Milton is a city in Georgia’s Fulton Country. It was created in 2006, and forms part of Atlanta’s extensive northern suburbs.
Milton has a semi-rural location, putting it close to major attractions in both city and country.
Assuredly wealthy, Milton has one of the highest standards of living in the state. It is also ranked as one of the best places to live in Georgia, and is also one of the safest too.
Here are the 15 best things to do in Milton, Georgia.
1. Milton History Trail
Although only incorporated as a city in the early 2000s, history of settlement in the Milton area dates back centuries.
It is known that the first interaction between native Americans and Europeans took place as early as the sixteenth century.
The 28 markers that make up Milton’s history trail highlights some of the city’s most important historic buildings.
These include Hopewell Baptist Church, which was constructed in 1851, the Phillips Homestead from 1862, and the even earlier Providence Baptist Church.
This last religious structure can trace its history back to a church service that took place just before Christmas in 1830.
2. Former Milton Country Club
This 55-hectare area of parkland was once a private country club. Since it was purchased by the city in 2018, plans are well underway to convert it into a major open space for the city’s residents and visitors.
The majority of the former club has been designated parkland, and its glades and woodlands will be opened up with a number of hiking trails winding their way beneath the trees and around the its lakes.
A much smaller area offers a public pool and tennis courts, as well as what was once the clubhouse.
3. Sawnee Mountain Preserve
The Sawnee Mountain Preserve can be found in Cumming, approximately 30-minutes northeast of Milton by road.
Its visitor centre provides more detailed information on the surrounding landscapes. Its size of almost 400 hectares means there is plenty of space to escape the crowds and enjoy a day or two in this glorious wilderness area.
Highlights include Indian Seats, a natural rock formation at the top of the preserve’s trail system. It offers phenomenal panoramic views across the North Georgia Mountains.
On the way to Indian Seats, visitors will encounter the entrances to abandoned gold mines, as well as the region’s typical flora and fauna.
4. Lake Sidney Lanier
Visible from viewpoints in Sawnee Mountain Preserve, Lake Sidney Lanier is a man-made lake created in the 1950s.
Named after a well-known Georgia poet, the lake was formed from the damming of the Chattahoochee River, whose waters slowly covered the surrounding valley walls.
The result is a landscape so attractive that it welcomes somewhere in the region of 10 million visitors each year.
They come for the exquisite views from the long shoreline of this lake, as well as white sand beaches that remind many of the Caribbean, and a family-friendly water park.
5. Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Sky Zone Trampoline Park is a trampoline park in nearby Roswell that has attractions for all ages.
Among them, visitors will find a ninja warrior course, on which adults are able to test their strength and agility.
Alternatives include the Foam Zone, where guests are able to test their acrobatic skill while guaranteeing a soft landing.
But of course, most will visit Sky Zone for the promise of some trampolining fun. The Freestyle Jump zone has walls covered in matting and floors of wall-to-wall trampolines.
The centre also boasts a dedicated trampoline dodgeball court for the more competitive among us.
Roswell is around 15 kilometres south of Milton.
6. Southeastern Railway Museum
First opened to the public in 1970, the Southeastern Railway Museum now displays close to one hundred different examples of railway stock and allied pieces of engineering.
Georgia’s official transport museum, the 12-hectare site is centred around the restored Duluth passenger depot, itself an important artefact dating from 1871.
In addition to exploring the historic steam engines and Pullman passenger carriages, visitors to the museum are able to experience a ride on a renovated caboose (engine car) that runs up and down a short section of trackway.
The museum is located roughly half an hour from Milton, in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth.
7. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
The Chattahoochee River has been recognised as a place of national significance through the development of a recreation area that covers 15 individual sections of the river’s banks called ‘units.’
They stretch along much of the 77 kilometres of the river than flow from the dam at Lake Sidney Lanier through to Atlanta.
Among them is Cochran Shoals Park, one of the area’s largest units, and marks where Unionist troops crossed the Chattahoochee for the first time during the American Civil War.
However, the Island Ford unit, which can be found between Sandy Springs and Roswell, is a more popular option for many first-time visitors. It contains the recreation area’s headquarters and visitor centre.
It lies a similar distance from Milton to the Southeastern Railway Museum.
8. Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
Hovering on the southern outskirts of Atlanta, many visitors are surprised to find the dramatic mountain landscapes of Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area so close to a major city.
