Downtown Macon, Georgia
Guide to Macon
Explore this central Georgia city's history, natural attractions and lively downtown with this guide to things to do, places to stay, great restaurants and events throughout the year.
A multitude of Indigenous peoples 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, and an outdoor stage that hosts musicians with musical roots related to the Allman Brothers Band or that celebrate the grit of the legendary Southern rock sound.
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
Immerse yourself into the history, culture, and art of the earliest inhabitants of the Macon area 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 Great 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.
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 the state's most legendary athletes and sports professionals. 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. Tour the house to see period furnishings that are original to the founders of the two oldest sororities in the world and to learn more about the home and its inhabitants.
Fall Line Brewing Company
Located in downtown Macon, Fall Line Brewing Co. has a wide assortment of handcrafted brews from their staple Fall Line Lager to more experimental tastes like Goblin Shark, a double IPA. Bring your pets along to relax in their outdoor gated seating options featuring yard games, twinkling lights at night, and plenty of sunshine. Beat the summer heat with seasonal slushies, and on cool nights, warm up by the fire pit.
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.
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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.
Hotel Forty Five
Situated on the iconic 45-degree angle formed by Cherry and First Streets and Cotton Avenue, every corner of Hotel Forty Five tells a story of the area’s significance with a bit of wit, dash of class and a pop of color. Through engaging art, architecture and hospitality, guests navigate through illustrations of Macon’s past and learn about historical influences who made a significant impact in the city’s business, music and cultural communities. Key historic architectural elements, furnishes and finishes have been preserved and incorporated in various spaces throughout the hotel. The downtown boutique hotel is home to three dining concepts: Loom, Hightales Rooftop Bar and Reckon Coffee & Wine Bar. The hotel also hosts monthly concerts and popup events such as rooftop yoga.
Located in the heart of historic downtown Macon on the corner of Second Street and Mulberry Street Lane, The Woodward is just steps away from the city’s best restaurants, live music, and cultural experiences. For the independent traveler who wants to experience Macon like a Maconite, The Woodward is the perfect place to hang your hat while you're in town to see a show, dine, sight-see, work, or play. If you are looking for an intimate and cozy nightcap, check out Quill, a cocktail bar located inside the Woodward that pays homage to Macon and American literature.
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 Macon Centreplex. 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, 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.
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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.
Kinjo Kitchen & Cocktails
"Asian-inspired comfort food, with a pinch of Southern flair," is how this new restaurant in Macon describes its taste. Between options like ramen, potstickers, and seared ahi tuna that are fused with soul food ingredients like collards and candied pecans, you can't go wrong with Kinjo Kitchen & Cocktails. Try their delicious handcrafted cocktails at their full-service bar.
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.
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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 late summer/early fall event that brings together local restaurants for amazing creations. Eat five or more and win prizes.
Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration
Every September, the Ocmulgee Indigenous Celebration hosts one of the largest Native American gatherings in the region with more than 200 craftsmen, dancers, storytellers and demonstrators at the national historical park.
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 Extravaganza
Ring in the holiday season with Main Street Christmas Light Extravaganza, which includes more than 500,000 twinkling 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 spring/summer, 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.
Macon Beer Festival
Drinking for a cause: The Macon Beer Festival features breweries from across the Southeast while organizers collect proceeds and use the event to raise awareness about prostate cancer. Enjoy live music on multiple blocks in downtown Macon, food trucks, and yard games galore.
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 more than 80 bands spanning all genres.