Tripadvisor Top Reviewed Attractions
Looking for a Georgia road trip? Spend your days along Georgia’s Antebellum Trail exploring small town destinations, enjoying Antebellum architecture, touring historic house museums, browsing through antique shops, and strolling blooming gardens. But don’t take our word for it: here is a roundup of favorite top tourist attractions on Tripadvisor from communities along Georgia’s Antebellum Trail. Explore with us, as we move along the trail from south to north. We guarantee that you’ll find plenty of things to do in these Georgia towns to make a wonderful Georgia getaway.
These rankings are as of June 15, 2021.
1. Hay House
In the mid-1800s, William Butler Johnston was the keeper of the Confederate treasury, but the mansion he built is the real treasure he left behind. Inspired by the mansions of Florence and Rome during a three-year honeymoon in Europe, Johnston and his wife, Anne, spent four years building an 18,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance Revival mansion that is now a National Historic Landmark. Considered the most advanced antebellum building in America for its style, craftsmanship, and technological innovations, the magnificent seven-level Hay House has been featured on A&E’s “America’s Castles.” It boasts beautiful 18th-Century furnishings, Italian Carrara Marble fireplaces, some of the country’s finest examples of marbleized and trompe l’oeil finishes, a music room with a 30-foot clerestory ceiling, exquisite plasterwork with 24-karat gold leafing and spectacular stained glass. The mansion is called Hay House for its last owners and residents, the P.L. Hay family, who conveyed the property in 1977 to The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, the country’s largest statewide non-profit preservation organization.
“I was not sure what to expect but what a lovely trip through architectural history. My tour guide was friendly, informative, and answered all my questions. A must visit if you are in Macon.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler Traveler 9 Jun 2021
2. Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park
Step back in time and visit this prehistoric American Indian site. Ocmulgee has had 17,000 years of continuous human habitation and artifacts from the past are still present today. Explore the museum with over 2,000 artifacts and watch an informative orientation film. After exploring the museum, venture outdoors to see the Earth Lodge with its original floors that are dated to 1015. Hike through a number of trails located at the park. Pack a family picnic to enjoy on the grounds’ shaded picnic tables. Discover why Macon is where history lives.
“Driving North we wanted to stop and hike to break up the day. This Park is a few miles off of 75 and easy to get to. We stopped on a Saturday so the visitor center was open. We had a picnic lunch and hiked for about an hour. The mounds are interesting. The hike took us through fields and a wetlands. Very nice.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 11 May 2021
3. The Allman Brothers Band Museums at the Big House
The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House is the #1 most visited tourist destination in Macon, Gaby Tripadvisor with patrons coming from all around the world annually. The house, now a museum and venue space was once the place where members of The Allman Brothers Band, their families, friends, and roadies lived, worked, and played from 1970 to 1973. It is more than a museum, it is an experience showing what the house looked and felt like when the band lived here. The incredible collection of ABB memorabilia and artifacts is the most extensive in the world.
“ABB Big House Museum is outstanding. Those guys really kept everything. You would need several hours to really look at every artifact, but you can do it in 2 hours. Staff was very knowledgeable, happy and helpful. Could not ask for nicer people. Tons of personal items as well as all of the guitars, drums, Hammond B3, amplifiers, etc. which are very cool.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 5 Feb 2021
For more information and to plan your time in Macon, check out MaconGa.com.
1. 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 and served as the residence for Georgia’s chief executives for over thirty years. This Georgia gem served as a political powerhouse where the complex social issues of the antebellum period including slavery and gender roles were played out and have since shaped our history. Its storied past also includes an overnight stay by General William T. Sherman as his troops entered Milledgeville during Sherman’s March to Sea during the American Civil War. Hidden from her exterior, be prepared to be awe-struck as you discover the massive golf-leaf rotunda. The Mansion’s tours are held Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm and Sunday, 2 am – 4 pm with tours at the top of the hour.
“My husband and I took a trip to Milledgeville for the weekend and we visited the Governor’s Mansion. We really enjoyed this tour and learned so much. Our guide was very knowledgeable and he answered everyone’s questions. The home is beautiful and it is something we would recommend doing while in Milledgeville.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 9 Dec 2019
2. Central State Hospital Self-Guided Tour
Since its founding in 1842, the Central State Hospital Campus (originally known as the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum) has been one of Milledgeville’s most well-known and intriguing sites. The site gained national recognition during the 1960s as the United States’ largest mental institution with over 12,000 patients, 6,000 employees, and more than 8,000 acres of land. Today, Central State Hospital serves over 200 existing patients and has downsized to roughly 2,000 acres of land. Take a self-guided driving tour that highlights the historic buildings of the campus and mentions important people from its past as well as the significance of certain periods in the Hospital’s history. Be sure to park your car at Cedar Lane Cemetery, a restoration that began in 1997 to memorialize the patients. Unfortunately, over the years the original iron markers had been removed by groundskeepers and today 2,000 of the original iron markers have been placed side by side. An angel serves as a perpetual guardian over the unmarked graves. Brochures are available for pick up at the Visitor’s Information Center, 200 West Hancock Street, and the Just Imagine Cottage, 95 Depot Circle Drive, on the campus grounds.
