McDonough, Georgia, is located approximately 30 minutes from Atlanta, Georgia, the capital of Georgia.
Although it has a population of less that 9,000 permanent residents, it is the county seat for Henry County in Georgia.
McDonough was established in 1823, around a traditional square-based setting. This was as European-Americans began to move westward across the continent.
While the town square is still located in the center of the city McDonough, which offers a great base for exploring the region’s history as well as a wide range of outdoor activities, is an excellent choice.
These are the top 15 things to do in McDonough (Georgia).
1. McDonough Historic District
McDonough’s historic area covers more than 80 hectares in the center of the city and includes buildings that date back to the city’s foundation.
Henry County Courthouse and Historic Jail, located on the northern end of the town square, is one that stands out.
It is mainly made from red brick and has a clocktower in white that rises above it. It was constructed in Romanesque Revival architectural styles in 1897.
The district also includes an art deco Standard Oil station, which is now a tourist information center, and the grand Palace Theatre (also known as the Clay Plaza Building).
2. Heritage Park Veterans Museum
The Heritage Park Veterans Museum is small but perfectly formed. It’s located in an iron red barn. The museum contains a large collection of military artifacts.
The oldest dates back to more than 100 years, and includes displays that continue to the modern military.
The museum can house several vehicles dating back to the 1910s. It also has a variety of uniforms, equipment and example ration boxes.
It is staffed by military veterans and stands in front of the Wall of Honor, a 25-metre-long granite piece that depicts famous scenes from past military engagements.
3. Shanes Hot Shots Paintball & Airsoft
This centre is family-friendly and one of the best in the southeast United States.
You will find everything you need to enjoy the thrill of paintball with your friends or family at this centre, including guns and safety equipment.
You could also try airsoft, which uses small plastic pellets and replica weapons.
This growing sport is being played in Metropolis’ indoor arena. It has a game play similar to paintball, but without the pain or mess of the balls. It operates on the basis of trust.
4. Ghost tours
Ghosts and otherworldly apparitions, such as McDonough, seem to be as prevalent as the living. Join one of the many ghost tours that are offered around McDonough to learn more about the strange happenings in the city.
These lantern-led walking tours last approximately 90 minutes and visit a variety locations including the square, restaurants and shops where ghost sightings are reported.
One of these places was used as a mortuary following the Camp Creek Train Wreck catastrophe, while the other is haunted and has been featured on paranormal television shows across the United States.
5. Southern Belle Farm
McDonough is only 30 minutes drive from Atlanta, Georgia’s largest city. But it’s even closer to rural communities who continue to farm for their income.
Southern Belle Farm is a great example of this lifestyle. Southern Belle Farm is a working farm covering more than 130 hectares. It offers visitors a glimpse into what it takes to be able to run an agricultural business.
You can also visit the farm’s newest residents, the animals, on hayride tours and an exhibition of the dairy barn.
You can also enjoy a variety of activities that vary from one season to another, such as fruit picking in the spring and summer to the pumpkin patch, which comes to its best towards Halloween each year.
6. Martin Luther King Sr Heritage Trail
Atlanta is closely connected to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. It was influenced a lot by Martin Luther King Jr., a charismatic pastor of the church.
It is possible to argue that the demand for equality rights began a generation before Martin Luther King Sr. He was born and raised in Stockbridge. A heritage trail runs through the city’s centre.
The Floyd Chapel Baptist Church is a stop that King Sr. visited and where he delivered his first sermon after being ordained.
A plaque at City Hall commemorates the legacy of Stockbridge’s King family, located 15 minutes north from McDonough.
7. Hood Street Arts Center
It is clear that McDonough’s Hood Street Arts Center is the center for cultural events. The centre was formed from a group of community arts organizations and is located in a 1,800 square metre area.
It was originally built in 1930s as a hosiery factory. Today, it is a base for Henry Players actors and a ballet school.
