Perfect for a short walk or longer exploration, LaGrange College boasts nearly 200 years of history in buildings old and new, beautiful landscaping, and the best vantage point in LaGrange from its location on “The Hill”. LaGrange College was chartered in 1831 and was the first private college in Georgia. To visit campus, park in the lot at the corner of Broad Street and Park Avenue. You’ll find Smith Hall, Hawkes Hall, Pitts Hall, and the Chapel are some of the most interesting buildings on campus (and are located very near each other). Smith Hall is the oldest building on campus and served as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Hawkes Hall was built in 1911 as a dormitory and housed the school library for a time. Pitts Hall was completed in 1940, just before World War II began. The college was fortunate to complete the building before the war began and construction resources were diverted to the war effort. The LaGrange College Chapel has unique ties to historic LaGrange as well as ancient Greece, Scotland, and England. The Chapel exterior includes stones from the Temple of Apollo at Corinth and Saint George’s Chapel in Windsor. The Temple of Apollo at Corinth was erected around 540 B.C. Saint George’s Chapel in Windsor was built around 1348. The stones are located on either side of the chapel, with plaques providing more information about their origins. The windows in the chapel came from the 1898 First Methodist Church in LaGrange. When the church was raised to make way for the new building, its windows were saved for use in the LaGrange College Chapel.To learn more about Walk through LaGrange College, click here.
Bellevue, a stately antebellum home, was built between 1852 and 1855 by Benjamin Harvey Hill for his wife, Caroline Holt Hill. It is a significant example of the “domesticated temple” form of Greek Revival-style architecture popular in the antebellum South. Many dignitaries, including Confederate President Jefferson Davis, were entertained there. Located in historic downtown LaGrange, Bellevue became the home of the LaGrange Woman’s Club in 1942, when the Fuller E. Callaway Foundation presented the home to the club. Bellevue is a National Historic Landmark. A Bellevue tour lasts 1.5 hours and costs $5 per person.To learn more about Tour of Bellevue , click here.
Enjoy some fresh air and exercise at LaGrange’s newest park. Southbend is a brand new, beautifully landscaped park complete with huge playgrounds, a dog park and skatepark. The park also has a pavilion and plenty of seating and green space. It’s a wonderful place for a picnic or snack, so grab food or dessert from a downtown spot and enjoy it while you explore the park!To learn more about Southbend Park, click here.
Take a walk in downtown LaGrange, exploring our eclectic blend of history of new growth. The downtown area offers excellent antique and gift shops as well as many world class restaurants. Be sure to walk the square and see the beautiful fountain, named for American Revolutionary War hero Marquis de LaFayette. The fountain offers a great photo opportunity; locals and travelers love to take pictures in the square. While you explore the downtown area, you’ll easily find a lunch meal that won’t break the bank at Charlie Joseph’s, Your Pie, or Brickhouse Grille.
The Legacy Museum on Main, located in the heart of historic downtown LaGrange, is home to a permanent exhibit gallery which features the history and development of West Georgia. The Charter Foundation Rotating Gallery spotlights temporary exhibits featuring collections which range from the archives collections to nationally recognized traveling exhibits. Permanent exhibits at Legacy Museum feature items ranging from ancient artifacts, like a soapstone bowl believed to be 11,000 years old, to more “recent” historic artifacts from LaGrange’s rich textile and railroad history. While you’re there, be sure to check out the world’s oldest cotton bale on display within the museum! Admission to the Legacy Museum is free.To learn more about Legacy Museum, click here.
Those who love good beer won’t want to miss Wild Leap Brew Co., also in downtown LaGrange. What was once the Westbrook Service and Tire Co. building has become the home of Wild Leap, the first brewery to locate in LaGrange. With a focus on approachable beers, Wild Leap’s brews have quickly gained popularity and are widely distributed. Wild Leap features a tasting room and outdoor beer garden that looks over a downtown plaza. Stop by for a flight to sample several of Wild Leap’s most popular brews!To learn more about Bonus Spot: Wild Leap Brew Co. , click here.
The Biblical History Center allows your family to encounter the ancient world through history and culture. Through authentic archeological replicas, Biblical meal presentations, daily life artifacts, lectures, and personal experiences, ancient Middle Eastern life is revived. In the Time Tunnel, you can learn about the worship practices of pagans, Jews, and Christians by exploring replications of excavated houses of worship. The Archeological Replica Garden houses 23 life-size replicas of structures found in excavation of Israel, Malta, and Jordan. The popular Biblical Meal is a four-course meal with food items that were available in the ancient world. If you have children, they will have the opportunity to bake bread like ancient nomadic people in the Shepherd’s Bread Experience and explore archeology and history in the Kid’s Dig. The Biblical History Center is one of only eight museums in the world to house a long-term collection of artifacts from the Israel Antiquity Authority. General admission to the Biblical History Center is $10 per adult (ages 13 and up) and $15 per child (ages 6-12).To learn more about Biblical History Center, click here.
Religious institutions played an important role in the development of Troup County. A driving tour of historic churches is a great way to explore the history of this community! These historic churches were some of the first buildings in Troup County; many of them were built in the 1800s. Other churches have relocated into newer buildings and retained some aspects of their older, original structures. These churches served as gathering places for worship, schools, civic and social clubs, meetings, weddings, revivals, and social occasions from the very beginning of LaGrange history. You will find information about the historic church driving tour here (LINK). Pack some snacks in the car and enjoy Georgia’s beautiful scenery as you explore LaGrange history through the lens of our historic churches.
Surrounded by deep forests and rolling fields, West Point Lake’s 525 miles of shoreline provide excellent opportunities for recreation and wildlife viewing in a beautiful setting. Spend the afternoon relaxing and soaking up the sun at one of the many lake accesses in Troup County. Whether you’re looking to catch some rays or cool off in the water, West Point Lake is your weekend escape. If you enjoy fishing (or swimming), visit McGee Bridge Park or Rocky Point Recreation Area. Both parks have covered concrete piers for the public. Rocky Point Recreation Area has a fishing pier, boat ramp, restrooms, bath house, picnic area and shelter, playground, and hiking trails. Many locals and visitors bring lanterns to night fish from these covered docks! Both McGee Bridge Park and Rocky Point Recreation Area are free to the public.To learn more about West Point Lake, click here.
The LaGrange Art Museum is housed in an iconic 1892 jail building, just a stone’s throw from LaGrange Square’s eateries and shops. Created in 1963 by a group of local artists and art patrons, the permanent collection of LaGrange Art Museum began when a hometown boy of national prominence, Lamar Dodd, donated a painting. LaGrange Art Museum is filled with dynamic exhibitions by renowned and local artists. Collections of high caliber and visually-tantalizing artwork fill the galleries, making the museum a treat for visitors. Be sure and give yourself plenty of time to explore this multilevel museum! Admission to the Art Museum is always free, although donations are welcome.To learn more about Take in the Art, click here.
Karvela’s Pizza Company boasts some of the best (and most affordable) wings and pizza in the state. Their homemade pizza dough provides the perfect base to an array of creative toppings and chicken wings come in a variety of unique flavors. The large indoor space is great for groups and the atmosphere is always lively and friendly. Karvela’s location right on the square allows you to enjoy LaGrange’s downtown scene for a delightful atmosphere and delicious dinner!To learn more about Eat at Karvela's Pizza Co., click here.