“So this was a photographers dream! The decrepit, abandoned buildings of Central State Hospital provide an amazing photographic playground. While you cannot enter the buildings, nor get too close, and some are being redeveloped; there’s plenty to see and take photos of…”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 23 Apr 2021
Renowned as one of America’s greatest short-story authors, Flannery O’ Connor was a visionary in the field of Southern gothic literature. Deriving inspiration from the land and people around her, Flannery’s most productive writing years were during her residence at Andalusia Farm in Milledgeville from 1951 – 1964. Andalusia was first settled in 1814 as a cotton plantation and farm until it was purchased in 1931 by Flannery’s uncle, Dr. Bernard Cline. While living in the Cline House in downtown Milledgeville, the farm served as a retreat where Flannery and her relatives could go to spend their free time out in the countryside. During O’Connor’s residency, the site contained 14 buildings with over 520 acres of land that were used for dairy and beef farming. Following a diagnosis of Lupus in 1951, Flannery moved to Andalusia to live under the care of her mother Regina Cline O’Connor. Following her death, the home remained in her family until 2003 when it was made into a museum and later gifted to her alma mater, Georgia College, in 2017. The museum’s mission is to care for, collect, interpret, and exhibit items that illustrate her life on the farm. Also, be sure to check out the Peacock exhibit where Flannery’s favorite birds reside! Andalusia is open for public tours Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm and Sunday, 2 am – 4 pm with tours at the top of the hour.
“Interesting visit and tour of Flannery O’Connor’s house. I also took the short nature walk from the pond. They’ve got plans to improve so it’ll only get better.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 08 Dec 2020
For more information and to plan your time in Milledgeville, check out VisitMilledgeville.com.
1. Heritage Hall
Magnificently placed on Main Street, Heritage Hall continues to inspire those who pass by with its grandeur and stateliness – a time capsule of how some of Madison’s wealthiest citizens lived before the Civil War. Built circa 1811, this historic house museum offers visitors a chance to step back in time as they enter through the giant wood door and are greeted in the parlor by local Madisonians, excited to share its story. On display, you’ll find local furniture dating back eight generations, unique artifacts, and authentic medical tools like those the home’s former owner, Dr. Jones, would have used in the early to mid-1800s. Heritage Hall is available for guided tours, by appointment, Tuesday through Sunday.
“Our tour was excellent and the guide provided all the information we needed. She also showed us around slowly so we could enjoy all the details of this large, interesting antebellum home”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 26 Apr 2021
2. Rogers House and Rose Cottage
Operated by the Morgan County Historical Society, Rogers House and Rose Cottage offer a unique peek into life in Madison from its founding through the early 1900s. Built circa 1809, Rogers House has been at the center of the City of Madison since its founding. An exceptional example of the Piedmont Plain-style architecture popular at the time, this house museum has seen almost 20 owners and been used for a variety of purposes throughout its history. Rose Cottage on the other hand was the proud accomplishment and family home for Ms. Adeline Rose. Born to enslaved parents and widowed as a young mother, Ms. Rose used her earnings as a laundress to build this home that she would raise her two children in. Not only did she have the home built to her liking around 1891, but Ms. Rose also included her woman’s touch to the design of the home – adding beautiful decorative elements that would have been quite elaborate and expensive for the average working-class homes of the time. Rogers House and Rose Cottage are available for guided tours, by appointment, with a combination ticket for Heritage Hall.
“We toured both of these nicely furnished homes with a well informed guide and enjoyed both houses. The contrast between the two houses was striking.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 26 Apr 2021
For more information and to plan your time in Madison, check out VisitMadisonGa.com.
1. Uncle Remus Museum
The Uncle Remus Museum is located in downtown Eatonton and showcases the life and work of Joel Chandler Harris, the author of the Uncle Remus stories. Visitors can go on an informative, guided tour to see period artifacts, dioramas of the Uncle Remus characters and listen to historic storytelling. Furthermore, there is a wing dedicated to Joseph Addison Turner, Harris’ mentor who taught him the printing trade and thoroughly taught him writing and journalism.
“Miss Georgia (not the contest kind/ her name is Georgia) gives a fabulous tour. You can call to see when she will be there. So much history in this little place! Also tons of great items to purchase. If you’re looking for a place to eat we love Lake Oconee Bistro.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 01 Jul 2020
2. Rock Eagle Mound
Rock Eagle is an archaeological and recreational site where visitors can see a stone effigy built 2,000 years ago. Current archaeologists infer the effigy was built by Woodland Indians but still don’t know its intended purpose. Most guesses conclude it was for religious or ceremonial reasons. The effigy extends 102 ft. long from head to tail and 120 ft. wide.