The McDonough Arts Council as well as Henry Arts Alliance host regular events making it an attractive destination for those who love art and culture.
8. Heritage Park Historic Village
The central Heritage Park hosts the Veterans Museum as well as a historical village that takes visitors back in time to McDonough’s early days.
As its main attractions, the village has a log cabin built by settler from 1827, a schoolhouse with two rooms, Henry County’s first library, and a blacksmith shop.
Railway enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that a steam locomotive from 1934 has been preserved alongside a reconstruction of a passenger station.
A children’s playground is located within the park’s landscape. There are also benches and picnic tables.
9. Stone Mountain Park
Stone Mountain is the most popular destination in Georgia. It doesn’t lie in a mountain range but rises out of the landscape 45km north of McDonough.
The base of the mountain measures eight kilometres in circumference. However, it rises to a height just 250m above its base or slightly more than 500 metres above sea level.
It is possible to hike to the summit and enjoy a variety of spectacular scenes. You can also reach the highest point by Skyride cable car.
The mountain is best known for its largest bas-relief carving, which depicts three Confederate south leaders.
10. Camera Museum and Escape room
The Camera Museum is located just a few hundred meters from McDonough’s historic heart. It displays an assortment of antique and vintage cameras.
Its collection contains approximately 1,200 cameras and accessories.
It is therefore able to cover all aspects of the history of photography from its inception in 1830s up to digital photography 150 years later.
The space transforms into a giant escape room at night with three themes to challenge those who are up for a challenge.
11. Clayton County International Park
This park is located about 30 minutes north of McDonough in Atlanta and is a testament to the lasting legacy that can be created by hosting major sporting events like the Olympic Games.
It’s clear that Clayton County International Park is a benefit to the surrounding communities.
The beach was built as the venue for the 1996 Atlanta Games’ beachvolleyball competition. There are also biking trails, sports fields and places for anglers to test their luck in the lake’s water.
Children who are travelling with their parents will be attracted to the huge water slides. However, swimming in the lake is an excellent alternative.
12. C.O. Polk Interactive Museum
The McDonough Museum puts modern technology front-and-center in order to explore 200 years of McDonough’s history.
It combines physical objects with the internet world. This is why it has a wide range of virtual and physical displays that date back to the time before the city was founded. The area was once the ancestral home of the Creek Indian Nation.
Moving on to McDonough’s first years, McDonough’s drawings of the main square were mixed with objects from the historic buildings of the district.
It also includes important people who have lived in the city and the industry that made it what it is today.
It also includes major historical events, including the civil war. This is why McDonough is often called the Geranium City.
13. World of Coca-Cola
Atlanta is only 30 minutes north of Atlanta by road. It has produced some of the most famous brands in the world, but none can match Coca-Cola, which was founded in Atlanta in 1886.
The huge World of Coca-Cola tells you the story of the most well-known drink on the planet, from its humble beginnings until today.
The complex covers an incredible 81,000 sq. metres and is located just blocks away from John Pemberton’s original formula.
The 4D movie takes visitors on a journey through the secret formula and allows them to sample the 60 versions of Coke available around the world.
14. Battlefield at Nash Farm
The area covered by the Nash Farm Battlefield is 80 hectares. It can be found at Henry County’s western edge.
Today’s parkland was busy in 1864 with military activity, as Unionists sought to push back the Confederate forces during civil war.
It was the site of several battles that ultimately brought an end to the Battle of Atlanta.
You can take self-guided tours of the site, which include events such as Kilpatrick’s Raid.
The Nash Farm Battlefield is located near Hampton, which can be reached in 20 minutes by McDonough.
15. RE-taking History Tour
The RE-taking History Tour of downtown McDonough is a great way to get a closer look at the history of the area.
This tour is centered around the historic square and the streets running to and from it. You can find the 15 special markers within the city’s pavements.
The RE-taking History Tour is its name because it allows visitors to retake historical photographs and compare them with the originals. It is a fascinating look at what has changed and what has remained the same.