As we head into summer, Madison's streets will be filled with visitors enjoying all our city has to offer. There is no question that the city's historic district is a draw for many tourists.

One important part of the Madison experience is a visit to the Historic Madison Inc. properties and the other historic venues throughout the city and county.

Properties opening for regular tours beginning Saturday include the Jeremiah Sullivan House, Dr. William D. Hutchings' Office & Hospital, the Francis Costigan House and the Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum. The 1850 African Methodist Episcopal Church Building, the Shrewsbury-Windle House, and the Windle Auditorium are open by appointment only.

One of the best parts of the tour experience is listening to the docents at each site offering a history of the property. They are well-trained and bring the sites to life.

The Lanier Mansion and the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum also are "must sees" for visitors.

The museum now is open on Wednesday only. But from May 1 through Oct. 31 it will be open Monday through Saturday. The Lanier Mansion is open daily.

The historic sites provide educational programs for people of all ages. Whether it's a trip to Dr. Hutchings' office to see how medicine was practiced in the 19th century or a visit to the Historical Society Museum to learn about the men and women who helped settle and build this area, there is so much to learn in a fun way.