Tucked between Atlanta and Savannah, Milledgeville transforms into a winter wonderland outfitted with twinkling lights. Whether you fancy a slow day cozied up in our historic Mansion dressed in Christmas finery or you and your family are ready to settle down for a small-town Christmas sipping hot chocolate, we have endless ways to experience the magic of the Holidays. Milledgeville will have you clearing your calendar for a long weekend getaway.

As a college town and former 19th-century capital of Georgia, Milledgeville is brimming with historic character dressed in garland and a vibrant downtown district offering seasonal menu options and local gifts guaranteed to earn a smile. Enjoy winter at its finest - linger, relax and explore the beauty of Milledgeville.

Immerse yourself in the spirit of the season, here are our top Holiday picks for a perfect weekend getaway:

Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion Christmas tree

1. TOUR GEORGIA’S OLD GOVERNOR'S MANSION

An iconic favorite, Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion is a visit that must be added to your Holiday Bucket List. During the holiday season, the Mansion is transformed into a magical 19th-century Christmas celebration. Jump back in time to 1851-1853, when Governor Howell Cobb and his family occupied the home, and learn from history enthusiasts about Milledgeville’s time as the capital city of Georgia and the Mansion's Christmas traditions. 

Starting on November 16th and running through December 23rd (closed during the week of Thanksgiving), the Mansion will be fully decorated for the holidays with guided tours offered every hour on the hour. With over 1,500 candles and 1,600 lights, the Christmas tree at Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion is sure to delight! During Christmas at the Mansion, guests are invited to return to the 19th-century era and witness how the elite of Georgia celebrated the Christmas holiday. For an extra special experience, be sure to enjoy the beautiful glow of their candlelight tours and choirs singing in the rotunda. Candlelight tours are at 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. on December 7th and 21st, 2024. Candlelight tickets must be purchased prior to the tour. Regular admission rates apply: $10 adults, $7 seniors, $2 students/kids. Grab the little ones! Santa will be at Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion on December 13th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for pictures. Reservations are required to get a picture taken with Santa. 

Lockerly in Lights

2. Be Dazzled at Lockerly in Lights

Shining even brighter, Lockerly in Lights is back in 2024! The beautiful arboretum's one-mile trail will be lined with twinkling lights adorning the surrounding trees and dazzling displays. This seasonal favorite offers guests a rare opportunity to experience Lockerly Arboretum amid the moonlight. Beginning November 14th and running through December 21st, tours will occur every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Thursday nights will be a drive-thru experience and on Saturday and Sunday nights guests may walk the enchanting trail. 

Christmas shopping downtown Milledgeville

3. SHOP LOCAL

Milledgeville has incredible local businesses that pride themselves on quality products and services. Shop for holiday gifts at our charming boutiques for the latest fashion trends and southern decorations. Local business owners are usually on hand to offer shopping advice and recommendations all with a side of genuine southern hospitality. Unique Lake Sinclair and Milledgeville-themed products can be found at Eclectic, as well as incredible decorations, housewares, and accessories. 

Christmas Historic Home

4. WALK THROUGH THE HISTORY OF THE DOWNTOWN DISTRICT

Founded in 1803, Milledgeville was built as the capital of Georgia and remained the capital for more than 60 years. Go on a self-guided historic walking tour and stroll past homes, churches, and public buildings that celebrate various architectural styles refined over the last 200 years. Discover why Southern Living Magazine has listed Milledgeville as one of the prettiest small towns in Georgia as you walk the towering tree-lined streets of Milledgeville and learn about the well-preserved Federal-style architecture, enhanced by noteworthy Greek Revival, Victorian, and Classic revival houses. Keep your eyes peeled for architecture dressed in ribbons and bows galore, including fan favorites like Georgia’s Old Capitol Building and the campus of Georgia College & State University. Plus, the added bonus of the season’s cooler temperatures means that walking the district won’t have you breaking a sweat!

