Old Governor's Mansion
Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville

Tour Five Georgia Capital Cities

Did you know Georgia had four capital cities before Atlanta? What a fun history road trip, exploring Georgia's ever-changing political scene. Here are the five capitals and something fun to explore in each town.

Savannah at night with trolley


In 1776, when Georgia became a state, government operations were handled in Savannah. There was no formal declaration of Savannah as the capital, but it is widely held that this city served as Georgia's first.

Two Great Historic Sites in Savannah:

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace

Wormsloe Historic Site

Aerial view of Augusta along the river


As time went on, people began exploring beyond the coast. In 1783, a council named Augusta the capital, as it was closer to the growing backcountry. 

Two Great Historic Sites in Augusta:

Augusta Canal Discovery Center

Augusta Museum of History

Jefferson County Courthouse in Louisville, Georgia


In 1786, a commission was charged with finding a new capital within 20 miles of a few popular trading areas and on the Ogeechee River. It would be patterned after Philadelphia. By 1798, a state constitution named Louisville the "seat of government" but only for a short time due to concern about malaria outbreaks growing rapidly in the area.

It is here you’ll find the site of Georgia's first capitol building.

Two Great Historic Sites in Jefferson County:

Old Market House

Revolutionary Cemetery

Old Capitol in Milledgeville, Georgia


Milledgeville's administration building was occupied in 1807, and the area dubbed Government Square. Here, Georgia's capital city stood strong for 60 years.

Two Great Historic Tours in Milledgeville:

Old Governor's Mansion

Historic Trolley Tours

Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. Photo by @themindfulmrs


Photo by @themindfulmrs

Atlanta began to argue for moving the capital because of its rapid growth and standing as an important railroad center. The first proposal was in 1847, but nothing came of it until after the Civil War. With a small margin vote, Atlanta was named the fifth capital in 1868. You can take a self-guided tour of the Georgia State Capitol on weekdays 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Two Great Historic Sites in Atlanta:

Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park

Atlanta History Center

Published: September 2017
Written by: Lesli Peterson