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Winter Getaway: Discover Madison, GA this Winter

Winter has officially arrived in Madison, GA, and with it, a slower and cozier pace to the season. Only an hour away from Atlanta, Madison is bursting with small town charm, culture, award-winning restaurants and relaxing activities to help brighten your days and change up your scenery for a weekend away.

For those with resolutions to add more adventure or to be happier and healthier this year, Madison is your perfect winter getaway, whether you’re here for one night or three. Avoid the touristy summer crowds and spend time rediscovering you as you surround yourself with Madison’s storied past.

From the peaceful spas and antique stores to the fascinating architecture and museums, Madison has something for everyone, and you’ll find plenty to fill your winter days.

Enjoy Coffee and Culture

A couple admires the lawn art at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center

Madison is well-known for its beautiful historic homes, but did you know you can take a self-guided walking tour of the city with over twenty-five stops? Grab a cup of hot coffee and start your stroll through time at the Welcome Center, where you can grab a map or destination guide.

Discover the stunning architecture of the Morgan County Courthouse, Heritage Hall, Rogers House, Rose Cottage, Joshua Hill House, and more. Madison’s houses and buildings are full of Georgia’s early history and interesting anecdotes about their former residents. The walking tour will also take you past the Morgan County African-American Museum and the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, both of which offer a lens into our small town’s past.

Don’t miss Madison’s oldest public art museum as you walk: the beautiful Madison Historic Cemeteries. A collection of four cemeteries that border each other, Madison Historic Cemeteries feature breathtaking sculptures as well as the memorials of former residents of historic Madison homes.

For more cultural fun, join the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center for the 9th Annual “Do Tell!” Storytelling Festival on Friday, February 9, 2024. Featured storytellers will share their comical and heart-warming tales that will bring laughter and joy to the whole family.

Have a Novel Adventure

Couple rides horses at Southern Cross Guest Ranch during a winter getaway
Photo by Charlotte Detienne Photography

Looking to try something new this winter after you spend time learning our history? Check out Southern Cross Guest Ranch for an all-inclusive ranch experience. Learn how to ride a horse and spend the day relaxing indoors or hitting the trails on one of the ranch’s 100+ horses.

If you’re looking for a more rugged outdoor experience, consider camping at Hard Labor Creek State Park, Georgia’s second-largest state park. The Park has options for tents, RVs, and cabins, so you can curate your camping experience to your comfort level.

Enjoy over twenty miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding as well as opportunities for fishing while you unplug in nature. If you find your curiosity piqued by your park experience, the park rangers offer programs about the local flora and fauna.

Another state-wide favorite is the 18-hole golf course located inside the park. With its lovely, quiet grounds and a charming 14th hole, The Creek Golf Course at Hard Labor Creek is the perfect place to escape the office and focus on your swing.

Refresh & Recharge

Salt room at ZEN Relaxing Wellness Center

When you need a warm and relaxing break from your outdoor adventures, Madison has plenty of options. Escape the cold through an afternoon or two at one of Madison’s four spas. Get a massage at Pure Bliss Spa, keep up your summer glow at Sister Sister Salon and Spa, personalize your treatments at The Spa Madison, and discover luxurious, holistic healing at ZEN Relaxing Wellness Center.

After you feel refreshed and recharged, head to the downtown area to shop in our charming boutiques. Antique-lovers have their pick of the best items without the stress of crowds. From downtown Madison to the neighboring town of Rutledge, you can peruse the wares of antique stores and local businesses to combine the best of the past with the trends of the present.

Satisfy Your Cravings

Hearty mac 'n cheese at Hart & Crown Tavern

While you’re exploring Madison, you have your pick of restaurants and eateries to choose from. Benny Paul’s or Martha’s Favorites are the places to go if you’re into southern comfort and soul food. MAD Hospitality’s Hart & Crown Tavern will whisk you away from our quaint town to chilly England with its British-inspired pub fare and atmosphere. And there is no shortage of award-winning restaurants to try, as MAD Hospitality won the 2023 GRACE Award for Restaurateur Rookie of the Year for its slate of seven different culinary concepts that are brought to life in the group’s multiple downtown restaurants.

For the best Italian food in town, Amici Italian Cafe is your must-visit destination. Delight in a delicious menu of pasta, pizza, wings and craft beer brewed in-house, all paired with live entertainment on select evenings. Notably, Amici achieved recognition as a finalist for the esteemed Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Restaurateur of the Year award in 2022. Originating in Madison, this culinary gem has expanded to encompass over a dozen locations throughout the Southeast.

Grab an afternoon pick-me-up or hot beverage at the family-owned Oconee Coffee Roasters to try signature seasonal coffees and beans roasted right on the premises. For a full list of all the wonderful cuisines and restaurants in Madison, you can choose between fine dining, farm-to-table, southern comfort food, and more on our comprehensive list.

Jin roasts coffee beans in store at Oconee Coffee Roasters - one of Madison's unique coffee shops

Spending a winter weekend in Madison is a great way to start your year right before entering another busy season. Whether traveling with your family, significant other, or by yourself, our charming small town has everything you need for a rejuvenating winter getaway. Make settling into a slower pace your new normal with a long weekend steeped in history, nature, and good food. We’ll see you soon!

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