Thousands of cherry trees bloom in the spring in Macon, Georgia, creating a beautiful setting for festivals and outdoor activities.
Guide to Macon
The Creek Indians were the first inhabitants of the area that would later become known as Macon, settled by Europeans in 1809. Named for North Carolina statesman Nathaniel Macon, the economy thrived thanks to the Ocmulgee River. A number of colleges and universities were set up nearby, including Wesleyan College and Mercer University. In the 1960s, it was ground zero for the music industry thanks to Capricorn Records and artists like the Allman Brothers Band and Otis Redding.
Things to Do
The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House
Learn about the band that called Macon home at The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House, the Tudor-style home that Berry, Duane and Gregg lived in with their family and friends. It has a large collection of guitars and band memorabilia.
Amerson River Park
Set on more than 100 acres, Amerson River Park offers pristine forests, meadows and wetlands surrounded by a river oxbow. There is a handicap-friendly playground, miles of trails, and a river put-in for canoes, kayaks and tubes.
Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park
Celebrate the Native American tribes that called the Macon area home at the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, a site dating back 17,000 years. The site has North America's only reconstructed Earth Lodge with its original 1,000-year-old floor, as well as the Grand Temple Mound.
Step back in time at the Hay House, an Italian Renaissance Revival mansion dating back to 1855. The behind-the-scenes tour is the best way to view the house’s most unique elements, including the wine cellar, balcony, Widow’s Walk and even a secret room.
My City Bike
My City Bike App offers self-guided bike tours of Macon with turn-by-turn directions and information. Three tours cover the best of Macon, the city’s music history and ghost tours.
Museum of Arts & Sciences
Macon’s Museum of Arts & Sciences features everything from works of fine art to exhibits on animals and civilizations. There’s also an onsite planetarium, nature trails, and a mini zoo ideal for the whole family.
Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame is the largest state sports museum in the country, honoring all amateur and professional athletes, spanning multiple sports. The 14,000-square-foot space has exhibits on the Olympics, golf legends and even an interactive playground.
The Cannonball House
Named for the cannonball that tore through it during the Civil War, The Cannonball House is one of Macon's most iconic homes, built in 1853 in the Greek Revival style. The furnishings are original to the founders of the two oldest sororities in the world.
Macon Beer Company
The city's only craft brewery, Macon Beer Company has innovative recipes, like pale and blonde ales, and a cozy tasting room and beer garden open to tours. They also have games and cornhole.
The Tubman Museum, named for American icon Harriet Tubman, focuses on African-American art, history and culture. Exhibits focus on the works of artists of African descent, important inventions by African Americans and the musical influence of African Americans.
Where to Stay
Spend the night in one of Macon's historic inns.
The 1842 Inn has the amenities of a hotel with the hospitality of a bed and breakfast. The four-diamond inn in a Greek Revival mansion is steps away from Macon’s shops and restaurants.
Macon Marriott City Center
Business travelers will enjoy the Macon Marriott City Center, which has more than 5,000 square feet of event space, just steps away from the convention center. Well-appointed rooms and suites feature plush bedding, flat-screen televisions, and robes and slippers.
Holiday Inn Macon North
Holiday Inn Macon North is located near the highway and downtown Macon, with a 24-hour business center, free high-speed Internet, flat-screen televisions, a fitness center, and a restaurant with a breakfast buffet and casual dining.
Burke Mansion Bed and Breakfast
The Burke Mansion Bed and Breakfast is another option, located in a 1887 Queen Anne Victorian mansion. Lavish rooms include clawfoot tubs, and guests enjoy hearty breakfasts and wine and hors d’oeuvres during their evening reception.
Macon’s best extended stay hotel, TownePlace Suites near Mercer University has the relaxed feel of home with a full kitchen and Internet. Studios and one-bedroom suites provide plenty of space.
Hilton Garden Inn Macon/Mercer University
Located near I-75, the Hilton Garden Inn Macon/Mercer University has guest rooms with free WiFi, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers and work spaces. Guests have access to the fitness center, business center, and full service restaurant.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Macon-North
Homewood Suites by Hilton Macon-North has fully equipped kitchens, a DVD library, swimming pool, complimentary breakfasts, and even dinner some nights of the week. There is also free Internet, a business center and access to a nearby gym.
