By Susan Rodman
Madison, Georgia always feels like a genteel southern lady to me. The tree-lined streets shading local shops and restaurants invite you to wander. The active town square is perfect for a picnic, maybe a festival or just somewhere to meet the locals. These three activities are well-worth the hour drive from Atlanta, and if you’d like to stay the night, Explore Georgia has some hotel discounts in Madison too.
Time Travel: The stately antebellum mansions, spared by General William Tecumseh Sherman during the Civil War, give us a glimpse of what life was really like for the aristocratic southern planter. There are walking tours where you can view the homes from the sidewalk, or visit in May for the annual Tour of Homes & Gardens. Explore Georgia has a special group rate for the 2015 event.
Ride Into the Sunset: Southern Cross Guest Ranch is the weekend house you’ve always dreamed about. Numerous activities are available on this country lane, but it’s the horseback riding that takes center stage. All riding levels are welcome, and experienced riders can choose to go off on their own after a brief introduction to the trails. Even better, the trail horses are saddled only when being ridden and rotated among the herd, so there is plenty of time for the horses to just be horses.
Go Hollywood: Ricky D’s, located in the historic town of Madison, is a retro cinema, diner, wine bar and museum all rolled into one. Grab a hot dog and frozen custard from the pick up window, or sip a glass of merlot with Elvis at Backstage, the wine bar. The retro cinema shows indie films and you are welcome to enjoy your meal as you watch.
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