- Treats on Storied Streets
At the heart of the city, Lafayette Square is the epicenter for culture, history and commerce. Featuring a gorgeous circular fountain and statue of Marquis de Lafayette, a Revolutionary War hero influential in giving the city its name, Lafayette Square is lined with locally-owned businesses, antique shops and boutiques, museums and restaurants. Explore treasure troves of timeless finds and eye-catching pieces you never knew you needed (and won’t find anywhere else). Venture outward from the square and admire antebellum homes, national landmarks and the reason for the area’s historic appeal.
A few blocks south sits Wild Leap, USA Today’s Best New Brewery of 2019. Recognized for unique brews and concoctions, try a flight of local craft beer or mix it up with a flavorful cocktail made with Wild Leap’s handcrafted vodka. Housed in the preserved 1948 Westbrook Tire & Service Co., the building’s trendy restoration earned Wild Leap an award for Excellence in Building Rehabilitation by The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.
Wild Leap offers a pet-friendly outdoor courtyard and large tasting room complete with a wide array of card and board games. The craft drinks, environment and friendly service will have you eager to toast!
While you’re downtown, make a pit stop by Southbend Park and catch the constant action. Southbend offers a skate park, playground, dog park, pavilion, open green space and access to The Thread, the city’s multi-use network of trails connecting LaGrange’s neighborhoods, attractions and more. Enjoying the air? Take advantage of The Thread to leisurely navigate the city sights on foot!
2. Italian-Inspired Landmarks To Write Home About
Modeled after the Campanile of St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy, Callaway Memorial Tower is a must-see. Erected in 1929 in tribute to textile magnate Fuller E. Callaway, the luscious green lawn is the perfect escape for an afternoon picnic. When it cools off and the foliage begins to change, the monument is just as striking as it is in warmer months. No matter the season, this spot is ideal for photographs, family fun or quiet moments of reflection.
Sneak away to Lover’s Lane at Hills & Dales Estate, the historic Callaway home and gardens. Completed in 1916, the 13,000 square foot italian-inspired villa hosts one of the country’s best-preserved 19th-century gardens. The estate is designed to flow effortlessly into the gardens—the terraces lined with a series of dwarf boxwood parterres that have adorned the hill for more than 175 years. To let you in on a little secret: Other famous families have been known to visit and take notes as to how to preserve their homes.
3. Home To World-Famous Bites
Looking for a bite? A trip to LaGrange wouldn’t be complete without stopping for lunch at Charlie Joseph’s. Home of their World Famous Hot Dog, it’s tough to find a free barstool in the downtown location when lunchtime rolls around! But not to worry; there’s a second location just a few miles away. For over a century, Charlie Joseph’s has been serving classics like chili dogs, hamburgers and Brunswick stew.
The restaurant maintains its nostalgic ambiance through its extensive collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia. Stepping into Charlie Joseph’s feels like stepping back in time to the days when a pack of chewing gum cost five cents and Coca-Cola only came in a glass bottle. In addition to the collectibles, the downtown location also sports a Coca-Cola mural on the outside wall, offering an Instagram-worthy photo op.
4. Hit Miles And Miles Of Water
Surrounded by deep forests along the Chattahoochee River, West Point Lake offers 525 miles of shoreline for your adventures. Notorious for trophy bass, rent a kayak or pontoon boat from Highland Pines Resort and Marina to reel in your catch or enjoy pier-fishing at Hardley Creek Park, Rocky Point Park and McGee Bridge Park. Looking for a fishing guide? We have those, too.
Outside of fishing, you can enjoy a variety of water sports and outdoor activities like paddleboarding, hiking, birdwatching, camping (backcountry, electric and RV options) and watching the sunset over the water.
5. The Sweetful Sounds Of Live Music
Where tall pines sway to the rhythm of a Southern breeze sits Sweetland Amphitheatre—the South’s Sweetest Stage. Opened in 2016, this 2,500 seat amphitheatre has quickly become a legendary spot for locals. Music icons including Willie Nelson, Gladys Knight and The Temptations have graced the stage for star-studded performances.
Etched into the existing hillside just north of Lafayette Square, Sweetland is within walking distance of restaurants and shops and near local hotels and attractions. In winter, Sweetland Amphitheatre is transformed for the season into Sweetland On Ice, a 5,500 square-foot open-air ice rink. Rental skates and concessions are available—including yummy hot cocoa and craft beverages!
If you’re looking for a more intimate, low-key spot, check out the line-up at Pure Life Studios. Located in a renovated warehouse in the historic Hillside District of LaGrange, the 130-seat listening room hosts local, regional and national talent in a cozy setting. Just a five-minute drive from downtown, Pure Life Studios sets the stage for a harmonious night. Did we mention it’s brown-bag approved? Yep, feel free to BYOB.
Whether you have a whole weekend or just a day to spend in LaGrange, the city is sure to keep you entertained. With a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, legendary eats and award-winning craft beverages, you’ll be back for more once you check these spots off your list!