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Macon, Georgia, USA — Insights for Travelers

Hay House -- Macon, Georgia, USA
Hay House — Macon, Georgia, USA
Georgia Music Hall of Fame -- Macon, Georgia, USA
Georgia Music Hall of Fame — Macon, Georgia, USA
Terminal Station -- Macon, Georgia, USA
Terminal Station — Macon, Georgia, USA

Architecture

One of the great cities of the American South, Macon has been called “a textbook of historic architecture,” with 6,000 individual structures in 14 historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places – more acreage on the prestigious register than any other city in Georgia. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Macon one of America’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations.” Great books for research include Macon’s Treasures Remembered: The Antebellum Years, Living Macon Style and Macon Sketchbook.
Web: www.historicmacon.org also provides valuable information.

Weather

7-Day Forecast: 7-Day Forecast 32.84N 83.62W (weather.gov)

Population Macon-Bibb County

157,346 (U.S. Census 2020)
91,351 (U.S. Census 2010)

Map Macon, Georgia, USA

Attractions

Cannonball House

Cannonball House -- Macon, Georgia, USA
Cannonball House — Macon, Georgia, USA

856 Mulberry Street
Built in 1853, this Antebellum Greek Revival home was struck by a hotchkiss shell during the Stoneman’s Raid in 1864; today, the shell rests in the hall for visitors to see. Restored with furnishings of the period and listed on the National Register of Historic Homes. 
Web: Cannonball House

Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

Georgia Sports Hall of Fame -- Macon, Georgia, USA
Georgia Sports Hall of Fame — Macon, Georgia, USA

300 Cherry Street
Drive a NASCAR simulator, shoot hoops, kick a winning field goal or relive Hank Aaron’s historic 715th home run. Learn more about Georgia athletes Jackie Robinson, Evander Holyfield, Nancy Lopez and legendary golfer Bobby Jones. The largest state sports museum in the country offers 3,000 artifacts, a 205-seat ball park theater, research library and gift shop.
Web: Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

Hay House

Hay House -- Macon, Georgia, USA
Hay House — Macon, Georgia, USA

934 Georgia Avenue
Built in the late 1850’s, the Italian Renaissance Revival palazzo covers 18,000 square feet on four levels and is crowned by a three-level cupola that rises over 80 feet above ground. When constructed, the home had hot and cold running water, an intercom system, central heat and an advanced ventilation system – all comforts far ahead of the times.

Web: Hay House

Tubman African American Museum

310 Cherry Street
The Local History Gallery, Military Leaders Gallery and Soul on Rice are among the 14 galleries. The Tubman features changing exhibits, frequent events and educational programs, an expansive collection of African art and pieces by Romare Bearden, Kojo Griffin, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, P. H. Polk, Annie Greene and others.

Web: Tubman African American Museum

Events/Festivals

Annual events in Macon include the International Cherry Blossom Festival, Fired Works, Pan African Festival, Ocmulgee Indian Celebration, Macon Film Festival, Bragg Jam and more.
 

History

Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park
Part of the National Park Service, Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park preserves evidence of 17,000 years of human habitation. Earthen mounds, a ceremonial earthlodge, artifacts and dioramas help tell the story of Native American life. The monument hosts the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration every September.

Rose Hill Cemetery
Established in 1840 along the Ocmulgee River, Rose Hill remains one of the oldest surviving public cemetery parks in the U.S. Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, founding members of the Allman Brothers Band, are buried here side-by-side. Also laid to rest are 600 Confederate soldiers, three Georgia governors, architect Neel Reid, author Harry Stillwell Edwards, an accused ax-murderer and Lt. Bobby, whose inscription reads “Just a Brown Dog….”

Music

A true birthplace of Soul and Southern Rock, Macon holds a storied place in American music history. Little Richard and Otis Redding grew up in Macon and began their legendary careers here, while James Brown recorded his first single in town at WIBB. In the ‘70s, Macon’s Capricorn Records introduced the Allman Brothers Band, Marshall Tucker Band and Wet Willie to rock music fans. Revered landmarks, including a life-sized bronze statue of Otis Redding, and lively nightclubs and festivals keep the local music scene exciting.
 

Southern

Colorful Culinary History
Macon is home to Nu-Way Weiners, the 80-year-old hot dog stand with the trademarked misspelled sign, and Fincher’s, whose Blue Ribbon bar-b-que traveled to space on a NASA mission in 1989. Mama Louise Hudson of H & H Restaurant regularly gave free plates of food to a scraggly group of starving musicians who, when they hit it big as The Allman Brothers Band, took her out on the road with them. The novel Whisper to the Black Candle tells of Anjette Lyles, a beloved Macon restaurateur who rid herself of four family members with arsenic. Macon enjoys a variety of locally owned and acclaimed restaurants, from charming bistros to down-home soul food kitchens.

Wini McQueen
Internationally acclaimed folk-art quilter, painter, textile designer, writer and social activist Wini McQueen explores her personal history, as well as the history of African and African American cultures, in her work. She developed a photocopy-transfer technique to create works of art on fabric. Her quilts are in the permanent collection at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art and Macon’s Museum of Arts and Sciences.

Chuck Leavell
Twiggs County tree farmer Chuck Leavell is not only a nationally recognized conservationist, but he’s also been an unofficial member of the Rolling Stones for the past 25 years. Other credits include recording and/or touring with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule, Train and many others. A solo artist and author of two novels, Leavell’s most recent project is an illustrated children’s book entitled The Tree Farmer.

Location & Transportation

Macon is located 1.25 hours south of Atlanta at the crossroads of two major interstate highways, I-75 (north-south) and I-16 (east-west), making it easily accessible by car. Distance from some major cities:

Savannah180 miles or 333 kilometers
Nashville336 miles or 537 kilometers
Orlando380 miles or 608 kilometers
Miami606 miles or 970 kilometers

Web: Transportation

History

Macon was founded in 1823 on the banks of the Ocmulgee River, growing out of the 1806 frontier Fort Hawkins. The fort was established as an official U.S. Army Fort and Indian Factory for trading and meeting with Native Americans under Indian Agent Col. Benjamin Hawkins, and the city was named for a beloved North Carolinian statesman, Nathaniel Macon.

Prior to Fort Hawkins’ establishment, the earliest European contact was in 1540 when Hernando DeSoto came through the area. North America’s first Christian baptism was recorded when priests in DeSoto’s band baptized two Indian boys in the Ocmulgee River near what is now Carolyn Crayton Park. However, Native Americans had inhabited the area for as many as 10,000 years before that as evidenced by the discovery of clovis points at the archaeologically significant Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.

Union General George Stoneman came close to Macon, but the city was defended three times before surrendering at the close of the Civil War, preserving its neighborhoods of classic Greek revival and Victorian-style homes.

Local Industry:
Manufacturing, aeronautics, medical and tourism are the leading employers in Macon. Surrounding areas thrive on agriculture and Macon’s State Farmers Market offers the best peaches, peanuts, pecans and vegetables in Middle Georgia.

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