Hoping to pack in some great travel on a budget? Whether you’re visiting for the weekend, or are a local resident, Milledgeville offers affordable options for fun activities that won’t break the bank. From outdoor adventures to museum visits to relaxing barside, we’ve rounded up our top picks of free things to do and low-cost experiences that will make you glad you made the trip!
Free Things To Do
HISTORIC WALKING TOUR
Hoping to roam historic streets and nineteenth century architecture? Stop by the Visitor’s Center to pick up your free Historic Walking Tour, a guide of Milledgeville’s historic homes and landmarks. With over 40 locations to see, this guide is the perfect way to learn about the architecture of Milledgeville while independently exploring the city at the same time. This self-guided tour can be experienced by foot, car, or bicycle, essentially any method of transportation you prefer. Some sites are open to the public but most homes are private residences.
The Milledgeville CVB is located on 200 West Hancock St. Opened Mon-Fri from 9a.m.-5p.m. and Saturday from 10a.m.- 4p.m.
Take some time to remove yourself from the bustling streets and buzzing phones, and step into nature’s beauty. Head down Greene St. to the Oconee River Greenway where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Oconee River, bike the trails, relax with a fishing rod, or bring your pup to have some fun in the dog park.
Located at 400 East Greene Street and open from sunrise to sunset.
Perhaps you would rather be surrounded by the towering trees of Bartram Forest. With 3 looping trails to bike, walk, and even do some bird-watching, you are free to immerse yourself in the 1,343-acre forest. Packed with beautiful scenery, wildlife, and a few creek waterfalls, this site will bring you closer to nature. If you were hoping for a more idle day, bring a blanket and simply take in the beautiful scenery of the area, and maybe even doze off under the sun.
Bartram Forest is located at Carl Vinson Hwy. SE and is open Monday through Friday at 8 am - 4:30 pm.
Georgia College William P. Wall Museum of Natural History
Do you have a budding natural science fan? Visit the Paleozoic, Mesozioc and Cenozoic Eras and see fossils from Georgia and all around the world! Located in Herty Hall, Georgia College's Natural History Museum offers an explanation of the history of life through geological time. The collection includes fossils from Georgia as well as other U.S. and international localities. The museum also boasts a planetarium which is open for special events, including stargazing, throughout the year.
The museum is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30p.m.
John Marlor Arts Center
Visit the John Marlor Art Center for a free self-guided tour of their exhibits. This center, housed in a 1911 home, serves as a theatre, meeting, and studio space and is partnered with the Allied Arts Center. Showcasing everything from photography to woodworking to paintings, exhibits change throughout the course of the year so check ahead to make sure they are showcasing.
The John Marlor Art Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 am - 4pm. It is located at 201 N Wayne St.
T. D. Cheek Fishing Pier has a great series of docks over the water of Lake Sinclair. This Georgia Power maintained public fishing pier is open year-round and free to the public. There is also shoreline fishing access, fish attractors, a parking area, and picnic tables that make this an ideal spot for the avid fisherman or a choice location to teach the kids to cast.
T.D. Cheek Fishing Pier is located at 1099 Milledgeville Road. Open 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset.
With over 50 acres of shrubs, trees, rhododendrons, a conifer collection, and an extensive camellia collection, Lockerly Arboretum is the perfect place for anyone with a green thumb. There are walking trails that provide a beautiful view of the grounds and offer a quiet opportunity for reflection. Pack a lunch to enjoy a picnic near the pond as you watch the birds and wildlife. If you’re bringing your furry friends to come enjoy the day, make sure to keep them on the leash and clean up after them.
Lockerly Arboretum is located at 1534 Irwinton Road. Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
$10 and Under
After a stroll of the grounds at Lockerly Arboretum, make plans to tour the centerpiece, Rose Hill, a Greek Revival home circa 1852. The home presides over its surroundings with elegance and grace.
