Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Madison, FL

  • Published 2022/09/08

Madison is a beautiful, peaceful city in north Florida that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.

The city has a long, rich history dating back to the 1830s.

It’s an ideal place for raising a family, pets, livestock, and outdoor sports.

Families can enjoy all the amenities of city life, like schools and public parks, along with some of the best outdoor activities in the country.

It’s home to Colin P. Kelly, a pearl harbor soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his service during World War II.

There are many activities to enjoy in Madison, including visiting its historical sites, such as the Old Madison County Courthouse and the Four Freedoms Park.

Here are the most interesting, fun, and unique things to do in Madison, Florida:

Go Camping at Deerwood Inn & Madison Campground

Signage of Deerwood Inn & Madison Campground

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Southwest Old Saint Augustine Road, Deerwood Inn & Madison Campground is the perfect place to stay while exploring all Madison offers.

This place offers cozy motel rooms and an excellent location for camping and relaxing.

You’ll have access to a large pavilion with shuffleboard and an outdoor pool, making it easy to spend time outdoors with family.

Entrance to Deerwood Inn & Madison Campground

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Seventy-five camping grounds and RV spaces are available at this location, so large groups are welcome!

Get a small taste of the great outdoors at Deerwood Inn & Madison Campground through their spacious RV grounds, which are perfect for any type of gatherings.

Vacation at Ragans Family Campground

Ragans Family Campground, situated on Southwest Old Saint Augustine Road, is the perfect place for family vacation fun in Madison.

Families can come and gather gems while having a great time at the Mining Sluice.

Take a ride through the campground with your family on one of the ATV trails.

The fishing lake has plenty of fish waiting for you to catch them.

You can also try the Gaga Ball with your friends and siblings.

This game combines bowling with arcade games and is sure to be a hit for adults and kids alike.

There is also a designated place for arts and crafts activities available for those who want something new to try while staying at Ragans Family Campground.

Water Adventure at the Withlacoochee River (North) Paddling Trail

Are you looking for a great way to experience the Withlacoochee River?

There’s no better way to do so than on your own two feet, in a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard.

The Withlacoochee River (North) Paddling Trail is a 28-mile stretch of water designated as a state paddling trail and part of the Florida National Scenic Trail Route.

It provides visitors an incredible opportunity to see natural Florida at its best: dense forests, wildlife, and beautiful scenery from start to finish.

The Withlacoochee River (North) Paddling Trail ends at a boat ramp, where you can take a break before returning to the water again.

It also contributes significant amounts of water to the Suwannee River.

Go Hiking at the Four Freedoms Trail

Scenic view of hiking trail at Four Freedoms Trail

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can’t beat the stunning views of Madison when you spend a day hiking at the Four Freedoms Trail.

The 12-mile recreational trail is a great way to enjoy a walk, bike ride, or horseback ride with your family or friends.

It’s paved, so you won’t have to worry about getting your shoes muddy on this trail.

Boardwalk at Four Freedoms Trail

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Four Freedoms Trail crosses at Hanson and extends north from the city limits to the Withlacoochee River.

The scenic views from this hike are breathtaking.

You’ll be able to see them from various points along the trail.

Picnic area at Four Freedoms Trail

Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Play Golf at the Madison Golf & Country Club

Situated on Country Club Road, the Madison Golf & Country Club is one of the state’s most beautiful and unique golf courses.

The nine-hole course is ideal for golfers who want to play a relaxed yet challenging round.

It offers something for everyone—whether you’re an avid golfer or someone who doesn’t have much experience with the game, you’ll find something here that will challenge and excite you.

The Madison Golf & Country Club is also great for events such as wedding receptions, birthday parties, business meetings, family reunions, and more.

The clubhouse is spacious and comfortable, with plenty of room for everyone to relax after their round on the course.

They also have an RV Resort off-site if you want to stay overnight.

Have a Date Night at Sunrise Coffee Shop and The Wine Cellar

Sunrise Coffee Shop and The Wine Cellar, located on Southwest Rutledge Street, is the perfect place to unwind after a day of Madison adventure.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic place or want to grab some drinks with friends, this cafe has it all.

The place offers wine tastings and a Murder Mystery Dinner.

It also offers fine wines and beers by the glass, bottle, or half-case.

You can even order custom cakes, handmade bread, pastries, and muffins if you’re planning an event.

The cozy atmosphere makes Sunrise Coffee Shop and The Wine Cellar the perfect place for couples or small groups who want to enjoy healthy and hearty meals while sipping on finely crafted coffee drinks.

Spend the Day at Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park

The famous Four Freedoms Monument

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for a place to spend the day, check out Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park.

With its lush green lawns, large gazebo, and unique fountain, this park is one of Madison’s most popular attractions.

It also houses the Four Freedoms Monument in honor of Colin P. Kelley, created by sculptor Walter Russell.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park was named after President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech in 1941.

