Over the years Macon has established itself as springboard for musical talent. When you visit this midsize Georgia city, start with its newest musical attraction, the Big House Museum, devoted to the history of the Allman Brothers Band. The “Big House,” the former home of some of the band’s members, overflowed with family, friends and late-night music sessions in the 1970s. It opened to the public in December 2009 with posters, photos and film footage of the band. In 1998, the Allman Brothers Band was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame museum (Gregg and Duane Allman were inducted individually in 2006 and 1982), proving that their music is truly one of Georgia’s greatest products. More than 100 Hall of Fame inductees include legends such as Ray Charles and Little Richard (a Macon native) as well as new acts such as Collective Soul and Third Day. Spend the day in Tune Town, the main exhibit space, and learn about Georgia’s musical heritage. At the turn of the last century, the Douglass Theatre provided entertainment for Macon’s African-American population; its stage hosted Cab Calloway, Otis Redding and Bessie Smith, among others. The theater is still open today for concerts, movies, plays and opera.
Nu-Way Weiners’ slogan suggests that its customers would travel far for one of its famously red hot dogs, but the best endorsement may come from Maconites themselves, who have been ordering from Nu Way’s menu since 1916. Grab a bite there before you check into your hotel room. Macon has many quality hotels with reasonable rates, and the Hilton Garden Inn is a guest favorite for its newness and its proximity to Interstate 75. If you time your Macon visit for late July, roll into town for Bragg Jam, an annual music festival of 40-plus concerts and related events.