Tickets are $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for children to tour the Rose Hill home. Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Need a quick, caffeinated pick me up? Pop into Blackbird Coffee and taste their fresh premium small-batch roasted coffee. One sip and you’ll be ready for the day! Pair it with a scone, cookie or even an ice cream cone and you’ll be unstoppable. Blackbird also offers other breakfast, lunch, and drink items at relatively low prices.
Blackbird is open Sunday to Thursday from 7a.m. - 8 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 7am - 9pm. Located at 114 W Hancock St.
GEORGIA’S OLD GOVERNOR'S MANSION
Completed in 1839, Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion is one of the finest examples of High Greek Revival architecture in the nation. Designed by noted architect Charles Cluskey, an Irish immigrant and built by Timothy Porter of Farmington, Connecticut, the Mansion looms over Milledgeville with its stately columns and imposing facade. Serving as the residence for Georgia's chief executives for over thirty years, the Mansion's history encompasses the antebellum, Civil War, and early Reconstruction phases of the state's history. Take a step into the past as you explore through the mansion.
Georgia's Old Governor’s Mansion is located at 120 South Clarke Street. Tours are held every hour Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday from 2 - 4 p.m. The tour is $10 for adults, $7 for pre-booked adult groups, $7 for senior citizens, and free to children under 6 years old.
MARGARITAS AT BOLLYWOOD
$5 Margs. Do we need to say more? Choose a house made flavor of blackberry, mango, peach, pineapple, pomegranate, and strawberry or make your own combo with two flavors at Bollywood Tacos downtown! These tasty drinks come in three different sizes, 12 oz regular at $5, 24 oz large at $8, and 72 oz pitcher at $20! These drinks are lightweight and sure to bring out your bubbly side! (Their fusion tacos also start at $2.75.)
Bollywood Tacos is located at 107 W Hancock St. They are open everyday of the week from 10:30am -10 pm.
SALLIE ELLIS DAVIS HOUSE
At the Sallie Ellis Davis House, visitors are invited to tour the home and former boarding house of local educator Sallie Ellis Davis. With a Master’s degree she earned at Atlanta University, Davis remains a feminine legend in Milledgeville. As a woman, and one of color, she speaks for many who are voiceless and still acts as a role model. You’ll definitely want to visit the place where this woman changed lives.
The Sallie Ellis Davis House hosts rotating educational exhibits as well. Most recently, The Unheard African American Story: An Exhibit Series from 2020-2022 has been featured on display. This series of exhibits focuses on elements of African American history that have been predominantly unacknowledged in popular education. The series starts with the Civil War and continues to the present, bringing focus to events, movements, and struggles that are not widely recognized.
The Sallie Ellis Davis House is located at 301 S. Clarke St and open for walk-up tours Tuesday - Friday from 1 - 4 p.m. and the first and third Saturday of the month from 1 - 4 p.m. The cost of the tour is $3.
Visit award-winning author Flannery O'Connor's home at Andalusia Farm. Restored to the period of the 1950’s, when O’Connor would have been in residence, visitors can get a first hand look at how life on the farm inspired many of her internationally renown works. In a fun nod to O’Connor, be sure to check out the resident peacocks!
Andalusia farm is located at 2628 North Columbia Street. Tickets start at $7 for adults and $6 for senior citizens (60 years and older). Open Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Smiley Face cookie
Ryals is a family-owned bakery located in downtown Milledgeville is home of the famous smiley face cookie. For decades they have been baking not just delicious cookies but doughnuts, cupcakes and more! Be sure to treat yourself because these desserts will brighten anyone’s day. Ryals Bakery has been voted the best bakery in Milledgeville in every Readers Choice Award by The Union-Recorder.
Ryals Bakery is located at 135 S. Wayne St. It is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Located in downtown Milledgeville there are a few great bars and restaurants that serve craft beer. It might be hard to choose just one so why not all of them with your very own beer crawl. The Brick, Buffington’s, Amici and Metropolis Cafe have a great selection of craft beer. All feature crafts from Georgia breweries.