The small town of Madison, Georgia, is known for its charm. With quaint downtown shops, welcoming local restaurants, and elegant antebellum homes, Madison is a perfect destination for a weekend getaway, relaxing vacation, or day trip from the surrounding counties. It also has a surprising number of cultural destinations.
Historic Home Tours
Be sure to take time to visit Heritage Hall, Rogers House, and Rose Cottage for a guided tour during your stay. These historic homes will give you a glimpse into Madison’s colorful past, and the local docents are well-informed about the history, homes, and can even offer colorful anecdotes about eccentric residents of Madison through the years. Ghost story enthusiasts will want to ask about the spectral resident of Heritage Hall.
Self-Guided Walking Tour
A Madison, Georgia, App provides a guided walking tour for those who wish to explore the town on their own. A perfect social distancing adventure, the guide even comes with videos and photos of the town over the years. Use the map and guide to explore past and present Madison for a peek into its rich history.
Steffen Thomas Museum of Art
A short drive from the historic downtown district, the Steffen Thomas Museum is a not-to-be-missed cultural destination. Peruse the ever-changing local art exhibits as well as the collected works of Steffen Thomas.
Madison-Morgan Cultural Center
This 1895 Romanesque Revival building was once a schoolhouse. Now home to the local cultural center, visitors can stop in to see an 1895 classroom, an arts and crafts gallery, the Piedmont History Museum with its pre-1900 historical artifacts, and a permanent exhibit of local art and architecture. The Cultural Center also offers theatrical productions and live music during the year.
Madison Artists Guild & Gallery
The local artist guild has a gallery conveniently located downtown. It features local art, artisan crafts, and signed books by local authors. Book signings, art exhibits, and other events are ongoing. No visit to Madison would be complete without taking home the work of a local artist. You can even pick up Madison postcards here.
Morgan County African American Museum
Located behind the James Madison Inn, the Morgan County African American Museum may seem small, but it is filled with a rich history. This non-profit was set up to preserve the culture of Morgan County’s African American citizens as well as to educate and introduce locals and visitors alike to the history and art of the culture in this region.
For those with an interest in historic cemeteries, the city website offers a self-guided walking tour with plenty of information about the cemetery’s residents. Visit Civil War graves, read about the history of segregation in the local cemeteries, and even visit the area where graves of slaves were recovered.
Seasonal Festivals and Events
Madison is also home to seasonal festivals and events. Madison Fest takes place every April and features local plants, arts, and crafts. Each July, Madison holds the Firefly Festival—a two-day event that includes a kids’ night followed by a date night with a live Motown concert and dancing. Fall brings you the Chili Cookoff and Fall Festival, and you’ll find Madison residents and visitors Caroling by Candlelight each December. Every September, Saturday in the Park offers live music, and all year long, the city hosts various festivals, parades, and events.
While the town is small, the culture is far from it. It’s no wonder the town is filled with so many local craftspeople, artists, and authors. While pandemic restrictions have caused many events to be canceled, most of the museums have re-opened for tours, and the self-guided tours provided by the city are worth the trip. You can also take the time to explore the many historical markers placed around the town and the county to learn more about the history of the area. Be sure to stop by the Welcome Center for more information for your visit.