Milledgeville is home to a variety of unique experiences, including four museums you must visit. Whether you are looking for a historical guided tour or learning about animals of both yesterday and today, Milledgeville has lots to offer.
Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion
Milledgeville is home to one of the finest restored historic homes in Georgia. Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion was the residence of the Governor of Georgia from 1839 to 1864 when the state capitol was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta. In the early 2000s, Georgia College restored the Mansion to its original antebellum style. Today, visitors of all ages can explore the home and learn more about the structure and those who have lived or worked within the walls for years.
Hidden from the roofline, Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion features a fifty-foot-high central rotunda. This high domed skylight ceiling, coated in 23 carat gold, served as a waiting room for guests of the Governor. The space was designed with multiple intimidating factors so the Governor would have an upper hand, this includes an echo. Anything said within the space could be heard throughout the home, including by the Governor whose office was one door away.
The Mansion is open for public tours Tuesday thru Saturday, 10-4, and Sunday, 2-4 with tours every hour on the hour. The Mansion is fully ADA compliant and has an elevator that accesses all three levels of the house. Admission rates: $10 for Adults, $7 for pre-booked adult groups, $7 for Senior Citizens (60 years and older), $2 for Students, and Free to children under 6 and all GC faculty, staff, and students.
Popular southern gothic writer Flannery O’Connor lived in Milledgeville at intervals during her life, and 14 years (1951- 1964) were spent at Andalusia Farm just north of Milledgeville. While on the farm, Flannery wrote most of her notable works, often gaining inspiration from the property. The home was gifted to her alma mater, Georgia College, in August 2017. It is an excellent glimpse into the lifestyle of a young female author in the south throughout her life.
One of the unique things about Andalusia is it is home to a coupled peacock and peahen, Astor and Mrs. Shortly, in honor of those originally brought to the farm by Flannery. Flannery had a great love of birds. In addition to peacocks, Flannery once had over 40 fowl of many different species on the farm that she studied and cared for. Not only were they a constant presence on the farm, but peafowl also show up in Flannery's works. Flannery uses the peacock as a symbol for a character's pride or vanity within her stories.
Andalusia is open for public tours Tuesday-Saturday from 10-4 and Sunday from 2-4, with all tours on the hour and the last tour beginning at 4 PM. The property will close each day to public visitors at 5 PM and they are closed on Mondays. Admission rates: $7 for Adults, $6 for pre-booked adult groups, $6 for Senior Citizens (60 years and older), $2 for Students, and Free to children under 6 and all GC faculty, staff, and students.
Located on the Historic Lockerly Arboretum property, the Woods Museum features an indoor self-guided tour of reptiles, an exhibit of hardwood trees that grow in the area, as well as the history of Lockerly Arboretum. Lockerly Arboretum boasts 50 acres of gardens, walking trails, and a pond. A 1-mile nature trail will take you past many mature hardwoods, ferns, wildflowers, and flowering shrubs such as camellias and azaleas.
Reggie the American Alligator calls the Woods Museum home. The American Alligator is an indigenous species to Georgia. The Woods Museum is also home to other non-native critters such as Teedo, the Ball Python.
The Woods Museum is free and open to the public Monday-Friday from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm and on Saturdays in March - November from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.
Natural History Museum at Georgia College
Prehistoric artifacts are much closer than you may think. The Natural History Museum at Georgia College features a variety of fossils and materials found worldwide. Student and professor paleontologists at Georgia College have worked and researched extensively to provide the most relevant and updated information to museum guests. This self-guided tour allows participants of all ages to explore the past at their own pace.
Within the museum are a variety of well-preserved remains, but the Saber-Tooth Tiger skeleton is one of the most impressive and recognized. Extinct for over 10,000 years, these tigers are known for their two large upper canine teeth that were always visible on the exterior of the mouth. This helped them in their hunt for large prey- their main diet.
The exhibits at the Natural History Museum are free and open to the public Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.