Just an hour away via downtown Atlanta, Arabia Mountain contains beautiful untouched woodland typical of northern Georgia, interspersed with 400-million-year-old granite outcrops.
In between, the multitude of walking trails lead around historic sites dating to the region’s period of initial European settlement.
Among them are quarries where stone was cut by hand to such quality that they can be found within the superstructure of Brooklyn Bridge over the East River in New York.
9. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park
Although Arabia Mountain is well worth exploration, it would be a shame to pass through downtown Atlanta without stopping to enjoy some of the landmarks of the Georgia state capital.
This is particularly true when you consider the standard of attractions on offer, including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park.
Its series of buildings contain King’s childhood home, as well as the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was baptised and his father was minister.
The onsite visitor centre contains a museum where you can learn more about King, as well as the Civil Rights Movement which he led.
The park also contains the Nobel Peace Prize winners grave, where he was interred after being assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39.
10. Alpharetta Historic District
Downtown Atlanta is not the only place in the area that seems to have more than its fair share of historic sites.
The centre of the now-independent city of Alpharetta between Milton Avenue and Academy Street has a number of historically important buildings, some of which date to the early 1800s.
Among them, be sure not to miss Mansell House. Though built almost one hundred years after some of the city’s first structures, in 1912, it has a unique Queen Anne style.
Its survival is all the more special since many of Alpharetta’s oldest building were demolished and remain as nothing more than photographs.
The Webb Building and hotel, for example, was destroyed as late as the 1970s to become a small urban park.
Downtown Alpharetta is just eight kilometres south of Milton.
11. Archibald Smith Plantation Home
Another lucky survivor of modern planning development, as well as the American Civil War, Archibald Smith Plantation Home was built in 1845.
Located in Roswell, close to the Sky Zone Trampoline Park, this clapboard building is preserved as one of Georgia’s finest examples of regional architecture.
The home of one of the founders of Roswell, Archibald Smith, his family lived here for three generations.
Now a museum, the two-storey farmhouse still contains much of its original furniture, as well as personal items belonging to the Smith Family.
The house is a great example of what life was like for the people of the south before the civil war – both the well-to-do white populace and their black slaves.
12. Treetop Quest
Slightly further south towards Atlanta is Dunwoody, roughly 25 kilometres from Milton. Although suburban, Dunwoody is also the home of Treetop Quest.
This outdoor adventure centre takes people up into the tree canopy, to heights of 16 metres above the ground.
Once there, walkways keep you from having to descend back to the forest floor through a series of ropes, ziplines, nets, and bridges.
Four different levels of difficulty mean that Treetop Quest is a family-friendly day out, with everyone from the age of four upwards able to take part and test their nerve.
13. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Kennesaw Mountain, to the west of Milton, is the highest point in the metropolitan Atlanta area, topping out at just over 500 metres.
Its wooded slopes are an excellent destination for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors and is ready to pull on their walking boots.
However, Kennesaw Mountain is also of historical importance. The mountain was the location for a major battle during the civil war.
You can learn more about its exact role in this fundamental episode in American history from the display boards. They can be found around the preserved battlefield site and recreated positions were cannon and other artillery were once placed.
The mountain lies approximately 40 kilometres from Milton.
14. Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art
It would be easy to argue that the old main post office now occupied by the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art is as attractive as much of the art inside.
Built in a Greek Revival style, it was used for the courthouse scenes in the 2014 film Selma, and has a dramatic portico of tall columns that welcomes visitors in to its pleasant gallery spaces.
But what really makes the museum special is the fact it is the only one in the metropolitan Atlanta region that dedicates itself to American art.
Its permanent collection spans the entire history of art in the United States, from its earliest days to the contemporary era.
The gallery is a similar distance from Milton as Kennesaw Mountain.
15. Six Flags White Water
Covering an area of 280,000 square metres, Six Flags White Water is known as one of the best water parks in the United States, and is just 40 minutes away from Milton.
Consisting of a series of different sections, younger children have their own age-appropriate pools and water-based attractions, meaning the whole family can enjoy a day here.
Older visitors have a number of different water slides and rides to choose between, as well as the Atlanta Ocean wave pool, and the Little Hooch lazy river ride.
Dive Bomber is the highest single slide, located in the Flash Flood Canyon section of the park.