If you prefer to ride, hop aboard the town’s most iconic resident “Milly the Trolley” for a fully narrated tour of Milledgeville’s historic district! During the course of the sixty-minute tour, guests will cruise the historic district learning an overview of Milledgeville’s history during its sixty-eight-year period as the capital city of Georgia, and also be escorted on a guided walk through the former statehouse square and St. Stephens Episcopal Church, consecrated in 1843. Trolley tours are hosted on Fridays and Saturdays at 10:00 am, depart from the Milledgeville Visitor Information Center and are offered rain or shine.

Christmas at Blackbird hot chocolate

5. SEASONAL SIPS

Milledgeville has plenty of mouth-watering local restaurants that can warm you up during your stay. As you reach for your coat to keep warm this holiday season, why not settle on a delectable hot drink or a savory bowl of soup! There’s no better place to go than Blackbird Coffee for a cup of freshly roasted coffee, hot chocolate, tea, a peppermint latte or whatever your heart--or taste buds-- so desire! If you are looking for a hardy meal, try Buffington’s famous Bob Marley soup with chicken, rice, and some spice. During the holidays, Buffington’s transforms into a magical Christmas Bar, adorned with twinkling lights, shimmering tinsel, and festive decorations. Enjoy the warm, inviting atmosphere while sipping on their delightful specialty holiday cocktails. After enjoying your delicious coffee or soup, stroll through downtown Milledgeville and observe the festive decor, a grand Christmas tree dressed in colorful lights, and a dazzling menorah. 

Milledgeville's dining scene has an incredible selection of classic Southern dishes and an expanding influence of choices from around the world. Indulge in award-winning dishes from Georgia’s 100 Plates Locals Love including Aubri Lane’s delicious Crispy Calamari and Sesame Seared Ahi TunaThe Brick’s Creamy Tomato Soup, and Local Yolkal’s Eggs Benedict. There are also plenty of other restaurants with incredible flavors that locals rave about including Bollywood TacosCravings, and Kai Thai

Christmas Cove on Lake Sinclair

6. SAIL THE GLISTENING WATERS

Winter ushers in a season of quiet reflection along the shores of Milledgeville’s Lake Sinclair. Pack a jacket and cruise along the waters via boat for a day spent soaking up nature’s winter glory or bring along your bait and tackle for some time fishing our waters. If you head to the lake during Christmastime, the homes are decorated with colorful lights that shimmer across the lake's surface. For a cove that is sure to impress, head towards the south dam and Christmas Cove will be one of the last coves on the right. You can see the lights from the big water! Even Southern Living featured Lake Sinclair's "Christmas Cove" as a sight to behold! Local marinas have boat rentals suited for all your fun adventures.

Woman walking through Bartram Forest near Milledgeville

7. EXPLORE THE OCONEE RIVER GREENWAY

Take a stroll or bike ride along the scenic Oconee River Greenway, where you can enjoy paved paths, boardwalks, and trails that wind along the tranquil river. Bring your four-legged friend for a walk on the trails or let them socialize in the designated dog park. Cast your line at one of the fishing stations, or launch your boat from the convenient ramp. The Oconee River Greenway offers a perfect blend of nature and recreation for everyone

Christmas lights at Inn on North Jefferson

8. REST YOUR EYES

After a long day packed with fun activities, relax in any of our great hotels. There are also two campground areas with beautiful views to enjoy if you are looking to stay outdoors. If you are interested in staying in a historic home, the newly renovated historic beauty, Inn on North Jefferson was originally built in 1820. Milledgeville also offers beautiful lake house rentals, so the entire family can gather around a campfire by the lake and roast a marshmallow. 

 

 

Discover More Enchanting Holiday Events

Nov
16

Christmas at the Mansion

Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion

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Dec
07

Candlelight Tours at The Mansion

Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion

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Dec
13

“The Nutcracker”

Russell Auditorium on the Georgia College campus

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