambling around the acres, sort of a literary
landscape including a 3⁄4 mile interpreted trail.
O'Connor loved peafowl and you'll find glorious colors when they spread their tails in the aviary...