12 Aug A DAY TRIP TO MACON
Macon, Georgia is a mid-sized city of about 153,000 people smack in the middle of Georgia. At the intersection of 3 major interstates: I-75, I-475, and I-16. For many its a pass-through city on the way to Savannah or Florida, but you’d be surprised by the gems you will find in this market. This little gem is technically big enough for its own television affiliates…From food to nature to culture, give Macon a try.
The city has strong musical roots, and have several sites dedicated to the pioneers who came up in the area. There are also some off-the-beaten-path festivals that Macon draws visitors all over the southeast from, and historical sacred grounds from the area’s American Indian past.
Little Richard House
The Father of modern-day rock & roll was born and raised in Macon. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee died early 2020, so his childhood home is now a community center. You can’t miss it – this small yellow house is the only house on the block.
Otis Redding Statue
Sitting along the banks of the Ocmulgee River in Gateway Park; Not exactly the place this legendary signer crooned about in his classic hit song The Dock of the Bay, but you can learn more about the his life and music at the Otis Redding Foundation’s Mini-Museum.
339 Cotton Ave, Macon GA 31201https://www.exploregeorgia.org/macon/general/historic-sites-trails-tours/otis-redding-statue-at-ocmulgee-heritage-trail-gateway-park
The Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House
Known as the architects of southern rock. The big house is where the band and their families all lived from 1970-1973. Tour rooms where they lived and recorded music, as well as memorabilia from their 50 years of history.
Georgia Music Hall of Fame
Honoring the many musicians and artists from Georgia or credited Georgia with being the key to their success. Similar to a Cooperstown or Canton MHOF, the GA MHOF holds exhibits and ceremonies for each inductee. The list includes genres from Blues, Gospel, Hip-Hop, and R&B. Ray Charles, James Brown, Usher, Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri, TLC, Toni Braxton, CeeLo Green, Lady Antebellum, Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson, Kenny Rogers are just some of the names you’ll recognize.
Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park
Sacred Native American earthworks site. You can visit their museum to see archeological artifacts discovered in the 1930s or walk the mounds themselves atop of bluffs. Every September there is an Ocmulgee Indian celebration where one can learn more about Native American heritage.https://www.nps.gov/ocmu/index.htm
International Cherry Blossom Festival (mid-March)
Who knew that Macon is the cherry blossom capital of the world? 300-350,000 Yoshiro Cherry trees bloom around the city every year, and while it is not connected to the same festival in Washington, D.C. the festival’s founder, William A. Fickling, Sr. propagated the cherry trees from the same species since they were not native to the south. Its a huge affair, with a pancake breakfast, food fair, street party, pageant, air show, parade, lantern light tour, hot air balloons, and fireworks.
Macon Film Festival (end of July)
Since Georgia has become a large production center for major film & television, Macon has become a third hub to shoot outside of Atlanta and Savannah. Over the last ten years, credits include The Watchmen, 42, Lovecraft Country, Hillbilly Elegy, Zombieland: Double Tap, Black Widow, I, Tonya, Brockmire, Best of Enemies just to name a few. The film festival is presented by Mercer University and has a partnership with the Sundance Institute. They also take pride in highlighting Georgia filmmakers and really showcases restored movie palaces and live venues like The Douglass Theatre, Hargray Capitol Theatre, and Grand Opera House.
Mulberry Street Festival (end of March)
The oldest arts & crafts festival in Georgia, it coincides with the cherry blossom festival. Truly for art lovers, sculptors, florists, and the like.https://www.middlegeorgiaart.org/mulberry-street-festival
Bound by Poplar St. on the west, 2nd St on the north, 3rd St on the south, Cherry St. on the east,
here is where you can find the concentration of local bars, gastropubs, and restaurants that call Macon home. The Crazy Bull, Oliver’s Corner Bistro, Ocumulee Brewpub, and Reboot Retrograde are just some of the establishments you’ll see with live music and outdoor gardens. For more information, visit https://www.maconga.org.