A Local’s Take on Macon, Georgia

This local’s take comes to us from Maggie Discher, a Senior at the University of South Carolina. Maggie is planning to graduate in May with a B.A. in Art History and Sociology. A native of the South, Maggie hopes to keep the South alive through her pursuit of a graduate degree in Historic Preservation. 

Macon, Georgia lies in the heart of the peach state, about an hour and a half south of Atlanta and two
hours northwest of Savannah. Though not one of the more well known travel destinations in the state,
it has a rich history and a ton to offer for those traveling through the area. The city grew up around
the Ocmulgee River, thriving as a center of trade in its early history. As the city developed into the
20th century, Macon became a music industry destination, with residents including Little Richard, Otis
Redding, and the Allman Brothers Band. The downtown city-center declined through the 1980s, but is
achieving an exciting revival – one that warmly invites tourists to experience its way of life.

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Points of Interest

  • The Ocmulgee National Monument and Indian Mounds show off Macon’s earliest history, feeding off of the Ocmulgee River, visitors can learn about the Mississippian culture, or just enjoy the impressive preserved grounds and their accompanying trails. 
  • The Johnston-Hay House is one of Macon’s prized antebellum structures. The massive
    Italian Renaissance Revival mansion is open to the public for tours. Beyond its architectural
    monumentality, the building was extremely innovative, boasting some fascinating technologies
    for the period.
  • Macon is home to a number of museums for a variety of interests. Visitors can stop by the
    Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Tubman African American
    Museum, or the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House.
  • For a night out head to Cherry St. for some great music venues, bars, and restaurants that line
    the historic commerce district.
Ocmulgee National Monument

Ocmulgee National Monument

Food

  • Nu-Way Wieners is a Macon staple (their signature bright red hot dogs were even endorsed by
    Oprah during her visit to Macon.)
  • Ingleside Village Pizza is another local favorite with delicious food and a fun atmosphere.
  • For nicer fare, visitors can enjoy dining at the Tic Toc Room. Known for its historic nightlife, the
    walls are lined with images of Little Richard performing in the building that gave him his start.
  • Tic Toc isn’t the only restaurant that marries the city’s music legacy with food: for some great
    home cooking, head up Cotton Avenue to the H & H and enjoy one of the favorite eateries of
    the Allman Brothers.

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Events

  • Each spring Macon hosts the international Cherry Blossom Festival, a week full of festivities
    that celebrate the bright pink blossoms that cover the city. The annual events include the street
    party, the arts and crafts fair, and a hot air balloon fest.
  • If you want to explore some of the local arts offerings, the city presents the Fired Works
    ceramics exposition, the Macon Film Festival, and the Fly South Festival each spring.
  • Take a Rock Candy Tour and learn about Macon’s rich music history and famous residents.
  • Each summer, on the last weekend in July, Bragg Jam celebrates the Macon’s new music scene
    with daytime activities for all ages and a nighttime bar and music crawl.
Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 8.27.44 AM

Macon’s Cherry Blossoms

While these are just a few suggestions, there is certainly a lot more to discover in Macon. We hope that you get the chance to experience the unique spirit of this great town! If you’ve visited Macon and have some things to add to Maggie’s list, please drop them in the comments section, below!

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