"Cooke Fountain in Town Park with autumn leaves on the trees in the background."

Top 10 Fall Activities in Madison, Georgia

Fall is here! Cool, clear weather has us grabbing a fleece and getting outside to enjoy the autumnal beauty.  If you are looking for fall vacation ideas or even just a weekend getaway, enjoy a few of our favorite fall activities below. Just an hour outside of Atlanta, an escape to Georgia’s authentic small town is the perfect way to relax and take time to enjoy the season.

1. Fall in Love with Madison's Historic District

Fall foliage around the Boat House in Madison, Georgia

The tree-lined streets of small-town Madison and its magnificent National Register Historic District are bursting with fall color and festively decorated porches.  Stop by the Madison Morgan County Welcome Center to learn the locals’ favorite spots and get started on the free audio walking tour. The walking tour is the best way to discover the history of this small town and uncover the lore of the enchanting historic sites, churches, schools and homes you’ll see along the way. Prefer to explore by bike?  Pick up a Madison-Morgan Meander map for cycle-friendly routes through scenic and historic Morgan County, GA.

2. Attend Fall Festivals and Events

Attend fun fall activities like the Cotton Gin Festival in Bostwick, GA

Take part in fun, family-friendly events like the annual Chili Cook-Off & Fall Festival where you can listen to live music, shop artisan wares and, yes, sample chili and vote for the people’s choice award. With one of the largest tractor parades in the southeast, the Bostwick Cotton Gin Festival is also popular. Don’t forget to tour their operational cotton gin for that day only. See our calendar of events for a full list.

3. Enjoy Farm Life

Interior of Community Roots Market

Find the farm fresh getaway you have always wanted. Delight in locally sourced foods at Community Roots Market and Farmview Market and dine at restaurants using farm-to-table ingredients like Hart & Crown Tavern. Be sure to check out Farmview Market’s Flavors of Fall Festival, a family favorite event with activities, delicious treats and a seasonal farmer’s market.

4. Go Horseback Riding

Horseback riding on trails is one of our favorite fall activities
Photo by Charlotte Detienne Photography

Hit the horse trails at Southern Cross Guest Ranch for some prime leaf-peeping and fresh air.  Enjoy the famous lunch buffet with European comfort food and a beautiful view of the pastures while you’re there. Make sure to call ahead to make your reservation, as this is an experience you won’t want to miss!

5. Stargaze at Georgia's Second Largest State Park

Evening lake at Hard Labor Creek State Park

Fall is a great time to look to the sky for the autumnal constellations.  Hard Labor Creek State Park offers several opportunities to stargaze with their Twilight Kayak Tours and Almost Full Moon Paddle.  Bundle up, take some hot chocolate, and keep an eye out for shooting stars.

6. Enjoy Outdoor Dining

The weather is perfect in the fall for dining al fresco and Madison has an abundance of outdoor dining options!  Whether you’re lunching at AmiciMadison Produce, Ricardo’s Kouzzina, or The Sinclair, or enjoying dinner at Dolce Caffe or Town 220, Madison has a patio to suit every taste.

7. Check Out an Art Museum (or Two)

People view an exhibit at Steffen Thomas Museum of Art

For days when you prefer to find some autumn beauty indoors, the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art is showcasing “Master Prints” from September 1 to October 29, an exhibition of Steffen Thomas works exemplifying printmaking techniques alongside works from fall artist-in-residence Chloe Alexander. From November 19 to January 28, the exhibition “Mentor and Protégé: Steffen Thomas and Jack Stewart” will be on display in collaboration with the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia. Stewart, a painter and mosaic artist, was one of only two apprentices Thomas ever had.

Madison-Morgan Cultural Center in the fall

Or stop in at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center for FARM 2022, a visual arts exhibit featuring the current agrarian way of life from August 26 to October 29. The following exhibition, Jay Dusard: A Retrospective, looks at more than 60 pieces from this renowned, self-taught photographer’s career. Dusard’s work will be shown from November 11 to January 29.

8. Wrap Up Your Holiday Shopping

The holidays are fast approaching and, if shopping and decorating are on your mind, Madison’s annual Shop, Sip & Stroll Saturdays in November will have you wrapping up your list in no time.  Enjoy complimentary refreshments, special offers from retailers and restaurants and a few holiday surprises to get you in the holiday spirit. Plus get free admission to the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center on Shop, Sip & Stroll Saturdays!

9. Pamper Yourself

Salt room at ZEN Relaxing Wellness Center

If you need to rest and rejuvenate after all the fall fun, or maybe in preparation for the busy holiday bustle, check out one of Madison’s spas and wellness centers.  The Spa at James Madison Inn, Pure Bliss Spa and the ZEN Relaxing Wellness Center offer a variety of therapies to get your mind and body centered and ready for the holiday season.

10. Stay for the Weekend

A fire warms the hearth at Burnt Pine Plantation

With so much to do in Madison this fall, why not make it a weekend getaway with a stay at one of our B&Bs or Farm Stays?  Burnt Pine Plantation is a unique choice for enjoying seasonal deer and quail hunting, clay shooting and fishing.  Guests also enjoy thoughtfully prepared dinners in the dining hall, drinks in the lounge, a game room and library.  Check out the wide variety of lodging options available in and around Madison and make plans for your fall escape!

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