“I hadn’t heard of this before visiting the Eatonton tourism office. So glad I went to visit. Especially enjoyed Alice Walker’s poem about the site. A must-visit!”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 08 Dec 2020
3. Rock Hawk Effigy and Trails
Rock Hawk is a stone effigy in Eatonton, GA that holds hundreds of displays and miles of trails surrounding the effigy. Visitors can view the effigy from a viewing tower as well as read educational displays about the 12,000-year history of the land. Rock Hawk also offers recreational opportunities such as camping, fishing, hiking, biking, archery, boating, and nature watching.
“Great hidden gem. We went to see the effigy but was very surprise at how much this park area has to offer. From archery targets, trails, educational placards, great wildlife, to a great viewing tower. It is free to visit the effigy and trails. If you pay a nominal fee you can enter the adjacent park with picnic areas, swimming, camping and even a boat ramp.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 18 Jan 2020
For more information and to plan your time in Eatonton, check out VisitEatonton.com.
1. Washington Farms
Washington Farms is one of many u-pick farms located in Oconee County. Enjoy picking your own strawberries in the late spring-early summer, and pumpkins in the fall. Your family can also enjoy the farm’s activities such as a petting zoo, corn maze, wagon rides, zipline, paintball gallery, inflatables, and much more.
“We went to do the fall activities, and it’s a great way to spend an entire day letting the kid have fun. Even though there’s a lot of people at the farm, the place is so big that no activity feels too crowded. We enjoyed the petting zoo, cow train, corn pit, corn mazes, giant swing, flowers, and games. We can’t wait to go back. This is a great annual tradition for families.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 20 Oct 2019
2. Elder Mill Covered Bridge
The Elder Mill Covered Bridge is one of thirteen functioning covered bridges in Georgia, and the only covered bridge along the Georgia Antebellum Trail. Travel across the wooden trusses of the bridge that sits above Rose Creek.
“We live close to this old covered bridge. There isn’t a lot of parking but it’s worth the visit if you are in this area or passing through. If you love old covered bridges and dirt roads and the view of water running over rocks; you’ll enjoy this place! It’s peaceful, quite and once in a while you can see you a deer walk by. The architecture of the bridge is interesting. Makes a great place for prom, homecoming and senior pictures too.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 11 Feb 2020
3. Eagle Tavern Museum
(Reopening September 1, 2021) The historic Eagle Tavern was built circa 1801 and served as a stagecoach stop, tavern, trading post, and inn. Learn about the life and traveling on the early Georgia frontier through a guided tour.
Virtual tour available online: https://visitoconee.com/portfolio-item/eagle-tavern/
Tours began across the street at the Welcome Center and admission is free. Museum hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
“This is a really neat place to see the history about Watkinsville and the tour guide is very southern and friendly as well as knowledgeable.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 21 Jan 2018
For more information and to plan your time in Watkinsville, check out VisitOconee.com.
1. State Botanical Garden of Georgia
This 313-acre preserve is a perennial visitor favorite for its expansive themed gardens, soaring tropical conservatory, and over five miles of nature trails along the Oconee River. The grounds have been designated an Important Birding Area by the Georgia Audubon Society. The Garden has recently added even more reasons to visit, including an interactive and immersive Children’s Garden and the Porcelain and Decorative Arts Museum. Plus, there are new ADA-accessible paths to the river! Free admission to all areas. Grounds are open 8 AM – 7 PM, seven days a week. The Children’s Garden is open 8 AM – 7 PM. Buildings are closed on Mondays. The Visitors Center is open 9 AM – 4:30 PM Tuesday – Saturday and 11:30 – 4:30 on Sunday. Free timed admissions are available for the Porcelain & Decorative Arts Museum; reserve a spot online prior to arrival.
“We’ve been to many gardens and this was probably one of the best. It’s gorgeous with a nice variety. My kids love the play area.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 22 Apr 2021
2. Sanford Stadium
“We’ve been coming for decades to games here. So many memories! Our oldest grandchild just started this past year, so the tradition continues! Family friendly. Go Bulldogs!”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 10 Jan 2020
3. Bear Hollow Zoo
“My kids loved getting to visit. It’s small but wonderful considering that it’s free. After visiting the zoo, we took a short hike along Birchmore Nature Trail loop, which starts near the entrance to the zoo.”
- Review by Tripadvisor Traveler 22 Apr 2021
For more information and to plan your time in Athens, check out VisitAthensGA.com.
These Tripadvisor traveler favorites are just the start to your travels along Georgia’s Antebellum Trail. Discover more