Words by Paige Townley
Nestled between Atlanta and Savannah is Milledgeville, a charming southern town that transforms into a lavish winter wonderland each holiday season. With twinkling lights, historic homes dressed in Christmas finery, shopping galore, and holiday festivities interspersed throughout the season, Milledgeville is the destination to experience the best the holidays has to offer. Here are our top five reasons why Milledgeville is the best small town to celebrate Christmas.
All of the Lights
Lockerly Arboretum is a private arboretum that has called Milledgeville home since 1965, and each year it puts its beauty on full display with Lockerly in Lights. Held on Friday and Saturday nights between November 17 and December 23, Lockerly in Lights lines the arboretum’s one-mile trail with a dazzling light display in which visitors can drive through and experience the unique opportunity of seeing it the natural beauty shining at night. On Saturday nights, visitors can also enjoy a walk along the trail.
Historic downtown Milledgeville offers a wide range of shopping opportunities, from charming boutiques and antique shops to gourmet foods and locally-made wares. Pick up a hot chocolate or cup of joe and hit the city’s streets to peruse all of the shopping options while also enjoying the beauty of the impressively decorated district.
Out on the Water
Lake Sinclair encompasses 15,300 acres in Milledgeville and boasts more than 500 miles of scenic shoreline, all of which is decked out for the holiday season. Homes all along the lake are decorated with colorful lights and from November 23 until December 31, there’s also Christmas Cove. Christmas Cove is the ultimate holiday experience hosted each year on Lake Sinclair and features a bright display of floating decorations, from snowmen to Santa and his reindeer.
Milledgeville offers a delectable culinary scene any time of year, but there’s something extra special during the holiday season. From classic southern dishes to global cuisine, the town is home to variety of unique eateries, like Blackbird Coffee, a local favorite for freshly roasted coffee, or Buffington’s, which serves the famous Bob Marley soup.
History on Display
Founded in 1803, Milledgeville has a long and storied history, much of which can be experienced on self-guided walking tours. The holiday season is an ideal time to partake in a tour when the tree-lined streets and historic homes are decked out in their seasonal best. One of the grandest spots in all of Milledgeville to experience the magic of the season is Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion. Completed in 1839, the Mansion served as home to eight Georgia governors between then and 1868, and each Christmas it transforms into a holiday showpiece reflecting that time period.
Ready to plan your holiday getaway to Milledgeville? Learn more at www.visitmilledgeville.org.