In his “Four Freedoms” speech, the former US President outlined four essential freedoms: speech and expression, worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Grab a Book at Legacy | Fine Arts, Books, and Gifts

If you’re looking for a great place to grab a book while you’re in town, look no further than Legacy | Fine Arts, Books, and Gifts on Southwest Range Avenue.

Plus, it’s right next to the Sunrise Coffee Shop and The Wine Cellar—so you can grab your favorite drink before or after your visit.

The store features fine art, leatherbound and collectible books, and pewter office gift items.

You’ll find everything from rare editions of classic literature to kid-friendly paperbacks that are sure to please anyone on your list.

Legacy | Fine Arts, Books, and Gifts is one of Madison’s most unique spots—don’t miss it.

Have Dinner at O’Neal’s Country Buffet

There’s nothing like a good meal at a buffet, and O’Neal’s Country Buffet is no exception.

This buffet on West Base Street offers all your favorites, from baked chicken and sweet potato casserole to beans and mac and cheese.

They also have meatballs and green beans for an extra kick.

O’Neal’s Country Buffet has specialty tasty broccoli salads, fried chicken, and fried prawns if you’re looking for something more unique.

The dessert station also has some great things, like banana pudding—which is definitely worth trying.

Learn about Madison at the Treasures of Madison County

Exterior view of Treasures Museum

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Treasures of Madison County is a unique place to learn about Madison County’s cultural heritage.

Located in the historic 1892 Treasures Building on Southwest Range Avenue, the museum features exhibits that showcase the county’s past and present.

The building, built by William Turner in 1892, is one of the few remaining structures in Florida covered with galvanized sheet metal.

In its heyday, the second floor served as an opera house and center for entertainment and social events from 1892 to 1910.

Now, you can see it all at the Treasures of Madison County.

It features an Old Presbyterian Church exhibit, tobacco exhibit, medical/pharmacy exhibit, vintage clothing exhibit, and more.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015, the museum provides a fascinating look at Madison County’s history through exhibits and events.

Have Lunch at C & D Bistro

One of the most popular spots in Madison is C & D Bistro on Southwest Horry Avenue, an American restaurant serving a delicious lunch menu and live music on weekends.

It’s a great place to stop after a long day exploring this beautiful city.

Try the teriyaki grilled pork chop over jasmine rice and stir-fry veggies for something light but filling.

This dish comes with two sides: mashed potatoes and asparagus.

You can also opt for their chicken piccata entree, which features chicken breast sautéed in lemon caper sauce over mashed potatoes with asparagus on the side.

For a heartier main course, try one of C & D Bistro’s seafood specialties: grilled salmon over sautéed spinach with garlic butter sauce or grilled mahi-mahi with garlic butter sauce served over rice pilaf.

Buy Something at LoST Relics-Fine Antiques

One of the exciting ways to get a taste of Madison’s history is to visit LoST Relics-Fine Antiques on Southwest Range Avenue.

This 5,000-square-foot antique shop is full of treasures that will make your jaw drop.

Stepping through the door into this treasure trove will transport you back to the days when people lived well and designed their homes with beautiful furnishings and fine china.

LoST Relics-Fine Antiques is home to an incredible collection of antique clocks, victrolas, glassware, fine china, antique radios, paintings, and more.

You’ll find everything from Persian rugs to jewelry and paintings at this one-of-a-kind store.

Visit the Wardlaw-Smith House

Facade of Wardlaw-Smith-Goza Mansion

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Wardlaw-Smith House has long been a fixture on North Washington Street in Madison’s historic district.

It was built by Benjamin F. Wardlaw in 1860 and donated to North Florida Community College in 1988.

Today, it’s a conference center and opens to the public for tours.

The Wardlaw-Smith House earned its name from the family that owned it for years.

It’s a US historic building that features beautiful architecture and landscaping.

The mansion has seen many changes throughout its history but retains its original charm and character.

Attend Exhibits at the Hardee Center for the Arts

Art is a universal expression and a great way to share your passion with others.

The Hardee Center for the Arts features collections of works by artists and students.

You’ll be able to see everything from paintings to sculptures to photographs at this art gallery.

The Hardee Center for the Arts is located in North Florida Community College on Turner Davis Drive.

Relax at Ladell Brothers Outdoor Environmental Center

Come to Ladell Brothers Outdoor Environmental Center on Turner Davis Drive for a chance to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

Part of North Florida Community College’s campus, the 20-acre site has been designated a site for a birding trail.

This spot boasts picnic areas and grills, making it ideal for a family outing or romantic date with your special someone.

Ladell Brothers Outdoor Environmental Center allows visitors to explore a maple swamp, marsh area, pond, spring-fed stream, deciduous woods, pine woods, grasslands, and a planted field.

You can observe habitats and animals by walking around the area.

It’s truly an outdoor experience.

Final Thoughts

Madison is a beautiful destination worthy of any traveler’s bucket list.

It boasts a peaceful community, fascinating museums, historical sites, and natural landmarks that will make your trip memorable and enjoyable at the same time.

Include all the best things to do in Madison, Florida on your travel itinerary!

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