Where to Eat
Chow down at some of Macon's best restaurants.
Nowhere signifies Macon as much as H&H Restaurant, a longtime soul food restaurant that once fed the Allman Brothers. Founded in 1959, it’s covered in Southern rock memorabilia. Don’t miss the chicken biscuits and barbecue brisket sandwiches.
Dovetail serves uniquely crafted Southern dishes. Chefs use seasonal ingredients in their dishes, which can be paired with expertly crafted cocktails.
Fish N’ Pig
Fish N’ Pig has both on its menu, set on Lake Tobesofkee just outside of Macon. Menu highlights of this full service, casual restaurant include fresh seafood and hickory smoked barbecue, along with a complete bar.
Ingleside Village Pizza
For a New York-style slice, head to Ingleside Village Pizza, which uses the freshest ingredients and dough made daily. They also have salads, sandwiches, and beer and wine.
Set in a historic building, Ocmulgee Brewpub crafts the best burgers and beers around. The menu includes IPAs and ambers, along with salads, sandwiches and hand-cut fries.
Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen
Another downtown brewpub is Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen, known for its blonde ales and IPAs. In addition to beer, the menu includes smoked wings, sandwiches, soups and salads.
Locals love the burgers at The Rookery, a downtown staple since President Jimmy Carter was in office. The Cherry Street patio is the perfect place to enjoy one of their quirky burgers, sandwiches and adult shakes.
Bearfoot Tavern is the community’s neighborhood tavern, with sports on the high-definition televisions and more than 50 bottled beers. Menu highlights include salads, sandwiches and burgers.
Tic Toc Room
Once a 1940s venue that hosted the likes of Little Richard, Otis Redding and James Brown, the Tic Toc Room is now an upscale steakhouse serving the finest USDA prime aged beef. Enjoy with one of their award-winning martinis.
Parish on Cherry St.
For Creole and Cajun flavors, visit Parish on Cherry St.. Open for lunch, dinner and brunch, favorite dishes include jambalaya, crab cakes Benedict, and Cajun fried frog legs.
There's always something going on in Macon, so plan your trip accordingly.
Macon Film Festival
Named one of the top film festivals in the country, the Macon Film Festival screens independent films with panels featuring celebrity guests every August.
Macon Burger Week
Chow down with signature burgers around town during Macon Burger Week, a September event that brings together 15 or so local restaurants for $5 creations. Eat five or more and win prizes.
Ocmulgee Indian Celebration
Every September, the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration hosts one of the largest Native American gatherings in the region with more than 200 craftsmen, dancers, storytellers and demonstrators at the national monument.
Spirits in October
Held in spooky Riverside Cemetery, Spirits in October invites visitors to the Victorian rural garden for a one-hour guided tour. It tells the stories of the notable residents of the cemetery.
Main Street Christmas Light Show Extravaganza
Ring in the holiday season with Main Street Christmas Light Show Extravaganza, which includes Christmas lights, music by Macon Pops and local artwork.
International Cherry Blossom Festival
In March, Macon’s International Cherry Blossom Festival showcases more than 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees around town. Festivities include a pageant, amusement rides, performances, races, movie nights and much more.
Fired Works Regional Ceramics Exhibit & Sale
Fired Works Regional Ceramics Exhibit & Sale is a regional ceramics exhibition, the largest of functional and sculptural pottery in the state. Lasting nine days, it features more than 6,000 pieces of pottery by 65 ceramic artists.
Tubman Museum Pan African Festival of Georgia
Embracing the cultural diversity of Middle Georgia, the Tubman Museum Pan African Festival of Georgia has a packed schedule, including music, dance, food, art, storytelling, food trucks and a Children's Village.
Just Tap'd Craft Beer Festival
In April, the Just Tap'd Craft Beer Festival features tastings of some of the region’s best craft beers. There are also live musical performances, food, yard games and fun for the whole family.
Bragg Jam honors Macon's musical past and present, honoring the legacies of two Macon locals who died in a car accident. The stages throughout town host over 80 bands spanning all genres.